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Capricious Lestrange gets Beneath the Tin Foil Hat

I’ve decided to break into Beneath the Tin Foil hat to leave a small tribute to TFH on our 8th wedding Anniversary. Yes, you’re about to find out that two of the most derisive voices in the blogosphere actually have mushy middles–but only when it comes to each other–so don’t worry, we’ll be back to our cynical selves tomorrow ūüôā

 

Infinity by Eights(For David)
Eight years. To some, eight years is a fast tick on a vast clock, blink of a giant eye, brushing aside of a crumb. If I could measure out each moment with you, I’d have a lifetime’s sum of love. You fill me with lives lived, possibilities for more, eternities we’ve experienced and left me wanting more. How could a lifetime be so short, so complete, yet this hunger never slaked? Eight more years I think I’ll stay, and blink and blink and blink again.

 

This poem was originally posted on Capricious Lestrange

Angry Poetry Week: Howl – Allen Ginsberg

Portrait of Allen Ginsberg and Bob Dylan by El...

Portrait of Allen Ginsberg and Bob Dylan by Elsa Dorfman (1975) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Angry poetry week wraps up with perhaps the most popular and certainly one of the most controversial works of the Beat Movement: Howl,¬†by Allen Ginsberg. Written in 1955, and published in 1956 by poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the poem was deemed¬†obscene, and would lead to Ferlinghetti’s arrest for making the material public. At the conclusion of¬†this landmark court case, Judge Clayton W. Horn ruled that the material was not obscene, and could be published unaltered. When you read this wonderful poem, you can see why it would create such a stir in what was on the surface, a very conservative time in America’s history.¬† In my opinion, as well as many others, Allen Ginsberg was arguably the best and perhaps the most meaningrul writer of the Beat Movement, and Howl¬†may be the pinnacle of what is simply an amazing body of work.

Without further adieu, I share with you:

Howl

 For Carl Solomon

I

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,

dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,

angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,

who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz,

who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and saw Mohammedan angels staggering on tenement roofs illuminated,

who passed through universities with radiant eyes hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy among the scholars of war,

who were expelled from the academies for crazy & publishing obscene odes on the windows of the skull,

who cowered in unshaven rooms in underwear, burning their money in wastebaskets and listening to the Terror through the wall,

who got busted in their pubic beards returning through Laredo with a belt of marijuana for New York,

who ate fire in paint hotels or drank turpentine in Paradise Alley, death, or purgatoried their torsos night after night

with dreams, with drugs, with waking nightmares, alcohol and cock and endless balls,

incomparable blind streets of shuddering cloud and lightning in the mind leaping towards poles of Canada & Paterson, illuminating all the motionless world of Time between,

Peyote solidities of halls, backyard green tree cemetery dawns, wine drunkenness over the rooftops, storefront boroughs of teahead joyride neon blinking traffic light, sun and moon and tree vibrations in the roaring winter dusks of Brooklyn, ashcan rantings and kind king light of mind,

who chained themselves to subways for the endless ride from Battery to holy Bronx on benzedrine until the noise of wheels and children brought them down shuddering mouth-wracked and battered bleak of brain all drained of brilliance in the drear light of Zoo,

who sank all night in submarine light of Bickford’s¬†floated out and sat through the stale beer afternoon in desolate Fugazzi’s, listening to the crack of doom on the hydrogen jukebox,

who talked continuously seventy hours from park to pad to bar to Bellevue to museum to the Brooklyn Bridge,

a lost batallion of platonic conversationalists jumping down the stoops off fire escapes off windowsills off Empire State out of the moon

yacketayakking screaming vomiting whispering facts and memories and anecdotes and eyeball kicks and shocks of hospitals and jails and wars,

whole intellects disgorged in total recall for seven days and nights with brilliant eyes, meat for the Synagogue cast on the pavement,

who vanished into nowhere Zen New Jersey leaving a trail of ambiguous picture postcards of Atlantic City Hall,

suffering Eastern sweats and Tangerian¬†bone-grindings and migraines of China under junk-withdrawal in Newark’s bleak furnished room,

who wandered around and around at midnight in the railway yard wondering where to go, and went, leaving no broken hearts,

