FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Three by Jack Wilson

by POETS' BASEMENT

The Afghan T.V. Dramas

by JACK H. WILSON

 

The scriptwriters shoulder their duty—their channeled

Brains grown used to the labor of

Feeding the mushrooms, and the silage slides out.

The impoverished masses, looking for jobs and a reason,

Gaze.

 

Same plot as the Iraqi ones, the terrorists-at-large ones,

Before those, the Commie-Soviet ones.

 

The world hates our goodness, hates our soldiers

Who love to help others; vengeful insurgents

And dark-skinned fanatics pursue us.

 

See bad furtive men, stealthy Muslims,

Clandestine Afghanis, come to our homeland.

See them in frenzy attack good ex-soldiers.

The heathen ingrates saw only injury

As we murdered them in our virtue.

 

See the ex-beauty queen Marine as hostage.

See the brave American agent rescuing her,

Battering the door of the terrorist’s lair,

Catching him at prayer. But the Afghani slips away.

 

See innocent children hunted on playgrounds,

The terrorists’ black SUV cruising like a shark.

See computers blooming with magical answers.

See us killing them all over again on the screen.

 

The mushrooms in darkness sit, absorbing

Their portioned fare, rounding out in satisfaction.

 

The writers and producers dash to Goldman to invest,

Gearing up already for an Iranian season.

 

Madeline Clarifies

by JACK H. WILSON

 

Secretary of State Madeline Albright, commenting on the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi

children occasioned by a US-led embargo on drugs to Iraq, 1990-2003:

            “We thought it was worth it.”

 

Five hundred thousand, you say? Yes, that’s probably right.

 

Eyes beads, tongue a dagger, the fer-de-lance coils in ambush.

 

We hoped it would produce results, but couldn’t be certain of the effect.

 

Red lips in a smile, the weasel scents the throbbing life in the den.

 

When you embargo medicines for so many years, there are imponderables,

such as, will the heat be severer in Iraq than normal,

 

The grinning hyena strips a shank, building a pile of bones.

 

causing a loss of potable water in the summers,

 

The crafty spider hurries to poison the fluttering moth.

 

or travelers might bring in a new virus or bacterium, which would amplify

the death rate.

 

The carnivorous plant snaps shut, mounding its heap of putrid meat.

 

Or, they could somehow find other sources for medicines and render our

embargo less effective.

 

Dropping from above, the heavy boa suffocates the gasping fawn.

 

Direct military action is the surest path, I always say,

 

Jaws slobbering, the monitor lizard chews off the leg of the weakened goat.

 

But with options limited, I advised as well as I could.

 

Lurching from slime, the scaly reptile drags the child under.

 

We knew we were dealing with a monster.

 

Lament in Kandar

by JACK H. WILSON

 

I tell you, Honey, it almost isn’t worth it, putting up with this dust.

Get the contract, they said, just get it, and it’ll make you well.

Build those bases in Kandar, those roads and those barracks,

And if the goat-fuckers burn them, we’ll build them again

For yet bigger profits.

 

This war-zone pay’ll set me up if I escape the dust,

And I’d better, because there’s no disability for contractors.

Those enlisted fools are slurping the same dust and getting their

Balls blown off for peanuts. They’ll get disability once home, enough for them I

Guess, but some will go missing their peanuts. Ha! Ha!

 

Dust seeps and sifts, even in a closed cab or office.

Bare hills and desert, all dry, drier than a brick oven,

A dead stick. That’s all it’s ever bee here, like the moon.

God may have come here, but he took one look and

Went to America where it’s green. Some of that green’s over

Here now for me and for you, Bunny.

 

You’re smiling. I know you understand maybe two words out of ten.

But you don’t need a big vocabulary, my bang-bang Bangladeshi, my wet Bunny.

It’s a hellhole, but worth a fortune to me, and a burrow for you.

You and the beer, that’s how I keep my whistle wet and blowing.

 

Probably somewhere out there following a bulldozer’s dust are brothers or uncles,

Dry, dry and poor. They gotta be poor to come so far to do that work. I know

Why they came. Roadwork paid a dog’s turd back in Kentucky.

So I’m here on a roll, getting flush, and they’re sucking a dusty hell.

But you’re learning it pays to be part of the free world, Bunny, so

Long as you know how to make it swell.

 

Sure, Bunny, you can get dressed and go. I’m off to the contractor’s

Mess. It’s prime rib night.

