JFK: Lines of Fire, a Verse Docu-drama

Posted on November 22, 2013



On 11/22/63 I was a 4th grader in PS 110 in Manhattan. That afternoon our lesson was interrupted by a radio broadcast over the PA system describing the shooting and eventually President Kennedy’s death. Only then did the principal or asst. principal announce early dismissal. On the door of my bedroom I had a poster of the presidents and added “-1963” under the picture of President Kennedy. Three decades later I wrote JFK: Lines of Fire, a Verse Docu-drama

JFK: Lines of Fire is a sequence of dramatic documentary vignettes culled from the literature concerning the assassination of President Kennedy. . Many of these found poems are dramatic monologues in the voices of people who had information about the assassination and either failed to prevent it or lacked a context to understand such information until it was too late. These accounts share certain emotional undercurrents, the need to act balanced by a sense of resignation, the shock of recognition balanced by a callous bravado. Whether or not Oswald acted alone or was nuts, there was (is) a wider insane acceptance of violence that (through these dramatic voices) provides an emotional context to this event. In this sense the real subject of this book is our American vernacular and the ways these themes are expressed in our speech. JFK: Lines of Fire was first published by PulpBits in 2003; PulpBits went out of business in March 2007, and I am happy to make it available here.

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