top of page

Where the Problem Lies


For Lee Harvey Oswald

"Man was not born to solve the problem of the world, merely to discover where the problem lies."-- Arturo Pérez-Reverte, The Flanders Panel / La Tabla de Flandes

With a Colt Cobra revolver in 1963,

Jack Ruby plugged you in the belly (aorta and kidney).*

You were killed, as JFK was—you’d blown his brain away;

you had some obsessive reason, though what no one can say.

You were young and foolish, you’d just turned twenty-four.

All this I’ve held onto those three score years no more.


There is no special logic: late on November 24

we were strolling in Marylebone, down Great Portland Street,

going to some trendy party—I had a girl to meet.

Someone told me what had happened, just a passing bore.

Why bring it up today then? You can write it off to age--

It’s not you I’m recalling, but remembering that page.

You cared about your Marina--a bit at any rate.

Did you know she remarried in a Texas town called Fate?



*On November 24, 1963, Ruby’s bullet “perforated the chest cavity, went through the diaphragm, spleen, and stomach. It cut off the main intestinal artery, and the aorta . . . as well as breaking up the right kidney.”--Attending surgeon quoted by Gerald Posner, Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK [New York: Random House, 1993], p. 397; the best book I’ve read on the subject.




Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page