Bewildering Stories

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by Julian Lawler

We were like Romulus and
Remus, you and I, those
Fabled brothers who long ago
Founded an empire of strength
And idealism, built on
The foundations of the in-
Genuity and genius of a few,
We sacrificed our backs at
Times and pockets worth in gold
For painted pictures and frames
And penciled caricatures,
Unrelenting to our fears.

We set the example like
Lycurgus, we became the
Spartans of the Southwest, none
Could emulate us, touch
Us with their words, we printed
Modern day tablets set in
Stone like Moses’ and God’s laws,
And the papers loved showered us
With lavish attention, you
Put in eleven hundred
Dollars and I twenty-five
Thousand, but I considered
You equal like Cain and Abel.

You were my shield against
Them, brother of mine, but
You joined them like Benedict
Arnold, angry as they were
Because their tree of life had
Died and my tree was broken
But would grow with a little
Water, so I will use my
Words to attain for them what
They strove so hard to achieve;
What the heroes in their lives
Had: Allen’s immortality.


You and I were the Ying and
The Yang, the Cain and Abel
Of this great empire of
Publishing and regional
Pride. This I exclaim to your
Villainous cohort, what good
Is yelling at your Slams when
Your poesy is mute and
Stagnant like a wilted rose
That Robert Burns never sent,
What good is it, you dead poet,
When no one is listening?

You followed this Ray of light
Into the darkness and were
Willing to trade patience and
Labor for hate and pity,
Then you took my Fanny Brawne,
Like a harlot into your
Arms, smelling Aphrodite
On her skin like peaches and
Accused me of burning
Rome. Then sent the cops to chase
Me like Metacom into
The wilds of this city.

You did all of this behind
My back, even though I took
You to Los Angeles, New
Mexico, San Diego,
Lubbock, Denver and Boulder,
And let’s not forget Juarez,
A place that knew us both like
We were their sons instead
Of from across the river.
Though you tried to take my life,
You treacherous leech, I still
Have mine. What of yours, brother?

Copyright © 2004 by Julian Lawler

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