Saturday, December 10, 2011

Two poems by Al Markowitz


Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens

and everything eats
looks at us and sees
mashed potatoes or baked beans
as our silent companions
or maybe a ruffle of feathers
and a wild full belly
without personality
or even individual existence
all of us
attempting to scratch
a meager living
from the hard earth --
all of us
just a meal,
an easy mark,
a tool,
a hand,
a temp,
a consumer,
a sale,
the accursed obstacle
in the road,
collateral damage
or the expendable pin
on a map
of bloody conquest.



It was a good idea once
inalienable rights and the abolition
of tyranny but
we've mucked it up, this great
American Experiment
our own inbred aristocracy madder
that noon-baked Englishmen with
crimes and usurpations running amok,
torn bodies and new hatreds in every
casbah tentacles
in every pocket and a
knife at every throat
and we wage slave
descendants of the free
the not so free
sinking in the refuse of yesterday's bargains
punch clocked and jackbooting our way
to the fossil record at the speed of credit
with no payments 'till January --
a toxic spoor of ruined
places, broken lives and gulags.

We had a bad run but it's time
to come clean,
to admit our failure to
examine the bloody Manifest
of our imagined Destiny.

Time to Repent
for mass graves and wars of false premise,
for all those dictators, our murky turkeys lurking
in every hot satrapy with trained goons keeping
bloody order and a quota of disappeared.

Time to admit
it was all a mistake
made in the bravado of our youth and
rejoin the Commonwealth
Stop seeing stars and turn in our
bloody stripes
be British again
take tea and healthcare claim
our place lordless
in the house of commons where
Empire is only a memory
best forgotten.

Author bio:

Al Markowitz is poet, philosopher, chronically unemployed idler who has done may types of work back when he could get it. He publishes the Blue Collar Review and has a long history of progressive activism which continues to this day.

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