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Tuesday, August 29, 2006


by Spiel

see this virgin soldier boy
stilled in his prime
bagging elbows
coding knees

come here mr. president

come here
phony cowboy
texas blueblood come here
see this virgin boy
counting toes fingers
and spines

go ahead if you must
line up for the rapture
with your clown hat on
mr. president
or better yet
come here come here
to face this boy
who could not bare
his superior officer’s stare

so he was demoted
from near-nobody
to nobody
bagging lips brains
and livers for transport
back home
to the u.s.a.

come here awol cowboy
show this kid your thumbs
the parts of you which prove
you could have lifted something
greater than a crawford chainsaw
(trimming limbs of a less bloody sort)
and he will show you bags full of
thumb-knuckles tips and fingernails
zip-coded for shipping without really
knowing who nor where they came from

this virgin kid
whose virgin sweetheart awaits him back home
this naïve boy who bought your bring em on boast
who figured he could prove he was a man
a mighty christian at war
as he watched you pray with your eyes shut

but this boy’s feet turned to sand
as you waffled on your why
and his girlfriend sent a message that you’d lied
and unlike all his buddies he’d never felt
the privilege of his sweetheart’s blood yet
here he was all smeared in the blood of thumbs
(not thumbs like yours with tidy fingernails)
plus baby’s scalps and tiny hands and too much
splintered bone splattered in human dung
of young men
just like him

come here come on
bigshot-target cowboy
forgive this virgin kid who cannot stand
to face you cannot look you straight
eye to eye
be humbled in his presence mr.
cowboy without a horse to ride
tell him that you’re sorry
that you led him so astray
admit you never really had the mandate
thought he won’t know what mandate is
he is a simple kid
a no body

do this phony cowboy
get down on your knees

sob yourself to bits and pieces

then hope     then beg this kid
can spare some space in his bags
to squeeze your fragments cast astray
with other odds
and ends to code them back
to general delivery

to see if they
(aside from all this more noble flesh and bone)
just might stand the test
for the presence of human d.n.a.

Spiel is uncommonly comfortable taking us on journeys into deep secrets many share but find too personal or too dark to reveal. His passion and forthrightness are evident in poems of conflict, curiously human short stories and odd bits of art published by scores of independent press magazines. Soon to be released will be come here cowboy poems of war, a Pudding House Publications chapbook, its third since 2003, of Spiel's poetry.