Monday, July 15, 2013

George Dila


The first time,
it takes you by surprise.
The muzzle flash,
the hot shell casings jumping
from the chamber
like Chinese firecrackers,
stinging as they bounce off
your hands and bare forearms.

what did you expect?
There are explosions going off in
that contraption in your hands,
loud, violent chemical reactions,
the lovely parabellum ripped apart,
sending one piece, the hunk of lead,
the bullet,
down the barrel at
twelve hundred thirty feet per second,
the other piece, the brass,
ejected, now useless.

Did I mention it is a plastic gun?
Cousin of the water pistol?

Did I mention it is a favorite
of law enforcement?

Did I mention how fast it can be fired?
And that early one February morning,
four of New York's finest
unloaded forty-one slugs in the direction
of an unarmed Guinean immigrant
in seven seconds,
nineteen finding their target?
Need I mention he died
on the spot?

Did I mention how good it feels
to hold and fire it?

George reads "Glock Nine":

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George confesses: "A couple of years ago I decided that I wanted to see what it was like to shoot pistols. Not only had I never fired a pistol, I had never even held one in my hands. But I saw it as my right as an American, and my duty as a writer, to see what it was all about. I decided to fire the pistols used in some notorious events...for instance, a .38 Special Jack Ruby used to shoot and kill Lee Harvey Oswald, and Mark David Chapman used to shoot and kill John Lennon; the kind of .22 pistol John Hinckley Jr. used to try to kill Ronald Reagan, and the kind that Sirhan Sirhan used to kill Robert Kennedy; the kind of Glock Nine a gang of New York City's finest used to shoot down Amadou Dialo at his front door. I developed the resulting experience into an essay called 'One Miss, Two Torso, One Head, One Heart' which was published last year in the journal called Palooka. It was also from this experience that I wrote 'Glock Nine'."

GEORGE DILA's short story collection Nothing More to Tell, was published by Mayapple Press in 2011. His short stories and essays, and even the occasional poem, have appeared in numerous journals, both famous and infamous. A native Detroiter and long-time city-dweller, he now lives with his wife in Ludington, MI, a small, peaceful town on the Lake Michigan coast.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is a terrific poem.