The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®

 

Paul Bamberger

Dreams of an Existentialist

 

in a room all neon and shadow an existentialist dreams and shepherd whistles traveler sings sculptor chips stone into white bird who flies off with snake in beak to a place where forgotten men throw themselves down the long blue slide of laughing sky bodies without rags tumbling forever in a room all neon and shadow where an existentialist dreams and a woman nails the terms of her love to a door leading to a room all neon and shadow where in the shadows a boy runs from where an existentialist dreams of zebras running with the spring rains and wonders how it is zebras know to wear stripes against the lion’s eye in a room all neon and shadow where an existentialist dreams and men of no luck at all crammed and crannied full with ideas bend the mule deer’s ear with half-truths that like oil on water shine in a room all neon and shadow where an existentialist dreams and a boy caught in the theater lights of what is about to happen hears distant click of boot heels in a room all neon and shadow where nothing is so loud as the unsaid brushing up against the need to get away in a room all neon and shadow where an existentialist dreams hard against the waking truth of george david edenfield and son who sodomized six year old Christopher as mother looked on and masturbated edenfield then choking the boy to death stuffing his body into a garbage bag to be buried alongside a country road winding through a room all neon and shadow where an existentialist dreams of no’s suicide and says good-bye to what’s up doc a man it ain’t no use to talk to no more a man who never did ask is there something to be gained dreaming in a room all neon and shadow where dream tinkers here and there on the outskirts of things such as they are in a room all neon and shadow where come on baby who hasn’t spoken in years is all grown up come on baby show him what he can do with his ya know wha’d i mean

 

Paul Bamberger

The War Ain't Over Until the Fat Man Swings

 

Jumbo goes to war

when asked why he persisted in fighting a war he knew he could not win
Fat Man unzipped his trousers
whipped out Jumbo
his much beloved oversized cock
howled at the moon
this is why this is way
and the wrath of Jumbo fell upon us

lesson not learned

yes
i did it
yes
i did it
so did
you
Fat Man ain’t gonna spend the rest of his life worrying over spilt milk
murder was the order of the day
and yes
i murdered
and yes
so did
you
wacked the hell out of anything that moved
kids
kids be damned
get in the fuckin’ way
you pay the price

no peace until the fat man swings

In ’66 Fat Man delivered the goods
america dared the unthinkable
by god that was her greatness
let the dead count the steps to glory
red is her color
red is her glory
and i
Fat Man
i ain’t no stinkin’ mama’s boy

 

 

 

PAUL BAMBERGER holds an MFA Degree in English/Creative Writing from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst, and is currently teaching at Northern Essex Community College in Lawrence, Massachusetts. He has published several books of poetry, Down by the River being his most recent, published by Islington-bryer Press. His poems have appeared in the New Hampshire Review, North Essex Review, Stoneboat, Ibettson Street, Chiron and Agenda (London) magazines.

 

 

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