Video Wednesday: Little Billy; 2013 WAVE Award winner in the Innovative Video Catagory

Little Billy from Joseph Valentinetti on Vimeo.

I know no one knows what a WAVE AWARD is so here’s a little explanation:

The ACM WAVE AWARDS

Western Region

(Western Access Video Excellence=WAVE)

The ACM West represents the regional ACM members for the six western states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, New Mexico and Nevada.

Notable events: each year are the fall conference, which is scheduled this year for October 24-26 2013 in San Jose, CA. At the annual regional conference the WAVE awards (Western Access Video Excellence) honor the best local cable programs from the Western Region.

Little Billy-First Place: experimental-Innovative category.

Little Billy

Johnson is dead somebody said.
A sniper.
Return fire got at
least one of them.

Sgt Johnson. Dead the medic said.
There’s still more firing.
Support is ordered
it is on the way.
Rat-a-tat. Rat-a-tat
Rat-a-tat.

Master Sgt. Johnson.
Golden Valley Minnesota.

The firing has stopped.

Maybe we got them.
Maybe they are dead.

Maybe they folded back
into the population.

Maybe they are down at
the square, eating figs,
drinking coffee, laughing.
Waiting to wave at us when we walk by.

Golden Valley High School,
Master Sgt. William C. Johnson.

Career man,
jargon has it, Ironically,
a lifer.

Was balding early.
Knew every
Sven and Ollie joke.
Liked the
Prairie Home Companion
when he could get it.

Sat with a self satisfied grin.
The most you can milk from the
Prairie Home Companion; a
sense of shared embarrassment
at the antiquity of the humor: a
Companionability, homeliness.
A longing for
Lake Wobegon.

Johnson is dead, somebody said.
Thirteen years of service. The
First Gulf War and Gulf War Two:
The Sequel.

Master Sgt. William Charles Johnson
The youngest son
Born of Charmaine and William Johnson
In the Red White & Blue of 1976.

Johnson is dead, someone said.
Dead young enough to be my child.

On the other hand if I were him,
shared his fate of limited longevity,
I too dead at thirty three
I now would be dead
more years than I had been alive.

Dead since before the time he was born.
Dead his entire life and half of my own.

Half of my own life reduced to eraser
Crumbs to be brushed from the surface.

A widowed wife and a couple of
Kids thrown to who knows what or where;
Better off maybe, maybe not.

Johnson(comma) William(colon)Charles(slash)male
(backslash)Caucasian(backslash)
dead(dash).
the nomenclature said.

Is there a widow somewhere
drowned in worthless advice?

Call an exterminator to tent her horror
to kill the rats gnawing her insides
from morning to night.
Are there children to whom she
Is tempted to analogize the lost
Gerbils or the runned-down dog?
Anything to help them understand, to
stop from asking when he will be home?

Johnson is dead, an echo said.
If he had the added years I have had
What would he do with them?

Would they turn out like mine,
escaping memory as a wild bird
fleeing an accidental house
through an open window?

Only a feather or two left as a monument.

Which in its
simplicity marks nothing at all
and everything at once and
nothing at all?

Something to be swept and
hurriedly vacuumed.
Guano to be cleaned from
the glass front bookcases.
A story to tell over wine
hoping it will lead to something.
Inspire a listener to
take over the rein?

Let forgetfulness slip behind its
fragile veil like a prolonged blink,
the most it is capable of, the
extent of its power: a wisp of peace.

Johnson is dead.
For a moment I forget.

But there are others whose time
life’s thief will steal
who rush to
fill the void.
Many others.

But not too many to count.
Not too many to name.
Not too many to wonder after
but too many.

Little Billy is Dead
His father said.

This entry was posted in holidays, Spoken Verse, video wednesday and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply