August 20, 2017

Stephen Gibson

KILLERS

Nuremberg Museum

Göring leaned over to Hess to crack a joke—
they’re with those other killers who meant no harm:
everything Nazis did, they did for blood and volk.

I grew up in the Bronx. Jews went up in smoke.
My neighbors had numbers tattooed on forearms.
Göring leaned over to Hess to crack a joke.

The woman giving testimony hardly spoke
when Göring moved to grab Hess by the arm—
everything Nazis did, they did for blood and volk.

Hess didn’t move—he looked comatose—
Göring elbowed: the third time was the charm.
Göring leaned over to Hess to crack a joke.

My father was at Bastogne—something broke
(after the war, electroshock intended to calm).
Everything Nazis did, they did for blood and volk.

America’s Neo-Nazi White Supremacists stoke
fear: they bear torches to bring on the storm.
Göring leaned over to Hess to crack a joke.
Everything Nazis did, they did for blood and volk.

Poets Respond
August 20, 2017

[download audio]

__________

Stephen Gibson: “Charlottesville, Boston—the poem is self-explanatory.”

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