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Life Arts    H3'ed 12/9/21

Who Killed Kennedy? After All, It Was You and Me

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still from Live Feed Earth Cam Sniper's Nest Dallas
still from Live Feed Earth Cam Sniper's Nest Dallas
(Image by Public Domain)
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FLASH FICTION SONNET: Who Killed Kennedy? After All, It Was You and Me

by John Kendall Hawkins


What's the way in? How do we get out? It's the same old problem, thought Quid Quo, the Pro, reading Ed Snowden's memoir, Permanent Record, at the Dallas Book Depository. He was on the toilet, wall scrawl: I buried Paul. Waiting for the line to thin, the line to the sniper's nest. He was filled with questions. He'd settle for an easy lay (on his guitar). More on the wall: Stephen King was here. Then he flushed, almost missing, already, the toxins released, as if he'd dumped a set of lyrical possibilities for a sonnet he had been devising. When a impatient knock came on the door.

In the Stephen King novel, 11.22.63, there's a pizza shop and a trap door over a secret compartment filled with screaming naked children. It's actually the storage hold for It, Stephen King's other novel about children getting swiped by some clownshow guttersnipe who hollers to passing skateboarding kids, "Piece of candy, go for a ride," from beneath the grill to the city's sewerage line. The big mystery is why so many kids get suckered by sweets. "The sugar is in everything," my old girlfriend used to say, "No, really." And later reporters will point fingers at Big Sugar, recalling that time I tried to hook up with Jamaicans in South Bay Florida for a good cut of cane, only to be rebuffed by bossman Mighty Whitey, who called me vain, black faces staring out from the three-tiered bunks. But now I faced the prospect of QAnon and the Proud Boys hookin' up for a musical romp through Lee Harvey Oswald's Balzac collection, a delectable reading set he came across during his Moscow years while he was being jail-baited by Marina, now his wife.

How did we get in? Where is the way out of these needs to see in retrospect the turning points of the future. If we'd only known. If a good friend had just said. He liked my wife. That way. Ouch. Crawling through the tunnel of writhing naked children the author had placed me in recalled childhood: a scene: a boat: mon oncle with a monocle said, "The Sea": I shoved my porcine hand down into a bucket of wriggling nightcrawlers on a lake by the sea in a boat in the breeze. But now I've left behind that life.

At the window was the scene of the crime. The nest. With bullets aligned. The tree down through which I would fire blanks of perception. Thrill ride kill of JFK. Manchurian candidate from Moscow. Or Ted Cruz's father, which makes sense; I'm partisan, wanna believe, and consequently understand, as Zora had it about voodoo, which is true about everything when you think about, if it's you thinking it. Back and to the left. Back and to the left. Back and two the left. But now I was wasting nest time thinking like a grassy knollhopper. I pulled and popped off three, point blank range for the Jackal that was me. But I get sick at gore.

Dances with Wolves said you gotta think like the CIA to figure this sh*t out. And I'm thinking now that may be what happened to our culture that day JFK's head got 9/11-ed, those twin towers of Camelot and Marilyn Monroe's Jacqui-found panties coming down in their own footprints. Thoughts jumping from the windows of his higher thinking -- one looking like Bobby Frost two roads converged and then didn't. But how do you think like the CIA? How do you think omerta thoughts. "O Murder Most Foul." The worst fuckin song Dylan ever wrote.

A woman behind me taps my shoulder, says Get Out! I can take him through the trees and motion-within-motion ride. Marriage prepares you for maneuvers of powerful men, some with schlongs built to take you to outer-inner space. I note she's wearing no ring and defer. She's cute, with gams, an old time dame Bogie would have whistled for, but a tough-as-nails feminist, nails painted curiously purple, as if in rage. Leaving the nest, I heard her yell, Bang, Bang, Bang, and I knew she's got them off in the allotted time, and on target. Back and to the left.

In the lunchroom there was a table and on it was the honored Coke bottle Oswald held when authorities came rushing up and in. The sheriff double-took when he heard. "Dasvidania," Lee Harvey said coldly, although his bottle held a sweat, as if it were battling cocaine DTs 60 years after the cocaine cola had been tamed, proving that even fetishized objects had fond remembrances. That might be off Love and Theft.

Some folks say Kennedy didn't even leave a note.

Well, I'm over the prissy years of sorrow. Chomsky says leave it alone. Let it be enough that Warren Commissioner Gerald Ford later became the wildly amusing butt of Chevy Chase's stumbling abuses. We laughed our asses off at his presidency, but not the Pardon. There was a period song I liked held in gestures of reggae, called "Day After Day," without which we'd have had no Johnny Nash Seeing Clearly, nor Marley and his CIA cancer and "One Love" turned to reckless elevator music, cigarette out in his face. You have to think like the CIA. Think.

Of all the conspiracy theories I've ever loved.

I wonder sometimes what if I had married Mary Powers my first sweet love, but not of age, nor had my balls dropped yet, so. We kissed down the stairs at the entry of the Fall Out shelter we were to rush for if the Russians ever decided to follow up Sputnik with a very loud How Do You Do? Dasvidaniya. But in this scenario of Last Boy in the World to Kiss, let's just say Mary didn't share my opinion of our Siegfried-Brunnhilde fate ahead. I remember her kiss though every time I give a listen to Wagner's Prelude to Lohengrin, which still gets me teary with bespoke violins made for imagined angels of taste. When after coming up for air, I went for seconds, Mary shoved.

How do you get in and out of these time tunnels? How do you get past, coming back, get past the pizza pie man flipping dough wearing the animal horns head raised in an animism howl? Crying revolution as the pie spins in the air? It's more of the same at the Knoll Museum, the wax Umbrella Man fellating Abe Zapruder, kids playing the Magic Bullet video game on arcade screens in a boxcar. A chance to be the smoking rifleman. A potshot dink.

In the end, the only thing left is to be Kennedy, apologizing to his wife for the Bay of Pigs he's made of his marriage, as the Big Splash bullet pushed his head back and to the left, back and to the left, back and to the left. (I miss Abbie.) You can feel the drain of brain and all the hollow years gone by circling back to this moment, over and over again. It's a bizarre suicide, you killing you, both "Oswald" and JFK, prepping you for the rolling pearlharbors ahead. If you think like the CIA. The world's your unopened oyster with a pearl of sh*t surprise.

New eyes.

still from film JFK (OliverStone)
still from film JFK (OliverStone)
(Image by Warner Bros.)
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John Kendall Hawkins is an American ex-pat freelance journalist and poet currently residing in Oceania.

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