Medical poems/ page 3 of 3 /
I must tell you stories as well about scores of troops dispatched to adjacent Aceh, Irian and Timor
brain-washed soldiers and a holy mission:
to seek and destroy the sons and daugthers
in search of water of justice on their ancestors' land
of which years later one might not even discover
traces of suppressed whispers evaporated in the air
THE AUTOPSY OF TROUT FISHING IN AMERICAThis is the autopsy of Trout Fishing in America as if TroutFishing in America had been Lord Byron and had died inMissolonghi, Greece, and afterward never saw the shoresof Idaho again, never saw Carrie Creek, Worsewick HotSprings, Paradise Creek, Salt Creek and Duck Lake again.The Autopsy of Trout Fishing in America: "The body was in excellent state and appeared as one thathad died suddenly of asphyxiation. The bony cranial vaultwas opened and the bones of the cranium were found veryhard without any traces of the sutures like the bones of aperson 80 years, so much so that one would have said thatthe cranium was formed by one solitary bone. . . . Themeninges were attached to the internal walls of the craniumso firmly that while sawing the bone around the interior todetach the bone from the dura the strength of two robust menwas not sufficient. . . . The cerebrum with cerebellumweighed about six medical pounds. The kidneys were verylarge but healthy and the urinary bladder was relativelysmall. " On May 2, 1824, the body of Trout Fishing in Americaleft Missolonghi by ship destined to arrive in England on theevening of June 29, 1824. Trout Fishing in America's body was preserved in a caskholding one hundred-eighty gallons of spirits: 0, a long wayfrom Idaho, a long way from Stanley Basin, Little RedfishLake, the Big Lost River and from Lake Josephus and theBig Wood River.
THE MESSAGE Last night a blue thing, the smoke itself, from our campfiredrifted down the valley, entering into the sound of the bell- mare until the blue thing and the bell could not be separated,no matter how hard you tried. There was no crowbar bigenough to do the job. Yesterday afternoon we drove down the road from WellsSummit, then we ran into the sheep. They also were beingmoved on the road. A shepherd walked in front of the car, a leafy branch inhis hand, sweeping the sheep aside. He looked like a young,Skinny Adolf Hitler, but friendly. I guess there were a thousand sheep on the road. It washot and dusty and noisy and took what seemed like a longtime . At the end of the sheep was a covered wagon being pulledby two horses. There was a third horse, the bellmare, tiedon the back of the wagon. The white canvas rippled in thewind and the wagon had no driver. The seat was empty. Finally the Adolf Hitler, but friendly, shepherd got thelast of them out of the way. He smiled and we waved and saidthank you. We were looking for a good place to camp. We drove downthe road, following the Little Smoky about five miles anddidn't see a place that we liked, so we decided to turn aroundand go back to a place we had seen just a ways up Carrie Creek. "I hope those God-damn Sheep aren't on the road, " I said. We drove back to where we had seen them on the roadand, of course they were gone, but as we drove on up theroad, we just kept fellowing sheep shit. It was ahead of usfor the next mile.I kept looking down on the meadow by the Little Smokey,hoping to see the sheep down there, but there wasn't a sheepin sight. only the shit in front of us on the road. As if it were a game invented by the spincter muscle, weknew what the score was. shaking our heads side to side,waiting.Then we went around a bend and the sheep burst like aroman candle all over the road and again a thousand sheepand the shepherd in front of us, wondering what the fuck. Thesame thing was in our minds. There was some beer in the back seat. It wasn't exactlycold, but it wasn't warm either. I tell you I was really embarrassed.I took a bottle of beer and got out of the car. I walked up to the shepherd who looked like Adolf Hitler,but friendly. "I'm sorry, " I said. "It's the sheep, " he said. (0 sweet and distant blossomsof Munich and Berlin!) "Sometimes they are a trouble but itall works out." "Would you like a bottle of beer?" I said. "I'm sorry toput you through this again. " "Thank you, " he said, shrugging his shoulders. He tookthe beer over and put it on the empty seat of the wagon.That's how it looked. After a long time, we were free of thesheep. They were like a net dragged finally away from thecar. We drove up to the place on Carrie Creek and pitched the tent and took our goods out of the car and piled them in the tent. Then we drove up the creek a ways, above the place wherethere were beaver darns and the trout stared back at us likefallen leaves. We filled the back of the car with wood for the fire and Icaught a mess of those leaves for dinner. They were smalland dark and cold. The autumn was good to us. When we got back to our camp, I saw the shepherd's wagondown the road a ways and on the meadow I heard the bellmareand the very distant sound of the sheep. It was the final circle with the Adolf Hitler, but friendly,shepherd as the diameter. He was camping down there forthe night. So in the dusk, the blue smoke from our campfirewent down and got in there with the bellmare.The sheep lulled themselves into senseless sleep, one followinganother like the banners of a lost army. I have here a veryimportant message that just arrived a few moments ago.It says "Stalingrad. "
