My Execution

My Execution
By Michael Frey
Da DaDa Da
Trumpeted from trumpeting trumpets
making happy circus music and happy people.
It was 1912 in River City, Iowa.
I was hanging by a rope tied around my waist.
My hands bound, mouth gagged with a bloody Barney rag.
The town librarian read from the Bible.
In this sweet town, I awaited my execution, to be
boiled to death in the bubbling black cauldron below me.
The gentlemen wore seersucker suits and straw hats.
The lovely, sweet ladies wore red bonnets and
the darling children read Captain Billy’s Whiz Bang.
There was no reason, no crime.
Just women.
The insane executioner spoke insane words
and walked around insanely in a grassy field
in a nearby insane park, waiting to be called to kill.
Gas pipes ran in rectangles in his brain.
Summer symphony pillboxes and parasols
flung across the shoulders of lovely women.
Water ran in squares across the desk of the town clerk.
The learned schoolmaster stood at the podium
condemning me and praising my upcoming execution.
His beard was filled with red blinking Christmas lights.
He spoke of …
The women waved yellow handkerchiefs as
the fat mayor walked by, cigar in hand.
Their bodies waved as he waved by.
He stood beside my suspended body and
I could hear the cheers as they lowered me in.

0 thoughts on “My Execution

  1. So The Music Man gets lynched…But where are the freakin’ trombones?
    This reads like a revisionist Western flick as much as a revisionist musical. The execution of imagery is what makes this poem/story an odd jewel and not just a springboard from a Meredith Willson musical, especially when the abstract images clashes with the realism of an execution: “Water ran in squares across the desk of the town clerk./The learned schoolmaster stood at the podium/condemning me and praising my upcoming execution./His beard was filled with red blinking Christmas lights.” I can’t explain why I like this one any further, but I do.

  2. Yeah, what she said! Good lo-down analysis Diydanna. William Stafford digi-volves with Robert Browning on the set of Twilight Zone… ooh, nuevo Hitch-cockian!
    On another note, as a one-time martial-arts practitioner from the school of Moo Duk Kwan, I couldn’t help but notice the pic of a suave oriental gentleman performing a flawed execution of a flying side-kick. Alright Travis, take note… the left leg (bent/underneath) should not be parallel his extended right, but should rise at an 45degree angle so as to cover the shlong and berries area. A typical counter-attack against the flying kick is to side-step and reverse punch the crown jewells…and with Queen Elizabeth coming over to visit Jamestown recently, I don’t think sprawled-out writhing-in- pain fetal position would constitute the necessary proselytizing necessary for homage to Her Majesty. Additionally, one must always watch the guard (hand and arms position) so as to protect the other head…it is remotely possible that another invigorated warrior poet might flying sidekick you ABOVE your flying sidekick. I’m not trying to be difficult, but I’ve been to some poetry readings lately and I’m seeing more and more ruckuses (mostly Imagists and neo-con romanticists). You know I’m just pulling your leg, right?

  3. ha…. i didnt think anyone would notice. the photo is from “the execution of a flying side-kick” and there were two photos… one of the master doing it correctly i guess and this one of his student trying to do it like the master…
    and obviously… i enjoy this poem…

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