Tells them, watch out for the day
That prophets rise and people follow
Only to be lead astray--
All too eager, quick to swallow
Whatever shakes the daily blues
That come from watching headline news.
So you hardly know the truth
And little truth means little trust.
We go back to restless youth
Who Lyndon Johnson wants to bust:
From LBJ to IBM,
The cryptonyms go after them.
The students' finest year--
Bad for businessmen because
The people were about to hear
How their enterprising works:
Learn about their ugly quirks.
Students talking up a storm;
Coming up with nasty shit;
Marching blind but getting warm
To seeing who wars benefit.
Making all the issues hot
Were communists--so Lyndon thought.
Old J. Edgar Hoover wanted
Every radical to think
That his private army haunted
Any place a snake could slink.
J. Edgar poisoned minds of those
Whose leftward lean was just a pose.
Richard Helms, another case.
Hoover's hard-cop, Dick is soft
Unless the man can't reach first base.
Then his adversary's offed.
Temper, temper, man so proud,
The CIA became his crowd.
LBJ appointed Dick
Director of the CIA;
So, to polish up the Texas hick
Helms saw the wife of LBJ
Got honors from old, New England brick:
His alma mater did the trick.
Talk's what Johnson wants to hear
From the so-called restless youth.
LBJ makes Dick his ear,
Cocked, just so, to catch the truth.
Helms works up, to get the scoop,
A Special Operations Group
To go against the dreaded Red;
Special Operations led
To the possibilities
That communists were everywhere
--Russians, Cubans, Red Chinese--
Were underground and on the air.
Ramsey Clark jumps on it too,
Puts his liberal ass in gear;
Gets a special unit through
That said as much, the buck stops here.
A Justice unit fighting for
Control to fight this secret war.
Students, hippies. Innocence.
Some, thinking they were Robin Hoods,
Acted out what myth invents
And headed deep into the woods,
To Lyndon Johnson's satisfaction--
Take the eggheads out of action.
The acid high
Will tell no lie
While it scares you half to death;
But just as fast
The terror's past
And then the acid takes your breath
Away, to leave you in a place
Without a name but full of grace.
300 mics, you're on your back--
The universe inside some crack.
And now you think you've seen it all,
On the ceiling, off the wall
Or in the dripping candle wax,
Atoms spinning out the facts:
You see god, the devil, games
That people play to suit their aims.
Whatever way it looks to you,
There's nothing much that you can do;
Better leave it to a friend
While you watch the paisley blend.
Drop out? Easy, when a war
Is going strong that's making more
Money than had yet been seen
By any living human being.
Drop out? Easy. Middle class
Drops the "L" and smokes some grass,
Moving to the country where
They get naked, grow their hair
And chant the world had better give
Up the power-trips and live
A better way, give up the drive--
Cooperate to stay alive.
That made perfect sense to most.
But, unless your parents grossed
A ton of money every year,
The "how" of it was never clear.
Turn on, tune in, drop out? How?
Everybody, do it now.
One born every minute, hey!
Some are born day after day.
Communes were the first time ever
For the middle class who never
Got to live and work with so
Many others--now they know.
Sounded hot but few were curious
Enough to take communes as serious
As the hippies who would look
Like rainbows taking to a brook.
Most of those who couldn't drop
Out, were sent where choppers chop
Through the jungles dropping men
To outnumber Cong by ten.
Drugs could sometimes get you out
Of Viet Nam--a few, no doubt.
But acid was a drug of class
With ways to cover its sweet ass.
Until they dropped the "L", that is.
Then sister took on Daddy's biz,
Pop fears sonny's likely to
Do things crazy hippies do:
Drop and lose your drive for running
Anything where someone's gunning
For the business--can't rely
On sonny when he's getting high.
Crazy hippies smoking dope;
Fathers thinking, little hope
For sonny losing interest in
The family biz to save his skin;
Or for daughters if they get
Near that funny cigarette.
But all in all, it was a phase
Except for runaways and strays.
No matter how communes began,
Every commune started ran
Into something unexpected:
Experience everyone collected
On this unexpected fact:
The only truth that made you free
Is truth that tells you when you act
Together is when you'll truly be.
Free that is. That's knowledge lost
On the middle-class
Which thinks in terms of what it cost
Or what is clear as glass.
Science, arts and management
Is what they did before.
In the commune, time is spent
On doing something more.
Millions know just what I mean,
Millions must have made the scene--
A notion what life could be like
When there's no one there to psyche
You up or out to get some laughs
Or drive the lines up charts and graphs.
Communes going off like sparks,
Having zip to do with Marx
Since Marxist notions were seen as
The same old power razzmatazz.
A lesson nonetheless for some
Believing that their time had come.
But Agencies want folks to think
A saviour saves them in a wink
With a universal plan.
The Agencies would need a man.
Labor, products, and raw goods
Are watched by secret brotherhoods--
Everything from rocks to trees.
And every little thing you say
Is overheard, now, overseas,
Keeping communists at bay,
Keeping corporations strong
Through long nights and all day long.
In Vietnam they waged a war
For rubber and rare metal.
And in the U.S., shore to shore,
Keeping watch on any rebel,
LBJ has synchronized
The many agencies beneath
His office, keeping him advised:
Them eyes and ears, him tongue and teeth.
Charles Campbell: just C.C.--
Also charming company
Whose crystal clear intelligence
Could get you thinking you could do
The things you dreamed, and then some, too.
He's charismatic, has a line
Designed especially to assign
The educated middle-class
To interests beyond smoking grass
And taking drugs--we have a star
To focus minds on who we are,
To heed until we see daylight
Or till that time he drops from sight.
Different people saw him as
God, the devil, simply smart;
Rockabilly, soul or jazz;
A paranoid or loving heart.
A Red. Inventor. Con. The Man,
Saying, "Follow, if you can
The workings of the universe
As they apply to us:
Wind up? Wind down? Better? Worse?
Would Nature lie to us?"
Give C.C. a chance, he's gone--
And my, how he could carry on.
No one knew what it all meant;
He sounded good--we wanted more;
Talk as smooth as wet cement
Pouring out the basement floor--
Heavy. Slick. Then it got hard
To follow him unless he jarred
You awake by saying what
Was on your mind. He made you think
He was reading your thoughts but
Your phone was likely C.C.'s link.
But people thought what they could see,
He saw to the nth degree.
Disciples followed and he led
Them straight to nasty shit.
Some stepped in it. C.C. sped
Away, and never quit:
He was quite the strategist
Although he'd been an analyst
And let you know he understood:
"Realize, I've been there too--
Shoveling shit my livelihood,
Did wonders for my point of view.
Now, the times I'm in a mess
At least it's not the S.O.S."
Like a preacher, Charles Campbell
Prophesized the end;
"Anchor souls, or else you gamble
With the devil, friend."
He used to say one could be saved
If they would follow paths he paved.
"Anchor souls in one another--
Hold each other dear:
Be a sister, be a brother,
And never father fear
When everything is looking dark
From alienation's falling arc."
I followed him and what a ride.
Because I saw more than I care
To remember--so cockeyed--
The things I do, I hardly dare
Talk about, it takes some guts--
Besides, you'd only think I'm nuts.
It all began in marble halls
With secret teams. Some plans were formed
Behind these strange and terrible walls--
The best and brightest of brains stormed
Up a plan to save a nation
From universal condemnation.
Save a nation from its own
Demonstrating for a change.
Save a nation all alone
Except for others just as strange
And set in ways they'd like to see
Exist in perpetuity.
Problem: Reds are everywhere.
But so's the CIA.
Solution: send out solitaire
Agents who display
The attitudes of Reds. Send dumb
Chumps as European chum.
Like chum being bait for fish--
Project One worked as desired,
It got Agents trained to dish
Out the jargon when required,
To come off Marxist or New Age
In Europe when they're center stage.
U.S. Agents, trained to scope
Out European left-wing groups;
U.S. Agents, trained to cope
With leftists and their nosey snoops
Asking questions, asking who
They hung out with, who they knew.
Somehow money came to him
We never questioned that.
Instead of thinking hopes were slim,
C.C. showed us hopes were fat
With promises that, soon, one day,
Everything would go our way.
Somehow, money came to him;
And folks respected that.
Before I met him things looked dim:
My boss at work had told me fat
Chance I'd work another day
Unless I took a cut in pay.
Somehow money came to him;
No one worried that
We'd be hanging from a limb,
Over pots of boiling fat.
Things weren't bad like that, no way.
Hey! Things were looking up each day.
C.C. formed his following,
Then he had to find a place:
While GI's were wallowing
Through mud and living by the grace
Of God in Vietnam. C.C.
Preached to us of destiny.
The Commune started on the spur
Of the moment--so it seemed;
Only C.C. knew for sure
What went on, meanwhile we dreamed
Of worlds of everlasting peace;
Or about past lives in Greece;
UFO's; Superior Beings;
Sex or highs that last and last;
Afterlife and Nazarenes;
Stars and cards and fortunes cast;
Some would hang and some would swing--
People doing their own thing.
Friends of Science Fellowship:
A scene C.C. incorporated,
Would now include the commune trip
That C.C. fully orchestrated--
A science fiction he named Boone:
The first few months a honeymoon.
Like the money, Commune came:
A perfect set-up for us all:
A dozen, dozen claims to fame
Had seen the writing on the wall.
Some read left and some read right,
Believing they had seen the light.
Let's visit, now, the commune Boone,
Shameless wild shot for the moon.
This experiment soon would die
But not before it touched the sky;
Not before it touched a nerve
In the folks who lived to serve
The Agency to stay alive;
Boone went into overdrive.
Laying nestled up a creek
Where hotsprings seep from steamy cracks,
Seaming some volcanic peak,
Was this resort: apartments, shacks,
Left behind from Roaring Twenty
Excess we had heard of plenty;
The hot air smelled of herbs and spice
In California foothills where
A thousand acre paradise
Had springs so hot they made you swear
You were scalding yourself when
You got in and out again.
Boone gave any Fed just one
Hell of a place to watch
Light brain-washing being done:
They always started from the crotch
To revel in the joys of flesh;
Then introduce a curious bent--
Keeping each experience fresh
With a long entanglement.
The commune Boone: hot springs resort--
Trippy new ways to cavort.
San Francisco businessmen,
Before they crashed in '29,
Were the kind of citizen
Who went to these hot springs to wine
And dine the pretty miss
And wed her to the hottub bliss.
That was then, in '69
Boone tunneled in to undermine
Progressive thought: the kind that Marx
In 1848 foretold
Would be the very thought that barks
For the working class that's bold
And raw as hungry sharks;
Red tide reproducing sparks
Every time new waves would fold,
Rolling over young and old.
Progressive thought: C.C. bought
And mystified it. So
With all the help that C.C. got,
He made every system go
Inward, deep--so deep it felt
What logic there's to life would melt
Into puddles of the love
In C.C.'s smiling eyes above.
The commune Boone was like no other--
An Agency was its true mother,
Generated by topnotch
Thinkers who could analyze
From a place where they could watch
Investments in another guise:
See how college-educated
Talked their talk and demonstrated.
O.K. Hey. So we got fooled
And some of us still are:
In the Sixties we'd been schooled
By clowns who went so far
As killing with a sudden whisper
Hushing down from empty skies;
Business never had been crisper
As when they hustled in supplies
To sleazy third-world compradors,
And air support for civil wars.
Boone never thought of that because
They were immersed in play.
The order of the day.
They always had a party going,
And tried whatever came their way;
Couldn't sense the ill wind blowing
Up the odor of decay
Because their senses were compressed
To feel just the very best.
The Commune Boone: a harbinger.
The desperate pledged,
And less-so hedged,
Like every fellow traveler.
But each would think this was the life--
No boss, no job, no punk with knife
And everybody getting by,
Getting some or getting high.
Providing all the finest drugs;
Keeping local cops at bay;
Providing two-way mirrors and bugs,
Observing closely: CIA.
No one knew or even cared.
Look out world, our souls are bared!
From the commune, C.C. flew
Around to see his devotees;
From town to town he'd rendezvous
And put a warm and friendly squeeze
Around the ones he met those nights:
Who came to learn the secrets of
A world that's gone berserk;
Taught by someone full of love
Explaining how things work
To circles of the mystified
People C.C. drew inside--
To inner circles separating
The privileged from the demonstrating.
C.C. taught if you believed
Enough, it all came true.
Anything could be achieved
And we believed it too.
Except one paranoid who thought
Behind his story lurked a plot.
Well, everything was going fine
As far as we could see:
Magic, past lives, any sign
Of everlasting ecstasy?
All of it was so intense
And we believed it all made sense.
Rowing with one oar, I'd say.
The other firmly held
Dead in water--Hey! no way!
Although we all excelled,
We went nowhere. Round and round--
Circles far from solid ground.
The circles, though, we seemed to like.
Every day brought new delight.
They didn't even have to spike
The food or drink with hits of white
Light--acid. We did fine
At doing drugs, come rain or shine.
Heroin sanitized the dark
Secrets rotting in the past;
LSD, when good, would park
You two-feet from a blast
Of white-light--a talk with God--
Connecting like a lightning rod.
Heroin dealt some with the devil;
To martyrdom, but on the level
Neither drug required
A thing to take it, you'd be gone,
Turning your attention on
A world that's caught more than your eye:
You'd be looking down from high
Above the mortals you watch plod
Through moments while you talk with God.
Boone was hoping it could buy
The old hot springs resort;
Together we thought we could try,
Though all of us were short
On cash, but there were folks who had
Scads of it, who liked our trip.
Then someone had this not so bad
Idea: invite the ones who're hip
To our commune, couldn't fail:
We'd put our love-boat up for sale.
Some folks following C.C. who
We figured had the money to
Enjoy the basic guru trip,
We invited to our ship:
50 prime we hoped to cash,
500 others, though, would crash.
Everybody loves a party,
We had the reputation.
From all around the party-hearty
Hippies found their destination:
Boone was Mecca to New Age
Harbinger and fellow sage.
But LSD was brought to Boone
By friends of friends with money.
Some were dosed and shot the moon,
Someone put it in the funny
Looking salad, purple powder
Turned a few minds into chowder.
An unplanned trip. Out of control.
"What's the point of keeping track
Of what's gone down the toilet bowl?"
C.C. asks and starts to pack.
CHAOS was the reason he
Was packing up, I'd later see.
He climbed into his car and drove
Down the drive and out of sight.
Seconds later strange cars wove
Up the drive in from the night.
They'd been waiting down below--
They let C.C.'s Caddy go.
Boone turned out to be a bust.
Fifteen cars, state, county, fed,
Blew in like a sudden gust.
CHAOS there was good as dead.
They'd been up since early dawn,
Arriving late, what's going on?
Going strong and fully wired--
They had hoped to kick some butt--
Suddenly they were feeling tired--
Too beat to crack a harder nut:
People there on LSD,
500 folks for company.
The cops had thought 100's all
The people they'd confront.
600 up against the wall?
That night those guys would bunt.
C.C. hadn't told them that
A major leaguer's baseball bat
Would do them little good that night:
600 people? And some on drugs?
Think they might put up a fight?
Or witness acts by 50 thugs?
The plain clothes and the uniformed
Took a second look and stormed
Off in search of C.C. who
Passed them down the drive;
You can bet that C.C. knew
He's dead, but he's alive.
He could disappear and did,
For years and years. He never hid
But lived his life on roads so fast
Pursuit would lag or wouldn't last.
Sometimes agents caught C.C.
But couldn't hold him, he'd break free
Before the troops arrived to bring
His skinny ass back in a sling.
C.C. had been feeling that
By working for the Man,
He helped some Bureau's autocrat
Fulfill a special plan
For maintaining status quo
By doing harm to those below.
And in his heart he felt in time
The way things were today was crime
That he himself no longer could
Commit for secret brotherhoods--
The crime that trades our time and health
To gain somebody private wealth.
CHAOS was the CIA
Doing domestic chores:
Spying, lying all the way
As usual in class wars--
CHAOS trained and listened in--
Boone put it in a tailspin
Because the bust that happened there
Had been someone's mistake:
Boone had put a little scare
Into the local folks who ache
For scapegoats, C.C. knew it so
He set it up and made it go.
And so he broke up CHAOS schemes
To use young minds at ease;
Gleaning covers from young dreams
To send them overseas
With Agents who would infiltrate
Left-wing groups they'd devastate.
C.C. long since changed his name,
But he keeps his flag unfurled
Announcing his con-artist game--
Inventing interest in a world
That's yet to be--he's still the same:
Leaving true believers squirreled
Away somewhere to keep the flame;
Disciples everywhere who've curled
Up in prayer, in hopes some day
Will come when there's no need to pray.
The commune Boone was born, and bred
The chum to scatter overseas.
Charismatic C.C. led
Some hippies who weren't hard to please.
Brown rice, veggies, place to live,
In return they'd give and give.