Monday, March 6, 2017


Woe-betide and come aside
this leaking, battered vessel.
Like a prison-ship once in
Wallabout Bay, 1777, dank 
and rotten and filled with the
dead or the dying. Look about
you and see the rotted marsh-weed
and the tipsy fusilier's wand. 
I have to think about things here,
just for the moment, those camp-
followers and the unguided, all 
seeking money and tithes : the
woman who will wash your faces
for a worthless Yankee Continental
worth less than spit and falling.
I need to step aside now; I have
said too much. We bombed the
cannon-master's cannonade, we
three, like Musketeers, who 
whooped and screamed out
victory. It's all immaterial now;
the battering-ram of the deaths
off many, prisoners lost and
thrown, those overboard cases
each morning, wrapped in a bad
blanket, and strapped dead to
a cannon-ball that took them
down: watery death and burial.
Watery underground.

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