‘A Side, B Side, C Side’ by Joe Green


The Ballade of Susie Lamont

Some talk of Hegel. Some of Kant.
But permit me to speak of Susie Lamont
Who jumped for the Frisbee and there in the air
Was eternally present with no underwear.
This was in the Sixties. I was at Marquette.
By the bones of St. Thomas I see her yet.
She taught me so much of becoming and being
“Help me Aristotle I can’t believe what I’m seeing!”
And she was much sweeter than Hegel and Kant
So much more demure was Susie Lamont.
It happened so fast. The moment soon passed
Of Becoming and Being revealed.
Then she went away with her boyfriend Ray
And left me alone in the field.
Oh that very day I took the philosopher’s way
Went home alone as per plan
And for the rest of the day wrote a boring essay
That ended with three words: “What is Man?”
About “Oh what the loss is that the world is in process!”
And I cited Teilhard de Chardin.

Ok, then… so we’re in Fredonia…

The corpse on Page 1
Just got up and left
Ok, then… so we’re in Fredonia
Right before the coup.
Down on Moonlight Drive
Near the Palace
And you and me
Are playing chess
It’s snowing outside
But we have a nice fire
And there are even sleighs
Whizzing by in the lamplight outside
And we are listening to Ruby Braff.
And suddenly the radio goes off!
They’ve attacked the radio station!
I said “suddenly the radio goes off!
They’ve attacked the radio station!”
But the radio keeps on playing.
La la la la la la. And you take my bishop and yawn.
Damn it, when will this poem get started?
And there’s a knock on the door!
And it’s the corpse on Page 1!
All right!
But he just comes in
And removes the first line.
And the second.
Ok, then… so we’re in Fredonia…

Side C: Incident on Fifty-second Street

“I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid.”

It was Christmas Eve 1939
W.H. Auden was waiting for a sign.
“Been to China, been to Spain.
Lord, lord don’t want to do it again.
The Christmas star rages with its usual vengeance.
Lord, lord give me a little transcendence.”

Lord, lord that’s what he prayed
At the end of a low, dishonest decade.
Drinking alone. Then who comes in?
My Uncle Joe. Auden buys him a gin.
They fall in love. There is a back room!
Boom a lay Boom a lay Boom a lay Boom!
They went back to the bar and unless I miss my dates.
Auden wrote “In Memory of W.B. Yeats.”
Showed it to Joe who kept on drinking.
“I like this place” is what he was thinking.


Joe Green’s poems have been published in “Fulcrum” and “The Battersea Review” and other places. He’s the author (along with his friend, Tim Smith) of “The Limerick Homer” (all of Homer translated — as Bottom was translated– into limericks.)

He’s also the author of a one kilo 752 page novel written in two months — “The Chains of the Sea”– available on Amazon and succinctly described thusly: “Singing all the way to the gates of hell, Joe’s merry band of dystopian lunatics deal with deontological demons, twisted sisters, long dead and undead authors, chicken-shit aliens and more in this ribald romp through the nether-regions of the mind. Obliged to find the true diamond at the end of time, the chosen few hurtle beyond imagination into the realms only vaguely understood by the likes of Pynchon or Foster-Wallace. ” And if you buy it, you will be happy. He is old and lives in Minnesota for God’s sake.