who lit cigarettes in boxcars boxcars boxcars racketing through snow toward lonesome farms in grandfather night,

who studied Plotinus Poe St John of the Cross telepathy and bop kabbalah because the universe instinctively vibrated at their feet in Kansas,

who loned it through the streets of Idaho seeking visionary indian angels who were visionary indian angels,

who thought they were only mad when Baltimore gleamed in supernatural ecstasy,

who jumped in limousines with the Chinaman of Oklahoma on the impulse of winter midnight streetlight smalltown rain,

who lounged hungry and lonesome through Houston seeking jazz or sex or soup, and followed the brilliant Spaniard to converse about America and Eternity, a hopeless task, and so took ship to Africa,

who disappeared into the volcanoes of Mexico leaving nothing behind but the shadow of dungarees and the larva and ash of poetry scattered in fireplace Chicago,

who reappeared on the West Coast investigating the FBI in beards and shorts with big pacifist eyes sexy in their dark skin passing out incomprehensible leaflets,

who burned cigarette holes in their arms protesting the narcotic tobacco haze of Capitalism, who distributed Supercommunist pamphlets in Union Square weeping and undressing while the sirens of Los Alamos wailed them down, and wailed down Wall, and the Staten Island ferry also wailed,

who broke down crying in white gymnasiums naked and trembling before the machinery of other skeletons,

who bit detectives in the neck and shrieked with delight in policecars for committing no crime but their own wild cooking pederasty and intoxication,

who howled on their knees in the subway and were dragged off the roof waving genitals and manuscripts,

who let themselves be fucked in the ass by saintly motorcyclists, and screamed with joy,

who blew and were blown by those human seraphim, the sailors, caresses of Atlantic and Caribbean love,

who balled in the morning in the evenings in rosegardens and the grass of public parks and cemeteries scattering their semen freely to whomever come who may,

who hiccuped endlessly trying to giggle but wound up with a sob behind a partition in a Turkish Bath when the blond & naked angel came to pierce them with a sword,

who lost their loveboys¬†to the three old shrews of fate the one eyed¬†shrew of the heterosexual dollar the one eyed¬†shrew that winks out of the womb and the one eyed shrew that does nothing but sit on her ass and snip the intellectual golden threads of the craftsman’s loom,

who copulated ecstatic and insatiate and fell off the bed, and continued along the floor and down the hall and ended fainting on the wall with a vision of ultimate cunt and come eluding the last gyzym of consciousness,

who sweetened the snatches of a million girls trembling in the sunset, and were red eyed in the morning but were prepared to sweeten the snatch of the sunrise, flashing buttocks under barns and naked in the lake,

who went out whoring through Colorado in myriad stolen night-cars, N.C., secret hero of these poems, cocksman and Adonis of Denver

‚ÄĒjoy to the memory of his innumerable lays of girls in empty lots & diner backyards, moviehouses’ rickety rows, on mountaintops in caves or with gaunt waitresses in familiar roadside lonely petticoat upliftings¬†& especially secret gas-station solipsisms of johns, & hometown alleys too,

who faded out in vast sordid movies, were shifted in dreams, woke on a sudden Manhattan, and picked themselves up out of basements hungover with heartless Tokay and horrors of Third Avenue iron dreams & stumbled to unemployment offices,

who walked all night with their shoes full of blood on the snowbank docks waiting for a door in the East River to open full of steamheat and opium,

who created great suicidal dramas on the appartment cliff-banks of the Hudson under the wartime blue floodlight of the moon & their heads shall be crowned with laurel in oblivion,

who ate the lamb stew of the imagination or digested the crab at the muddy bottom of the rivers of the Bowery,

who wept at the romance of the streets with their pushcarts full of onions and bad music,

who sat in boxes breathing in the darkness under the bridge, and rose up to build harpsichords in their lofts, who coughed on the sixth floor of Harlem crowned with flame under the tubercular sky surrounded by orange crates of theology,

who scribbled all night rocking and rolling over lofty incantations which in the yellow morning were stanzas of gibberish,

who cooked rotten animals lung heart feet tail borsht & tortillas dreaming of the pure vegetable kingdom,

who plunged themselves under meat trucks looking for an egg,

who threw their watches off the roof to cast their ballot for an Eternity outside of Time, & alarm clocks fell on their heads every day for the next decade,

