November 8, 2006

it's a brand new era, but it came too late


Robert Colescott, Knowledge of the Past
is the Key to the Future: Upside Down Jesus
and the Politics of Survival, 1987

November 8, 2006
-- by Klipschutz

I woke up at two a.m.
Repubs were dropping like flies.
Is that what they were all along—
horror movie flies?
(Not even Vincent Price,
the remake with Jeff Goldblum.)
Every breaker of lines knows
there are occasions for enjambment
and there are end stop times.

Notes on Capitalist Persuasion
-- by John Haines

I.

"Everything is connected to everything . . ."

So runs the executive saw,
cutting both ways
on the theme of all improvement:
Your string is my string
when I pull it my way.

In my detachment is your dependency.

In your small and backward nation
some minor wealth still beckons –
was it lumber, gas, or only sugar?
Thus by its imperial logic,
with carefully aimed negotiation,
my increase is your poverty.

When the mortgage payments falter,
then in fair market exchange
your account is my account,
your savings become my bonus,
your home my house to sell.

In my approval is your dispossession.

II.

Often in distress all social bonds
are broken. Your wife may then
be my wife, your children
my dependents – if I want them.

So, too, our intellectual custom:
Your ideas are my ideas
when I choose to take them.
Your book is my book,
your title mine to steal,
your poem mine to publish.

In my acclaim is your remaindering.

Suppose I sit in an oval office:
the public polls are sliding,
and to prove I am still in command
I begin a distant war. Then,
in obedience to reciprocal fate,
by which everything is connected,
my war is your war,
my adventure your misfortune.

As when the dead come home,
and we are still connected,
my truce is your surrender,
my triumph your despair.

The President's Prayer
-- by Barton Sutter

Our Father who art in Washington
However hollow Thy fame,
Thy kingdom come,
Our will be one
At home as in foreign nations.
Give us this day our deficit,
And forgive us our bombing passes
As we bomb those who might surpass us.
Lead us not into conservation,
But deliver us from free will.
For ours is the thralldom,
The war, and the gory.
No matter, whatever,
Your man.

The Dead In Hammocks
-- by Ward Kelley

It's a matter of learning how to lounge
around correctly, occasionally
planting an obtuse comment,
one here, one there, into a favorite
carnal creature's mind. . .

but care must be taken to avoid
being overt with such a comment,
for if one will play by the rules,
then certitude must be avoided
completely and resolutely. . .

for truth is only truth when it can
be perceived by various viewers
as their own distinct revelation,
and it is so difficult-the dead
complain about it all the time-
to get those obstinate poets
into the correct mental hammocks.

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