Nam Christmas

No perfect world
So very far from it
Yet here we are
This place called Vietnam
It’s almost Christmas, again
And we’re still here

Not a place we dreamed of being
When we were kids
Hardly could we find it on a map
But we’re all here
Somebody else’s home
Courtesy of…the US of A

Here we are
Hoping, waiting, doing what we can
To survive each day
Outlast what belies us
What eventually unravels us all
Hidden in these hideous forests, swamps

After a while
You forget the reason
Why you signed up
Why you forgot
A razor thin line
Separates us all from life and death

Christmas Eve has just landed
Give thanks to God
No more incoming fire
Just dead silence
If only now there was some sign
There will be a tomorrow

Fourteen in ’65

Fourteen, the perfect age
Awkward bliss
Time stood still, and
everything in life led to something
Life lesson at fourteen:
Adventures have no deadends

Girls, a mystery deeper than Saturn’s rings
but, worth losing sleep over
Cars, faster, noisier the better
Even in ’65
’57 Chevies, still tops

Vietnam, flaring up
beyond what anyone ever expected
LBJ, President, though he didn’t want to be
Most still wished, Kennedy back from the dead

Churchill, dead, five days after my 14th birthday
Just a famous name to me
until hearing the TV replay
of his We Shall Fight Them on the Beaches speech
Then I understood
why you must fight back, and
even sometimes, pick a fight

I Can’t Get No Satisfaction
I Can’t Help Myself
Wooly Bully
My Girl
You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feelin’

Top songs, 1965
Songs still playin’ in my head

We’re 42 years past 1965, but
it’s not too late
to stop in the name of love

Without Deviation, Ain’t No Progress: A Poem Dedicated to Frank Zappa

Call us deviants
See if we care
Lost sons, wayward daughters
playin’ with ourselves in the streets
while war boys march through stubborn tall grass
and presidential pardons leave us bare

You can’t see for lookin’
To really start seein’
spin around
there you’ll find
nothing but
autumn rainbows
dancin’ on the two-horned unicorn’s back

Ralin’ electric guitar strings
all red, white and blue
pukin’ Brown Shoes Don’t Make It music
on constipated conformists
searching
for what they call the truth

In my hallucinating mind
no truth to be found anywhere
just hot poop plastic people
pushin’ soft-sell conclusions
all day long

Take your clothes off when you dance
Light up three fat joints
like Fourth O’ July sparklers
Put one between your teeth
sittin’ in the mouth
I’d like to kiss of your face
Second goes in your right ear
deadening it to the incessant flappin’
of your fuck-in’ right wing
Last not least goes up your ass
which you only seem to use
as a place to store your head

Don’t you realize
we’re the mothers of invention?
AND without deviation
there ain’t no fuck-in’ progress

Written by Don Iannone, Fall 1969, Tucson, Arizona