Friday, January 9, 2015

Poem of the Day: “Helter Skelter” by Gerard Sarnat, Poet of the Week

Songs of Eretz Poetry Review is pleased to present “Helter Skelter” by Gerard Sarnat our Poet of the Week for the week of January 4, 2015.  One of Dr. Sarnat’s poems will be featured in the Review every day this week.  His bio may be found here:  http://eretzsongs.blogspot.com/2015/01/poet-of-week-gerard-sarnat.html.

Helter Skelter
Gerard Sarnat

     --- for Terrence Melcher (1942-2004)

Doris Day’s son was my nothing-particular tennis doubles partner.
He became a record producer who rejected Charlie of Manson gang fame.
They meant to kill him but murdered Sharon Tate after Terry & girlfriend
Candice Bergen moved out of his no-longer house near where I now live

... Scrunched up against the wall on air mattress & heating pad
next to two backpacks, a hot plate, boxed Mr. Coffee -- remote control
tanks & toy holsters only other objects in the kitchenless showerless tomb
my spouse & I occupy twelve steps above the cars; Byrds Turn! Turn! Turn!

blasting from the McMansion on the other side of their tennis court
where my daughter’s fam hand-me-ups are strewn for us to scavenge;
I move like a geriatric who dey who dat Charlie Manson clan
flashback scamscramming to avoid the cop patrol summoned by

Neighborhood Watchers dedicated to ridding the block of flophouse
commune squatters’ lightning in a dime bag teenths at a time --
while my bolo tie tricks try to discern basic trespasser ropes,
how to survive by turnturning into a worshipful grandsons’ cultee.

Poet’s Notes:  “Helter Skelter” transports me from reading about LA celebrity/cult excesses to being dropped into the mix with a tongue-in-cheek minimalistic turn that’s not only absurd but basically true.

Editor’s Note:  Picturing the speaker (presumably the poet) "scamscramming" to avoid being reported as a vagrant by the snooty neighborhood watch is an image that is going to stick with me  :)

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