for jerry on the mountain near election day
by jason hedrick

(w/ apologies to Richard Wilbur and Pee Wee Herman)

In that moment,
rooted and politicized,
actualized on this mountain
near election
day, he
would remember the apples
he gobbled up
and swallowed down
as a boy, thinking
they tasted
like his mother’s brooches
looked, the mealy remnants
still glistening on his lips.
Aggressively carving
a core—a poem
of Apollo, beneath
a sculpture of hair,
not static;
some electric animal
clawing and scratching
its way through the
ozone; an electric wave
sending signals out
to Elizabeth Taylor and
Sandra Cisneros and
Greg Luganis,
and Mars, maybe,
bobbing and lilting
in boyish glee,
in adolescent awakening,
in revolutionary fervor;
that puzzlingly perched
transmitter, rarely un-
undulating, never quite
fully coming to rest before
it bores a hole
in the middle of the
of a young, brown
underwear model—
others clamor at his feet,
fetishizing jester
red shoes.
They are cracked across
the head
with long, sharp
slow motion machine
gun bursts of
laughter—a sonorous
assault that causes
pause in the
waterfall, and even farther away
rouses administrators from their caves.
From the grave,
screaming the word
of the day
Walkin’ it like ya talk it,
but always watching out
for that delicate bird
that flies up all
our asses.
Can’t you feel it?
And like that performance
artist he once witnessed
gradually consume
some fifty feet
of chain-link
into the bowels of his
being, and of whom he asked,
“What must that be like?”
you know
it’s there.
That delicate bird.

If he were here now
he would put you in a headlock
and shake your brain around a bit,
then continue on,
his waist and hips led
by some length of rope
tied to the future, all the while
trailing thick red stripes
and yellow apple cores, transforming
each passing scent,
each delicious piece of pie,
each fine piece of fabric
into a performance;
the breaking line
of a poem—the break
itself, where one moves
simultaneously forward
and back—not
the cold word, the stale
of an experience,
but the experience
in a headlock.
He would whisper
into the ear of a moment,
into a burst of mist,
into the rotting
“How does it feel?”
So kind
and present
and arrogant,
rooted now, poised
on the edge of this
chasm, he’ll leap
into the horizon,
and, cast back,
he’ll roll
like a drunken fingerprint
across the sky,
sober, mind you,
laughing and sober and
more bombast
than an entire drunken
carnival—and after
a trip like that,
the only thing
that could make it
is to get fucked
and stop this country
from dying on its
feet through some
Reichian abandon,
to start the revolution
that’s showing
red in your cheeks,
as it did in his
when he called for blood,
for love,
for rage,
for...God, for it
not to be

— October, 2004