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Corseri and Larrea



By Gary Corseri


I voted today. …

I voted for peace and justice and sanity

In an insane world of violence and injustice.

I voted.


I voted for clear streams, rivers, and seas;

Bright stars in a cedar-scented night-sky;

Whale-songs heard in unpolluted oceans.

Not for the lesser of two evils,

But for the greatest good for the greatest number—

For nothing less, I voted.


I voted for climate-change victims;

And for those torn apart by war;

Against the Empire, and for the planet;

For the hungry and forgotten,

For the terrified and abused–

I voted.


Against the military-industrial-media complex

And for the dream of MLK–

I voted.


I voted for Iraqi mothers and Afghani;

In Pakistan and around the world—

Because each of them is my mother, also,

Weeping like Rachel for her lost children.


For Kathy Kelly and Rachel Corrie,

For Cindy Sheehan and Cynthia McKinney,

Jill Stein, Helen Caldicott and Medea B.–

For standing against  madness and lies,

Crass opportunism and exploitation—

For all of them, I voted.


For brothers in exile I voted;

For the martyred, the betrayed, the abandoned—

Ishmael, Aguinaldo, Sandino and Guevara;

Tashtunka Witco, Tecumseh, Bradley Manning—

For this council of leaders, I voted.


Against slavery and wage-slavery;

Sexploitation, television and bad food;

The corruption of Art; mis-education;

The torture of humans and animals;

Our prison-work-complex and sham democracy;

Citizens United; the Electoral College;

And every meme kicked down the road

By glutinous politicians and their corporate masters—

Against all of this, I voted.


To pass from these Dark Ages

To a Renaissance of Reason,

To a New Age of Enlightenment–

I voted.


That truths may be reclaimed;

For the wisdom to discern;

That children may be honored

With cleanliness and virtue,

With books and venerable teachers;

That all may be protected

From the ravenous and greedy—

I voted.


To see the planet whole;

To know our place upon it;

To nurture and restore it;

To abide in moderation,

With compassionate humility;

That the arts might consecrate us—

I voted.


For the best that lies within us;

For the fortitude to harness;

For the healing grace that’s needed.

For the courage to continue–

I voted.


Gary Corseri has posted his work at hundreds of venues worldwide, including CounterPunch. He has published two novels, two collections of poetry, and edited the Manifestations anthology. His dramas have been produced on Atlanta-PBS, and his play, Sam Clemens in Purgatory: Mark Twain in the Gilded Age, has been posted at Hollywood Progressive (http://hollywoodprogressive.com/sam-clemens/). He has performed his work at the Carter Presidential Library and Museum. Contact at gary_corseri@comcast.net.


Letter from Thomas Jefferson To John “the Tory” Randolph- Aug. 1775

A Revolutionary Poem



Dear Sir- As to the violin left here in haste

Upon your urgent departure from our harbor;

I am sorry that our country’s situation

Should render you no longer able to remain.

Though she is presently ill-tuned, and lacks a case,

I shall, with my utmost care, preserve her safety.


Upon arrival to your seat of government,

Please convey to your Ministry, this American

Opposition is no small faction, as believed.

They have taken into their heads, we are cowards,

And will surrender to an armed force. They are wrong.

This I affirm, and place my honour upon it.


If it be within your power to undeceive

On this point, at this critical time, you perform

Such service to nations, as the world has not seen.

They must hold out no false hope, no ignorance of

Our real intentions. Rather than submit, I would

Lend my hand to sink the whole island in the ocean.


As to your collection of law books; you may be

Willing to dispose of yours here, and replace them

With better editions. I should be happy to

Treat with you on this subject, in more peaceful times.

My best wishes for your felicity attend

Wherever you go. I remain your friend and servant…



Old Doctor Joke



(Man raises his arm and says, “Doc, it

hurts when I go like this.”

Doc says, “Don’t go like that.”)


“Doc, I get so darned mad

Reading about all this

General Government

Crass, corrupt cronyism

Every single day.

What can you do for me?”

Doc says, “we’ll fix you up.”


Scribbles a prescription.

“You’ll feel better right away.

No real life for a month,

Except reality shows.

