California sunset, Ronnie’s head to the west,
finally out of his ass, and Nancy’s death’s head
resting on the coffin, patting it
like she must have patted him
with her stranger’s hands these last ten years,
his forgetfulness absolute.
You can’t help but cry, the old bastard
finally dead, like a daddy who beat you,
but still there is that time you cannot erase.
Those years of silence from the east,
while the sound of blood boiling in veins
was deafening in the west.
Somehow it’s fitting that they are burying him
here, in this decimated land he called home.
Where the sunset began for millions long before
he arrived draped in a flag, one he fashioned
into a noose, those old cowboy knots, and hung
over a high limb and let those California boys swing.
They brought disease on themselves, he knew
their kind from his Hollywood days, grab-assing
in the Warner Brother’s dressing rooms. Faggots.
Bad enough he had to dirty his mouth with the word AIDS,
but gay would never pass his lips,
as if withholding the word banished them,
made their cries of shame, shame, shame outside
the White House nothing more than a collective
bad dream. He made it seven years without giving in
to those bleeding heart homos, liberals and whiny doctors.
He made a joke out of untying the purse strings,
while he was a rainmaker when it came to warheads,
arms trading, terrorist training and knocking down walls.
He ended the Cold War while his own country turned to ice.
So they bury him as the day closes, the sky on fire
like the hell he’ll have to talk himself out of if it exists.
Give the Devil an old song and dance, make promises,
barter with empty pockets, cast uncertain eyes skyward
at the screaming angels who lay siege to Heaven’s Gate,
prepared to fall again before he’s allowed to enter.
One lost kingdom is enough.


Anonymous said…
Collin - thanks for the comment on Reagan. My mother died of Alzheimer's over a 15 year period, so I empathize with his family and wouldn't wish it on anyone. Otherwise, I can't shake my feeling of him as a Jekyll and Hyde figure - the optimistic, upbeat, simple, personable, likeable, principled, practiced politician; vs. the wrongness and hatefulness of his policies on the economy, international relations, AIDS, social policies. I think there's a strong argument that he prolonged the Cold War, not caused its end. The Soviet Union was collapsing from within; Reagan acted as if they were (in Bush 43's words) an imminent threat. Wrong, as it turns out. Terrible injustice in Central America with the support of right-wing dictatorships. Also, homelessness for the mentally ill and addicted came as a result of his cutting back on social programs. The economy (remember Voo Doo Economics?) was the same as unlimited credit card spending - which Clinton had to clean up. Anyway, artistic comment is needed. Maybe you should do an open mic on topical poetry - focused on comment about public figures, policies, the country, the world - rather than on personal feelings, issues, experience.

Anyway, here's my take on Reagan:

Six Feet Under

He will be six feet under soon.
That should not be
A mystery
For you and me, and not for him.
But will you or I be in a TV show?
Will he?
Who can know
What will happen next?
The new season premiere
Is next weekend.

Sam Gainor

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