Friday, February 14, 2020

Valentine’s Day in America—Murfin Verse

Target company made perfect modern American Valentine's Day gift....
Note:  This entry appeared on this blog on February 14, 2018.
My Facebook news feed predictably erupted on Tuesday with the news of yet another grizzly mass school shooting.  This one was at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, home state of lax gun laws and Republican politicos on the NRA payroll.

Post gun massacre flow chart.
We have been through this kind of thing so often the responses were almost entirely predictablehorror and anguish followed by sputtering outrage and the lingering sense of hopelessness that when the last funerals and memorials are over the moment will pass, nothing will change, and we will slide back into numbness.
By this time all most all of my gun worshiping friends and kin have long ago picked up their marbles and stormed off my wall, banning me in return.  So, I get mostly the echo chamber of the liberals, left, and folks who have a prejudice against having their children slaughtered.  All the Usual Suspects.  But I still have friends of friends and one or two stubborn holdouts, so I get a taste of the equally predictable other side many of whom seem to believe that they are the real victims in all of this.  And there we are—America polarized again, glaring over self-constructed parapets at our enemies.

Bobby Ravenswood's post-Parkland Valentine's Day meme inspired me.
One post caught my eyea meme created by Robby Ravenswood, a California ukulele player, piano pounder, singer, busker, and comic.  It said plaintively “So now America has two Valentine’s Day Massacres—AWFUL.”  That struck a cord because it was also the 10th anniversary of a tragedy close to home—a shooting at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb that left six dead including the shooter.  That where my youngest daughter Maureen had gone to school for a while a few years earlier and where many kids I know from McHenry County go.  But the number of the dead was insufficient to make the shooting memorable outside our area.  And that says legions about the pervasiveness of gun violence in America.
Anyway, I was moved to write.
Three Holes in the Valentine Heart

Chicago 1929

Toddlin’ Town rat-a-tat-tat,
            just Jazz Age juice and justice,
            Tommy guns talkin’
            fedoras flying,
            mugs massacred,
            wanna-be eye doc,
            grease monkey
            garage gore gone.

“Only Capone kills like that.”

Cool beans!

Northern Illinois University 2008

              Gunman on campus!
            Good-guy grad student
            gone goofy
            lecture hall lesson
            in shot gun blasts
            and Glock gotchas.

Campus cops closing in, 
            one last round 
            under the chin,

Twenty-three down, 
            sixteen shot,
            five dead and,
            oh yeah, the perp.

Is that all?
            Piker!  Ain’t no Virginia Tech!
            hardly worth the weeping and wailing
            all those vigils and candlelight!

And the NRA says all those pussy students
            who didn’t pack their own heat
            should have OK Corralled it.

Nothing to see here,
            move along.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School 2018

Crazy Cruz kid had issues,
            gas mask, smoke grenades,
            and a handy AK-47
            extra magazines just in case.

Shoot, pull fire alarm.
            spray death, kick in doors,
            spray death, repeat.

Thoughts and prayers 
            out the wazoo today.
            Blame tomorrow.
            Not me, not us.

Look….a squirrel
            or Stormy Danniel’s cleavage,
            any damn thing…

—Patrick Murfin


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