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Fifty Some Years Ago

(Taking headlines from October 1964, the poem revisits our shared experience ...) Monday 5: Fifty-Four East Germans Tunnel to Freedom Back then, it was not in doubt, (Richard Burton Tony Quinn): the Wall was there to keep us out? No – built, in fact, to keep them in. Thursday 8: Beatles Release “She’s a Woman” My love don’t give me presents. East is east and west is west – Ringo passed his driving test – Blofeld looks like Donald Pleasence. Monday 12: The Moog Synthesizer Makes Its Debut It’s fantastic! It’s so new! Music made in outer space! Now we’ll win the missile race! How we love you, Doctor … Who? Wednesday 14: Martin Luther King Awarded Nobel Peace Prize Hypatia, Gandhi, Jesus Christ and Socrates … he was that good: and just like them, he knew he would so very soon be sacrificed. Wednesday 14: Khrushchev Deposed Now, here’s a man who really tried. It’s thanks to him, that Cuba fright didn’t end in Nuclear Night. Reward? His thugs brush him aside. Wednesday 21: My Fair Lady Film Premiere Can a statue have a heart? Can what’s vulgar morph to art? Entertainment as idea? Tin Pan Alley’s Galatea. Monday 26: Eric Edgar Cooke Executed, Western Australia Cleft palate, hare lip. Bullied here, bullied there. Mumbling moron, bloody crip. Then they hang him. Life ain’t fair. Thursday 29: Audacious Diamond Robbery in New York Banner headlines in the papers. Daring crimes, coolest capers. They’re classy crooks, they’ll fence their loot in Buenos Aires, or Beirut. (In the real world, how'd it go? Look at 31 below.) Saturday 31: Lyndon Johnson Proclaims the Great Society Nothing novel, or unique: his vision was for Uncle Sam to help the luckless, tend the weak. One word destroyed him. Vietnam. Saturday 31: New York Diamond Robbers Caught Tiffany studs? More Studs L. Terkel. One rock alone, a hundred grams, Murph the Surf’s men on the lam: they didn’t make Columbus Circle. Saturday 31: Goose Kills Astronaut Theo Freeman was his name, test-pilot/astronaut his game. Ejector seats are not much use against a full-grown Galveston goose.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2017




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Date: 4/4/2017 10:51:00 AM
The last stanza is perhaps horrible, but it made me chuckle :) One insane month, October 1964. Nice historical overview Michael.
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Coy Avatar
Michael Coy
Date: 4/4/2017 11:15:00 AM
Muchas gracias! Yes, a little black humour to finish ...