who cut their wrists three times successively unsuccessfully, gave up and were forced to open antique stores where they thought they were growing old and cried,

who were burned alive in their innocent flannel suits on Madison Avenue amid blasts of leaden verse & the tanked-up clatter of the iron regiments of fashion & the nitroglycerine shrieks of the fairies of advertising & the mustard gas of sinister intelligent editors, or were run down by the drunken taxicabs of Absolute Reality,

who jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge this actually happened and walked away unknown and forgotten into the ghostly daze of Chinatown soup alleyways & firetrucks, not even one free beer,

who sang out of their windows in despair, fell out of the subway window, jumped in the filthy Passaic, leaped on negroes, cried all over the street, danced on broken wineglasses barefoot smashed phonograph records of nostalgic European 1930s German jazz finished the whiskey and threw up groaning into the bloody toilet, moans in their ears and the blast of colossal steamwhistles,

who barreled down the highways of the past journeying to each other’s hotrod-Golgotha jail-solitude watch Birmingham jazz incarnation,

who drove crosscountry seventytwo hours to find out if I had a vision or you had a vision or he had a vision to find out Eternity,

who journeyed to Denver, who died in Denver, who came back to Denver & waited in vain, who watched over Denver & brooded & loned in Denver and finally went away to find out the Time, & now Denver is lonesome for her heroes,

who fell on their knees in hopeless cathedrals praying for each other’s salvation and light and breasts, until the soul illuminated its hair for a second,

who crashed through their minds in jail waiting for impossible criminals with golden heads and the charm of reality in their hearts who sang sweet blues to Alcatraz,

who retired to Mexico to cultivate a habit, or Rocky Mount to tender Buddha or Tangiers to boys or Southern Pacific to the black locomotive or Harvard to Narcissus to Woodlawn to the daisychain or grave,

who demanded sanity trials accusing the radio of hypnotism & were left with their insanity & their hands & a hung jury,

who threw potato salad at CCNY lecturerson Dadaism and subsequently presented themselves on the granite steps of the madhouse with the shaven heads and harlequin speech of suicide, demanding instantaneous lobotomy,

and who were given instead the concrete void of insulin Metrazol electricity hydrotherapy psychotherapy occupational therapy pingpong & amnesia,

who in humorless protest overturned only one symbolic pingpong table, resting briefly in catatonia,

returning years later truly bald except for a wig of blood, and tears and fingers, to the visible madman doom of the wards of the madtowns of the East,

Pilgrim State’s Rockland’s and Greystone’s foetid halls, bickering with the echoes of the soul, rocking and rolling in the midnight solitude-bench dolmen-realms of love, dream of life a nightmare, bodies turned to stone as heavy as the moon,

with mother finally *****, and the last fantastic book flung out of the tenement window, and the last door closed at 4 A.M. and the last telephone slammed at the wall in reply and the last furnished room emptied down to the last piece of mental furniture, a yellow paper rose twisted on a wire hanger on the closet, and even that imaginary, nothing but a hopeful little bit of hallucination

‚ÄĒ

ah, Carl, while you are not safe I am not safe, and now you’re really in the total animal soup of time

‚ÄĒ

and who therefore ran through the icy streets obsessed with a sudden flash of the alchemy of the use of the ellipse the catalog the meter & the vibrating plane,

who dreamt and made incarnate gaps in Time & Space through images juxtaposed, and trapped the archangel of the soulbetween 2 visual images and joined the elemental verbs and set the noun and dash of consciousness together jumping with sensation of Pater Omnipotens Aeterna Deus

to recreate the syntax and measure of poor human prose and stand before you speechless and intelligent and shaking with shame, rejected yet confessing out the soul to conform to the rhythm of thought in his naked and endless head,

the madman bum and angel beat in Time, unknown, yet putting down here what might be left to say in time come after death,

and rose incarnate in the ghostly clothes¬†of jazz in the goldhorn¬†shadow of the band and blew the suffering of America’s naked mind for love into an eli¬†eli¬†lamma¬†lamma¬†sabacthani saxophone cry that shivered the cities down to the last radio

with the absolute heart of the poem butchered out of their own bodies good to eat a thousand years.

