FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Anderson, Orloski and Lojeski

Burden Note*

by JONATHAN ANDERSEN

 

The undertone, the hum, the drone, the burden note

once carrying low through the chorus, now whines above

…like a mosquito. Even when you don’t see them, you can

hear them, you know that they are there….

I want to make sure that people understand

or like bees swarming against a sun-drenched barn

that drones have not caused a huge number

of civilian casualties

or a little whistle before Hellfire

There was a drone attack on a religious teacher

while he was coming in a car with some other people,

after which he was brought to the village

…for the most part they have very precise,

precision strikes. The air itself alive,

your pulse a double-tap

A lot of people were gathering, families…

You still have hands to gather hands, still a mouth

to wail whose head, whose eyes

…another drone attack, killing

the small children

We’ve succeeded in defending our nation,

taking the fight to our enemies…

We did not know that America existed.

In your nightmares the drones are reborn

butterflies, dragonflies, become the score

in a score of corpses smoking on blackened stones

I think there’s been this perception somehow

that we’re just sending in a bunch of strikes willy-nilly….

They are in the air 24 seven….because of the noise, we’re

psychologically disturbed – women, men, and children….

This is a just war…waged in self-defense

In a state called Virginia there are boys a little older

than your boy would have been, sitting in a dark room

high-fiving and fist-bumping bugsplat

…those deaths will haught us for as long as we live….

One day, my brother was coming from college

I heard a drone strike and I felt

something in my heart

 

*The bolded statements are the remarks of President Obama; in plain font is the voice of the poet; in italics are the statements of survivors and eyewitnesses of U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan collected in the Stanford/ New York University report Living Under Drones

www.livingunderdrones.org.

 

 

He Was “Employed at Will”

by CHARLES ORLOSKI

 

Bruce worked a long time, twenty years,

drove C.D.L. trucks, changed parts several times,

established operations-schedules for workers,

found time to get the Company lots of work.

“By Will of God,” he used to boast,

“I ain’t never been once shit-canned, Chuck!”

By shit-canned” Bruce meant employers

never fired him until today – August 6,  

“same day Tojo got what was coming,”

& a Regional Manager walked into Bruce’s cubicle,

he saw lots of paper atop desk, “sticky-notes,”

and a calendar exhibiting rural Pennsylvania,

a barn, split rail fence, bright blue sky,

a natural gas well pad under construction.

 

Bruce looked at him, smiled,

the Regional Manager returned Pepsodent-smile,

got down to business, deep down into U.S. business,

informed Bruce he was “employed at will,”

& he’s no longer employed by the Company.

He must hand-in cell phone, all keys, safety-glasses,

clear his desk as he willed,

while another manager kept close watch.

 

Could Bruce collect unemployment?

Could he afford Cobra health insurance?

Will the Labor Board understand

what’s meant by being “employed at will?”

Bruce did not “get it,”

“what the hell are Right-to-Work States,” he thought,

“and why didn’t the suit have the balls

to tell me what bad I done?”

 

Bruce’s wife Patti, after the shock, might have answers –

She’s on dialysis, Patti understood how a bad agent

can enter a state of being, against one’s will,

and Bruce would require lots of understanding,

Neil Young “relating,” he must quickly find another outfit

who will give him a D.O.T. Physical, employ Bruce at Will.

 

His desk-top’s clear now,

“Work Safely, Asshole!” sign torn down from wall,

Bruce considered an age-discrimination law-suit,

he’s pushing 57-years old, such “settlement” would help –

maybe he’ll get lucky, and the Regional Manager

shall be stupid, hire a YOUNGER man in Bruce’s position,

“Ain’t God employed at will?” he thought.

Yahweh counted hairs on people’s heads,

protected our troops in Afghanistan,

and Bruce went home, 2006 Impala cruised,

entered I-83’s entrance ramp for Baltimore,

toward anointed age 62, he sang Star Spangled Banner

to the dirty harbor, an aimless shark’s in the Aquarium,

knowing many others won’t know what will hit them next.

 

Charles Orloski lives in Taylor, Pennsylvania.  He’s somehow never been “fired” from a job, came awful close, but just like at Disney Corp. there’s “always tomorrow.”  He can be reached at orlovzek13@aol.com.

 

 

Consumption

by PAUL LOJESKI

 

When it’s all about money,

it’s about nothing. And not

the Taoist nothing of nonbeing, but the other nothing,

the one that fills hospitals,

battlefields and dark alleys.

