Thursday, April 12, 2007


Eleanor Wilner: A Strong Voice against the War

Back when we were still Iraq virgins, America's poets were mobilizing against the invasion. Remember? Laura Bush had to cancel her little tea party for the poets because all the good ones wouldn't come.

My spouse found this poem on an anti-invasion web site. We still think it's the best of those poems.

Thanks, Eleanor. Your MacArthur fellowship was and is much deserved.

Intuit’s Vibe

Found in the Free Library

"Write as if you lived in an occupied country." – Edwin Rolfe

And we were made afraid,

Being afraid we made him bigger than he was

A little man and ignorant,

Wrapped like a vase of glass in bubble wrap all his life,

who never felt a single lurch or bump,

carried over the rough surface of other lives

like the spoiled children of the sultans of old

in sedan chairs, on the backs of slaves,

the gold curtains on the chair pulled shut

against the dust and shit of the road

on which the people walked, over whose heads he rode,

no more aware than a wave that rattles pebbles on a beach.

And being afraid, we forgot to notice

who pulled his golden strings, how their banks overflowed

while the public coffers emptied,

how they stole our pensions,

poured their smoke into our lungs,

how they beat our ploughshares into swords,

sold power to the lords of oil,

closed their fists to crush the children of Iraq,

took the future from our failing grasp

into their hoards, ignored our votes,

broke our treaties with the world,

and when our hungry children cried,

the doctors drugged them so they wouldn't fuss,

and prisons swelled enormously

to hold the desperate sons and daughters of the poor.

To us, they just said war, and war, and war.

For when they saw we were afraid,

how knowingly they played on every fear-- so conned,

we scarcely saw their scorn,

hardly noticed as they took our funds,

our rights, and tapped our phones,

turned back our clocks, and then, to quell dissent,

they sent...(but here the document is torn)

Here is a poem I can understand, and it is brilliant.
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