Friday, August 26, 2011

Ragged Old Flag, by Johnny Cash

Today’s poem-performance:

In our last show, we witnessed the poet Jewel recite a poem proudly before us while wearing a tattered American flag across her ample bosom. Today, the late, great Man in Black does the same while flying a tattered stars n' bars inside his heart. Please remove your hats and stand silently at attention. Thank you.

Our poet pundits:

Matt Mauch is the author of Prayer Book (Lowbrow Press), He teaches writing and literature in the AFA program at Normandale Community College. He lives in Minneapolis.

Chris Martin is the author of American Music (Copper Canyon) and Becoming Weather (Coffee House Press). He lives in Iowa City.

Ready, set, crossfire!

Matt Mauch: Inside this Johnny Cash is, matroyshka-like, a smaller Johnny Cash. The smaller one is flipping the bird, which makes this Johnny within a Johnny both matroyshka-like and Metamorphosis-like.

Were this turned into a Schoolhouse Rock animated short, we might see an uptick in the "general historical knowledge" that all the scorers of the tests that test for that say is in decline.

Like Johnny, more people should say "yella" when they mean the color of dandelions and the sun, since "yellow," everybody knows, is what you say when you answer the phone.

Chris Martin: All my meat-flag life I've desired it. Each flag that carries the fly from fruit to shit. I've flagged at the very moment of ecstasy, just so my head wouldn't hit the ceiling. Scott Joplin was known as the King of Ragtime and now Elvis and Michael are dead, too. But I've heard "Bethena" played as slow as a drunken flag waves. I'll never know if it waved goodbye or hello.

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