29 July 2010

Voices and Soul

27 July 2010

by Justice Putnam
Black Kos, Tuesday's Chile, Poetry Editor

When Kruschev spoke at the UN, back during the height of the Cold War, he famously banged his shoe on the lectern he spoke from; it made all the news at the time. People were either aghast and apalled, or humored by yet again, another Kruschevian, dramatic masterpiece. Regardless, the world couldn't stop speaking about it. What was less reported was an off hand answer to an off hand question as Kruschev moved about on his escorted tour of the US. He was asked how he was so sure that the Soviets would prevail over the West.

"When I come to grind the West under the iron heel of my iron boot,"

I like to emellish his response,

"rest assured, the Capitalist will sell me the rope I hang him from first."

That last part is all Kruschev; and though the Soviets have gone the way of the Velociraptor, Kruschev's truism about the Capitalist cannot be refuted. How else to explain the oil blow out in the Gulf? How else to explain contaminated foodstuffs, acid rain, polluted aquafiers and mountaintop removal? How else to explain what it means to live...

Under Corporate Skies

Dawn, you miserable slow-cooker
of goat meat, why do you park
yourself at my window to snooker

me into imagining the smoky night
will never come again? Sometimes
when you turn up so impeccably

disguised as a new day with wines
of forgetfulness, I respectfully
give in. Life clouds the very trail

life spins: a spidering website.
How long can we put truth in jail?
How long can politicians stab

biology and physics in the heart
and gut the world before there is
no world left? Where profit ignites,

where dividends burn up, lives go out.

-- Al Young

(Knockout Stacks, Martinez, California / copyright Justice Putnam)

No comments: