Oyster Boy Review 16  
  Winter 2002
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» Levee 67


American Family Poems #2

Charles Fort

Uncle Alcoholic in a four-wheel drive
downs the shot glass like a gun
into his mouth as he stumbled
off the deck bathed in khaki urine
after his bloated liver swelled
three times the normal human size.
He slurred America the Beautiful
for the low down bigots in his hometown
from New Hampshire to California
and his legacy will be the lyrics
on a money bag and hole in one
to the PhD's at the divine school
who tried to teach him the nuance
and science of the jazz notes he hates to play.
There is no genius in this music
and porchlight niggers need to work, he said.
They will hit their sons and daughters
like a bloodhound tracking a killer
raise the child and bruise the child.