Remembering JFK: Voices from a Smoldering Grave

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Official White House photo. In the public domain.


 by Anthony J. Marsella

John Fitzgerald Kennedy  (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963), President of the United States of America


I cannot rest,                                                                                   My spirit rages;                                                                      Incomplete truths, lies — remain.                                               My grave smolders!


I seek escape,                                                                                                                                    From casket, eternal flame, defamation,                                                                            Contrived by scrupulous minds,                                                                                                Penned by stained hands.

Conspiracy!                                                                                                                                             Protection for villains,                                                                                                                     Safety from condemnation.                                                                                                                    I was assassinated!

A grievous, immoral, illegal act!                                                                                          Complicit forces: Government, military, corporations, criminals!                                           No remorse, forced tears, false sympathies;                                                                               “Your Daddy was a great man, Caroline!”

Fear of contention:                                                                                                                             End wars, reduce military,                                                                                                            Prosecute criminals,                                                                                                                          Restore national identity!

Accept faults,                                                                                                                                           Confess errors,                                                                                                                              Compensate victims,                                                                                                                           On your knees, America!

Democracy disguised!                                                                                                                     Secret State, Shadow State, Deep State, No State;                                                                 Cabals, factions, sects, cliques, clans, tribes, Parties!                                                                     Plots, plans, intrigue – cowards –conspiracy!


In death, I remain:                                                                                                                    Timeless beacon,                                                                                                                                      Truth image, of truth,                                                                                                                      Hope symbol!

Evil continues!                                                                                                                            Relishing roles,                                                                                                                               Celebrating deceit,                                                                                                                           Valorizing schemes.

Know this:                                                                                                                     From each grain of earthydust,                                                                                    I will continue to speak,                                                                                               Silence impossible!



What madness possesses you?                                                                                                       What fury grips your mind?                                                                                                                What passions drive you,                                                                                                                 Justified betrayal!

You kill your own,                                                                                                                        Oblivious to consequence,                                                                                                     Hardened to suffering,                                                                                                                Grinning demon in morning mirror!

Patriot Act, DHS, NSA, FBI, CIA, DEA . . .                                                                          Acronyms cover vile purpose.                                                                                                         You crave dominion;                                                                                                                          My God, you are evil!

My assassination insufficient?                                                                                                    Family deaths: Brother? Son? Lovers?                                                                                         Each death whetting appetites,                                                                                                   Pleasuring for more?.

Plausible deniability!                                                                                                                            Cover: National Security!                                                                                                                    No fear! No constraint.                                                                                                                       No limit to menace.


Eisenhower saw, warned, escaped.                                                                                          Shocked by knowledge and participation,                                                                                      His image now safe!                                                                                                                           Kansas!

Johnson burdened by graves he dug!                                                                                         Carter repentant for Christian compromise . . .                                                                    Reagan, smiling, failing, vomiting.                                                                                            Nixon, mad with paranoia.

Clinton caught by semen splashes,                                                                                                     1. H. W. Bush enamored with elites, oligarchy, Skull & Bones;                                                   2. W. Bush, “You are with us, or against us.” He is both!                                                   Obama, election promises, lived lies!

These our leaders!                                                                                                                               Cry America! Shout enough!                                                                                                         They please:                                                                                                                                         War machines, coffin makers, gold collectors!

Libraries, shrines, sacred places to preserve names.                                                             Marble slabs inscribed words, images, reputations.                                                                 Keep alive presidential cults, designed to mollify,                                                                Penance for sin! Atonement for lies!

I claim no special sanction,                                                                                                        Beyond my mapped death!                                                                                                         Dismiss me if you will,                                                                                                                     Flee, if you wish, from hypocrisy!

Know I walked corridors of power,                                                                                             Know I stood amid whispered gatherings,                                                                                 Know I tolerated secrecy;                                                                                                                  For this, I suffer in death!

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea máxima culpa.                                                                 “Oh my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you . . . “                                                      I learned, too late, lessons of betrayal,                                                                                                 I learned, too late, trials of victimhood.

No longer! I speak now for those killed,                                                                                    Home and abroad, young and old,                                                                                             Across time and place.                                                                                                            Memories cannot be bought!


Fascism thrives!                                                                                                                                Who won? Homeland, Fatherland, Empire, Kingdom, Amerika!                                         Uber Alles! Deaths in vain!                                                                                          Surveillance, archives, fusion centers!

 Drones, robots, androids!                                                                                         You defile warriors!                                                                                                   You dishonor soldiers.                                                                                               You glorify war, dismiss death!

I am cold in bone and body,                                                                                    Shriveled from age and decay,                                                                               Scattered dust on coffin floor,                                                                                 Guarded by impervious flames.

Like John’s Brown body,                                                                                                          I smolder in my grave,                                                                                                      When will it end?                                                                                                                     We are fodder!

 Words rise from flames:                                                                                                      You command, kill, destroy for naught;                                                                       Ask John Brown’s Body! “. . .                                                                                         Truth goes marching on!”


Anthony J. Marsella

November 22, 2017


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3 Responses to Remembering JFK: Voices from a Smoldering Grave

  1. Barbara says:

    Can any Ameican adult see the words “John Brown’s body” without filling in “lies a-mouldering in its grave. . . “ and without finding the tune, unbidden, humming in the mind’s background? I did a search on the lyrics and was carried away by the second stanza. There is no period after the last line. Printer’s error or intentional? His soul marches endlessly, generation after generation while poets and philosophers and ordinary people like me bemoan the cruelty of historical facts. Period. Amen

  2. Barbara — Re: John Brown’s body…, maybe something beautiful and pleasantly aromatic is sprouting from his moldering grave. If so, it might even have a halo. In any case, and as you know, the truth will set you free, but first it will break your heart. So, to give you an uplift in this holiday season — which should be more holy and less holly — here’s the link to a heart-warming rock’n’roll tribute to an unsung American hero still amongst us, entitled “Noam Chomsky is a Soft Revolution,” by Foy Vance, best heard on good speakers …

    • kathiemm says:

      Thanks for the lively tune with the great beat, Stefan. For those of us whose ears are getting older whose hearing is getting corrupted, here are the dazzling lyrics, available on

      on Amazon Music

      “Noam Chomsky Is A Soft Revolution”

      Carl Perkins for the rock n roll
      Dr. John for the jockamo
      Little Richard for a Saturday night
      James Brown if you’re feelin outtasight
      Willie Nelson if you’re feelin low
      Aretha Franklin if you need some soul

      Play em loud but if you’re quiet and you’re brooding baby

      Noam Chomsky is a soft revolution

      Jean-Paul Sartre if it’s all just so
      Dostoyevsky if you’re in the know
      A bit of scripture for a little light
      Baby Che Guevara for a full on bar fight
      Alexander if you’re feeling great
      Charlie Darwin if you’re thinking ‘bout apes

      If you’re quiet and you’re looking for solution baby

      Noam Chomsky is a soft revolution

      Old Joe Lewis gonna wear you down
      Ali Muhammad gonna do it loud
      Marciano got a granite chin
      Baby go get a rocket for a 147
      Gotta bolt when you’re feeling lighting
      And that McGregor good lord he’s frightenin’

      If your quiet and you’re sick of institution baby

      Noam Chomsky is a soft revolution

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