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 © Michael Coy | Year Posted 2017
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