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Chameleon


dedalus

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You know San Paulo, Miguel? He says

he shakes the dust from his sandals

when he leaves a town of unbelievers.

Miguel shrugs, makes a sign of the cross,

says a ride will come along soon.

It does. A Ford pickup with a Baptist believer

who wants to know if we've been saved?

I might be, I'm white, but young Miguel

is banjaxed, he's just an illegal,

so he shrinks down, disappears in his seat.

 

We get there. Where is there?

Say thirty-five miles from Caliente.

Caliente is a hundred miles or more

from next to nowhere: I asked an old boy

in San Cristobal once, and he told me,

Son, you wouldn't want to start from here,

you need to start from somewhere else.

 

Something Irish there: great-great

grandaddy in the San Patricio? *

 

We get there. Oily machine guns

straight out of the packing cases

and beef and beans on the boil.

I love my life in the KGB, sorry CIA,

with connections to MI Five & Six.

They just throw around money,

throw it around like confetti.

 

I used to carry a gun, like the Yanks,

but then I thought, what the fuck

is this all about? Nobody's shooting

anyone, it's a game of bluff and chance,

a stylized political peacock dance.

So I got into gambling instead

then into rabbit and chicken farming

during my my Back-To-The-Land phase

but grew tired of that as well.

 

Now I live in Oklahoma

under the name of Sanchez or Montoya

or sometimes Gutierrez, because

none of the neighbours speaks English.

The seeping linguistic stains

cross national borders, re-assert

the way things were before

the Alamo: all I know is

America is rapidly changing

and me, I change with it.

 

------------------------------------------------------------

* San Patricio: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Patrick%27s_Battalion

Edited by dedalus

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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  • 2 weeks later...

I wonder if this "retired" revolutionary/agent even realizes that he has been a pawn his whole life. Has he come to the conclusion that his having dedicated his entire life to "his" causes merely furthered the goals of certain others? Is he an idealist who has become disillusioned ... or was it all "just a job"? He melts in the pot with the rest.

 

Tony

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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  • 2 weeks later...

This long poem took me from nowhere to somewhere. Bren, I admire your writing spirit. I think that you are one of the best whom I know who writes these types of poems -- poems of intrigue.

 

These are the parts that captured my attention rapidly:

 

You know San Paulo, Miguel? He says

he shakes the dust from his sandals

when he leaves a town of unbelievers.

 

 

Caliente is a hundred miles or more

from next to nowhere: I asked an old boy

in San Cristobal once, and he told me,

Son, you wouldn't want to start from here,

you need to start from somewhere else.

 

Something Irish there: great-great

grandaddy in the San Patricio? *

 

Nobody's shooting

anyone, it's a game of bluff and chance,

a stylized political peacock dance.

 

And the ending part is very clear. It corresponds well with your title.

 

Now I live in Oklahoma

under the name of Sanchez or Montoya

or sometimes Gutierrez, because

none of the neighbours speaks English.

The seeping linguistic stains

cross national borders, re-assert

the way things were before

the Alamo: all I know is

America is rapidly changing

and me, I change with it.

 

My applause for this poem, Ded.

 

Aleksandra

The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth - Jean Cocteau

History of Macedonia

 

 

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