We participated in a peace march today. Monday we may participate in an illegal sit-in at our congressman's office. We are finding routes to oppose this insane occupation. Do not call it a war. Below, a Chinese Brush Experiment, a poem in which you can go forward and never back. Admittedly, more substantive than poetic. But it's what came out. I read a couple of anti-war poems at today's rally in Fort Bragg, villanelles posted here some time ago.
All you who prize success above wisdom,
the lottery ticket over emptying the bedpan
of your ailing grandmother,
the one who taught you origami--
Oh. it's all too much to ask now,
half of our taxes for the military,
happy consumers irritated by requests
for funds to fight our unintentional genocide,
Poetry should have more metaphor and music
but war is fractious and filled with dirty bombs
whose exploding shrapnel embeds itself
in breasts, faces, eyes, asses, democratically.
We sell these bombs. Imagine!
And spend 200 billion dollars a year on war
and another 800 billion maintaining the military,
us, a country with friendly neighbors and oceans for borders.
I am tired of telling the truth.
I am tired of saying the same words in different contexts:
"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked:
Whatever a man sows, he shall also reap."
We sow global discord in the name of peace.
We praise slaughter in the name of stability.
We kill the innocent because we cannot find the guilty.
How elusive our enemies have proven!
Snakes colored like fallen Baghdad bricks.
Wolves the color of snipers' robes.
Lions the color of dust in the streets.
Jackals below the radar of the righteous.
Tragedy is loosed like a virus
that reproduces for no reason,
no reason except to harm and propagate
the origin of the same mindless virus.
We ought to die. We ought to surrender
and tell the Arabs we were children,
we didn't understand the wisdom
of their past millennium.
They invented chess, discovered astronomy,
produced mosaic towers we can't reproduce,
conquered the clueless West and converted most
to a faith less hypocritical than Papism.
This is not a poem, just a diatribe.
The Middle East is beyond our wildest approximations
of logic or prediction, of peace or chaos.
We must surrender, we must depart.
We must embrace the wisdom of acceptance:
accept our idiocy in ever invading;
accept the meaningless sacrifice of our troops;
accept the great mistake of pride and fear
That drove us to attack, attack anything
remotely connected to the leveling
of our pride, "The World Trade Center"--
As if we owned the world!
As if our consumer-driven culture
were worth preserving, not a disease
driven by greed and advertising, a culture
of anti-culture, a whore's bed of merchandise.
Good-bye America, we tried
to liberate you from your hubristic vision.
There is no hegemony; the dollar's fallen.
Long live the Yen. Come down, Rapunzel:
Your hair is tangled with barbwire.
Your gown is made of Kevlar.
Apes swing on your braid; Congress nods
and passes the simian agenda; everyone is happy!
America, you grieve me.