II

What sphinx of cement and aluminium bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination?

Moloch! Solitude! Filth! Ugliness! Ashcans and unobtainable dollars! Children screaming under the stairways! Boys sobbing in armies! Old men weeping in the parks!

Moloch! Moloch! Nightmare of Moloch! Moloch the loveless! Mental Moloch! Moloch the heavy judger of men!

Moloch the incomprehensible prison! Moloch the crossbone soulless jailhouse and Congress of sorrows! Moloch whose buildings are judgement! Moloch the vast stone of war! Moloch the stunned governments!

Moloch whose mind is pure machinery! Moloch whose blood is running money! Moloch whose fingers are ten armies! Moloch whose breast is a cannibal dynamo! Moloch whose ear is a smoking tomb!

Moloch whose eyes are a thousand blind windows! Moloch whose skyscrapers stand in the long streets like endless Jehovas! Moloch whose factories dream and choke in the fog! Moloch whose smokestacks and antennae crown the cities!

Moloch whose love is endless oil and stone! Moloch whose soul is electricity and banks! Moloch whose poverty is the specter of genius! Moloch whose fate is a cloud of sexless hydrogen! Moloch whose name is the Mind!

Moloch in whom I sit lonely! Moloch in whom I dream angels! Crazy in Moloch! Cocksucker in Moloch! Lacklove and manless in Moloch!

Moloch who entered my soul early! Moloch in whom I am a consciousness without a body! Moloch who frightened me out of my natural ecstasy! Moloch whom I abandon! Wake up in Moloch! Light streaming out of the sky!

Moloch! Moloch! Robot apartments! invisable suburbs! skeleton treasuries! blind capitals! demonic industries! spectral nations! invincible madhouses! granite cocks! monstrous bombs!

They broke their backs lifting Moloch to Heaven! Pavements, trees, radios, tons! lifting the city to Heaven which exists and is everywhere about us!

Visions! omens! hallucinations! miracles! ecstacies! gone down the American river!

Dreams! adorations! illuminations! religions! the whole boatload of sensitive bullshit!

Breakthroughs! over the river! flips and crucifixions! gone down the flood! Highs! Epiphanies! Despairs! Ten years’ animal screams and suicides! Minds! New loves! Mad generation! down on the rocks of Time!

Real holy laughter in the river! They saw it all! the wild eyes! the holy yells! They bade farewell! They jumped off the roof! to solitude! waving! carrying flowers! Down to the river! into the street!

III

Carl Solomon! I’m with you in Rockland

where you’re madder than I am

I’m with you in Rockland

where you must feel strange

I’m with you in Rockland

where you imitate the shade of my mother

I’m with you in Rockland

where you’ve murdered your twelve secretaries

I’m with you in Rockland

where you laugh at this invisible humour

I’m with you in Rockland

where we are great writers on the same dreadful typewriter

I’m with you in Rockland

where your condition has become serious and is reported on the radio

I’m with you in Rockland

where the faculties of the skull no longer admit the worms of the senses

I’m with you in Rockland

where you drink the tea of the breasts of the spinsters of Utica

I’m with you in Rockland

where you pun on the bodies of your nurses the harpies of the Bronx

I’m with you in Rockland

where you scream in a straightjacket¬†that you’re losing the game of actual¬†pingpong of the abyss

I’m with you in Rockland

where you bang on the catatonic piano the soul is innocent and immortal it should never die ungodly in an armed madhouse

I’m with you in Rockland

where fifty more shocks will never return your soul to its body again from its pilgrimage to a cross in the void

I’m with you in Rockland

where you accuse your doctors of insanity and plot the Hebrew socialist revolution against the fascist national Golgotha

I’m with you in Rockland

where you will split the heavens of Long Island and resurrect your living human Jesus from the superhuman tomb

I’m with you in Rockland

where there are twentyfive thousand mad comrades all together singing the final stanzas of the Internationale

I’m with you in Rockland

where we hug and kiss the United States under our bedsheets the United States that coughs all night and won’t let us sleep

I’m with you in Rockland

where we wake up electrified out of the coma by our own souls’ airplanes roaring over the roof they’ve come to drop angelic bombs the hospital illuminates itself imaginary walls collapse O skinny legions run outside O starry-spangled shock of mercy the eternal war is here O victory forget your underwear we’re free

I’m with you in Rockland

in my dreams you walk dripping from a sea-journey on the highway across America in tears to the door of my cottage in the Western night

Angry Poetry Week Continues: Powers of Recuperation by Adrienne Rich

Today’s poem was written by the iconic feminist poet and essayist Adrienne Rich, who passed away yesterday at the age of 82. Rich’s literary works inspired countless feminist authors and activists over several decades. Rich was revered for her social commentary as well as her deeply moving personal reflections.

