Julian is Free

I watched the livestream
of Julian getting out of a car
accompanied by Kevin Rudd
the I’m Sorry prime minister of yore
who’d teary-eyed up on TV
like William Hurt in Elephant Man
no, I meant, Broadcast News
the one with the onion ready
for poignant stories with layers

Someone yank yells stupidly
Do you like the weather here better than London?
And one thinks of early Dylan
at that news conference, some girlish reporter asking
what he meant by his song, “Eve of Destruction,”
and Dylan telling her he didn’t write that
and him reaching for a match to light a smoke
and everyone laughing, and Dylan high
deciding right then and there
not to wear the counterculture’s technicolor
dream coat, no way, Jose, and besides,
Barry McGuire can’t play harp either.
Fuck it.  He lights up, drifts.

Yes, Assange is Free, Free At Last

but at what price?
did he compromise?
did he re-learn certain alphabets?
Was he rat-cage-faced
and finds now that 2+2=5?
will he ever wickedly leak again?
will Stella and the kids be enough for him now
or will he pull a Robinson Crusoe
who returned free from that lost island to England
sees his wife die and has his kids put into foster care
and goes off on more pointless adventures
(to be fair, Defoe was probably paid by the word, so…),
some new parrot crying, Poor Crusoe?

And the Press he took a knee for cries
Do you like the weather?
How do you feel?
How do you feel?
How do you feel?

John Kendall Hawkins is an American ex-pat freelancer based in Australia.  He is a former reporter for The New Bedford Standard-Times.