It was the night we were told we couldn’t pretend we were Catholic.
The priest turned only toward you and said, “It’s between you and God.”
And you cried.
I hope we didn’t shake his hand before we walked into the night snow
for the long walk to our apartment where we had a dresser in the closet
and a computer heavy as death.
The flakes surrounded us; the wind scraped our cheeks. We were almost lost.
Snow, wind, block after block, past a sheet hanging from a dorm’s window
with black words: “FUCK IRAQ.”
We hoped the sweet shop was open, so we could buy peanut butter balls,
and then we overheard “Bush bombing Baghdad.”
The war had begun.
Your scarf so red it seemed alive, your thrift store black coat darker
than the purple night. The snow deepening, thickening.
The sweet shop was closed.
A car, and another, swerved its headlights across the long white field
where, soon, a tent city of protest would arise,
mud and Frisbees.
Can you see our little house? Its olive green
Showing in the streetlight as we came up the alley to the back steps
and unlocked the door—
into the tiny kitchen that we could hardly fit in together.
Taking our shoes off, slush ribbing the floor. It wasn’t late,
but it felt late.
It felt like the only thing to do was lie on the futon, under the covers,
and listen to the radio, to words we didn’t want to hear, falling.
Our country less our country, and more our country.
J.D. Scrimgeour is the author of the poetry collections The Last Miles and Territories, and he won the AWP Award for Nonfiction for Themes For English B: A Professor’s Education In & Out of Class. With musician Philip Swanson he released Ogunquit & Other Works, a CD blending music and poetry. His third poetry collection, Lifting the Turtle (Turning Point), will appear in November 2017.
The Drunk Monkeys Radio crew, along with special guest Derrick Lafayette of the Two Bricks Podcast, navigate the emotionally difficult, historically complex waters of Kathryn Bigelow's Detroit. Also on the show, Ryan watches Robert Pattinson's latest, Good Time.
WHAT WE WATCHED: Good Time (2017); Kong: Skull Island (2017); Ingrid Goes West (2017)
FEATURED REVIEW: Detroit (2017)
60'S CIVIL RIGHTS MOVIES: The Intruder (1962); In The Heat of the Night (1968); Loving (2016); Panther (1995)
Yet another contentious discussion on the Drunk Monkeys Radio Filmcast! will Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk be the movie that finally tears the group apart? Also, Matt reconsiders The Thin Red Line, and the group talks war movies from Kubrick to Gibson.
Along the horizon, south of the United States, an expanse of crenellated concrete rises out of the Pacific and vanishes into the east, making tangible the intangible: an imaginary line bisecting a land once one. Tall and proud The Wall stands. Forty feet high and twenty feet deep. Its surface unadorned with design or texture. Just flat and grey through and through. Mighty enough to thwart the charge of fifty thousand Spartans. Priam of Troy would have envied it, the great lodestar of American Jingoism.
From birth until the sixth grade, home was a room on the tenth floor of the Hotel El Dorado in downtown Los Angeles. During its heyday in the 1910s and the 1920s, the hotel stood at the foot of the Spring Street Financial District—the Wall Street of the West—amidst the Braly Building (at twelve stories tall, the city’s first skyscraper), the Hotel Alexandria (frequented by the stars of the Golden Age of cinema, Humphrey Bogart and Greta Garbo), and, just blocks away, City Hall, all regal and white, looming over the blooming metropolis. The El Dorado flourished with all in its proximity and even lay claim to its own celebrity resident in Charlie Chaplin, but by the 1960s the financial institutions fled west to Wilshire and Figueroa, and the burgeoning quarter was rendered hollow. Its splendor laid to waste.
I'm standing in the wind.
We had five years left to cry,
stay in, get things done.
i am normally not the kind of dog who whistles at women on the street or stalks them with my eyes. i figure ladies have enough to worry about without some creeper giving them a hard time
I was lucky because my husband, Jason, was alive. He was just constantly gone.
Blush, I think, is the most important component when making up a corpse. I could not effectively do my job without it, I think as I apply the tiniest amount to the face of an eighty-year-old man who died of a heart attack. He must have been a drinker. I’ve been given a picture of him from when he was alive and he had ruddy cheeks.