The Bourne Variations (6)

By: James Parker
June 3, 2016




In the country of winter, in a winter field,
there are dead manes of whitened grass,
and sounds that grow like crystals,
and a man in a black coat
who walks and waits, walks and waits.
The good old family shotgun —
pheasant-blaster, tumbler of rabbits —
is now the instrument of his thought,
and his thought devastates.

Goof! One barrel.
Up goes the oil tank
in a huge unctuous gesture of fatty smoke.

Assassin’s eye, you draw no bead
on Jason Bourne. Your sniper sight
roams and blurs. What you need
is a bit more time. Yeah, right.

He walks with a stiff bounce.
When he waits, there is nothing.
A stirring of frozen stalks.
Desultory commentary of the local rooks:
This one is dead as the grass.
Let him pass, let him pass.

Bang! One barrel.
Birds lift from the field in a gust of fright.
Bourne watches. The bird-dots coalesce,
bird-mind in the form of a cliff or a cloud
that tilts away over the field
until something twists it, some aversion,
causing it to swerve and repattern.
Now he knows where his enemy is.

One barrel. Both barrels. Boom boom.
Crumple, assassin, into the frosty clods.
“Do you get the headaches? I get such
      bad headaches…”
You are brothers, made by the same
      terrible gods.



During 2016, James Parker contributed a monthly series of poems, to HILOBROW, about Jason Bourne movie scenes.

“The Goddess of Memory Speaks to Jason Bourne” | THE BOURNE IDENTITY: “The Duellists”. THE BOURNE SUPREMACY: “Congratulations, You Have Just Met Jason Bourne” | “The Graduates” | “The Murder of Agent Daniel Zorn, in Berlin, by CIA Section Chief Ward Abbott”. THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM: “Big Daddy” | “The Assassination of the Journalist Simon Ross” | “Full Priority Situation”. THE BOURNE LEGACY: “Alaska, Alone” | “Aaron Cross to the Wolf” | “Fairy Story”. JASON BOURNE: “Watching the Jason Bourne Trailer” | “The Bourne Travesty”.

Series banner contributed by Rick Pinchera.


MORE PARKER at HILOBROW: COCKY THE FOX: a brilliant swearing-animal epic, serialized here at HILOBROW from 2010–2011, inc. a newsletter by Patrick Cates | THE KALEVALA — a Finnish epic, bastardized | THE BOURNE VARIATIONS: A series of poems about the Jason Bourne movies | ANGUSONICS: James and Tommy Valicenti parse Angus Young’s solos | MOULDIANA: James and Tommy Valicenti parse Bob Mould’s solos | BOLANOMICS: James traces Marc Bolan’s musical and philosophical development | WINDS OF MAGIC: A curated series reprinting James’s early- and mid-2000s writing for the Boston Globe and Boston Phoenix | CROM YOUR ENTHUSIASM: J.R.R. Tolkien’s THE HOBBIT | EVEN MORE PARKER, including doggerel; HiLo Hero items on Sid Vicious, Dez Cadena, Mervyn Peake, others; and more.

MORE FAN FICTION at HILOBROW: James Parker’s THE KALEVALA (Finnish epic fanfic) | James Parker’s THE BOURNE VARIATIONS (Jason Bourne fanfic) | Lyette Mercier’s SEX AND THE SINGLE SUPERHERO (Avengers fanfic) | Jason Matthews’s MYSTERY MACHINE (Scooby Doo fanfic) | Joe Coen’s WEREN’T YOUR EYES BLUE? (Cheers fanfic) | T.G. Gibbon’s THE FIREFLY (Marx Bros. fanfic) | Chad Parmenter’s GOTHAMIAD (Batman fanfic) | Josh Glenn’s BEASTLY NUISANCE (Argonautica fanfic) | Flourish Klink’s THE LIFE AND DEATH OF PATROCLUS SON OF MENOETIUS (Iliad fanfic) | Josh Glenn’s THE LAWLESS ONE (Xena fanfic) | Charles Pappas’s THE LAW (Superman fanfic) | John Holbo’s SUGARPLUM SQUEAMPUNK (Cthulhu/Clement Clarke Moore fanfic) | Josh Glenn’s MUCK-ENCRUSTED MOCKERY OF A MAN (Zarathustra/Swamp Thing fanfic).

MORE MOVIES at HILOBROW: KLUTE YOUR ENTHUSIASM: 25 neo-noirs of the Sixties (1964–1973) | James Parker’s BOURNE VARIATIONS series | Alix Lambert’s SÉRIE NOIRE series | Jacob Mikanowski’s SCREEN TIME series | Josh Glenn’s SHOCKING BLOCKING series | Joanne McNeil’s ALL MY STARS series | MORE: including dozens of HILO HERO items on movie directors and actors.


Adventure, Movies, Poetry