Saturday, July 25, 2009

grayson harper CHENEY

Cheney comes on the talk shows
and talks about the good old days
when he and his buds were the big
kahunas who ran the show
and told everyone to kiss their ass.
Sometimes they'd drop
firecrackers in a cocktail glass

and watch the wait staff lose their wits.
And they were always hiding the gardener's tools;
they'd make him climb the roof
to retrieve a shovel or a rake.
The maid opened her thermos one morning
and found a snake.

Warm nights
they threw off their clothes
and ran naked through the sprinklers.
George pounced on a frog
as it hopped through the grass.
Cheney pinned it to a wall and called it fate.
They sat around throwing darts
while it twitched and scraped.

Now and then a cat would appear
in the library or the Lincoln bedroom.
Someone—he can't remember who—
tied an orange tabby to a curtain rod
then poured water down its throat
just to see what it would do.

They dumped a keg of gin in the goldfish pond one time.
They blindfolded a goose, then hung it from a clothesline.

Cheney says they had a thing for dogs.
Someone would bring them over in a van
and drop them off at night,
dogs of every shape and color:
poodles, retrievers, borzois, beagles,
foxhounds, otter hounds, red-bone
coonhounds, border collies, beaucerons,
old english sheepdogs,
welsh corgis, tibetan spaniels,
pekingese, chihuahuas, great danes,
dobermans and pugs.

They hung them from a pipe
and beat them with clubs.

Cheney's voice is quiet and bland
like a clerk or a sexton.
The reporters nod and smile
and ask him gentle questions.

When he's finished with the scene
he's carried off in a limousine.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Our President in Africa: "No country is going to create wealth if its leaders exploit the economy to enrich themselves, or if police can be bought off by drug traffickers."
Really? Is he talking about their country? Or ours? Isn't he describing what happened on Wall Street? Where's the investigation for all that? Why are bankers being rewarded for thievery instead of punished? Why are the folks who were in on the fix now entrusted with the repair work? And we certainly know that our entire government, from the President on down are bought by the corporations, the banks, the health industry, the whole works.

Obama: "No business wants to invest in a place where the government skims 20 percent off the top. . . No person wants to live in a society where the rule of law gives way to the rule of brutality and bribery."
And even as he utters these words, Mr. Obama's Justice Department has sought to throw out Habeas Corpus at Bagram Air Base, and is arguing for the right to detain individuals without the benefit of lawyers or trials--even if they have been acquitted of all crimes! And, despite what this president may say, torture continues.

Yet, without even a hint of irony, Mr. Obama winds up saying, "That is not democracy, that is tyranny, even if occasionally you sprinkle an election in there. Now is the time for that style of governance to end."
Oh, Really? So I can't help but wonder: is hypocracy now simply a part of the equipment of being President of the United States? How is it possible for us to be parading around the globe telling everyone else how to live, how to make a "democracy" when the mote in our own eye is as big as a battleship?

What makes us think that we're not laughing stocks when we do that?

The world is watching us. The world is watching Mr. Obama. I hope he doesn't blow it.

Saturday, July 04, 2009


Gov. Sarah Palin, channeling Gen. Douglas MacArthur, spun her fabulous fable in front of cameras, for her true believers. Resigning from the office of governor, with the blood of the world's most beloved moose on her hands, she behaved as if nothing had happened. Alaska would take care of itself; and in her view the sky was the limit, and she could free up her schedule to pursue the most powerful access to killing machines that presently exists, in Washington DC.

The bootheels of our civilizing force and the stamp of America on everything, is what Sarah is about; and the rest of the world is just a fresh kill, dressed out like poor Bullwinkle. Palin is worse than Boris Badenov and his sidekick Natasha, put together. Palin is the ammo queen, the absurd pinup for our shoot 'em up, militarized culture: a demon-banishing, burn-them-at-the-stake alternative; if President Obama should prove inadequate in his increasingly deceptive and secretive mission of "change you can believe in".

