The Poetry of
Jack Scott

They the People?

There is room in recalcitrance,
for trepidation
to seat committees
casting leaden ballots
and voting shooting war.
(They, the People?)
their ballets should be glass,
as hard as bullets, but transparent,
so the shell-pocked acres
of far strewn body parts and napalmed skin,
act as a dam
to keep the level of spilled blood
from reaching the newspapers.

Too late, the trail of ink tracks
leading back to signators
after the deed is done,
not before page one.

Forget the black and white
that is the flag of wars,
our Leading Citizen
is now John Gray;
John Doe is dead and gone,
a victim of the carnage,
our Unknown Patriot.

There is room
within so-called democracy
for vacancy
so that the rent-free few,
can assign the maybe to the many:
their John (not Patrick) Henry on the dotted line.

The rib Adam once hosted ‘ere his surgery by god,
-an operation that could go anyway at all-
evolution took as a tool that it could use.
All men were in agreement
that they could have a barbeque
if women were the subject of the roast.

The line unbroken of this genealogy
is a one-way street.
(Evolution does not retreat.)
The Army of Adam forms into many ranks:
privates, sergeants, generals,
they march in one direction only
toward the Other, the Bad Man.
Lines of target men
trained by national psychology
ordered across continents,
assembled onto ships to dare the bottomless
shipped across the foreign seas
(To Adam, where is foreign?),
armed by physics, applied and theoretical,
tactically, strategically to occupy all Eden
by force if necessary.
It always is and will be.

We’ve also had our Eva Brauns
knitting ‘neath her lampshades
and our Lizzie Bordens,
but relatively inconspicuous
by the faintness of her footprints throughout history
there is a another thread, not a subplot of the larger tale
we could aptly call The Maulers and the Healers.
Mothers, sisters, daughters, they’re all Eve, waiting.
God gave them patience
while overdosing Adam with testosterone.
Hopefully enough,
for we’re approaching the curtain of Act One
and not, one hopes, the ending of the play.
We’ll see.

Eve should take her cue from what Adam’s done,
not cast herself as victim, or enemy,
for if, with her growing power, long overdue
she makes of him her foe
she’s gained not justice or equality,
but merely turned the table
to play his hand.

We’ll see.

Oh, well,
another apple,
another day.

L55 ®Copyright 1974 Jack Scott. All rights reserved.