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Corseri and Larrea

by POETS' BASEMENT

I VOTED

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

by PHILLIP LARREA

 

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

by PHILLIP LARREA

 

(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!

CounterPunch Magazine

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