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Stop Giving War a Meaning by MAYA PREJBISZ   This was not your holocaust, Jews            My grandfather was in a labor camp in Poland during world war II   This was not your malice, Germans            There, the Nazis would feed the enslaved the saltiest foods they could muster          pouring salt […]

Prejbisz and Orloski

by POETS' BASEMENT

Stop Giving War a Meaning

by MAYA PREJBISZ

 

This was not your holocaust, Jews

 

         My grandfather was in a labor camp in Poland during world war II

 

This was not your malice, Germans

 

         There, the Nazis would feed the enslaved the saltiest foods they could muster

         pouring salt upon salt, crusting scraps of fish in skins of white crystal

 

This was not your helplessness, Poland and France

 

          Grandpa would eat, what choice did he have?

 

This was not your idleness, United States

 

          When the salty goods were devoured the Germans would wait and see who would try to save themselves

          from drying up with a swig of water, they would wait and wait, scheming in the wings

 

This is no ones to claim

 

          Eventually everyone would come to have a drink, for this, some were shot while others were spared—

 

To the Pollacks, Gypsies, Germans, Jews-

 

the array of people with one exception-

 

dead because of your labels

 

          —-They were randomly chosen

 

and continue to die with this

 

prolonging of differences, wearing survival

 

and remembrance as emblems of culture

 

          After my grandfather was freed he would not talk about what had happened

 

making war yours and yours and yours

 

making death yours and yours and yours

 

making life yours and yours and yours

 

         But he said so much as we observed how he had such a hard time

 

         eating anything too savory

 

who’s world war was it?

 

what world’s war was it?

 

          and the meaning of salt was changed forever

 

 

One Incident Summary

by MAYA PREJBISZ

 

Daddy bought another bottle of gin

to drink down as remedy, cause he’s been awful

down, and the bottles half empty

 

When daddy’s not looking his little girl would pour

some alcohol out and put some water in

 

Then, when daddy would take a drink

they’d both feel

like they were taking care of themselves

in the only way they knew how.

 

Maya Prejbisz was born in Toronto, Canada in 1989. Her intention for writing is to connect (inner vs. outer worlds, soul to soul). She is currently working on cementing her future as a graduate student and eventually a professor of the the literary arts. Maya currently lives in New Jersey.

 

 

Charge of the Commensurately Paid

 by CHARLES ORLOSKI

 

O Kipling, O Light, I am impressed by

al-Qaeda triumphs in Tripoli and Damascus,

I am traumatized by Hell’s Angels peacekeeping

at Rolling Stones concert at Altamount.

I look to those evil-doers behind bars,

Camp X-Ray and other “thought” re-hab centers,

those who rot facing Mecca, those domestics treated

with psycho-reactive and mind-control drugs,

set free such talents –  let loose upon Consumerism-writ,

make miserable those pension-robbers,

place Cheney and Rush on icebergs afloat,

set naked mad-dogs upon the M.I.C.,

sentence politico-lifers to 5-years rebuilding infrastructure

with shovels and picks, ten-minute breaks

and paychecks with Obamacare deductions.

O Light Brigade, go charge-it, credit or debit?

U.S. approved-Resistance sets aim at Syrian Assad,

Kipling saw war-gold, he loved the Ottoman thunder,
Hell’s Angels are free to organize in Yemen,

it’s a New World Order after all,

what is “goose for gander,”

what was Gipper for Contras & drug war…

what say al-Qaeda for Union-Change in job-scarce Michigan?

 

Charles Orloski lives in Taylor, Pennsylvania.  He can be reached at ccdjOrlov@aol.com.

 

 

Editorial Note: (Please Read Closely Before Submitting)

 

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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 two months (occasionally longer during periods of heavy submissions).

 

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

 

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