09 December 2010

Voices and Soul

Newt's Inaugural (c) BlueGal

19 November 2010

by Justice Putnam
Black Kos Poetry Editor

I was involved in a rather spirited discussion recently, with some former classmates whose brains have been consumed by the ghastly TeaBircher walking dead; and have become mouth-gnawing-bone-breaking-mindless-shuffling-toward-any-loud-noise-or-smell-of-blood Zombies themselves.

It was sad to see once beautiful and sexy women reduced to spittle-flecked, red-eyed rage; and once lithe and athletic men now gray and bloody and mad; frantically tearing at corpses long void of any discernible nourishment.

These weren't Zombies from some Caribbean Mythic conjuring though; so I had no choice but to retreat to the high ground to gain some better bearings.

One would think, that if these Zombies looked in the mirror, they would know their mortal coil has been conquered, that their Souls have left the vessel; that their broken and flailing limbs, their skulls absent of brain tissue, the ganglia hanging loose and dripping a slimy green liquid; you would think that would give them a clue to their predicament. But they only respond to a bright flash, a jarring thud and the smell of raw meat. So they shuffle and grasp and mouth senseless words that are mere recitations embedded in a lizard-center of a forgotten hormonal gland activated by Fox News wireless electrical shocks.

Maybe it's cruel for me to say so, maybe it's inflammatory to call these folks the walking dead and use such ghastly, grade-b monster movie metaphor.

Maybe it's simplifying matters to call these folks mindless Zombies; when they know damn well what they are doing. Just as the Good Germans, they so mightily resemble, did before, during and after the fall of the Third Reich.

These TeaBirchers complain of brown people harrassing them with cupped hands begging for something not due them. These TeaBirchers complain of the jobless as losers who should be left to disappear in some other ether; just don't park on their street or ask for a job at their shop. These TeaBirchers consume the most and give back the least; and cheer when doctors are assassinated while advocating for a woman's right to choose.

The TeaBirchers say they harken to the Silent Majority from the time of Nixon and Reagan. Rather than silent, they are a cruel majority; a cruel majority that would rather see a child die of sickness than extend healthcare. A cruel majority that will kick a man or woman when they are down and then penalize them for complaining about it. A cruel majority that expects the unflinching fealty any bully demands, from any who comes between them and what they wish to possess.

A Poem for the Cruel Majority

The cruel majority emerges!

Hail to the cruel majority!

They will punish the poor for being poor.
They will punish the dead for having died.

Nothing can make the dark turn into light
for the cruel majority.
Nothing can make them feel hunger or terror.

If the cruel majority would only cup their ears
the sea would wash over them.
The sea would help them forget their wayward children.
It would weave a lullaby for young & old.

(See the cruel majority with hands cupped to their ears,
one foot is in the water, one foot is on the clouds.)

One man of them is large enough to hold a cloud
between his thumb & middle finger,
to squeeze a drop of sweat from it before he sleeps.

He is a little god but not a poet.
(See how his body heaves.)

The cruel majority love crowds & picnics.
The cruel majority fill up their parks with little flags.
The cruel majority celebrate their birthday.

Hail to the cruel majority again!

The cruel majority weep for their unborn children,
they weep for the children that they will never bear.
The cruel majority are overwhelmed by sorrow.

(Then why are the cruel majority always laughing?
Is it because night has covered up the city's walls?
Because the poor lie hidden in the darkness?
The maimed no longer come to show their wounds?)

Today the cruel majority vote to enlarge the darkness.

They vote for shadows to take the place of ponds
Whatever they vote for they can bring to pass.
The mountains skip like lambs for the cruel majority.

Hail to the cruel majority!
Hail! hail! to the cruel majority!

The mountains skip like lambs, the hills like rams.
The cruel majority tear up the earth for the cruel majority.
Then the cruel majority line up to be buried.

Those who love death will love the cruel majority.

Those who know themselves will know the fear
the cruel majority feel when they look in the mirror.

The cruel majority order the poor to stay poor.
They order the sun to shine only on weekdays.

The god of the cruel majority is hanging from a tree.
Their god's voice is the tree screaming as it bends.
The tree's voice is as quick as lightning as it streaks across the sky.

(If the cruel majority go to sleep inside their shadows,
they will wake to find their beds filled up with glass.)

Hail to the god of the cruel majority!
Hail to the eyes in the head of their screaming god!

Hail to his face in the mirror!

Hail to their faces as they float around him!

Hail to their blood & to his!

Hail to the blood of the poor they need to feed them!
Hail to their world & their god!

Hail & farewell!
Hail & farewell!
Hail & farewell!

-- Jerome Rothenberg

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