Everett Hoagland
Red, White, and Blues Country

In the Rainbow Grille.

(a dark, white bar with a country box)

a rock salt-and-pepper corn


bearded tri-colored Blood

in worm camouflage, town

jeans, wearing broken, deep brown

shades, grimey baseball cap

and old, colorless cowboy boots,


played Kline's "CRAZY" over

and over. Spent all his gree,

food stamps and rent

on sweet, warming, meriney wine

chased by burning, fluid amber.

Bought the house many rounds...




leave him

cold, red-eyed

and blue, fingering the gold bands

the dog tags on the steel bead chain


hanging from his


...over and over. The record changes.

The old tone arm moves

from left to right; he stands, stumbles

raises his glass as though to toast

someone, something.




Muscles jerk. Bent

over, he jukes

the joint, over and over, he hunches

heaving undigested supper,

lunch's sour mash

corned beef and cabbage,

breakfast's hash, fried egg

on toasted rye. He drops his empty glass.


Glassy stares like shards

in blood and faces

watch it and him, "...go


to pieces." Someone


says, Greenie? He was

a two-tour Beret!

Hell, he'll be o.k.

Found In Volume 27, No. 01
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Everett Hoagland
About the Author

Everett Hoagland is the winner of the Gwendolyn Brooks Award as well as two Massachusetts Council Fellowships for Poetry. His poems have appeared in The Iowa ReviewEssence and The Progressive. He is a professor of literature at the University of Massachusetts (North Dartmouth).