Sunday, May 17, 2020

Rattle and Numb Live #4: "Bloodshot"

Episode #4 features the 4th poem from my Rattle and Numb: New and Selected Poems, 1992-2019.

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Indian summer sun squints,
bloodshot like the wide wounded eyes
of my cynical Seneca ancestors.
On and on and anon,
an endless queue of unrelenting conquistadors,
lusting for booty or bust,
defile our trust and defame the name of God
in the name of God.
Opportunity does not knock for trusting tribesmen,
be they from Arizona, Africa, the Amazon or Akron.
Riding roughshod over every allegedly endless empire
including America the beautifully dutiful,
The cursed hearse of history leads a parade
of pathetic and unsympathetic plotters,
plodders, priests and presidents, electable eels
who feel their forked tongues and dung
make them agents of distinction,
instead of extinction.
Sweetly sighing lullabies of liberty
and expediency,
these leaders open their bomb bays as they pray,
first for the unconditional surrender of their enemies
and last, if at all, for the bloodshot
souls of the soon to be charred
children of Hiroshima, Hanoi
Belfast, Belgrade, Baghdad, Bethlehem
New York City and coming soon
to a theatre of war near you.

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