And holding hands with empty-pocket wishes, I
kiss a girl with left handed strangeness and
Tell her lies like my Father used to tell.
There was something about the Moon and
Later stories of Vietnam that never came true and
Once he told of castles made of sand.
I never understood that one...
Now, sitting in trees with grey opal cats, jazz cats
Whose jagged hats are alarmingly close to falling
Thousands of miles off (I don't think the country could bear it).
In the tree the sun sets like green fire on water and I
Remember the Brothers in black coats and chains who make the stuff.
The sun sets on the country and the cat's hats are still on so I sigh relief
And send a stream of spit and urine into the wind.
It's an impolite gesture but it's the closest thing to laughing I can manage.
Later we came together under umbrellas like black mushrooms,
We sat in groups and tried Ouija without the board, sending
Love notes to dead wives and tearful apologies to the babies we couldn't keep,
And somewhere in it all I got through to Grandfather and he told me
He was sorry for Dresden and all the Negroes too.
Later still, he appeared in a dream, a Thirties prizefighter in gold shorts
And we stood in the Jordan river while he explained my father's lies.
It had been some time and I'd managed to bury or decipher
Or simply sit out the ones about the Moon and 'Nam...
'But the castles made of sand,' my Grandfather said 'are the silicon
Halls and waiting rooms, the opium dens of your generation,
The poisoned place where words and images, clouds of thought and
A whole galaxy of bright ideas have begun to stagnate.'
'So find a clean slate and wake up!'