poetics unleashed: anthony george


the chief was my favorite
(for ken greeley)

I remember when Lou Albano
with his fake arm cast cracked open
Chief Jay Strongbow’s skull
How the Chief tried
to war dance his way out of it
On Channel 17 the Chief vomiting
blood pouring down his face

Chief Jay Strongbow was the only one
to resist BlackJack’s Death Grip to foil
Stan Staziak’s Heart Punch the only one
to rise up while in Johnny Hart’s Sleeper Hold
Unlocking these villains and triumphing

I remember the Chief’s best partner
Ivan Putski the Polish Hammer
how they beat the best tag team goons
the Grand Wizard and Freddie Blassie
equipped with foreign objects

Chief Jay Strongbow beat Killer Kowalski,
Ivan Volkov, George the Animal Steele,
The Sheik, Mr. Fugi and Professor Tanaka

The war dance lifted Chief Jay Strongbow
from the middle of a pounding
He’d start to twitch, shake his head
the dance would begin his knees rising
feet stomping head moving with his whoops
the opponent punching him from behind
chasing his certain end
Then the miracle of the Chief
he’d stop his face more proud
than 1000 Mount Rushmores
His body rigid for a moment his feet
stutter stepping the rhythm to be unleashed
his head bobbing again the spirits filling him
he’d turn and bash the bad guy tormentor
His dance returning to full force
with each crunching blow

In the living room I destroyed furniture
I ran into walls, slammed doors, elbow smashed
the hassack, came off the top rope of the sofa, spun
in screaming circles of good guy ecstasy
like the tv crowd in the clutch of my favorite
Chief Jay Strongbow


pay your taxes

Pay your taxes
or the man on the moon will have to stay there.
Pay your taxes
or French kisses will become mouthfuls of sand.
Pay your taxes
or the smallest insects and rodents
will become vicious and eat the city.
Pay your taxes
or your diaphragm will shrink five sizes
when you need a deep voice.
O you fools, you beasts Pay your taxes
or mad scientists will drain our blood
to wash the feet of robots.
Pay your taxes
or revelry will ride sinking stones
not fantastic horses.
Pay your taxes
or your bent backs will taxi imbeciles
from inane extravaganza to inane extravaganza.
Pay your taxes
or birds will come to eat our teeth like popcorn.
O you insane abyss lovers please Pay your taxes
or all the statues in the world will shit.
Pay your taxes
or books will gnaw off our fingers.
Pay your taxes
or your eyes will become plastic
your nose will grow into a spiteful cobra
and every awkward dancer will step on your tongue.
Pay your taxes
or we’ll wipe our ass with broken glass.
Pay your taxes
or we’ll wake up in coffins.
Pay your taxes
or our faces will die before the rest of us.
Pay your taxes
or one poem will last as long as all poems.
O you crazies Pay your taxes.


Originally published:
Issue Nine
May 2001

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