Saturday, March 29, 2008


I wrote this, approximately, in October of '05.
I apologize for the length. It's not structured... just meandering thoughts.
It's political and if it makes you angry at me, that's fine. But remember this is just a poem. It's neither legislation nor a dead body, both of which mean much more than this poem.

Frozen Tulle makes Lovely Armor Just So Long As You Don’t Wear it in the Desert

The comedian says
“I feel your
scorn and I accept it;”
irony’s punctured lungs
beats a weeping honeyed heart

and lays it out on the scarecrow’s table,
hysteria hugged close like the passport
of a man preparing to run
“What you do is not honest.
What you do is partisan hackery.
You have a responsibility to the public discourse,
and you fail miserably.”
control, teeth set
hard within the gum
how to stay calm
and keep the numbness at bay

The man in a bowtie says,
“Allowing women to get shot to death, or blown up, or mutilated and disfigured in
war – particularly in a voluntary particularly in a voluntary
war – is horrible. It’s unnecessary. It’s
Men make war. Voluntary war. It is their barbary alone. Goes the argument.
Condoleeza Rice is not a woman. Madeline Albright is not a woman. It seems.
Women could get hurt in war.
A man. However.
with shrapnel speared through
his jaw
Is not horrible. Is not barbaric.
Fragments of testicle and pelvis strewn across the sand
Is not barbaric. Is not horrible.
And this breakage
would not touch women. Women who are kept from war are just
fine. Saved to wait for the broken
soldiers to float back

“Those willing to give up a little
liberty for a little
security deserve neither security nor liberty.” Bright ol’ Benjamin fled to Paris.
French fries were invented in Belgium.
American idiots were invented again
for the festivities of a
new millennium.

A pair of generations ago, we scurried to the moon
not for the moon
but for the sake of showing the muscle of
capitalism was predestined to outwrestle the upstart
in red…
But still, the moon!
That anabatic desire, to rise further, higher!
How to exclaim it more and longer and
stronger: the moon, the moon!
To look outward rather than inward, to long beyond
the pauses
of the nitrous sea

The leader of the free-falling world says,
“We’re making the right decisions to bring the solution to an end.”
The ice cubes in the water cannot say
what forces fuels this agitation
They can only say
they are shaken.

they were, you know, underprivileged anyway

our troubadours rally for the troops with songs about nothing at all
where is your rage? where
is your rage?
raise funds, raise spirits, entertain yourselves, sedate yourselves
with festivals and no new stories, no outpouring of true music
of true fury-infused music that questions why are we allowing
these villains to plow through our
folktales, why do we step back
not clapping, but
still permitting the parade to pass on
it is not enough, for the thunderous thumping of fists and booted feet
on the sticky tar streets, the thugs trumpeting and hollering
drown out the furrowed brows, the crossed arms that bear no bullets
slashed at the throat by decorum, by a straight and narrow
middle and proper

that depression in swaddling clothes
rumpled nose and gourdling face
chattering to the reluctant warrior, saying nothing
maybe: goodbye, don’t go
you won’t see me defile myself
scythe open the jade heart, mushing north to an uncertain future
stem cells sleeping in Petri dishes, discarded on a dusty shelf
you won’t see me migrate out of here to a Nunavut neighborhood
get an illegal abortion and an unsure suture
the smog sugar-coating the candles of remaindered redwood

the rounding seals cannot be bothered, sleek and
full with the botulistic swell of mediocrity

the man in the beard and bleary eyes says,
you are so poor
and you are so black
and you are so watching the television, expecting that the answers
will be there
or the people you can blame will be there
or something
will be there
to hold to touch
but you
are so poor and you are so
black and eventually
the anchor will sign (you) off
for the night
for he is tired
and there are no answers, no criminals, no victims, no
tragedies just news and sometimes, facts to go along

my rational self says rabid liberalism, foaming and fanged
will accomplish nothing
will do such damages as I cannot dream
and my honest self says moderation will make of us mat men
hung on the line and beaten with brooms,
if we are remembered at all
nailed against that white, white wall

with my signature, I assign
I shall not be violated, my rights, my
dear dear dear rights
shall not be violated, for they are mine
and mine things go with me, I sew them into my heartskin
security for an illusion
liberty of a mass deception
(abstracts were always such)
confined to words and understandings between two men
a shake and faith
and America said, let us play that we can be better
than our nature
let us save each other by granting each other fantastic rights…
My faith is shaken.
The holding hands are breaking.

if the lacrimal levees break along the borders of my eyes
just call it an epiphora of our times
flooding the banks of our battered lives
I am too young to be so inundated with gussied-up lies
their swag skirted dress
the corset a fashion of orphaned whalebone
and a spout of fear to
geyser us out of the mess

God, in his heaven, sticks a finger in the air glow
tastes the myrtle blue
and lays his eye upon the Hubble lens
to say, what I have wrought they have brought
crashing down
I am not needed
they will bring about
their own Armageddon

just call it the epiphora of our times
and fill the next sandbags with the lead
of our sorrow to make sure
there be no more epiphora
that no more lines can break through
to douse the half-drowned and
the three-quarter-dead

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In summing up, I wish I had some kind of affirmative message to leave you with. I don't. Would you take two negative messages?
-- Woody Allen