Saturday, June 18, 2005

2 Poems by Charles P. Ries


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.


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,

White t-shirt,

Blue jeans.

An American patriot with the stars

and stripes tattooed on his fat white ass.

Comet with a devils tail.



Young Republican.

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:

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