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“Dream Song 135” by John Berryman (1914 – 1972)
I heard said ‘Cats that walk by their wild lone’
but Henry had need of friends. They disappeared
Shall I follow my dream?
Clothes disappeared in a backward sliding, zones
shot into view, pocked, exact & weird:
who is what he seem?
I will tell you now a story about Speck:
after other cuts, he put the knife in her eye,
one of the eight:
he was troubled, missionary: and Whitman
of the tower murdered his wife & mother
before (mercy-killings) he set out.
Not every shot went in. But most went in:
in just over an hour
with the tumor thudding in his brain
he killed 13, hit 33:
his empty father said he taught him to respect guns
(not persons).