Guilt Trip-Page 2

But, no plane ticket for Vietnam.
Not for 35 years
not since McNamara & Kissinger
kept Thieu & Ky
& every human rights violation
to the right of Ferdinand Marcos
in power.
They knew
their American billions
would transform Bald Eagle
into Vulture of Death.

Outside my hotel door
I will ride cyclo
the ricksaw of poverty with former South Vietnam soldier.
He is pro-American.
I am pro-Vietnamese.
Irony is the karma of this planet.
And I dreamed my anti-war convictions
would win me Red Hot Vee Cee Girlfriend.

Outside my hotel door
I will dish out for beggars
as Green Berets Search & Destroy.
I will over tip at restaurants
while U.S. bulldozes rainforest
looking for forbidden tunnels
strewn with books
by Jefferson & Marx.

Outside my hotel door
I will apologize 3 million times
for each Vietnamese exterminated by my country
while my country
exterminates its conscience.

Outside my hotel door
I will ride cyclo.
Veteran will feverishly wheel me
down streets of Saigon
with hole in his leg
& I with hole in my heart.

I will scream, "Ho Ho Ho Chi Minh
The N.L.F. is gonna win."
The Vietnamese will laugh & wave
& forget.
I'll laugh, eat a meal
& make a Yankee fool of myself
as I fumble with chopsticks
with my no-agility Western hands
the kind of hands
that buried brains
of Communist Suspect
in Mekong Delta.

N.V.A. Veteran
will invite me into antique store
ask me to buy
M-16 bullet
turned into ploughshares
of Zippo lighter.
I will see water buffalo village
turned into cigarette lighters
of General Westmoreland's protective reaction strikes.

I have been Missing In Action.
for 35 years.
Now I am missing from hotel room
in streets I remember
from the DMZ of my past.

So, I leave my hotel room
to remember My Future.
I meet her--Vietnamese old peasant hat lady--
rattling with her teeth
down streets of Her Past,
"You Americans,you killed my husband."

I tell her,
"I love you"
because she's the one
who reminded me
I remembered precisely everything
she had to forget.

Back to Page 1 of Guilt Trip the poem
Go to
Chapter 1-Trip Narrative

GuiltTripBack copy.JPG (16596 bytes)
GuiltTripBack copy.JPG (16596 bytes)
GuiltTripBack copy.JPG (16596 bytes)
GuiltTripBack copy.JPG (16596 bytes)