Letter Home


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Click Here to listen. (3.5 min/RealMedia)

Hello hello brother Gerald
this is your black sheep brother Harold.
Does omphthalmia plague you to this day?
Has your liver left to stay?
Does your penis still inflate?
Has your eyeball got its mate?
Do you still retain the nose
that they say our Grandpa chose
(though I doubt if he'd as much to do
with it as Mother you know who)?
Or do your lineaments still displace
the same amounts of facial space?

Say, have you seen our Uncle Si?
Did he ever close his fly?
Or is it open like it was
so he can hear Aunt Thelma cuss
every time she sees "The Thing"
that he says once could make her sing?
And have you heard from dear Aunt Charly?
Does she still swill fermented barley?
Still play poker until dawn
or dance the twist when music's on?
And what about our cousin Eustice?
Is she any less religious?
Or does she still pray on her knees
in the highest branches of the trees
so she can hear God more distinctly
because His voice is faint and tinkly
or so she told us from her perch
one day when we were off to church.

And what about our sister Maggie?
Is she still shacked up with that shaggy
smart-ass kid of seventeen
who can't even keep his toenails clean
much less his mind?
When I saw him last he whined
about how the violence never stops...
made me want to bust his chops.
I often think of her husband and the kids
but of course Dorothy... she was Sid's
and Sylvester... he was Raymond's
and young Johnny... he was Damon's.
I guess he hasn't any of his own;
he's got the coop and the hen has flown.
That Maggie was always spunky
but why did it have to be a monkey
that she chose 'stead of the one
who knows how to bring home bacon,
houses, cars, dishwashers, TVs
and the rest of our necessities?

What about that silly you know who?
Does he still continue
to write that crap that he calls verse,
poetry, or something worse...
great literature? Filling neither purse
nor resume with a goddamn thing.
Who wants to hear a crackpot sing
of love, or beauty, or great truth
when the world is at it tooth for tooth
and eye for eye? No one I'm sure.

Well, dear brother, as you were.


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