 

Paul Lojeski’s poetry has appeared in print and online journals, including Counterpunch. He’s also the author of the satiric novel, The Reverend Jimmy Pup.  The Reverend ruminates at funnyordie.com/revjimmypup.  He lives with his wife and daughter in Port Jefferson, NY.

 

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 files to “.doc”).  Expect a response within two months (occasionally longer during periods of heavy submissions). Submissions not following the guidelines may or may not receive a response.

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

For more details, tips and suggestions, visit http://crowvoice.com/poets-basement. Thanks!

More articles by:

Editorial Note: (Please Read Closely Before Submitting) Poets Basement is now on Facebook. Find us ashttp://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. Expect a response within two months (occasionally longer during periods of heavy submissions). Submissions not following the guidelines may or may not receive a response. Poems accepted for online publication will be considered for possible inclusion of an upcoming print anthology. For more details, tips and links to past installments, visit http://crowvoice.com/poets-basement. Thanks!

December 11, 2018
Eric Draitser
AFRICOM: A Neocolonial Occupation Force?
Sheldon Richman
War Over Ukraine?
Louis Proyect
Why World War II, Not the New Deal, Ended the Great Depression
Howard Lisnoff
Police Violence and Mass Policing in the U.S.
Mark Ashwill
A “Patriotic” Education Study Abroad Program in Viet Nam: God Bless America, Right or Wrong!
Laura Flanders
HUD Official to Move into Public Housing?
Nino Pagliccia
Resistance is Not Terrorism
Matthew Johnson
See No Evil, See No Good: The Truth Is Not Black and White
Maria Paez Victor
How Reuters Slandered Venezuela’s Social Benefits Card
December 10, 2018
Jacques R. Pauwels
Foreign Interventions in Revolutionary Russia
Richard Klin
The Disasters of War
Katie Fite
Rebranding Bundy
Gary Olson
A Few Thoughts on Politics and Personal Identity
Patrick Cockburn
Brexit Britain’s Crisis of Self-Confidence Will Only End in Tears and Rising Nationalism
Andrew Moss
Undocumented Citizen
Dean Baker
Trump and China: Going With Patent Holders Against Workers
Lawrence Wittner
Reviving the Nuclear Disarmament Movement: a Practical Proposal
Dan Siegel
Thoughts on the 2018 Elections and Beyond
Thomas Knapp
Election 2020: I Can Smell the Dumpster Fires Already
Weekend Edition
December 07, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Steve Hendricks
What If We Just Buy Off Big Fossil Fuel? A Novel Plan to Mitigate the Climate Calamity
Jeffrey St. Clair
Cancer as Weapon: Poppy Bush’s Radioactive War on Iraq
Paul Street
The McCain and Bush Death Tours: Establishment Rituals in How to be a Proper Ruler
Jason Hirthler
Laws of the Jungle: The Free Market and the Continuity of Change
Ajamu Baraka
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70: Time to De-Colonize Human Rights!
Andrew Levine
Thoughts on Strategy for a Left Opposition
Jennifer Matsui
Dead of Night Redux: A Zombie Rises, A Spook Falls
Rob Urie
Degrowth: Toward a Green Revolution
Binoy Kampmark
The Bomb that Did Not Detonate: Julian Assange, Manafort and The Guardian
Robert Hunziker
The Deathly Insect Dilemma
Robert Fisk
Spare Me the American Tears for the Murder of Jamal Khashoggi
Joseph Natoli
Tribal Justice
Ron Jacobs
Getting Pushed Off the Capitalist Cliff
Macdonald Stainsby
Unist’ot’en Camp is Under Threat in Northern Canada
Senator Tom Harkin
Questions for Vice-President Bush on Posada Carriles
W. T. Whitney
Two Years and Colombia’s Peace Agreement is in Shreds
Ron Jacobs
Getting Pushed Off the Capitalist Cliff
Ramzy Baroud
The Conspiracy Against Refugees
David Rosen
The Swamp Stinks: Trump & Washington’s Rot
Raouf Halaby
Wall-to-Wall Whitewashing
Daniel Falcone
Noam Chomsky Turns 90
Dean Baker
An Inverted Bond Yield Curve: Is a Recession Coming?
Nick Pemberton
The Case For Chuck Mertz (Not Noam Chomsky) as America’s Leading Intellectual
Ralph Nader
New Book about Ethics and Whistleblowing for Engineers Affects Us All!
Dan Kovalik
The Return of the Nicaraguan Contras, and the Rise of the Pro-Contra Left
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Exposing the Crimes of the CIAs Fair-Haired Boy, Paul Kagame, and the Rwandan Patriotic Front
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail