A poem I wrote in 1963 upon the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was included in the latest edition (Issue 13) of Eleven Eleven, the always artful journal of California College of the Arts.  Here’s a portion of it:


Kaleidoscope Of An Assassination In Black And White

For John F. Kennedy


The First Day


Memory is like a motion picture

He is waving

The President is waving

from the back seat of a car

when lead coughs

and his head explodes

Shattering stills of black and white

leap from the TV eye

The crazy jiggle of a camera

a patchwork quilt of day and night

a siren scream

and child’s cry

puffs of exhaust

tire skids at an emergency ward

on a dead-end drive

and a frocked priest

mumbling the last rites

and making the sign of the cross

with an oily thumb

over his dead head

under a sheet

on a gurney


The President is dead!

Killed by a dum-dum shot!

The President is dead!


Blood streaks the legs of his lady

stiffens her skirt

She takes off her wedding band

and puts it in his hand

leaves her bouquet of roses

on the back seat



The camera jiggles

nightmare in black and white

Black girl

White girl



with spittle on his lips

and a half-eaten chicken

and a bottle of coke

on a box of books

and four brass casings

below the sill

of an open window

of a warehouse

and a bouquet of roses

on a back seat


The President is dead!

The Pioneer of the New Frontier

in the tailored two-button suit

boy’s pompadour and back brace

photographic brain and Boston A

age in his heavy lids

his blue eyes

is dead!

And there’s a bouquet of roses on a back seat


Link to the site: http://www.elevenelevenjournal.com/