Jesus, Charles Manson
That hair, he said. That hair
and that beard and that look
in your eye, he said. That hair
and that trash on your tongue
and that beard and those jeans,
he said. I wonder what you think
I see when I see you, he said,
with that hair and that beard
and that look in your eye and
those filthy jeans and that trash
on your tongue, and by now
he was shouting, that greasy hair
and that beard and those filthy jeans
I mean Jesus, he said, you look like
Charles Manson with that greasy hair
and that beard and that look in your eye
and those trashy jeans and that
filth on your tongue and that look
and that trash and that filth
and that hair and that beard
and those jeans I mean Jesus.
He said, I mean Jesus.
Many of Joseph Green’s poems have been collected in His Inadequate Vocabulary (1986), Deluxe Motel (1991), Greatest Hits 1975-2000 (2001), and The End of Forgiveness (2001). “Jesus, Charles Manson” is from his new collection, That Thread Still Connecting Us (2012). At the Peasandcues Press, he produces limited-edition, letterpress-printed poetry broadsides, using hand-set metal type; and at the C.C. Stern Type Foundry, in Portland, he is part of a team working to preserve the craft of casting the type itself. He lives in Longview, where he retired from teaching in his twenty-fifth year at Lower Columbia College.