Philip Hammial

(1937 - / Detroit, Michigan / United States)

Honeymoon, Day Two - Poem by Philip Hammial

You can’t remember making it –
that scream she refers to
on page 98 of her memoirs (Memoirs
of a Weapon’s Buff) – executions justified
by a once & future Yes, an obsession
to safari with a difference that manifested
as a death on hold that spoke no volume. Just
a whisper published for a shot at the much flouted
Charity Sufferance with its fifty-seven dolls stuffed
in your rucksack in case you need them. As now,
when the most sensible thing to do would be
to ritually extract them one by one & pass them out
to the seven sumo wrestlers at the next table, bowing
deeply, speaking volumes: Domo arigato. Obviously
what these fatties always wanted, mothers
to a man with babes to rock to sleep. Sweet
dreams, it’s time to enter that swamp
where the most stalwart hero is referenced as
Little Butch: big boys with big smiles for a scrawny
geijin tourist. Enjoy your stay in Tokyo. Or is this
Berlin? Probably the latter judging by the atmosphere
of fight to the death that seems to pervade
every nook & cranny of this pillbox? Why
a pillbox? Surely there’s nothing to guard in the heart
of a Georgia swamp, snakes entwined around the still-
hot barrel of a water-cooled machine gun. Who
have you massacred this time? Just a dozen
or so of those big bullies, teach them to keep
their hands off, always grabbing your ass just
when you’re trying to impress Norma Jean with one
of your samurai warrior impersonations. Fingers
in her pie, will you ever? No chance at all
if you can’t get these boxing gloves off. Hopelessly
knotted laces. And now, how embarrassing, a tray
of succulent sushi arrives at your table, apparently
ordered by the wrestlers Manipulating chopsticks
with boxing gloves is not your idea of fun, but
they love it – big belly laughs, polite of course.
Arigato
aseholes, may you choke on one another’s pigtails.
And now, inside the fortune cookie that follows
the sushi, is a message whose relevance
to your situation is uncanny. Take us
to your leader. Of course they mean your wife. So
off you go, all crowded into one groaning elevator,
pushed aside when you reach the suite to discover
(you tried to tell them) that she’s packed her bags
& left, gone home to mummy & daddy.


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, May 8, 2012



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