veterans park, 1984

1984 was the year we wore yellow eyeshadow
& found punk, hummed along to disgust
muttered tuneless by skeletal men we called artists
who exhaled heroin bitterness instead of lyrics
& rasped desperation that set our teeth on edge

it was summer & we were 17,
so we took our sandals off to step barefoot
on that nihilism, or was it just dancing on dried grass
with 2 boys from SUNYAB
we called men then, but barely past acne
with hands & feet too large for their bodies still
like overgrown puppies & matching them in eagerness

they chased down an ice cream van for us
where pot smoke poured from the slide window
yes, mister softee was getting stoned
in between shaping sundaes & twisted custard cones
for the concert crowd
& we laughed with knowing giddiness
or a contact from what we breathed
thicker than milkshakes,
chanting our new mantra to synthetic drums:
mister softee’s getting stoned

smoke & ice cream colors merging
& melting into muddled rainbows

About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
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25 Responses to veterans park, 1984

  1. I love the sweet sherbet colors mix with the difficult subject ~wonderful as usual !

  2. Lol, did you check his cones from traces of grass? wonderful side effects when cones are so laced!

    • LOL, too long ago to remember–but so much was coming out of the van, any ice cream was probably permeated…Still remember that every time I see one of those ice cream trucks… “mister softee’s getting stoned…” hahaha!

  3. doncarroll says:

    loved this one. ice cream and herb – a sweet buzz so to speak…*LOL*:))

  4. The Enfant Terrible says:

    Fuck. I always said that I wish I had been born earlier. I would’ve loved to have been around at that time. Instead, I was born in 1984. Missed the boat! An affectionate piece of nostalgia!

  5. nelle says:

    Such an age, relative to our lives. 1984, birth year of my eldest, first year of home ownership, last year of my lighting one pinched end of stuffed onion paper.

    We still did the concert thing, so many over the years I can’t remember them all. And there were the fiddle contests in Vermont, so much fun.

    Nice remembrance, Susan.

  6. Pingback: VETERANS PARK, 1984 | edge of frog

  7. 17rick47 says:

    A link to this poem can now be found at ‘edge of frog’

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