poem: GEORGE by Mike Glover


On the grey sands of Mesopotamia
We staked our vision, we thundered, we pumped righteous blue smoke and sleek
Death and silver and crimson, roaring smart bombs straight up the ass
Of Satan.
Operation Shock and Awe, high tech public attacks, illegal cluster bombs
Pitched with impunity
Toward civilian targets.
In the aftermath,
We rolled through Babylon that queen
Of harlots, that subversive wretch of broken history then
We rested in the sultry night beneath our wilting shelters
And all our cups were empty.

In the morning the wheels began turning again, and
We were off.

We launched ourselves one after the other into the starry sky somewhere
North of the garden of Eden,
The fragrant foothills of the Zagros mountains
The killing fields,
Dawn found us weary but in perfect order, yet confused
By the news microphones, and the elusive smell
Of blood on the reporters’ breath.

I am Alid-sel-Idim, I am dead,
I perished from an evil the weak can’t understand,
Never in our wildest dreams could one ever think that one minute we could be
Playing with our favorite toy, and the next we could be dead,
But it happens,
The thing had a string on it that I tied around my finger and
Every time I threw it away it came back to me
Except for that last time.

From my vantage point now it all makes perfect sense,
I saw myself when I died, I saw
Everything all at once, the agony, happening both slowly and very quickly,
All I can say after seeing this all happening is
I don’t know what to say.
The big leader of the Americans is making people lie.
Or maybe they are making him lie.
My mother told me not to worry, it was only noise then
She exploded and she simply wasn’t there,
Her guts, at least part of them, were stuck on my right leg.
I looked at them with a mixture of horror, remorse, and fascination, and then
The second explosion hit.
That is how I came to float. I don’t know what happens next.

The media circus,
The lights, the sound bytes,
The incredible surreal rush of it all, the implied deceptions and the overt undertones, this
Is what I was made for.
I don’t have time for punk ass liberals or conservatives with their steamy heads
All full of righteous ire,
I make the news, I am Wendell Wingthorpe and
I make the news
That you can’t get enough of….
Tune in again tomorrow, we’ll have the latest on the toppling of the next icon
And you won’t even have to watch
Commercials, telling you you’ll be a cooler mom if you choose
The right kind of peanut butter, or you’ll be sexier if you drink Budweiser,
Or you will be more fulfilled if you drive a Lexus.

We deal in reality.

Can we go home?
Every time we kill one of these fuckers we create ten new enemies,
How can we win this?
I’m getting tired and I miss my wife and kids,
Sometimes I wonder who’s running this show maybe
A bunch of monkeys in a cage in the basement of the White House?
At any rate, our job is done.
I was trained to kill, and I’ve done it well,
Now send me back to Pittsburgh,

We deal in reality.

The hardest part was when my sister died, she was asleep
When she choked on the fluid in her lungs, it didn’t really matter because
Her burns were septic,
They tried to give her an aspirin to ease the pain of the amputation of her left leg at the
Knee, but
She wouldn’t take it being only three years old.
When the putrid flesh parted the screaming rattled the windows, I tried to come to
Her and tell her not to worry about the pain because it only lasts a little while
But she couldn’t hear me,
She lived for four days after that, her brain slowly roasting at one hundred and five
Degrees, then she began to float too but
Our bond was broken and now I cant find her.

We have no pain killers,
The Americans took them all from us before I was born,
My father said they took our dignity because they are stronger than us and
That is what the strong have always done to the weak,
He told me that is why I must endeavor to be as strong as I can, so I can never
Fall like a weak nation.
I always wished I could be as strong as the Americans,
But now it is too late.

And now here it is, the prize,
At least it sort of seems like the prize, or maybe not, wait”¦yes it is the prize, or”¦
I’m sorry, its not the prize but it is something
Kind of like a prize only different,
It is like a prize only different..yes, that’s it,
This is Wendell Wingthorpe, bringing you the prize”¦I mean the news or
Something like it, at least
The Pentagon standing firm behind the original assertion
That cluster bombs were not used in civilian areas.

I am Alid and
I will have my revenge,
I am thinking that maybe I will someday be born again,
Maybe I will be born of anger, into such poverty and wretched squalor that
My life will be functionally meaningless and disprove the very existence
Of Allah, and God, But
In my heart I will know better,
Perhaps I will live in Minnesota when I am grown again and paint
Wonderful, award winning pictures of strength, of fresh green grass,
Of lakes and trees.

***


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