Tuesday, January 10, 2012

3 poems by Ross Vassilev: another vintage poetry favorite)

3 poems by Ross Vassilev:


the veterans
are coming home
as I put a quarter
in the soda machine
and remember a poster
I once saw of a
gorgeous redhead
in a black dress
the veterans
are always coming home
from the latest war
and God must spend
a lot of time
jerking off
while people are busy
killing each other
and giving each
other medals
and somewhere
out in the New Mexico
lies the hollow skull
of a yesterday cow
dull and oblivious
and dessicated
as the bull-brained
mob parading
down the street
behind me
a Georgia O’Keefe
cow skull
a sacred-cow skull
with a yellow rose
in one hollow
calling out to me
across the desert stars.

we’ll be on our way home when the smoke whispers in the sky

these red brick walls
these grey streets that I’ve walked up and down
for so many years
with the sparrows at sunrise
under the afternoon drizzle
with sunshine on the snow like all
the Christmas bullshit suddenly come to life
and I remember the last 20 years
like an old great river that never stops
like a short walk to the end of the street
and I remember that old hobo
who asked me what time it was
and I told him and he said
Is that all?
and then like Bob Dylan
walked away and disappeared
among the streetlights and dusk.

propaganda of the deed

I see the ghosts of dead anarchists
who took their outrage
and fired guns and threw bombs

I see the ghosts of 60s radicals
marching and fighting in the streets
of Chicago ‘68

these were people who got out
and took action
so everyone knew they really meant it
instead of just writing it down
like me and Langston Hughes

the fire and rage of revolutions
that lit up the nights of bygone days

that set the rich trembling
so they called out the riot police
and if that didn’t work
they called the troops and their boots

and if those revolutions failed
well they came damn close
and the intent and the effort were noble

all those wild dead radicals
and revolutionaries

I’m just a pale reflection of their
sainted shadows.