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for the 21st century


Jason Baldinger

    (for paul koniecki)

I’ve never seen dallas
from a DC 10 at night
but the saw that floats
through that song
is every phantom embodied
across the miles
lubbock to wichita falls

I’ve never taken the ramp
followed 287 into the zapruder
film, I hear the spool ran out
now history is a butthole surfers video

alan dulles was wholly responsible
for kennedy’s assassination
for america’s second bloody coup
the powers that be learned
about martyrs and went bloodless

he was killed because the cuban
missile crisis had turned him
from hawk to chicken hawk
it had torn his spine out
left him with a world
longing for peace

revenge and capitalism
can’t survive peace
hence lee harvey oswald
hence jack ruby
hence what really happened
on the grassy knoll
will carry it’s weight in mystery

paul, I headed for texarkana
because sometimes the road
offers no salvation
sometimes the wheels
are another form of madness

we should be smoking joints
in the back yard of oswald’s
rooming house, and you’d
look at me as larry levis and say
so death blows it’s little
fucking trumpet big deal

I’d answer as phil levine
I can hear the even breathing
of all that is wordless and final

the butthole surfers play
the shah sleeps in lee harvey’s grave
maybe our preachin’ days
are through, cause when
the night rolls out
dusts off all it’s tejas stars
fuck if I don’t fall hard
into the deep elem blues

Jason Baldinger  is a poet from Pittsburgh. A recent writer in residence at Osage Arts Community, he is cofounder and codirector of the Bridge Series. He has published multiple books and chapbooks, including The Better Angels of our Nature (Kung Fu Treachery), Everyone’s Alone Tonight (Kung Fu Treachery Press), and Blind into Leaving (Analog Submission Press).