Saturday, January 24, 2015

The opposition between things


Nothing abstract about Leo Ryan losing
His face at Jamestown.  Congress gave
Him a medal posthumously.  I wonder
What he would have thought of that.
Larry Layton received twenty-four years
For the shooting.  Was Ryan’s face blown
Off before or after he was killed?

“After” according to the official record,
But I think “before,” pushing as he did
Into Jim Jones’ world which was run
In accordance with his imagination.
Stevens wrote “the effect of Owl’s
is to emphasize the opposition
Between things as they are and things

Imagined; in short to isolate poetry.”
I would never write that.  Anyone
Interested would testify that
I would have argued with Jones
And been excommunicated before
He left the states – never progressing,
Never shooting into Leo Ryan’s face.

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