TROUT FISHING IN AMERICATERRORISTSLong live our friend the revolver !Long live our friend the machine-gun! --Israeli terrorist chantOne April morning in the sixth grade, we became, first byaccident and then by premeditation, trout fishing in Americaterrorists. It came about this way: we were a strange bunch of kids. We were always being called in before the principal fordaring and mischievous deeds. The principal was a youngman and a genius in the way he handled us. One April morning we were standing around in the playyard, acting as if it were a huge open-air poolhall with thefirst-graders coming and going like poolballs. We were allbored with the prospect of another day's school, studyingCuba. One of us had a piece of white chalk and as a first-graderwent walking by, the one of us absentmindedly wrote "Troutfishing in America" on the back of the first-grader. The first-grader strained around, trying to read what waswritten on his back, but he couldn't see what it was, so heshrugged his shoulders and went off to play on the swings. We watched the first-grader walk away with "Trout fishingin America" written on his back. It looked good andseemed quite natural and pleasing to the eye that a first-grader should have "Trout fishing in America" written inchalk on his back. The next time I saw a first-grader, I borrowed my friend'spiece of chalk and said, "First-grader, you're wanted overhere." The first-grader came over to me and I said, "Turnaround." The first-grader turned around and I wrote "Trout fishingin America" on his back. It looked even better on the secondfirst-grader. We couldn't help but admire it. "Trout fishingin America." It certianly did add something to the first-graders. It compleated them and gave them a kind of class "It reallt looks good, doesn't it?" "Yeah." "There are a lot more first-graders over there by the monkey-bars." "Yeah. " "Lets get some more chalk.""Sure." We all got hold of chalk and later in the day, by the end oflunch period, almost all of the first-graders had "Trout fishingin America" written on their backs, girls included. Complaints began arriving at the principal's office fromthe first-grade teachers. One of the complaints was in theform of a little girl. "Miss Robins sent me, " she said to the principal. "Shetold me to have you look at this." "Look at what?" the principal said, staring at the emptychild. "At my back, " she said. The little girl turned around and the principal read aloud,"Trout fishing in America.""Who did this?" the principal said.That gang of sixth-graders," she said. "The bad ones.They've done it to all us first-graders. We all look like this."Trout fishing in America.' What does it mean? I just gotthis sweater new from my grandma. " "Huh.'Trout fishing in America, " the principal said."TellMiss Robins I'11 be down to see her in a little while," andexcused the girl and a short time later we terrorists weresummoned up from the lower world. We reluctantly stamped into the principal's office, fidgetingand pawing our feet and looking out the windows and yawningand one of us suddenly got an insane blink going and puttingour hands into our pockets and looking away and then backagain and looking up at the light fixture on the ceiling, howmuch it looked like a boiled potato, and down again and at thepicture of the principal's mother on the wall. She had been astar in the silent pictures and was tied to a railroad track. "Does 'Trout fishing in America' seem at all familiar toyou boys?" the principal said. "I wonder if perhaps you'veseen it written down anywhere today in your travels? 'Troutfishing in America.' Think hard about it for a minute." We all thought hard about it. There was a silence in the room, a silence that we allknew intimately, having been at the principal's office quite afew times in the past. "Let me see if I can help you," the principal said. "Perhapsyou saw 'Trout fishing in America' written in chalk onthe backs of the first-graders. I wonder how it got there."We couldn't help but smile nervously. "I just came back from Miss Robin's first-grade class,"the principal said. "I asked all those who had 'Trout fishingin America' written on their backs to hold up their hands,andall the children in the class held up their hands, except oneand he had spent his whole lunch period hiding in the lavatory.What do you boys make of it . . . ? This 'Trout fishing inAmerica' business?" We didn't