Now for sweet Jesus’ sake,

You’ve got to cancel that

Newspaper subscription!”


Well, it worked. I feel great.

Can’t even imagine

What got me all worked up.

Life is so beautiful.

Love is all around us.

God is in his heaven.

Choir practice starts at eight.


Phillip Larrea is a syndicated columnist and wealth adviser in Sacramento, CA. His poems have recently appeared internationally in Outburst Magazine, The Poetry Bus Magazine and thefirstcut #7 from Ireland. In the U.S., Phillip has been recently published in Decade Review, Rusty Nail, Nazar Look, and the Brooklyn Voice.



Editorial Note: (Please Read Closely Before Submitting)


Poets Basement is now on Facebook. Find us as http://www.facebook.com/poets.basement.


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!

October 12, 2015
Ralph Nader
Imperial Failure: Lessons From Afghanistan and Iraq
Ishmael Reed
Want a Renewal? Rid Your City of Blacks
Thomas S. Harrington
US Caught Faking It in Syria
Victor Grossman
Scenes From a Wonderful Parade Against the TPP
Luciana Bohne
Where Are You When We Need You, Jean-Paul Sartre?
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
The US Way of War: From Columbus to Kunduz
Paul Craig Roberts
A Decisive Shift in the Balance of Power
Justus Links
Turkey’s Tiananmen in Context
Ray McGovern
Faux Neutrality: How CNN Shapes Political Debate
William Manson
Things R Us: How Venture Capitalists Feed the Fetishism of Technology
Norman Pollack
The “Apologies”: A Note On Usage
Steve Horn
Cops Called on Reporter Who Asked About Climate at Oil & Gas Convention
Javan Briggs
The Browning of California: the Water is Ours!
Dave Randle
The BBC and the Licence Fee
Andrew Stewart
Elvis Has Left the Building: a Reply to Slavoj Žižek
Nicolás Cabrera
Resisting Columbus: the Movement to Change October 12th Holiday is Rooted in History
Weekend Edition
October 9-11, 2015
David Price – Roberto J. González
The Use and Abuse of Culture (and Children): The Human Terrain System’s Rationalization of Pedophilia in Afghanistan
Mike Whitney
Putin’s “Endgame” in Syria
Jason Hribal
The Tilikum Effect and the Downfall of SeaWorld
Gary Leupp
The Six Most Disastrous Interventions of the 21st Century
Andrew Levine
In Syria, Obama is Playing a Losing Game
Louis Proyect
The End of Academic Freedom in America: the Case of Steven Salaita
Rob Urie
Democrats, Neoliberalism and the TPP
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
The Bully Recalibrates: U.S. Signals Policy Shift in Syria
Brian Cloughley
Hospital Slaughter and the US/NATO Propaganda Machine
Paul Street
Hope in Abandonment: Cuba, Detroit, and Earth-Scientific Socialism
John Walsh
For Vietnam: Artemisinin From China, Agent Orange From America
Hadi Kobaysi
How The US Uses (Takfiri) Extremists
John Wight
No Moral High Ground for the West on Syria
Robert Fantina
Canadian Universities vs. Israeli Apartheid
Conn Hallinan
Portugal: Europe’s Left Batting 1000
John Feffer
Mouths Wide Shut: Obama’s War on Whistleblowers
Paul Craig Roberts
The Impulsiveness of US Power
Ron Jacobs
The Murderer as American Hero
Alex Nunns
“A Movement Looking for a Home”: the Meaning of Jeremy Corbyn
Andre Vltchek
Stop Millions of Western Immigrants!
Philippe Marlière
Class Struggle at Air France
Halima Hatimy
#BlackLivesMatter: Black Liberation or Black Liberal Distraction?
Binoy Kampmark
Waiting in Vain for Moderation: Syria, Russia and Washington’s Problem
Paul Edwards
Empire of Disaster
Xanthe Hall
Nuclear Madness: NATO’s WMD ‘Sharing’ Must End
Margaret Knapke
These Salvadoran Women Went to Prison for Suffering Miscarriages
Uri Avnery
Abbas: the Leader Without Glory
Michael Brenner
Kissinger Revisited
Cesar Chelala
The Perverse Rise of Killer Robots