Monday, June 22, 2015

Jennifer Lagier


They were the safe ones,
bland, blonde, blue-eyed,
good boys, the only kind
your mother allowed you to date.
Honor students who worked part-time
after school at an office or bank.
Sexless and soft, they opened doors,
chastely kissed without using tongues,
never tried feeling you up.

Your first husband was a vanilla
icecream person until he returned
from a tour of duty in Vietnam.
Cambodian shore bombings,
mercenaries, ship suicides
sent him home psychologically maimed.
A paler version of Victor Charlie,
loaded gun in the closet,
machete under the bed.
Night terrors, physical violence.
Your home a hot zone.

During his final melt-down,
you ran away, hid for months.
Cut off contact with family, friends.
Spent ten years rebuilding a broken life,
barely escaped.

Jennifer reads "Ice Cream People":

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Jennifer confesses: "'Ice Cream People' was inspired by a line from a Charles Bukowski poem. I used the phrase as a title, spinning off the story of an ex who started off as a gentle boy-next-door and ended up emotionally and psychologically damaged by the Vietnam War."

JENNIFER LAGIER has published nine books of poetry as well as in a variety of literary magazines. Her latest book, Camille Vérité, was published by FutureCycle Press. She taught with California Poets in the Schools, co-edits the Homestead Review, maintains web sites for Homestead Review, Monterey Poetry Review, Ping Pong Literary Journal and misfitmagazine. She also helps coordinate monthly Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium Second Sunday readings.

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