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“Never Forget”: for Rachel Corrie
By GARY CORSERI
(Note: American peace activist Rachel Corrie was crushed to death on March 16, 2003, while trying to stop an Israeli Defense Force (IDF) armored bulldozer from demolishing Palestinian
homes in the occupied Gaza Strip.)
Barely a woman, twenty three years old–
Soft, vulnerable…. Surely, the Monster
Will stop in its tracks!
She steels her will,
Thinks of the tank in Tiananmen Square–
One little man stopping a tank!
They will perceive her love-resolve:
To die in a great cause is to mortar–
Not martyr–the Cause!
She must not die!
Cannot break her parents’ hearts–
Back home! (She sees them now!)
If only they knew
How she had grown!
They would understand…
This other love that held her now
In place, this love of home and place,
And the Other,
Of the faces, the voices, the laughter…
Olive groves and sun-scented skin;
The love she’d found for dispossessed:
Children, fathers, mothers–also of her,
Belonging to her, because
Everyone suffering was One.
It was hard to explain… but the Monster
Truck was coming now–remorseless Caterpillar,
Sci-fi bulldozer to scoop her up!
It would stop in its tracks!
Because a man drove it!
A man who would see her,
In her orange jacket
Like a bumble bee!
He would see she had to
Do it—stand there in its way
(Though its iron mouth gaped,
Though its hard lips snarled.)
To save their houses, olive groves… to save
Herself! And these other selves–part of her
And part of the one who drove the Monster
Closer now, with droning, cacophonous,
And the sun in its panes like eyes.
It must stop, if she steels her will, is resolute,
Peers in his eyes… surely… then… understand…
He will–the suffering… the children… why she stood
In its way–
Barely a woman, bones against
The iron tread, encircling,
Winding, crushing, crackling,
Bursting in sunburst light,
In the dying light,
For the sake of all.
Gary Corseri has published his work at hundreds of websites and periodicals worldwide, including Counterpunch, Japan Times, Village Voice, Greanville Post and The New York Times. He has published 2 novels and 2 collections of poetry, edited the Manifestations literary anthology, and his dramas have been produced on PBS-Atlanta and elsewhere. He has taught at US public schools and prisons and at US and Japanese universities. He has performed his work at the Carter Presidential Library. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Psalm of the Iron Rice Bowl
by CHARLES ORLOSKI
Dear Great Spirit: CC; I am Who Am, Jesus, Allah,
Gula-Bau, Mao, Soros, Prince Bandar, the C.I.A….,
Although the poor and nepotistas
will be always with us, I placed my resume
inside cracks of US Treasury walls and lament.
Unemployed, I can only tithe 10%
of benefits to support Israel’s Iron Dome,
too bad how Pentagon coughed-up merely
$429 Million more?
I need a job, even a lousy one or two.
I have unique Q&E, so please consider me?
I watched Spielberg & King’s Under the Dome,
never once distracted by Activia commercials.
For 40-days, 40-nights, @ Job Training,
my adept hands assembled LEGO parts,
constructed “Micro World, The Nether.”
I tried (but failed) bribing Luzerne County
“Kids for Cash” Judges Ciavarella and Conahan
to consider sentencing juveniles to a Nether life
of misfit toys.
In slim-fit Levis, bred on Han pork & fried rice,
I say nobody in America’s
more qualified than I for an entry-level position
and building Israel’s Iron Dome.
However sweet is life in Scranton Steamtown Mall,
from whence LEGO “Ghasts & Zombie Pigman” fled,
please take note, I am willing to travel east,
but not by way of South China Sea.
So if ears can hear, eyes can see,
please peruse my resume, pass it around?
Meatless references are available upon request.
Charles Orloski lives in Taylor, PA. He can be reached at email@example.com.
by PELEG HELD
I will yoke ten oxen to my voice
And sweep the dark with the plow of my hand; OM
A train horn tekiah rises
to the center of the room,
a word outstretched and circling
before the bone budded from the ram.
Breath of a makeshift father, blow!
While the steel rattles and the teeth
of mountaineers and bookkeepers grind,
blow across the bottle mouth
while bare chested clowns preen
and the jack boots shine.
Tekiah rise. Not West
or East, but below
where the second river rumbles
beneath the foot of our bed.
Here, your lips still move. Here, she still inscribes each sound
as you put a record under the needle
and from the terrible penetrating point,
sing us back to foam.
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