Kenneth Williams

by Carl Boon

spoke in tongues before he died
in Arkansas. Maybe the chaotic
spirit that urged him to kill
made him whole before the State
succumbed to its functioning.
Or maybe the unthinkable,
the horrifying maybe of maybe
he was not the man they thought
and not the man they killed.
So what happens? The living go
on past Little Rock to move
potatoes about their plates,
watch CNN in a bland motel,
praying and failing to refocus.
They consider questions
and white men make clichés,
each harboring Jesus as He
to right all wrongs, each confusing
beauty and truth. The burden
lies elsewhere always, the burden
of doing for the dead what we
could not do before.

Music / video composition by Victor David Sandiego

Carl Boon lives in Izmir, Turkey, where he teaches courses in American culture and literature at 9 Eylül University. His poems appear in dozens of magazines, most recently The Maine Review and The Hawaii Review. A 2016 Pushcart Prize nominee, Boon is currently editing a volume on the sublime in American cultural studies.