NUKE THE CHINKS
Lines written before jumping out a ten-story window. While cowering in the belfry of Westminster Abbey. While building a stone wall to keep out the good neighbors. While contemplating nature from the vantage point of a gunship. Lines on the mirror, lines on her face. Beauty marks and age spots and the wild sun's corona. Lines in the dust, in the single's bar, strung out between a parabola of poles. The Wichita Lineman, splicing one voice to another over mountains and prairies, under deep troubled waters. Soup lines, unemployment lines, soldiers all in a row.
If you lined every Chinaman up six abreast and marched them into the sea, it would go on forever. That's what General Curtis "Bombs Away" LeMay, in charge at the time of a fleet of perpetually airborne B-52s armed with atomic bombs, said to Arthur Godfrey on the Arthur Godfrey Radio Show. This alone was a good reason, said LeMay, to nuke the chinks.
All hell broke loose, and LeMay was told by the President to apologize. He never did. Instead he said that the woodpile was full of Communists who were putting words in his mouth. Nuke the woodpile.
When I was 13 years old I took General LeMay's daughter to a matinée on Offutt Air Base. It was a Dean Martin/Jerry Lewis movie. We had to wait in line, and once inside the dark theater, she took my hand and placed it on her tiny breast. It was like Che Guevara dating Richard Nixon's daughter.
Not even General Curtis LeMay, sitting in his easy chair in his shirt sleeves sipping whiskey on ice in front of the TV when I picked up his daughter, could see what was coming.