Thursday, September 8, 2011

What’s a Chick Got to do to Get Service in This Joint? CANTO 5

CANTO 5   September 8, 2011

May 4, 1970, in the Ohio College system
Someone was in rehearsal for my play “Lullabye Dance”
The little blonde bitch who deigned to direct it,
Was permitted to ban me from rehearsals
And casting and set design.

So much for Ohio University’s
Quality Theatrical Training.
As I discovered later, no one knew
How Playwriting works.

I did not fight with her.
I think I met her once and was dismissed.
She always wore a little plaid hat
Trying FAR to hard to be hip.

So, I got involved in the Vietnam Peace Protest
I had gone to DC in November, 1969
Just missing the Dupont Circle Riots
Because we had a bed to sleep in
In Silver Spring, Maryland.

At OU in May, 1970, the protests were basically
Masses of us cutting classes to hang out
Wearing denim and armbands with
That damned peace symbol everywhere
Under banners, drinking red wine from Coke Bottles
So as not to be caught.

The girls provided sex and secretarial talents
To the men of the movement and were just
Starting to figure out that something wasn’t right
About this 60,000 year old arrangement.
We were starting to get together and talk.
Bread and Roses. Bread and Roses.

The Theater Department was rehearsing “The Front Page”
When we heard that Kent State had made the real front page.
And of the National Guard’s attack on the
My sister, the Good Daughter, was at Kent
Getting a bachelor’s in nursing
And still tries to tell me that Guard
Had to open fire with bullets
At the kids throwing rocks.
She had treated Guard Members at
The Health Center where she worked
And said that they had cuts from the rocks.
But she didn’t see the bodies of the kids.

And next, the very same Ohio National Guard
Was on it’s way to Athens….to get us under control.

I only remember the picture of crowds running through the
Streets that night, and feeling Mace in my eyes.
Not fired at us, but up from the basement of my dorm
Howard Hall. (Yes, of Scripps Howard)
Where the campus police were located
And someone had accidently set off a can.

The next day, silently, we watched the
Ohio National Guard rolled into town.
Truck after Truck, rifles at the ready.
Kids dressed in green fatigues and helmets
 As scared as we were.
They had fired in terror
And were now considered dangerous
And out-of-control.
You could feel it in the air.

The Peace Movement died that day.
The “Hippie” Movement died that day.
They shut down the college and my first production.

It would never be the same.


  1. no- it didn't die- i like this- got a note from Diane Di Prima of "Revolutionary Letters" the other day

    also- it was the same before and after, in my opinion- especially since we ended the draft- who's in iraq rite abt now? the national guard-

    keep up the good work

    dave peecenik

  2. Thanks.

    And if we had a draft, we would probably not have gone into Iraq and Afghanistan. Everything echoes, but I take pride in my part in the Vietnam Wall where the deaths go downward to the end.

  3. what was yr part?
    i'm going to google you
    what have u been doing
    u r a mensch - lol

    me i support SPARK , Code Pink, and the peace mv't as i get reddy to die - lol?