Chem Trails Etc.

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They tell me the feathery plumes I see

when little jets traverse my sky

are nothing at all to worry me–

a trick of Nature…something about vectors

or vortexes or some such thing—

an optical-illusion-thing

that I’m now too old to understand.

 

But, I remember when I was thirteen—

a plane or jet would rumble by

and we’d all look up from stick-ball or bike-tag

(in the streets we played) into a cobalt-bluish sky

and not a whiff or puff of white plumes feathered

imaginations put on hold—

wondering at the ethereal present.

 

That momentary, present thing

is now a memory distilled.

The only thing concerned us then

was being blown to smithereens

by crazy Russians who had once been friends

(so our fathers said) when we fought the Nazis

or the “Japs” (that’s what they said!

But now you can’t say anything

unless it’s stamped “P.C.-Approved”!)

 

Which kind of limits thinking through

much of anything that isn’t true

or false or in-between.

I know we hadn’t always such

imbroglios and bears to bear!

 

They tell me just to pay my dues,

keep my nose clean, vote,

and learn by rote

some simple rules to see me through:

Trust in God and the Pill-machine

(when feeling blue)

to keep disgusting bugs at bay;

pay my taxes with a smile

(because I’m good!), question not

some little snot

who wants to kill some enemies

over there before they’re here,

stealing everything we’ve got.

(But it seems his hand is in the slot-

machine and the game is fixed,

and I think I’m being politicked–

if I pause to think at all).

 

Better keep myself to myself.

I’m far too small to understand

what all the big and powerful

tell each other when the lights are low,

gushing that they know, they know.

 

And they’re laughing all the goddamn way

to their bank accounts in foreign lands

(probably some Switzerlands!)

while telling me to be content

with all the residue

of what was once a sky so blue

it hurt to ever think of losing.


Gary Corseri has published novels, poetry collections, dramas and articles. He has been an editor, journalist, gas station attendant, door-to-door salesman, and grape-picker in Australia.  He has taught in US prisons and public schools, and in universities in the US and Japan.  He has performed his work at the Carter Presidential Library, and his dramas have been produced on Atlanta-PBS and elsewhere. Contact: [email protected].

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