• Raymond Keen ~ Author/Poet

"In The Ronald Reagan Lounge"

In The Ronald Reagan Lounge

“you're not very masculine

for a reporter,” she said.

“I had asthma as a child

but I made myself strong,”

I said.

“. . .like President Reagan

sitting on a bale of hay.”

Or Alexander Haig

pointing his finger,

using his breath sweetener,

shaking his finger,

using his breath sweetener again.

“It's too early to say if it is a war,”

the Secretary said.

Before the award ceremony

they were baptized

in Pat Boone's swimming pool.

This was an off-camera event.

On a blue-collar note,

Peggy is anxious to work.

“It's easier for me

to talk with women than men,”

she said. Judy was vomiting.

Do you think Judy will get the job?

“I saw y our tits on TV

in the Ronald Reagan Lounge,”

they said.

I need to take my medicine now”

I said. “We are no healthier

than our victims,” I said.

“Heroism and art,

heroism and art,

That's all there is,”

I said.

We must hate

so the cycle

of revenge

and violence

can continue.

If you are

the last to survive,

you must do the autopsies.

“. . . For an old bitch gone in the teeth,

For a botched civilization . . .”

Who will clean the mirror?

Who will clean the mirror?

Who will clean it?

Who will clean the Goddamn mirror?

Copyright 2011

I came to really like this poem, as I had written more than one concerning social policy during an era when things taken for granted made dramatic changes. Many of those policies and actions are raw meat for poets, who thrive on human foibles. Raymond was a Navy psychologist during Vietnam. The shaping of a poet's heart and metaphoric mind proceeds over many years, leaving poetic picnics from which we as readers pluck the crumbs left by the poet to peer into the poet's meanings. On this matter as poets, we agree.


g. Michael Handgis Photography


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