Monday, January 15, 2007

Sonnet: The Corpse; More on Iraq

The Corpse

The corpse was dragged into the public square
Where dogs fought over it, chomping on feet
And rolling in the dirt to pull some meat
From the unyielding body, lying bare—
Bare because it had been analyzed
By all the best minds money could recruit,
Who pulled its clothes off like some winter fruit
And broke their teeth on them, and thus surmised
The thing, though dead, maintained some special power,
Resisting all decay like a vampire,
Mocking the immortality we desire
By its intransigence—a steel flower.
The corpse’s name? Iraq. Do you recall
The wounds from Vietnam? Double them all.

As I've said before, I rarely write political poetry or polemical poetry, a bit of a contradiction, since once you become polemical your poetry nearly always descends to mere verse. But truly, nothing has pissed me off as much as our "New Iraq Policy" since Nixon went on television to justify bombing Cambodia.
Since a poet must write what he feels, I keep spouting these anti-war poems. I fear that posting one on a listserv I belong to had me removed, as it was perhaps too controversial--but they haven't written me, I just get no further mail since I shared "Men in Suits" with them. And this a men's group dedicated to peace! To that I say, "fuck 'em."

I don't care if you have a relative in Iraq fighting; to me, supporting them means getting them out. Let's not spend time justifying our occupation as geopolitically necessary.

To say this, one must confront the chorus of, "Then our men died in vain." Not at all. They died for our nation, but nations make mistakes. They died believing, I think, that they were doing the right thing. But military discipline allows for little freedom of thought, a necessity for the chain-of-command in battle, and thus suppressed by the military culture. One needs an ideology to fight, if only "us" vs. "them." I submit in Iraq it is now "us" vs. "us."

And the Democrats are blowing it. They were elected on an anti-war "surge," and now they wring their hands about funding while the President brags on 60 minutes that he'll have the additional troops in place before funding can be challenged, and afterwards, congress won't be able to cut off funding because that would endanger the additional troops. What self-fulfilling poppycock! And yet, it is true: Bush will beat them to the punch because the executive branch can move so much faster than the legislative branch.

I could go on but I'll stop. My anger is a good sign for recovery from depression. Coming out of a depression one often gets very angry. Anger is empowering, sorrow is exhausting.

I won't rate myself for fear of falling.




  1. I very much enjoyed my time here; as a poet and an avid reader, I found it both enlightening and enriching. Thank you...

  2. so much for free speech in the usa if the just drop your post into oblivion with out discussion...

    as if stopping your post is gonna make any difference.

    go figure.


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