When i was a Little bit Older than Young By jacob erin-cilberto

When i was a Little bit Older than Young

Winter 1970, snow covered thoughts of unrest
i found my draft card, then found god—
praying for Canada
and more cold drafts, beer not cards
with signatures of
yellow people with blades between their smiles
and minute rice revolvers hidden deep within patty pocket

a bible tucked under the pillow as i rest my head
against the car seat
and you drive as north as the gas peddle will aim
when guns need to be unloaded
and i pour out my heart
in words that don’t want to go to war

inevitable is non-existence
and shrapnel fear
that comes in bits and pieces
to unglue the most solid temperament

Winter 1970, the pines’ peaks
dusty with lust for freedom from marsh filled boots
and Kurtz-like boredom

there is crazy in orders
and a certain order to the craziness
as we peel the agent orange rage from our uniforms
and dream of Alberta
or Niagra Falls and honeymoons
that are love-ins where the message
isn’t blown to bits by Uncle Sam pointing his gnarly fingers

implying that he wants us
but what us is left
after the rice is digested through open wounds
like love that never quite settled in the stomach

but instead, got caught in the throat
like a swallowed bullet
from a game of Russian Roulette.-
in Winter 1970.

By jacob erin-cilberto


jacob erin-cilberto, originally from Bronx, NY, now resides in Carbondale, Illinois.  erin-cilberto has been writing and publishing poetry since 1970.  He currently teaches at John A. Logan and Shawnee Community colleges in Southern Illinois.

His work has appeared in numerous small magazines and journals including: Café Review, Skyline Magazine, Hudson View, Wind Journal, Pegasus, Parnassus and others. erin-cilberto also writes reviews of poetry books for Chiron Review, Skyline Review, Birchbrook Press and others.  He has reviewed books by B.Z Niditch, Michael Miller, Barry Wallenstein, Marcus Rome, musician Tom MacLear and others. Erin-cilberto’s latest book demolitions and reconstructions is forthcoming in late April /early May. His previous three books an Abstract Waltz, Used Lanterns and Intersection Bluesare available through Water Forest Press. His books are also available on Barnes and Noble.com and Amazon.com as well as Goodreads. erin-cilberto has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize in Poetry in 2006-2007-2008 and again in 2010. He teaches poetry workshops for Heartland Writers Guild, Southern Illinois Writers Guild and Union County Writers Guild.

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