She lived and wrote openly as a lesbian for most of her adult life, beginning in an era when homosexuality was condemned by more than just knee jerk christian conservatives. As an author and activist she fought bravely for not only the rights of women, but for all who are disadvantaged in our society.

Her list of works and awards span over 7 decades, and she is one of the most anthologized authors of the 20th century. Although her writing style may have not been the in your face, bludgeon you with a hammer type poetry that’s been featured this week, her message was always loud and clear, and succinctly relevant. I would be remiss if I didn’t honor her today by sharing with you one of her poems.

Sleep well dearest Adrienne; You are cherished by many, and you are already missed.

Without further adieu, I share with you:

Powers of Recuperation
by Adrienne Rich
 
i.
 
A woman of the citizen party‚ÄĒwhat‚Äôs that‚ÄĒ
is writing history backward
 
her body
              the chair she sits in
to be abandoned
             repossessed
 
The old, crusading, raping, civil, great, phony, holy, world,
               second world, third world,
               cold, dirty, lost, on drugs,
 
infectious, maiming, class
war lives on
 
A done matter she might have thought
ever undone though
       plucked
 
from before her birthyear
and that hyphen coming after
 
she’s old, old, the incendiary
woman
 
endless beginner
 
whose warped wraps you shall find in graves and behind glass
        plundered
 
ii
 
Streets empty now
           citizen rises
         shrugging off
her figured shirt pulls on her dark generic garment
    sheds
identity inklings
  watch, rings, ear studs
now to pocket her flashlight
         her tiny magnet
shut down heater
            finger a sleeping cat
lock inner, outer door
     insert
key in crevice
      listen once twice
to the breath of the neighborhood
take temperature of the signs
     a bird
scuffling
               a frost settling
 
… you left that meeting around two a.m. I thought
someone should walk with you
 
Didn’t think then I needed that
 
years ravel out and now
 
who’d be protecting whom
 
 
I left the key in the old place
in case
 
iii
 
Spooky those streets of minds
shuttered against shatter
 
articulate those walls
pronouncing rage and need
 
fuck the cops
      come jesus
blow me again
 
Citizen walking catwise
close to the walls
 
heat of her lungs leaving
its trace upon the air
 
fingers her tiny magnet
which for the purpose of drawing
 
particles together will have to do
when as they say the chips are down
 
iv
 
Citizen
at riverbank
          seven bridges
Ministers-in-exile with their aides
limb to limb dreaming underneath
 
conspiring by definition
 
Bridges
      trajectories arched
in shelter   rendezvous
two banks to every river  
     two directions
to every bridge
twenty-eight chances
every built thing has its unmeant purpose
iv
Every built thing with its unmeant
meaning    
    unmet purpose
every unbuilt thing
child squatting    civil
engineer   devising
by kerosene flare   in mud
possible tunnels
carves in cornmeal mush   
    irrigation
canals by index finger
all new learning looks at first
like chaos
the tiny magnet throbs
in citizen’s pocket

vi
Bends under the arc walks bent listening for chords and codes
bat-radar-pitched or twanging
off rubber bands and wires tin can telephony
to scribble testimony by fingernail and echo
her documentary alphabet still evolving
Walks up on the bridge   
    wind-whipped      roof and trajectory
shuddering under her catpaw tread
one of seven
built things holds her suspended
between desolation
and the massive figure on unrest’s verge
1pondering the unbuilt city
cheek on hand and glowing eyes and
skirted knees apart
2007

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Angry Poetry Week: Trajectory of the ‚ÄėCivilized‚Äô – Michelle Beltano Curtis

Our next poem for angry poetry week comes from Michelle Beltano Curtis, who writes the blog Carving Out a Voice. Michelle writes about a number of issues, including themes about feminism, the environment, otherness, sexuality, aging and illness, in a very distinctive unmitigated voice. Her work has appeared in Ginger Piglet, Voice It!, Lambda Literary Review, and more.

