Archive for the Steve Gulvezan Category

PURPLE HEARTS by Steve Gulvezan

Posted in Steve Gulvezan with tags , on September 1, 2013 by Scot

I knew three bozos
Who said they served in Vietnam
When they really hadn’t

Each made his claim
Long after the war ended
And hostility towards the real
Vietnam veterans had subsided
And America had grown somewhat sympathetic
To the ordeals of the survivors
Maimed though they may have been
Both mentally and physically

I was walking a nature trail
With bozo number one
When some kids set off a firecracker
From the foliage beside us
We both jumped a mile
But when we heard the kids laughing
And saw them lurking in the bushes
My buddy quickly recovered his equilibrium

“Damn it to hell,
You children—
When I heard that explosion
I had a flashback
To patrol duty
In the jungles of Phnom Penh—
I fought and nearly died
For our nation
And I have a Purple Heart
To prove it—
I want you to know
That what you just did
May have set my recovery
Back by a decade!”

Bozo number two
Enjoyed showing the young women
And old men
At his workplace
The scars on his legs
In the staff breakroom

He pulled up his trousers
Displaying legs disfigured
Many years before
By a pot of boiling coffee
Carelessly mishandled

“See these—
I stepped on a land mine
In ‘Nam in 1970—
Nearly lost both my legs
Fighting for my country
While you mothers—”

Here he gestured to the old men

“— Were lollygagging at home
With your student deferments
Protesting the war
Smoking dope
And banging the girls
That were rightfully mine!”

The third bozo
Almost died for his Purple Heart

He supervised a crew
Of raw company recruits
In the office mailroom
And enjoyed venting
His numerous frustrations
Upon them

He rode one shy and tongue-tied lad
Particularly hard
Though I warned him,
“You’d better take it easy
On that kid—
I heard he used to be
A golden gloves boxer”

“Golden gloves my ass,” he replied, “That punk
Is probably five feet and six inches
And one hundred and forty pounds—
I’m six foot three and two fifty—
Do you truly believe
He would ever dare
To mess with me?”

After work that day
This bozo earned the Purple Heart
Stories he would later tell
The hard way
Bright red blood
Gushing out of his nose, mouth and ears
And paralysis
From a vicious temple punch
As he was going down
Already beginning to set in
On the left side of his body…


Posted in Steve Gulvezan with tags , , on December 9, 2011 by Scot

All the young stallions
The 99 percent
Champing at the bit
Waiting for their whiff
Of history

Revolution in the air
Whispering in their ears

“You’re entitled, mister,
Pick up that flower—
Put a daisy in the hand
Of your neighborhood butcher”


Posted in Steve Gulvezan with tags on November 28, 2010 by Scot

This is my new poetry hat – how
Do you like it?  Red fez – cool –
I saw a great poet at the Old Miami
Wearing one just like it – I put it on my head
When I sit down at my machine to
Spit out the terrible truth about humanity
That is burning up my soul and also
My tender love songs of loss, hope,
Fulfillment, regret, inspiration –
You know, all that stuff poets
Write about – I wore it to mass once
And the priest gave me a dirty look –
I swear – Father Jerry thinks I’m some
Sort of antichrist or something –
Or maybe he just doesn’t like poets –
There are people like that – I learned
My lesson the hard way
At a Detroit Tigers game – that beer
Sure does make a mess when they pour
It all over you – sticky, too – I had to clean
My red fez with kerosene – but I’m going to
Show them – I’m going to wear it next year
To opening god-damned day – no way, no how –
Will they turn this poet into a clown


Posted in Steve Gulvezan with tags on September 29, 2010 by Scot

Sunken cheeks, sunken eyes, pale sunless skin—
His portrait was painted upon the wall
And his portrait was blue…
Sprawled across the broken couch
In his basement room
He waited for his shift busing tables
At the Daisy May Diner to begin…
He beat the dough – mindlessly –
(It was the only pleasure he knew)
And gazed through his red-rimmed eyes
At the twilight falling
Through his tiny basement window—
He saw the summer legs of young girls
On the sidewalk outside slowly walking
And he dreamed and wished and prayed
So hard that…
He was with a pretty girl
Strolling along the boulevard
Holding hands and simply talking