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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 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).


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