The Poetry Kit
Just ‘cos people are different an’ all
that doesn’t mean y’ can’t TALK to ‘em,
or listen ‘n that. That’s no hard thing.
Starkweather at nineteen,
James Dean with Caril Ann,
garbage man with a bow-legged girlfriend.
Unprepossessing, red hair and a rifle.
Shot the parents, choked the child.
Three corpses and an open door.
In the wind, seven days, seven bodies,
Lincoln, Nebraska to Douglas, Wyoming.
Dead were all god-damned sons-of-bitches,
All-seeing, all-hating, all the power
that persecution brings, welled up in
the selfishness of the shotgun.
Starkweather at twenty,
ten notches and relief from the fire,
practised the meanness in the world,
no place with people he knowed,
snapped his head back, smiling.