Interrogation at the Grassy Knoll: November 22, 1963

Who are you guys?  We’re from the CIA.
And you?  I’m Lucien Sarti from Marseilles.
What about you swarthy types?  Who, us?
We’re Cuban exiles, and we won’t discuss
The reason why we’re here.  And how about you?
I’m sent by Sam Giancana and his crew.
And you?  J. Edgar Hoover is my chief.
And you there, fella?  Clay Shaw has a beef
With JFK, and that’s why I’m around.
And you two guys there, squatting on the ground?
Wall Street and the oil-rich tycoons
Paid our way here.  What about you goons?
Fidel Castro and the Revolution
Must be defended.  This is the solution.
And you guys?  We were sent by LBJ—
That snotty Harvard brahmin’s in his way.
And you there, buddy?  Santo Trafficante
Wants to send down to the hell of Dante
That little Irish prick.  Man, what a mob!
So much muscle just for one small job!
And all you others, crowding in the aisles?
E. Howard Hunt, Frank Sturgis, Jimmy Files,
David Atlee Phillips, Chauncey Holt…
Enough already!  I’m about to bolt.
You sure there’s room behind this picket fence
For all of you to shoot?  It makes no sense
For me to hang around and spoil the fun.
Hey fella—who are YOU?  And where’s your gun?
Me? I’m Oswald, and I’m gonna split—
It looks like you don’t need me for the hit.

About Joseph S. Salemi

Joseph S. Salemi has published poems, translations, and scholarly articles in over one hundred journals throughout the United States, Canada, and Great Britain. His four collections of poetry are Formal Complaints and Nonsense Couplets, issued by Somers Rocks Press, Masquerade from Pivot Press, and The Lilacs on Good Friday from The New Formalist Press. He has translated poems from a wide range of Greek and Roman authors, including Catullus, Martial, Juvenal, Horace, Propertius, Ausonius, Theognis, and Philodemus. In addition, he has published extensive translations, with scholarly commentary and annotations, from Renaissance texts such as the Faunus poems of Pietro Bembo, the Facetiae of Poggio Bracciolini, and the Latin verse of Castiglione. He is a recipient of a Herbert Musurillo Scholarship, a Lane Cooper Fellowship, an N.E.H. Fellowship, and the 1993 Classical and Modern Literature Award. He is also a four-time finalist for the Howard Nemerov Prize.