Joe, NPO

cloverleaving through the night

cleaving unto what’s right

seething is disbelieving:

they chickens

, they goats

“don’t trust a man with a mustache” he said

power

, corrupts

they don’t kill the chickens

they eat themselves

neck

, crack

bring yersel’ a Harley to heel in the bottom of the night

come to

, parade

, rest

Airborne refuses peace pipes and gulping exhausts

breathe

, soldier

, breathe

, keep the dime

, on the

, sightpost

what’s out the tailpipe is in the mouthpipe

one down

, five up

wonders “why not

the Academy ring

?

wonders “why not

the Ranger Tab

?

sit one

, beg two

coughs up angles of coal

coughs up pockets of pitch

coughs down carcoids n keeloids

count cadence

, delay cadence

, count cadence

, count

dad burned a telephone pole

tinkerbell said

breathe

, soldier

, breathe

tinkerbell kissed

soot into the bellow-bull snouts of them irish boy scouts

sleep one

, sweet prince

he fought them every hail mary

open

, one

, your

, mouth

, two

now

, give me your money

, paperboy

now

, say

, your

, one

, rosary

, two

, rosary

, three

splayed against the smokers’ tree

he got his pipes

he got his box

of canolis and cojones

every day is a rheumy horror

every day is a cough of coal

sit one

it is a puke of pitch

shake two

joe coughed up the creased wing of an oil-fouled bird.

he instructs the beardlesses

he counsels the cuntly-capped

in right angles

, courtlyship and

, collared shirts

on a Saturday

sets a dime on the muzzle break, says

shake soldier

, don’t

, shake

coaxes the callows in the codes of war

teaches the brightly towheads

to

hup

,two

,three

to

repeat

, after

, me

to

fiddle

, dee

, dee

to

please sir

, make me

, Infantry

Joe drowns yard dogs in the surf

counts the rosary

drives into the marine-grade sea

salty says

repeat

, after

, me

under fifty below when he couldn’t feel a toe

soldier, get outta that fartsack, stand your icy watch”

after jersey city, how could it be this hard?” (lather, peat, recompense)

in the beer-swill bar with the saw-dust girl, they broke his back

in halogene lights and chair leaned back:

“It’s our policy that you’re too old for the leadership track.”

married young so

he knows of other cults

of chickens, rats and feral dogs

after the hurricane the neighbors gigged their frogs and bled their hogs

there are ‘rrangements

nina 1

,

casarte

, bien

nina 2

,

marry

, a

, marine

novia 1

,

shut

, your

, yap

esposa 1

,

keep

, it

, clean

married young so

his chicken-cracking missus

he understands

[

rather

, wince

, repent

]

the large bed

the long days

the whiskey deck and that pig

of a bitch of a dog

the firestorm

in a

, #10

, can

nina dos el papa, nina una la mama

knit one

, bike two

he rides into bat country

mile after mile after cornstalk to the barrier sands

to the reefs and cataracts and falls

races the mosquitos

from the frog-gig swamps, and

every time that piss-warm ocean calls

it’s a raise of the hands

he rolls the throttle on

he knows they ginger Irish

don’t kill the chickens

they eat they selves

” lather

, rinse

, repeat

, after

, me

slap

, pull

, observe

, release

, tap

, shoot

discharge instructions read:

end

, evening

, nautical

, twilight

say something nice ... or not

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