Jack H. Wilson is the author of Sent Back (Rio Norte Press, 2010), a novel devoted to satirizing American fundamentalists and their theology. He can be reached at jackandgloriawilson@gmail.com.

 

Editorial Note: (Please Read Closely Before Submitting)

To submit to Poets’ Basement, send an e-mail to CounterPunch’s poetry editor, Marc Beaudin at counterpunchpoetry@gmail.com with your name, the titles being submitted, and your website url or e-mail address (if you’d like this to appear with your work).  Also indicate whether or not your poems have been previously published and where.  For translations, include poem in original language and documentation of granted reprint/translation rights.  Attach up to 5 poems and a short bio, written in 3rd person, as a single Word Document (.doc or .rtf attachments only; no .docx – use “Save As” to change docx or odt files to “.doc”).  Expect a response within one month (occasionally longer during periods of heavy submissions).

Poems accepted for online publication will be considered for possible inclusion of an upcoming print anthology.

For more details, tips and suggestions, visit CrowVoiceJournal.blogspot.com and check the links on the top right. Thanks!

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
January 20, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Divide and Rule: Class, Hate, and the 2016 Election
Andrew Levine
When Was America Great?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: This Ain’t a Dream No More, It’s the Real Thing
Yoav Litvin
Making Israel Greater Again: Justice for Palestinians in the Age of Trump
Linda Pentz Gunter
Nuclear Fiddling While the Planet Burns
Ruth Fowler
Standing With Standing Rock: Of Pipelines and Protests
David Green
Why Trump Won: the 50 Percenters Have Spoken
Dave Lindorff
Imagining a Sanders Presidency Beginning on Jan. 20
Pete Dolack
Eight People Own as Much as Half the World
Roger Harris
Too Many People in the World: Names Named
John Berger
The Nature of Mass Demonstrations
Stephen Zielinski
It’s the End of the World as We Know It
David Swanson
Six Things We Should Do Better As Everything Gets Worse
Alci Rengifo
Trump Rex: Ancient Rome’s Shadow Over the Oval Office
Brian Cloughley
What Money Can Buy: the Quiet British-Israeli Scandal
Kent Paterson
Mexico’s Great Winter of Discontent
Norman Solomon
Trump, the Democrats and the Logan Act
David Macaray
Attention, Feminists
Yves Engler
Demanding More From Our Media
James A Haught
Religious madness in Ulster
Patrick Bond
Tripping Up Trumpism Through Global Boycott Divestment Sanctions
Robert Fisk
How a Trump Presidency Could Have Been Avoided
Robert Fantina
Trump: What Changes and What Remains the Same
David Rosen
Globalization vs. Empire: Can Trump Contain the Growing Split?
Elliot Sperber
Dystopia
Dan Bacher
New CA Carbon Trading Legislation Answers Big Oil’s Call to Continue Business As Usual
Wayne Clark
A Reset Button for Political America
Chris Welzenbach
“The Death Ship:” An Allegory for Today’s World
Uri Avnery
Being There
Peter Lee
The Deep State and the Sex Tape: Martin Luther King, J. Edgar Hoover, and Thurgood Marshall
Patrick Hiller
Guns Against Grizzlies at Schools or Peace Education as Resistance?
Randy Shields
The Devil’s Real Estate Dictionary
Ron Jacobs
Singing the Body Electric Across Time
Ann Garrison
Fifty-five Years After Lumumba’s Assassination, Congolese See No Relief
Christopher Brauchli
Swing Low Alabama
Jon Hochschartner
The Five Least Animal-Friendly Senate Democrats
Pauline Murphy
Fighting Fascism: the Irish at the Battle of Cordoba
Susan Block
#GoBonobos in 2017: Happy Year of the Cock!
Louis Proyect
Is Our Future That of “Sense8” or “Mr. Robot”?
Charles R. Larson
Review: Robert Coover’s “Huck out West”
January 19, 2017
Melvin Goodman
America’s Russian Problem
Dave Lindorff
Right a Terrible Wrong: Why Obama Should Reverse Himself and Pardon Leonard Peltier
Laura Carlsen
Bringing Mexico to Its Knees Will Not “Make America Great Again”
John W. Whitehead
Nothing is Real: When Reality TV Programming Masquerades as Politics
Yoav Litvin
Time to Diss Obey: the Failure of Identity Politics and Protest
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail