Sunday, December 31, 2006

Gerald Ford and the Seventies

I've spent the past several days reading about President Ford and his presidency. It brings back fond memories of the CIA and Nicaragua and secret incursions. Not to mention Gulags and long range nuclear missiles and spies. Oh, what a time! I remember when I was in college several of my friends were members of the Socialist Workers Party. They all used to spend most of their time debating who among them was a CIA mole.
Ha, what sort of great, powerful government would investigate a bunch of schmoos who couldn't organize a checkers game much less a great labor movement. Years later it turns out the government actually had an informant in their dumb little group. Duh! It was the moment I realized our government was as lunkheaded as my rabble rousing knucklehead friends. They wanted to organize the downtrodden workers. Workers with vacation homes in Belmar and a boat in the driveway and two kids (probably them) in college. For some odd reason they thought this country was Russia in 1917.
What a time!
Anyway, this all brought to mind a series of poems I've been working on about a new friend of mine. His name is Mario Infirme and he works for a government group. Unnamed. Here's one from Mario...

Mario Infirme Talks About Secrets

Mario Infirme comes up behind me at the bar.
He whispers in my ear.
He says, tell no one your secrets.
He says, tell no one the truth.
He says, if you do you must cut out their tongue
and if you cut out their tongue you must cut off their head.
If you cut off their head you must bury it in a secret place.
If you bury the head in a secret place you must set a fire to cover
your crime, you must burn the place to the ground.
If you burn it to the ground then you must return and salt the earth.

If you salt the earth then you should return and build a market.
In the market you may sell drinks,
cool lemonade, ice cold beer, shots of whiskey.
When people come to buy the drinks tell them stories.
Tell them about murder.
Tell them about love.
Tell them anything but the truth but don’t stop talking.

They will return, over and over, and you will run out of stories.
Then you may tell them the truth.
By then you will be old and no one will remember you or the reason
you are speaking.
There will be no reason to cut out their tongues.
Lie down at night then.
Lie down and dream.
When you dream you will dream of your crimes and they will be sweet.
Devour them.
Lies and crimes and secrets.
They are all you have.

I turn and Mario has left the bar.

Let me know if you like my friend and his stories. There are a few more I've already committed to paper and he comes to meet me often, late at night. He's not a nice man but he likes his whiskey and he tells a good story.
Good night world


Ms. K said...

Whoa. Jack! Mario is a breakthrough. More.

Claudia said...


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Anonymous said...

Incredible story there. What happened after? Good luck!

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