40th Anniversary Edition

Michael Robbins

It’s the Chinese Year of the Fire Drill.
I walk the fields — alfalfa, falafel, falderal.
Nothing out here but syllables, high as
Aegean okra, and a few post-agrarian silos,
dotless i’s that dormice catch some z’s in.
They’re rich like me, this time of the season.

Convair CV-300, play that dead band’s
last black-box seconds. I can’t imagine that Can’s
records were favorites of Ronnie Van Zant’s.
Gary Rossington (later he married Dale Krantz)
broke both arms and legs and, yep, his pelvis,
two months after, yup, the death of Elvis.

Star Wars had opened in Wichita, Kansas.
I don’t think anyone knew who Can was.
I listened to Kiss and Shaun Cassidy.
But when Skynyrd’s bird dropped out of the sky
(I’ll spare you the pun I’ve prepared on “free”)
we sang Watergate does not bother me.

Turn those speakers up full blast, and all that.
Nel mezzo nevermind — pace Foghat —
what a loose ride, what a fast ride too.
Remaster Tago Mago, add bonus tracks, reissue.

Michael Robbins’s most recent collection of poems is The Second Sex (Penguin).

Ladowich Magazine is available in the Apple Newsstand — https://t.co/bhbBwDr0F9 — offering just enough poetry and one longread a month. The poem published here appears in issue one.