Monday, July 04, 2005

Aggressor Nation

Having slept past noon following
a sleepless night, I walked
over to Gina's house, fed
& entertained her cats;
watched the Halls of Montezuma,
a very good movie starring
Richard Widmark as a high school
chemistry teacher turned
United States Marine Lieutenant
fighting in the South Pacific,
a moral man with a conscience
being tragically tested
under horrific circumstances.
While his platoon died around him,
& he desperately sought information
from stubborn samurai prisoners
without resorting to torture,
a load of laundry tumbled in the dryer.
I wasn't going to make the train
that would take me the fireworks
by the river behind City Hall.
When the fireflies emerged
I rode my bicycle to the supermarket.
picked up a few food items
& something to help me sleep,
waited in a slow checkout line
as the women ahead of me
signed checks for their purchases.
Outside, an indigo evening
rumbled with distant bombs,
rockets launched from backyards
exploded above shingled roofs,
automatic weapons fire erupted
on street corners, a large grenade
blew up between two houses.
But here my neighbors are grilling hot dogs
with mariachi music, their children
on the sidewalks waving sparklers.

I do not like being alone
on the 4th of July, & I am not
strolling through the patriotic crowd
in the parking lot by the river
behind City Hall, solitary,
with a bag of zeppoles, smiling
at the big battle in the sky.

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I went down to the bay at Keyport to find some peace of mind, took my surf rod and moss bunker I had frozen in my freezer.It was hot no wind two boats off to my right were drifting off the point at Union beach.I guess they were fishing for Fluke.Found a blueclaw crab half eaten by gulls.I looked at the salboats moored in front of me.It was still noisy alot of firecrackers going off behind me in the ballpark up the street.Could see NYC skyline.But I couldn't see America until I walked back to my apartment,this older man perhaps 70 to 75 sitting on the park bench by the park our eyes meet I went up to him and wished him a happy Fourth of JulyHe could of been a World War Two Vet.I felt better walking home

Take care Bob enjoy the blog.
Bob, I really really really wanted to spend the weekend fishing with a nice cigar.

But alas, I took Patrick to the Rahway fireworks celebration and he had a blast (pun intended). He dined on ice cream and cookies, rode the ferris wheel (okay, it wasn't the Funtown Pier, but it was closer to home) and battled his fear of fireworks by not crying at all during the 30 minute show. Lizzie strode around like a celebrity while many of her former students were amazed and delighted to see their teacher outside of school.
Seeing grammar school teachers outside class always freaked me out a little bit, my child mind not accepting that these grownups actually had lives & walked about in public. I'm sorry I missed the Rahway festivities (the best all-around event in the County), but my Muse wanted to dictate a poem, for which I am very grateful.
One of my favorite July 4th memories was of a party Bruce L. and I had at the old homestead at Upsala (living on campus during the Summer was great - no students). I remember we scored a case of Papst "Red, White and Blue" beer from somewhere or other on the cheap. Later, perched high on Old Main's fire escape, several of us watched the fireworks across the Northeastern skyline as the towns between East Orange and New York did their thing throughout the evening.
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