Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Keep CounterPunch ad free. Support our annual fund drive today!

Prejbisz and Orloski


Stop Giving War a Meaning



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



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



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



Editorial Note: (Please Read Closely Before Submitting)


Poets Basement is now on Facebook. Find us as


To submit to Poets Basement, send an e-mail to CounterPunch’s poetry editor, Marc Beaudin at 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.


For more details, tips and suggestions, visit Thanks!

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine


Weekend Edition
October 28, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Louis Proyect
The Outsider-Insider: Isaac Babel’s Big Mistake
Martin Billheimer
Now and Then, Ancient Sorceries
October 27, 2016
Paul Street
An Identity-Politicized Election and World Series Lakefront Liberals Can Love
Matthew Stevenson
Sex and the Presidential City
Jim Kavanagh
Tom Hayden’s Haunting
CJ Hopkins
The Pathologization of Dissent
Mike Merryman-Lotze
The Inherent Violence of Israel’s Gaza Blockade
Robert Fisk
Is Yemen Too Much for the World to Take?
Shamus Cooke
Stopping Hillary’s Coming War on Syria
Jan Oberg
Security Politics and the Closing of the Open Society
Ramzy Baroud
The War on UNESCO: Al-Aqsa Mosque is Palestinian and East Jerusalem is Illegally Occupied
Colin Todhunter
Lower Yields and Agropoisons: What is the Point of GM Mustard in India?
Norman Pollack
The Election: Does It Matter Who Wins?
Nyla Ali Khan
The Political and Cultural Richness of Kashmiriyat
Barbara Nimri Aziz
“It’s Only a Car!”
October 26, 2016
John W. Whitehead
A Deep State of Mind: America’s Shadow Government and Its Silent Coup
Eric Draitser
Dear Liberals: Trump is Right
Anthony Tarrant
On the Unbearable Lightness of Whiteness
Mark Weisbrot
The Most Dangerous Place in the World: US Pours in Money, as Blood Flows in Honduras
Chris Welzenbach
The Establishment and the Chattering Hack: a Response to Nicholas Lemann
Luke O'Brien
The Churchill Thing: Some Big Words About Trump and Some Other Chap
Sabia Rigby
In the “Jungle:” Report from the Refugee Camp in Calais, France
Linn Washington Jr.
Pot Decriminalization Yields $9-million in Savings for Philadelphia
Pepe Escobar
“America has lost” in the Philippines
Pauline Murphy
Political Feminism: the Legacy of Victoria Woodhull
Lizzie Maldonado
The Burdens of World War III
David Swanson
Slavery Was Abolished
Thomas Mountain
Preventing Cultural Genocide with the Mother Tongue Policy in Eritrea
Colin Todhunter
Agrochemicals And The Cesspool Of Corruption: Dr. Mason Writes To The US EPA
October 25, 2016
David Swanson
Halloween Is Coming, Vladimir Putin Isn’t
Hiroyuki Hamada
Fear Laundering: an Elaborate Psychological Diversion and Bid for Power
Priti Gulati Cox
President Obama: Before the Empire Falls, Free Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal
Kathy Deacon
Plus ça Change: Regime Change 1917-1920
Robin Goodman
Appetite for Destruction: America’s War Against Itself
Richard Moser
On Power, Privilege, and Passage: a Letter to My Nephew
Rev. William Alberts
The Epicenter of the Moral Universe is Our Common Humanity, Not Religion
Dan Bacher
Inspector General says Reclamation Wasted $32.2 Million on Klamath irrigators
David Mattson
A Recipe for Killing: the “Trust Us” Argument of State Grizzly Bear Managers
Derek Royden
The Tragedy in Yemen
Ralph Nader
Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier Than We Think
Norman Pollack
Centrist Fascism: Lurching Forward
Guillermo R. Gil
Cell to Cell Communication: On How to Become Governor of Puerto Rico
Mateo Pimentel
You, Me, and the Trolley Make Three
Cathy Breen
“Today Is One of the Heaviest Days of My Life”
October 24, 2016
John Steppling
The Unwoke: Sleepwalking into the Nightmare