The New American Century

THIS SHALL HENCEFORTH BE READ IN A FAUX-N.P.R. VOICE, WARM AND MELLOW LIKE A FRESH CUP OF COFFEE:

Good evening and welcome to Part 2 of The Bored American Poetry Hour. I’m your host, Pretentious McDouchebag. On tonight’s episode we have three old poems by Jackson Williams and let me tell you now, dear listeners: they’re not that good. All three of these poems we have for you tonight are not that good and show the marks of a young man who learned very early on that he’s not that good with poetry. They were written during the summer of 2006, eighteen years old and fresh out of high school. I apologize to those tuning in tonight. But mmmmmm, this is good java, no?

  • PAGE 1:  “Cottonwood Creek”
  • PAGE 2:  “To Such Great Heights
  • PAGE 3:  “The New American Century”

COTTONWOOD CREEK

Let me go back
to where existence began:
I believed by that water, no older than five,
that our dreams will happen
where our hearts feel good enough to thrive,
only after we rise up, and remember how we ran.
At night I still remember crickets by the thousands,
a plague upon the eardrums, turn up the television;
fresh, holy visions of summer days, spent under a bridge,
a B.B. gun for frogs, scattered rocks to throw,
a time we will remember, until the creek runs low.
August brought us rattlesnakes, and ghost stories
of old dead miners breathing under bedroom windows,
don’t wander and disappear alongside the creek,
ghosts and goblins, demons who would not speak,
and we would listen: Cottonwood Creek, what is yer secret?
We would spend days there, trapped in time,
then we’d surrender it, just barely in time;
my thoughts began here, I do believe,
and the more time passes, this much becomes clear:
this quiet haze began here in our history,
still I know less parts to what must be a mystery
of what always brings me back to here;
So terrorize me, hypnotize me,
lie to me and please be kind to me,
because the mind moves swift, like a river,
but it is a creek that forms my soul.

TURN TO PAGE 2.

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