say anything. The one of us still had his mad blink going. I am certainthat it was his guilty blink that always gave us away. Weshould have gotten rid of him at the beginning of the sixthgrade. "You're all guilty, aren't you?" he said. "Is there one ofyou who isn't guilty? If there is, speak up. Now. " We were all silent except for blink, blink, blink, blink, blink.Suddenly I could hear his God-damn eye blinking. It was very muchlike the sound of an insect laying the 1, 000, 000th egg of ourdisaster. "The whole bunch of you did it. Why? . . . Why 'Troutfishing in America' on the backs of the first-graders?" And then the principal went into his famous E=MC2 sixth-grade gimmick, the thing he always used in dealing with us. "Now wouldn't it look funny, " he said. "If I asked all yourteachers to come in here, and then I told the teachers all toturn around, and then I took a piece of chalk and wrote 'Troutfishing in America' on their backs?" We all giggled nervously and blushed faintly. "Would you like to see your teachers walking around allday with 'Trout fishing in America' written on their backs,trying to teach you about Cuba? That would look silly, wouldn't it? You wouldn't like to see that would you? That wouldn't doat all, would it?" "No," we said like a Greek chorus some of us saying itwith our voices and some of us by nodding our heads, andthen there was the blink, blink, blink. "That's what I thought, " he said. "The first-graders lookup to you and admire you like the teachers look up to me andadmire me, It just won't do to write 'Trout fishing in America'on their backs. Are we agreed, gentlemen?" We were agreed. I tell you it worked every God-damn time. Of course it had to work. "All right, " he said. "I'll consider trout fishing in Ameri-ca to have come to an end. Agreed?" "Agreed. " "Agreed ?" "Agreed. ""Blink, blink. " But it wasn't completely over, for it took a while to gettrout fishing in America off the clothes of the first-graders.A fair percentage of trout fishing in America was gone thenext day. The mothers did this by simply putting cleanclothes on their children, but there were a lot of kids whosemothers just tried to wipe it off and then sent them back toschool the next day with the same clothes on, but you couldstill see "Trout fishing in America" faintly outlined on theirbacks. But after a few more days trout fishing in Americadisappeared altogether as it was destined to from its verybeginning, and a kind of autumn fell over the first grade.
TROUT FISHING IN AMERICA WITH THE FBI Dear Trout Fishing in America, last week walking along lower market on the way to worksaw the pictures of the FBI's TEN MOST WANTED MEN inthe window of a store. the dodger under one of the pictureswas folded under at both sides and you couldn't read all of it.the picture showed a nice, clean-cut-looking guy with frecklesand curly (red?) hair WANTED FOR: RICHARD LAWRENCE MARQUETTE Aliases: Richard Lawrence Marquette, Richard Lourence Marquette Description:26, born Dec. 12, 1934, Portland, Oregon170 to 180 poundsmuscularlight brown, cut shortblueComplexion: ruddy Race: white Nationality: American Occupations: auto body w recapper, s survey rodarks: 6" hernia scar; tattoo "Mom" in wreath onight forearmull upper denture, may also have lower denture. Reportedly frequents s, and is an avid trout fisherman.(this is how the dodger looked cut off on both sides and youcouldn't make out any more, even what he was wanted for.) Your old buddy, PardDear Pard, Your letter explains why I saw two FBI agents watching atrout stream last week. They watched a path that came downthrough the trees and then circled a large black stump andled to a deep pool. Trout were rising in the pool. The FBIagents watched the path, the trees, the black stump, the pooland the trout as if they were all holes punched in a card thathad just come out of a computer. The afternoon sun keptchanging everything as it moved across the sky, and the FBIagents kept changing with the sun. It appears to be part oftheir training.Your friend, Trout Fishing in America
Says I to my Missis: "Ba goom, lass! you've something I see, on your mind."
Says she: "You are right, Sam, I've something. It 'appens it's on me be'ind.
A Boil as 'ud make Job jealous. It 'urts me no end when I sit."
Says I: "Go to 'ospittel, Missis. They might 'ave to coot it a bit."
Says she: "I just 'ate to be showin' the part of me person it's at."
Says I: "Don't be fussy; them doctors see sights more 'orrid than that."
Karshish, the picker-up of learning's crumbs,
The not-incurious in God's handiwork
(This man's-flesh he hath admirably made,
Blown like a bubble, kneaded like a paste,
Oh the airman's game is a showman's game, for we all of us watch him go
With his roaring soaring aeroplane and his bombs for the blokes below,
Over the railways and over the dumps, over the Hun and the Turk,
You'll hear him mutter, "What ho, she bumps," when the Archies get to work.