hideous napalm
over the rainswept diary
a photographic shower
somewhere in the tapered light
a deserter in denim
near an L.A. topless bar
a defunct clock
moves a flashback camera
a daily nightmare kicks
in reds, greens and yellows
off the rooming house sheet
a West novel falls
from the locust ceiling
Jane Russell emerges
from "The Outlaw"
at two in the morning
hitchcock's "The Birds"
scream and an evangelist
repents on the broken television
and smashes the money changed
laundered bills
giving away his gay son
who runs to escape
the managed whiz kid
band of warfare
The waitress from Las Vegas
here for a convention
of the Third Order of Mary
orders a double Bloody Mary
from the bartender
whose husband
became a woman
because life had to change
and Dick disinfects Southeast Asia
and deodorizes Communism
after the Hollywood Ten
in California he eats grapes
and the pregnant black woman
says at the campaign stop
Nixon's the One
and a transvestite carries
a sign to "Bring the Boys Home"
the boys do not come home
as nuclear fallout
envelops Nevada
drifts over the nation's
supermarket to the world.

- B.Z. Niditch

© 1995

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