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(((Retrograde in Kampuchea)))

Thoughts about girls in High School
Going up to the chalkboard and writing:
“Neal Young Rules”!

The first love is the one that carries all the
Monuments
which we strive to rediscover

One day there was a sudden shaking
We thought the boiler room exploded
But later heard it was an earthquake
“In Ohio?”

I think many a time about that
Algaed lake near Charlie’s farm
A place where I tented with an Italian Girl,
Met her later in Santa Monica
What I chiefly remember of her now
is her hat collection—

Anyway, Charlie always cooked up a storm,
fatty creamy Czech food
to put nobs on the knees and
hair on the neck

And the woods folded round us
At dusk, gently,
like a secret story
some manifold chirping thing

Everyone has their memories:

The bulging eyed carnie when we were kids
he who talked to us
about his
(fictitious, later learned) Chimpanzee, Shirley.

Getting shitfaced on the edge of town by the derelict quarry
or inhaling whippets in the cemetary under the Civil War
gravestones

Being a cheap intellectual–and fooling many (but not all!) the
clever New Yorkers

That is, becoming the endearingly coarse friend
of the more clever longtime folks who lived there:
Many Jewish or I-talian
Like Rich who lived on 5th avenue with his mother,
he starred in my rudimentary student films

He kept my suitcase in his mother’s place when I went
take a year off in my softmore year in college
I left with $350 bucks and a big swinging can opener
which I randomly pocketed as I headed out the kitchen
to the airport

Up North, on the way to see the hilltribe people,
Saw the muddy curled skin of an old 500 pound US bomb
(From the Secret War)
Lying casually along the roadside near the Khmer hair parlor,
The owner found it and neatly extracted its innards—
as if he’d used that same can opener

The skin neatly peeled open, it lay there in the sun:

A dragonfruit,
A tossed bananna
An overripe orange.

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