2 Poems by Charles P. Ries
A BRIEF NATION
Saddam in his underwear.
(polyester briefs, screaming for freedom)
George Bush in his underwear.
(cowboys and Indians circling wagons)
Pope Benedict XVI in his underwear.
(red as a cardinal and chirping like a cherub)
Carl Rove in his underwear.
(fitting a little too tight for good circulation)
Bill Clinton in his underwear.
(Bill doesn’t wear underwear)
Antler The Poet in his underwear.
(fig leaf, for sure)
Me in my underwear.
(boxers, tartan plaid, size 32-34)
If we only wore underwear; kings, dictators,
presidents, bartenders, and my Uncle Art would
become as transparent as rain. They’d transcend
ideology for essence with nowhere to hide.
The fruit of the loom would be the coin of our
realm. Our dress would be the flag of a nation,
ruled by a king with no clothes.
KARL ROVES BIG ADVENTURE
You told me dark truths
We drank our beer
Lit up on acid
Crossing Death Valley
In a cherry red “69 mustang.
You were a parody, a melody of
concert and apparent things.
The Mojave’s red dust suited you,
made you opaque and revealed you
to be obvious.
You loved the stifling heat and
felt comfort close to brimstone.
Red blood shot eyes,
An American patriot with the stars
and stripes tattooed on his fat white ass.
Comet with a devils tail.
Undercover agent corrupting a flower child.
Charles P. Ries lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His narrative poems, short stories and poetry reviews have appeared in over ninety print and electronic publications. He has received three Pushcart Prize nominations for his writing. Most recently he has read his poetry on National Public Radio’s Theme and Variations, a program broadcast over seventy NPR affiliates. He is on the board of the Woodland Pattern Bookstore in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. You may find samples of his work by going to: