Jonah Winterís first book of poems, Maine, was released in 2002 by
Louis Armstrong was a man.
His skin was colored black
but he played the trumpet.
When he played the trumpet,
Louis Armstrong puffed his cheeks out
His eyes would roll back up into his head.
He also sang.
In one song he has, there is the words
ďLife can be so sweet.Ē
Louis Armstrong got put in jail once.
Iím not sure why
but maybe itís because he loved a white lady.
I think that partís in the movie.
II. Babe Ruth
Babe Ruth has two legs on the ground.
He played baseball.
Thatís because when he was young,
somebody gave him a baseball glove.
He ended up in a hospital bed.
But before that, he has once said
ďI never knew you could do something you like
and they would give you money for it.Ē
He was called a Babe
because his face looked like a baby.
He had 590 homeruns.
Abraham Lincoln was a man.
He sat in a dark theater.
After he was dead,
you saw statues of him everywhere.
They all made him sitting down.
Thatís because Abraham Lincoln
had nothing but the highest regards for negroes.
Thatís also why he wore a tall hat.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was in a wheelchair.
Some people liked him a lot.
Other people thought he was a bad guy.
He was related to another president
called Theodore Roosevelt.
Theodore Roosevelt shot animals,
big animals, like moose, and gorillas.
He had them stuffed to make them look like they were alive
and then they went into the museum.
Everybody likes looking at the elephants.
He invented peanut butter.
His name comes from a president.
He was also a negro.
Basically, thatís very important.
He stood in a field much of the time.
I think he was holding a hoe.
Or maybe it was a rake.
Someone made Mozart play the piano.
He did it.
VII. John F.
John F. Kennedy said ďIch bein ein Berliner.Ē
I guess that means ďI am from Berlin.Ē
What did he mean by that?
Because it says here that he was from Boston.
My uncle, who lives near Boston,
and was in the navy,
and who won boxing prizes while he was in the navy,
but now heís a nice man who gardens and likes Mexicans Ė
he said he hates John F. Kennedy.
He says John F. Kennedy is a snob.
John F. Kennedy started the physical fitness program.
He made people fight in the jungle.
His famous thing he said was
ďYou have nothing to fear but fear itself.Ē
Wait, he didnít say that, maybe.
They have a museum in Dallas, Texas
where John F. Kennedy was shot.
It has his name on the museum
but inside there were just dolls
that they keep in plastic bags
VIII. Lee Harvey
He leaned out of a window.
There were cars going by.
One car had John F. Kennedy in it.
They took Lee Harvey Oswald in the jail.
Some people thought he was a Russian.
Some people think John F. Kennedy is still alive
on the top floor of the Parkland Hospital.
I like Irish folk music.
IX. Jack Ruby
My father did a painting of Jack Ruby
the week before he died.
Jack Ruby, that is.
The problem was Ė my father painted the coffin first
and made it too short for Jack Rubyís body.
When he got to the feet,
my father had to make Jack Rubyís legs shorter
so they are fitting inside his coffin.
X. Diego Rivera
Diego Rivera had a boyhood.
It was filled with things like skulls,
crucifixes, garlic, onions, and many things
I didnít have time to find out about.
Diego Rivera grew up to be a man.
When he was a man, he loved many ladies.
But most of all, he loved one
more than any of the other.
Her name was Frida Kahlo.
She was also an artist.
Some people think she was better than him.
But I think he painted murals
that made people proud to be Mexican.
XI. Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando is Italian.
Heís also an American Indian.
But he speaks English.
His voice is very small,
but he is very big.
He beats up on people he doesnít like.
He once knocked down a photographer who made him mad.
Later, he didnít accept an award.
He said it had to do with being an American Indian.
But officially, heís Italian.
Johanssen was a boxer.
He was born in Sweden
but he lived in the U.S.A.
People think Swedes are stupid,
but theyíre just quiet.
They donít want to say too much
cause theyíre really listening really close
to what everyone has to say.
Of course, sometimes no oneís saying anything.
Theyíre just all sitting around the coffee table.
Jesus Christ was a famous Hebrew from Antiquity.
He did good things for people
but one time he picked up a table and threw it.
Someone looked at him the wrong way.
Adolph Hitler was born in Austria.
He ran with his knees spread way, way apart.
But in general, he was a really fast runner.
George Washington stood up in a boat.
He said ďI cannot tell a lie,Ē
and then he started America.
Thatís why heís so strong.
The way his clothes fitted him
made him look a lot better
than other presidents, like, Thomas Jefferson, for example.
Thomas Jefferson looks like he wants to tell everyone what
But George Washington just smiles.
A woman had went shopping.
She also had lived next to the railroad tracks
and she still does do that.
Her two children were playing on the tracks.
Thatís when the man came out
and saved them from getting killed by the train.
The woman still does do all her shopping
but no one knows yet if the children are still
going to play where real trains are moving fast.
So, in other words,
there is a God.
And finally, people must go to church
so they wonít get run over by the railroad.
Or maybe itís so their children wonít get run over.
Or maybe everybody want to go shopping.
Or maybe they just canít help it.
Or maybe every living human is crying inside their window.
Thatís why every window has a person in it.
Hereís a man who couldnít help but have eyebrows.
He was born inside of a town.
When he grew up,
he wore all sorts of different clothes
One thing that makes him better than other people
is he could smile
even when he was thinking really important things.
Sometimes he just sat in front of a fireplace.
That was the night he got up
to look out the window.
When he looked up at the stars,
he kept on breathing.
him upside down next to his wife
also hanging by her feet.
The day it
happened there was a lot of air
where they were hanging.
They had on
just normal clothes
funny on two people who were upside down.
But no one
just all inside their house
the curtains closed.
had just about enough of things
make any sense.
were just going to drink more coffee
their eyes as hard as they could.
XIX. Wild Bill
Hickoff was a man who like to ride.
allowed him to be as wild as he wanted.
rode, he only held on
other hand, he carried a shotgun.
He did that
so he could shoot it at buffalo
mainly, though, surrounded by miles and miles and miles.
In the end,
he shouted loud and had a beard.
the piano with one foot.
XX. Gordon Winter
are 1891 to 1950, I think.
I know heís
but he was
He was dead
before I was born.
pictures make him look like a negro.
said thatís because he worked in the fields and
just had a
really dark suntan.
father says that he was part negro.
And so I
guess that makes me part negro, too.
I guess the
reason my grandfather died
he liked to read so much.
He was tall
never lost at chess.
One time my
grandmother threw the chess pieces
the floor because they wouldnít stop playing
and come to
dinner, which was getting really cold.
Crocket existed in the 1800s.
He wore a
people with a gun.
XXII. King Henry
stood 4í 7Ē.
shoes were size 12.
had three things wrong with him.
didnít know how to shave.
he didnít know how to ride a horse.
thirdly, and most importantly,
he could do both of these things.
him to cut his face up
fall down a lot.
he rode his horse at midnight.