50-candles burned, extended ammo-family gathered in celebration, the Magic Bullet made wish, took deep breath, flames outed, smoke disappeared, buckshot-applause, and the happy aging bullet spoke eternal:
Sprung from Italian carbine womb, November 22, 1963,
polished to gloss, faster than Zapruder’s camera,
not knowing from where I came, mother I hardly knew her,
gunpowder smell, born to perform assassins’ rite, like a prey-bird, I spoke no Russian, flew through warm Dallas air, knew not my purpose – for bullets, things happen too fast,
and what brought me to funereal standstill could have been either buffalo hide or Republic foundation.
Winchester Cathedral Choir: “You blew his mind out in a car, Boulette 399… Speak Speak!”
Remembering barrel-exit, sea of faces never noticed until skull-shatter,
eyewitnesses arched necks, looked uptown, downtown,
Julia Ann Mercer, James W. Altgens, Charles Brehm & son,
they all wondered from where I came – a window, a grassy knoll?
What was I doing? Brain-matter on upon trunk, sirens, a convertible limousine forever raced toward abyss.1
Winchester Cathedral Choir: “Go on, take the money and run, damn torpedo, whoo-hoo!”
Exit-wound in throat, Kennedy lunged backward, I bore through leather upholstery, entered a Governor’s back, autopsy doctors searched, but they could not find me, until someone at Parkland Hospital bumped a stretcher, & as far as cranial wounds go and Arlen’s theory, I nonchalantly fell from Connally’s suit, got “two” for price of “one.”
Winchester Cathedral Choir: “There ain’t no prize in bottom of cracker-jack box, and two out of three ain’t bad!”
Fifty years later, I blow-out candles,
let Warren Commission eat cake, save icing for Joint Chiefs of Staff, I shall forever praise Gods of Boulette — the first-ever, a lead-ball named Adam’s Apple, father of cannon,
father of .58 Minie Ball, father of “dum-dum,” father of Einfield rifle. Father of Fat-Man, father of me… 6.5 Carcano, # 399.
How we changed worlds… targets past, a Caesar, Emancipator,
an Archduke, Bolshevik in Mexican exile, a robed-Hindu,
and “tomorrow, tomorrow,” a Dreamy-Preacher, another Kennedy, a Beatle, John-John & Wellstone down without shots, who’s next?
Winchester Cathedral Choir: “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”
I annihilate the living , no blood on hands, I am proud of trophies, a skull, standstill of time, a big Texan-hand on Bible, blood on pink dress, a plot below Lee’s mansion, Ich bin ein Berliner, 3,000 half-naked Kenyan tribesman stood in silence, a Birmingham youth, Rusty Wesson, called “open mike” WQXI in Atlanta, opined, “Any white man who did what he did for niggers should be shot.”
Winchester Cathedral Choir: “Southern man don’t need Bossa Nova and Mark Lane around.”
Hunt for other killers? I am silver, untouchable — F.B.I. “certified” Red-Eye flight from Book Depository window, Jackie conceded error, Zapruder frame # 223 on Life Magazine cover, Ruby and Dallas Police, whiz-kid McNamara and Ho toe-to-toe, catafalque in East Room, no one shall ever know, where does the Triple Underpass go?
Winchester Cathedral Choir: “I thought you would all like to know, Sergeant Pepper has stolen the show,
happy birthday # 399 and fifty (50) mo to go.”
• Author’s note: Eleven years old, November 22nd, 1963, a grade school teacher sadly announced JFK was shot, class dismissed. Upon my walk home, a fellow student (neighbor) whose parents disliked Democrats, whooped-up and cheered the news. Years later, I have problems with both Democrats & Republicans, and the “Magic Bullet,” theory, product of a “gifted legal mind,” troubles me so. This poem is my 50th birthday card for the Magic Bullet.
- Thanks to Gary Corseri for the words “a convertible limousine raced toward abyss” [↩]