This particular poem from Michelle rails against humanity’s systematic destruction of our planet in the name of¬†Man’s one true god, capitalism. It¬†contains disturbing imagery, and is a very haunting, angry condemnation of¬†the nearly irreversible damage we have managed to wreak upon our planet in a very short time.¬†

Without further adieu, I give you:  

Trajectory of the ‚ÄėCivilized‚Äô
Michelle Beltano Curtis
 In honor of Allen Ginsberg
 
                        I
 
The inventor’s hands are speeding cars
following roadmaps of the damned,
metal and glass and gleaming light
of power plants and toy factories
expelling great gasps of endless vapors
hexavalent chromium, strontium chromate,
toxins in our air tongues can only trip on,
turn lakes and rivers neon green, vapid blue,
unthinking orbs mark the journey
skies a burnished haze of baby shit at dawn,
and aren’t the evening skies of dusk delightful
in rainbow shades of obliteration?
An unnatural world in endless trails of duplication
we buy for bottom dollar with the click of a mouse.
Instant gratification for our ultimate destruction.
 Hidden at last in heated ash of an angry Sun
we forgot to fear, respect, worship,
trailing incense, canted whispers,
aberrant kisses for Moloch as the forgotten
ends of some unjustified means bring us closer to the end‚ÄĒ
 
to pyramids of rotting flesh, burnt offerings
for Madagascan cockroaches
in endless ecstasies‚ÄĒputrid meat
in razor jaws, and we’re on top where
always they insisted we should be,
skin excoriated by excruciating heat,
querulous children with castigated raisin eyes.
Blank sockets occupied once by pale marbles of
millennia ago‚ÄĒ before we discovered the interstellar cacophony,
invented macros for love and invention, bought-sold-bartered
love, friends, sex, emotion, through airwaves
once meant for the simple act of sustaining life, breath.
 
                        II
 
Pale marbles in a vertical reality of grasslands and hippopotami
with angular jaws echoing like caverns
their trembling of equine energies,
organic angels without harpsichords
or unrequited love or beards and skirts
or adam’s imperfection; that fucking rib.
No vindicated harpes of eve
or revelations of marriage beds or boys in backseats
no sin on their minds none existed.
Just thumping flesh and pulsing tides
of tangled ecstasy and moaning limbs,
fucking and crying; enraptured motion and ethereal air
amid fat raindrops or crystalline stalactites
of winter’s clean, crunchy breath.
 
Death was life, cyclical journey of cleansing,
fertilizing the roots of new creation
within the ruins and the world cracked open
in splendiferous greens and vibrant hues of red, ochre, azure,
earth’s children huddled in the bosom of her
protective ranges; no us, them,
only all‚ÄĒin the occupation of survival
in the same rhythm of the world, freed
in the youth of the world to flourish to harvest to die
again and again.
 
                        III
Moloch, they worship you and they will sacrifice us all, and in our blind
passivity we deserve your sweltering damnation.
In the end, only that which birthed us will survive to mend
herself among cooling surf and settling rock to create anew
her own treasures of tree and pheasant and monarch.
And in a million years the scientists and archeologists who begin to discover
remnants of a world torn asunder will someday shake their heads at our
foolhardiness while they marvel at our cleverness
all the while fear brings a palsy to their people upon the revelation ‚Äď
of greed among their own.

 

Angry Poetry Week Continues: Somebody Blew Up America – Amiri Baraka

Amiri Baraka addressing the Malcom X Festival ...

Amiri Baraka addressing the Malcom X Festival in San Antonio Park, Oakland, California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Day two of angry poetry week features this highly controversial and totally awesome¬†poem, written by Amiri¬†Baraka¬†shortly after 9/11. Baraka, formerly known as LeRoi¬†Jones, is one of the few African American¬†writers who were¬†part of the Beat¬†Generation of the 50’s and 60’s.

