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stop-go atomic reagan blues - erich hoch


nancy; i’m afraid of many things;
eyeball men and toothpaste
psycho-n-lysts and airplane wings
but chiefly i’m afraid i won’t be
able to get out of the city

ritalin; adderall; coffee
everyone’s wrapped up in something
and the candle nips as fiercely
as the incendiary flame, when it
overtakes the city

i’m afraid, nancy, of bombs dropped
suit men, uprisings, lizard kings
falling buildings, churning trains
nuclear fission, snakehead, fish
p-ss drunk in the city

i’m afraid of sp-ce and distance
that i’m not far enough away
or close enough in, to stay
safe or melt comfortable, i am in
the fallout zone of the city

i’d sooner let myself be stone
or tied to pillars, greek columns
balding from office stress
powerless to bring them down
shackled in the city

or let myself be outcast
and exile from the streets
dirt hands and fertilizer
straw hat rough wrinkled
far away from the city

the planes fly overhead-

i’m afraid of suburban
trench wastes, plane seat, train
feeding metropolis
just subtropica subtropolis
from the atom storm

i don’t want webbed feet
scaled skin, marie curie
nancy, deteriorating
express lanes, o’ refrain
from breathing the atom storm

i’m afraid of green -j-c-l-t-
plutonium, immaculate, rna
dna, phase change, substrange
front page, pariah
of the atom storm

i’d love to evaporate, nancy, or not
but i’d never want to
be a sundried man, left
out to bake in the burning blaze
of the atom storm

i was afraid of the moloch, nancy
oh moloch, oh nancy, but these
anxieties have, wholly, consumed my
thought and focus, i fear nonstop
the impending atom storm

i’m so afraid every day, nancy, i’d be dead
in a commuter train, homeward bound in
rain, gagged, h-ll bent, burnt
in a mayorless town, stewart’s denizen
of the savage atom storm

the planes drop flotsam and they drop jetsam-

i don’t want to be
bas-m-nt fodder, shoulder
shot, shackled, racked
tackled box, frizzing socks
anti-vax, pax, columbia
sax euphoria, max paranioa, m-ss hysteria
empty hazy erections
the great ploom atom steam
oh, nancy, oh it’s happening
mushroom of the psychedelic psychotics
oncology in the first degree
mom dad friends and countrymen, and
nancy reagan i’m afraid
of the hydrogen bomb