Bill Hutton’s History of America
Fenus spent Fridays making rubberball sandwiches and selling them to the Greek on the Avenue DeLater. The Greek had eskimo handlers in his tent and different feet or foot protectors. You always knew about the foot. It spent itself like crying jellyfish all over trousers like goat skins of sperm cracked against rhinestone encampment 1456 settlers back in the Dakotas of old time train track click clack home bound small band home boy cry mom dad die.
Here in the United States church bells rang. Police and fire sirens screamed through the air. Men sang blindly from orange crates with sad old pictures and car horns honked and factory whistle blew.
Armistice! The war was over! Young girls with pink skin masturbate in silver pool of light. Everyone was happy. Five-hundred harelips went on joyous amphetamine talking jags at once. The war was over and our boys were coming home. Pink girls waited in silver ponds. Brass bands and train stations. Armistice Day at last . . . and he is pulling his chair to the table sand his family is looking with big eyes at Tim Reynolds home from the War.
"It's good to have you back," weeps Mother.
"Son, I knew you could do it," says father.
"We're proud of you."
"I missed you, Tim," says Sis, looking down.
"Did you kill the Kaiser's men?" chirps Baby Brother, and the family laughs good natured and Tim tussles boy's head.
"Well, it was something over there I'll tell you that," says Tim. Noise of silverware on plates and people chewing food. "It seems different when you're over there than it does when you read about it in the papers over here. It's a great feeling knowing you're fighting for people's freedom; knowing you're helping those people out."
"How do you know you're helping them out?" asks War Critic just pop his head above window.
"Hey what?" ask the entire Reynolds family.
You killed men over there. Isn't there a more sensible solution? Do you have to kill each other?"
"Well, I mean it's for the cause of freedom." say Tim.
"For domestic tranquility," say Mother.
"Business needs the boost of war!" say Father.
"I missed you, Tim," say Sis.
"Kill the Kaiser!" say Baby Brother.
"What you people say is typical of the brainwashing been done to you by our leaders," said War Critic in a bent stove-pipe hat and heavy beard. "But listen to the idea of men out on battlefield suddenly drop arms and run out there to embrace each other? Right out there and kiss that man on the lips with warmth and love!"
"You're a queer!" says Tim.
"Pinko!" say Mother.
"Red!" say Father.
"Why we don't all go over there in a big boat, dump the guns in the sea & rush the beaches naked and weeping for all the lost love in this world & tortured soils made sick by attitudes and take those people in our arms and fuck and laugh for joy."
"We've run into this kind before," say Tim.
"A draft dodger it's evident," say Father.
"Dissenter!" say Mother.
"Oh, Tim," say the pink girl masturbating.
"Augh!!!" says the little boy crushing kitten to death.
"You people are sick!" say War Critic at last.
"We're Americans, buddy, and don't you forget it. We fought for what we have. You don't know what it was like from over here."
"Look at his hair and his clothes!"
"Fifty-two forty or fight!"
"Oh, Tim, T-i-m!!"
The war critic disappear and Mr. Reynolds drink his coffee and read the financial page and Mrs. Reynolds is trying to get him to talk and Tim has head buried between sisters thighs and baby brother is eating dead cat.
Bill Hutton's History of America was published by the Coach House Press, Toronto/Detroit Copyright © 1968 by Bill Hutton.