Jerry Ratch

Rookie (August 9,1944 / Chicago, IL)

Puppet X,20 - Poem by Jerry Ratch


Who can sing

Steam coming from every light switch
and fixture in the nation
The loud apathy
in the pines

Diddle, diddle, diddle
All you can do
Or give a good dog your hand…

The account of the rakes
The spider who did not
Juries of yes
and no…

1 or 2 light taps
on the shoulder
All it takes

Kiss me nights
Let us be numb

And lean against each other's
in disgrace and conformity

Nothing you could get out of
They all hasten to assure you
from the chairs
along the walls of the room

Our lives are that sick

* *

What could they possibly
have to say
in the light of science and restraint?
When things get painfully

A man conducting business
in a straight jacket
An extreme dislike
for what he must do
Begging your pardon
and eating his sleeves

– He let out with
this massive bow-wow
– He's trying to live…

No humor anymore
No laughter
down the bones
Piety I can't believe
they can't refuse

They sort of like
having a nightmare
And speak broken things
out of their sleep
It keeps the stars amused…

I smile
I see myself
How odd

We will have to
watch each other
very closely

Ah, yes
The ability to
on the singing chain

Hands with labels
on them
Your clothes and passes
Stalks of time
Exchanging plans

Some of them dropp
Some don't

Bracelet, Bracelet
on my wrist
Give my face
another twist…

Speaking about
dollars in the night

Each unconscious shoulder

* *

Oh, oh
You blew your wishes out
So long, flames
You aren't going to get
flesh from the radio…

Fragments to the universe…

The audience is quiet
The bridge is singing

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Poem Submitted: Friday, December 25, 2009

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