NOVEMBER 22, 1963
for J. F. K.
Weeping, I write this: You are dead. The dark
animal of the heart, the beast that bides
stilly in its web of flesh, has stolen
flight again out of the air. What is there
to say? That I wish we were gods? That the
mind of man were equal to his lusts? It
is not — not yet. You were a man, but more:
you were an idea dreamt in a sweet
hour while the spider slept. We make our
web; its habitant makes greatness of its
prey. We are ourselves victim and victor.
You were and are ourselves. In killing you
we murder an emblem of what we strive
to be: not men, but Man. In mourning you,
good Man, we grieve for what we are, not what
we may become.
Sleep, John. We will try
once more. Sleep, sleep now. We will try again.
Fearful Pleasures: The Complete Poems of Lewis Turco 1959-2007, Scottsdale, AZ: www.StarCloudPress.com, 2007. ISBN 978-1-932842-19-7, cloth; ISBN 978-1-932842-20-3, paper.