Tuesday, June 24, 2008

1968: Part Five

When I got the call,
I was getting laid, I answered the phone,
We did that then, no answering machines, no nothing,
Just a phone and a cord, when it rang,
We answered, it was Bob K.’s mom,
“Bob got shot,” she said,
“I got a telegram,” she read it,
Some new vocabulary, brain sections,
“aphasia,” a new one on me, I looked it up,
I hung up the phone,
It was a half hour before I had relaxed enough
To even think about getting laid.
He made it back alive, it was interesting
To see the whole left side of his head diaphragming
Up and down, as he laughed, the bone being gone,
But he was lucky,
He came back, and the girls were really curious
To see what worked and etc.

Nixon, a Quaker,
Nixon, it had been years since
We didn’t have him to kick around anymore,
Couldn’t even get elected Governor of California,
Came back for more,
Within another few years he’d had
The shit kicked out of him good,
A tragic figure, not stupid, not even venal, just wrong,
This year he promised Law and Order,
Put those Niggers and Hippies in their places,
That’s for God-Damn sure,
Had a Secret Plan To End the War too,
You can’t tell the enemy what you’re going to do,
Or tell the voters what you’re NOT going to do,
It worked, he got nominated,
By the party of the rich fucks at the end of the world,
Poor Dick, self sabotage I think they call it.

The Democrats had a party in Chicago,
Lots of their friends showed up,
It was a little wild, got a little out of hand,
Somebody called the cops,
They showed up, big time,
It made the papers,
William S. Burroughs covered it for Esquire,
Naked Snacked it, Soft Machine Gunned it,
Put the gun in Gonzo’s hand,
Norman Mailer wrote it up for The Times,
And then a best-seller, it was so boss,
Lots of people showed up,
Yippies, Hippies, Loadies, Freaks, Nuns, Doctors,
Sincere simpletons who were just, like,
Horrified at all the killing, and especially
The chance that they might get killed themselves,
Weathermen, democratic students,
Revolution, approximately one-fifth seriously,
Political people with long hair and ambitions
To get into the California State Legislature and Jane Fonda’s pants.

I had good connections, smoked good reefer everyday,
Had good blotter, Dexamils, Valium, Tuinals,
A little speed, not much, speed-kills,
Strong wine, half-gallons, vodka, Newports, Pell Mells,
Shermans, a pretty girl friend,
An electric guitar, some chords, the blues,
Great records, concerts, movies, and lots of friends,
With the inclination to stay up all night,
It occurred to me that
I might never get in step with the world again,
The world on the TV, the world of burning cities,
Angry faces, torn, anguished men in sweaty clothes jungles,
Politicians getting killed, good ones,
French kids burning cars, Black Nightmare Universe,
America held up to the mirror.
It was ten years before I shook my head
And really woke up.

(That about sums it up. I don't know about y'all, buy 1968 made me dizzy.)


Anonymous said...

1968: Like they say about Woodstock, if you can remember it, you weren't really there.

fred c said...

It was quite a trip in more ways than one.