Tuesday, July 30, 2013

poem of the day 07.30.13

the funniest movie i’ve seen in a long time

my brother and i were obsessed
with stallone’s first blood

we’d seen it dozens of times
which was a feat for kids
and an r-rated film back then

but we used to set the alarm
to catch it at three in the morning

or we’d be bold and wait for the old man to fall asleep
then we’d quietly watch it in the living room
as he snored and restlessly worked the couch

i learned how to program a vcr
so that i could set it to tape first blood
in the middle of the night

that way we always had it

by the time my folks caught on to this
there was really no stopping it

we’d seen the movie too many times to forget the violence
seen stallone pushed around by the cops
and then seeking his revenge upon the town ad nauseum

when the second first blood came out
it was no surprise that my brother and i wanted to see it

we ran into the room like maniacs
from wherever we were in the house
to watch the ads of rambo taking down vietnamese soldiers
and saving p.o.w.’s by the handful

roaring with pleasure
as he blew up everything in his path

my old man shook his head at us and said
you just can’t hold an m-60 with one hand

he knew because he was in vietnam

still, it was a surprise to us when he agreed
to take us to see the film

we didn’t go to the movies that much

i knew who luke skywalker’s old man was
months before i saw empire strikes back

we came, we saw, we kicked its ass
was already a neighborhood mantra
before my family saw ghostbusters

such suburban problems
but still my brother and i were jacked to go

the movie was everything we’d dreamed it would be
the carnage was almost beautiful in its execution

stallone had done it again
a reluctant hero killing by the scores

as pure and rugged and right as america was to me
with those eleven year-old eyes

but while my brother and i watched the film
watched stallone give it to those vietnamese
and bring all of those soldiers back home

i couldn’t help but hear
my old man laughing to himself
throughout the film

occasionally i’d look over and catch him chuckle
or shake his head at the screen

i kept trying to figure out what he was laughing at

but i couldn’t

on the ride home
my brother and i wouldn’t shut up
about the movie

rambo putting the right end note to the vietnam era

you know, the way it should’ve been
with america on the winning side

when my dad started laughing again

what? i asked him
is so funny?

nothing, he said,
as we pulled into the driveway
with visions of blood and guts
dancing in my impressionable head

it’s just the funniest movie that i’ve seen in a long
my old man said

then he went inside to watch baseball
while my brother and i stood in the yard

all hot and bothered
with cinematic violence

as red, white, and blue as any two kids
chomping at the bit in the dull suburbs


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