he captured the average American experience
with words woven with activism and skepticism
an insurgent in the literary world with no allegiance
to traditional poetry and using abstract expressionism
he confesses to being an anarchist at heart
encouraging poets to write about political and cultural
aspects of their country like laws and local art
Lawrence Ferlinghetti who turned 100 the other day
still burns brightly in the world of poetry
an icon with plenty left to say
about the world and our society
Essay – 246 words
While walking down a street in the Kingdom of Thailand where ex-pats from around the world land, blending seamlessly into the local 1970 economy, I met a young boy with a man’s eyes.
He was probably ten – going onto forty – with worldly knowledge far beyond his tender years. Anuia was a frail street waif with the wisdom of the local marketplace for sale. He promised the best place to stay, my drug of choice, and prostitutes with breathless beauty, if I hired him throughout my stay.
We toured a banana plantation, and a red light district called
Pattaya, with outrageous sex acts they were not even considered risqué in the day. Creedance Clearwater Revival rocked the bars with “Looking Out My Backdoor.” I smoked some of the best weed in my life, comparing it to the Vietnamese strain that made you forget your name.
We watched kick fighter’s knock each other out, only to get up afterwards and respectfully bow to one another. Anuia shared his best curse words to get quick results, and bargained over every transaction like it might be his last. He was shrewd and a survivor, with no parents or family.
The thing that impressed me the most was he was always smiling – except when he negotiated a deal. His smile seemed to defy the life he led. When my time was up, and I had to go, he shook my hand, then turned to greet another group of visitors deplaning nearby.
200 words –
“Here’s one! It’s plain to see this animal is half rabbit and half antelope,” Long Tom Silver assured the greedy easterners who eyed the tintype photo and looked around at the vast prairie.
“Come gentlemen! Where is your sense of adventure? These creatures are all over the Western plains. Their meat is an exquisite treat! With your fine rifles you can shoot all you can eat.”
The four dandies looked at one another. The train they just got off let out a robust whistle and rolled down the tracks into the horizon. Long Tom had their horses and gear ready.
“I gotta tell you boys, there were a lot of applicants for this hunt. But like I said in the newspaper advertisement, only four men would be selected for the hunt of a lifetime. You boys made the grade.
“One last thing,” Long Tom said. “I’ll be requiring my fees for this expedition now.”
The men didn’t looked surprised. It was what they all agreed on. Each handed Long Tom a sack of gold coins.
He took each one with a smile and gave a word of advise, “You boy’s should make a day camp. Jackalopes only come out at night,” he suggested while pointing his horse south towards Mexico.
“It’s time,” his executioner said.
He knew he was paying the price for making prominent Athenian’s look like fools. His supposed crime; not believing in the gods of the state.
His wisdom, once sought after throughout the civilized world, did not save him from his fate. Justice and the pursuit of goodness led him to this last moment on earth.
He became the purifying remedy for Athens’ misfortunes despite his contributions to the state. The sacrificial goat. But he had the last laugh, eternal fame for his wisdom.
“Drink this,” the executioner offered, handing Socrates the cup of poison hemlock.
Luke, a hitman for mafia boss Sam Giancana, looked up at the School Book Depository building knowing Lee Harvey Oswald was inside waiting.
He was told Oswald was going to try and assassinate President J.F. Kennedy as his motorcade slowly drove by in downtown Dallas. They told him Oswald was going to be the false sponsor for the murder.
Luke checked under his trench coat, touching the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle briefly. Identical to the one Oswald had. No one noticed him blend into the tree line of the grassy knoll.
He waited until the time was right, took aim and fired!
He swiftly ran through the dense forest ahead of his Roman enemies. As a Druid priest he knew this grove well, avoiding the pitfalls and traps his people set for the oppressors.
Amergin was the last of the Druid priests. The rest were massacred. He refused to let that stop him from rallying his people against the Roman’s and their gods.
As his pursuers drew near he pressed his body against a tree and prayed for invisibility. They ran by him without a glance. At that moment Amergin knew that he would be able to keep the old religion alive.
Millions of Americans breathlessly watched the Apollo 11 land on the moon with two American astronauts aboard. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Black and white TV’s nationwide watched the fuzzy images of the two men hopping around on the moon’s crust.
America puffed out it’s chest.
Two national heroes were born. America was winning the space race. A sense of national pride swelled from the farms to the cities throughout the country. Science triumphed. The future was here.
“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” Armstrong gushed.
Somewhere in a secret studio: “That’s a wrap!” the director said.