one worker laid off in America

before i’m asked to leave
now obsolete
i tilt my head back and see –

above in steel it
is ws g90 cs/b
it’s granular black and upside down,
it means nothing to me, this me
of a head thrown back
headache pinching one side
body thrown aside

florescent lighting ripples metal
and i start to see patterns
numbers letters – squares.
i notice the ws repeat
i see the secret messages and the meaning
is pinching my brain
stiffening my neck
but i don’t look away cause
my country relies on my ability
to dicepher the code –

yes
WS… SOFTILE CS TYPE B
MADE IN USA
O3G 132
yes! the walls fall to the side
i’m yelling to everyone
i feel their arms around me, binding tight.

“made in the USA, made in the USA, made in the USA, made in the USA, made in the USA,

bitterness at the polls

It is in every
Single
Twitch, lie, conviction,
Breath.

You feel it deep in your throat.
It pulls at your tongue
And lingers down your esophagus,
Not easily displaced.

You can’t help but
Sip it slowly, roll it ’round your mouth
Till your
Taste buds go numb.

Then,
(and you won’t notice)
you’ll be
slick with drool.

looking back (political)

I have so many poems already written (Try over 100!). Some stretch back as far as college (that first exciting writing class sophomore year!). I wish they were already posted. But, I have to be patient… here are two political ones. More to come today. I’m feeling motivated. [First one: Spoils. Second: Saddam Hussein]

Spoils:

We photographed ourselves
around the naked prisoners in Abu Ghraib
with thumbs up.

As we’re told, all is fair
and it felt so good to indulge. We were all smiling.

Then in a dream voices spoke
of what we are told not to speak.
I was told by some
that the casualties of war are
other people’s brats
who are expendable
and born to be.
Told by others
that the casualties of war are
decent folks who become
beasts with red eyes
and calculating cold fists.
I was told by the Ministry of Truth that
there are no casualties in a war
that results in victory and peace.

Then we woke up.

We nod our heads yes
to the talking heads mouthing
our shock and dismay of mistreatment on film.
How unfortunate that a few bad apples
went and spoiled the bag.
We do apologize for them.

But history will prove us right, despite the setbacks.
We will write how we liberated the shiny gold road of freedom
in such a god forsaken desert. We will write how we
selflessly gave the spoils to the poor people
like a patriotic Robin Hood. It is all so simple.

We will devour the photographs with our smiling white teeth.
We will wipe our mouth with a napkin of self-righteousness.

Saddam Hussein

They got him.
He was wallowing in a hole,
a spider hole,
six feet by eight feet,
and the walls were dusty and steep.

Doesn’t it seem strange,
to find him there, trapped as a rat.
A murderer taken with
no shots fired;
he acquiesced and was pulled into enemy arms.

The shots and shouts of those freed
alerted tentative neighbors
something in the desert was gone,
something was different today than before.

Those restless souls, those tortured and in pain,
those paranoid, scared,
starving and hot,
thirsty souls might get a chance after all
to feel a rain, so unimaginable.

They got him
he was living in a spider grave,
bearded and tired,
he did not flinch when the enemy
examined him.
He was in good physical shape despite the humiliation.

Years before in Vietnam,
those Vietcong waited in spider holes despite
the venom bites.
They waited to kill.
They knew battles might be lost,
but that war rages on.

He looks like a tired defeated old man.
He looks happily forward to his genocide trial,
his place in history,
his name, his glory—
see his bearded face on TV.

Will tired ghosts finally sleep? Will revolution mean change?

Can spiders in hiding ever disavow his name?

He imagines the back page headline: a car explodes in the desert.
War rages on.

My Regrets to Leary

My Regrets to Leary:

Listen, the streets are quiet and
the news anchor lies about his whereabouts.
He is the naked enemy
beside me who is a pathological liar,
and tells me my name is
first lady and that I am a spider.

He told
of your delusions and the daisies
behind your ears.
No one believes in flowers in guns,
or kool aid optimism.
It is now a numbing vein,
a forgetting, a
tuning out, a
looking away, listless.

When the lights come on,
I scurry
into a dirty hole like my
other vacant eye socket friends.

When the lights go off,
I spin a regal blanket for us and stroke the
mustache of my enemy while he sleeps.