A dishonest leader will be exposed in good time. Before long the witnesses will strip him of his mask. Look at the struggle in Iran, where Iranians find themselves transfixed by the martyrs' blood; it's obvious that the spellbinding effect of their solidarity remains with us, as we are moved deeply; and these images stay with us long after the screen has gone dark. To witness the bravery of protesters in the streets, recalls the indignation that brings such strong resolve to the young. And when Iranians of all ages march in profound silence in their millions--even without words--they inspire us to understand something deeper in their history.

Bush, our former president, continually waged low level, covert war against that country; and his legacy builds on past interference in Iran's history, continuing the hope some have, of sowing social discord there. In America, those who take to the streets have been neatly blacked-out in the mass media; the parent corporations and their boards of directors, and their masters, control television and have drawn down a curtain, effectively screening off dissident behavior. We are so saturated as a nation with disinformation and propaganda, so dulled by a deadened, phony political life, that the minute we see something halfway real, it's not surprising that we feel somewhat more alive, as we watch these events unfold.

As a child, it was fun to watch The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. At the end of their comic escapades the two friends managed to frustrate the cranked-up scheming of the fumbling and somehow funny villains, Boris and Natasha. Usually at the end of the show the friends ("moose and squirrel") would reflect on what had happened, and sometimes would come up with an unexpectedly touching lesson, or moral of the story. So we're on our own. It just gets harder to explain the moral now that Bullwinkle is dead, so to speak. If you know what I mean.

I've been searching for what to say to Iranians for whom I feel great respect. I suspect there was foul play in Iran's election; others contest that I am naive. But repression is a language unto itself, and the exaggeration of violence, which is then added to the wearing down, the erosion of what sovereignty the people have, is expressed in the people's sense of loss and injustice. This is an indictment of any government that takes advantage of its people. Along with the issue of fraud is the politics of a cosmetic democracy.

The moral of the story is not just that a veneer of respectability covers some religious people, and a few of them are not worthy of that respect. Palin in our country represents people whose religious and ideological convictions confer rights to do the meanest things to those who are not like them, for as long as the believers can feel no remorse. This has been going on since the beginning of our country. They believe God blesses them when they look down on others, when they take without asking. The underlings are reduced to slavery and the slavemasters feel entitled to the forced labor.

No, my Iranian friends, the real moral is that we are fighting for the same things, under the eyes of those leaders who scowl at us, in our cosmetic democracies.

Happy 4th of July! I wish there were more ways to make Sarah Palin look funny.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


Maybe some day this country will grow up and realize that sex is a fairly routine activity, and what people choose to do in private behind closed doors, whether inside or outside their marriage, should have no bearing on one's ability to govern. At that point, maybe we will be able to get over it and laugh it off when the Bill Clintons and Governor Mark Sanfords of the world go out and screw around. Big f'n deal. Who the hell cares? And maybe, just maybe, we can skip the charade of the philanderer making these overtly tearful public displays of mea culpas; here it is going on, what?--two weeks?--and Sanford is still blathering on about it, while insisting that God wants him to stay on as governor of South Carolina. (It truly becomes a gut-ache when the God card is played.) Wisely (for once) Sanford's wife has chosen to stay in the background rather than expose herself to the usual public disgrace and humiliation of the "good" wife doing the "we-will-weather-this-together-I-will-stand-by-this-schmuck-no-matter-what" routine. John Edwards' wife has written a book about his affair, for Godsake, and is now making the talk-show circuit! The whole thing is so ridiculous and absurd and sickening, and it's long past time that we threw it overboard as a cultural event, as we have mostly already done with public hangings and lynchings. I keep waiting for the one guy among all these idiots who will actually stand up to the press for once and say the very thing that may put an end to this childishness once and for all. I would have thought Clinton was smart enough to say it, but no, he fell in the same trap as all the others, and tried to lie his way out of it. At which point, everyone on the planet who wasn't born yesterday knew what the sonofabitch was up to. So what should the answer be when asked that deadly question by the press?, i.e., "What were you doing with that girl?"

Simple. "It's none of your damn business." Now, what's so difficult about that?

copeland morris ENTWINED SONNET

Her shaded eyes, her necklace black velvet, onyx. Anguish she spoke; and he carried on, obsessed As only a young man could. An odd harm...