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This is Jacket 12, July 2000   |   # 12  Contents   |   Homepage   |   Catalog   |

George Wallace

Three poems

saint helena

six years later rain
was still filling the
streets of his city
men to whom he
had restored pride
with broom handles
in their hands swept
the gutters of paris
they still dreamed his
name asking each other
& to the waves of his
exile he asked it too
why the human sea
no longer reached to
his shore

*May 5 1821, Napoleon Bonaparte dies in a farmhouse outside Jamestown, on the tiny South Atlantic island of Saint Helena


they talk about
regret the blameless

as if it is their
old college chum

dropping by for
the fun of it

on a lazy
summer afternoon

not the apparition
bitter & insane

who stares at nothing
from my kitchen window

pale cellmate
married too soon


if it ever existed
then it existed in
the busted up play
ground of his childhood
or the corner lot
where dead leaves browsed
meanly among the weeds.
there was no place
he could not have
found it if only
he had chosen to -
even wandering empty
handed from the stadium
the last fan to
abandon his team
only to find his
car broken into

poet and journalist george wallace (the poems of augie prime, 1999; tales of a yuppie dropout, 1992) wrote and curated the kerouac in northport show for the northport historical society. he will be appearing . his converations with allen ginsberg, william stafford, robert bly, diane wakoski, yevgeny yevtushenko, david ignatow and other great 20th century american poets have appeared in many publications.

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