A tip of the tin foil hat goes out to Sammyscoops for the great suggestion!

Without further adieu, I give you:

Somebody Blew Up America

They say its some terrorist, some
barbaric
A Rab, in
Afghanistan
It wasn’t our American terrorists
It wasn’t the Klan or the Skin heads
Or the them that blows up nigger
Churches, or reincarnates us on Death Row
It wasn’t Trent Lott
Or David Duke or Giuliani
Or Schundler, Helms retiring

It wasn’t
the gonorrhea in costume
the white sheet diseases
That have murdered black people
Terrorized reason and sanity
Most of humanity, as they pleases

They say (who say? Who do the saying
Who is them paying
Who tell the lies
Who in disguise
Who had the slaves
Who got the bux out the Bucks

Who got fat from plantations
Who genocided Indians
Tried to waste the Black nation

Who live on Wall Street
The first plantation
Who cut your nuts off
Who rape your ma
Who lynched your pa

Who got the tar, who got the feathers
Who had the match, who set the fires
Who killed and hired
Who say they God & still be the Devil

Who the biggest only
Who the most goodest
Who do Jesus resemble

Who created everything
Who the smartest
Who the greatest
Who the richest
Who say you ugly and they the goodlookingest

Who define art
Who define science

Who made the bombs
Who made the guns

Who bought the slaves, who sold them

Who called you them names
Who say Dahmer wasn’t insane

Who/ Who / Who/

Who stole Puerto Rico
Who stole the Indies, the Philipines, Manhattan
Australia & The Hebrides
Who forced opium on the Chinese

Who own them buildings
Who got the money
Who think you funny
Who locked you up
Who own the papers

Who owned the slave ship
Who run the army

Who the fake president
Who the ruler
Who the banker

Who/ Who/ Who/

Who own the mine
Who twist your mind
Who got bread
Who need peace
Who you think need war

Who own the oil
Who do no toil
Who own the soil
Who is not a nigger
Who is so great ain’t nobody bigger

Who own this city

Who own the air
Who own the water

Who own your crib
Who rob and steal and cheat and murder
and make lies the truth
Who call you uncouth

Who live in the biggest house
Who do the biggest crime
Who go on vacation anytime

Who killed the most niggers
Who killed the most Jews
Who killed the most Italians
Who killed the most Irish
Who killed the most Africans
Who killed the most Japanese
Who killed the most Latinos

Who/Who/Who

Who own the ocean

Who own the airplanes
Who own the malls
Who own television
Who own radio

Who own what ain’t even known to be owned
Who own the owners that ain’t the real owners

Who own the suburbs
Who suck the cities
Who make the laws

Who made Bush president
Who believe the confederate flag need to be flying
Who talk about democracy and be lying
WHO/ WHO/ WHO/WHO/

Who the Beast in Revelations
Who 666
Who decide
Jesus get crucified

Who the Devil on the real side
Who got rich from Armenian genocide

Who the biggest terrorist
Who change the bible
Who killed the most people
Who do the most evil
Who don’t worry about survival

Who have the colonies
Who stole the most land
Who rule the world
Who say they good but only do evil
Who the biggest executioner

Who/Who/Who

Who own the oil
Who want more oil
Who told you what you think that later you find out a lie
Who/ Who/ ???

Who fount Bin Laden, maybe they Satan
Who pay the CIA,
Who knew the bomb was gonna blow
Who know why the terrorists
Learned to fly in Florida, San Diego

Who know why Five Israelis was filming the explosion
And cracking they sides at the notion

Who need fossil fuel when the sun ain’t goin’ nowhere

Who make the credit cards
Who get the biggest tax cut
Who walked out of the Conference
Against Racism
Who killed Malcolm, Kennedy & his Brother
Who killed Dr King, Who would want such a thing?
Are they linked to the murder of Lincoln?

Who invaded Grenada
Who made money from apartheid
Who keep the Irish a colony
Who overthrow Chile and Nicaragua later

Who killed David Sibeko, Chris Hani,
the same ones who killed Biko, Cabral,
Neruda, Allende, Che Guevara, Sandino,

Who killed Kabila, the ones who wasted Lumumba, Mondlane , Betty Shabazz, Princess Margaret, Ralph Featherstone, Little Bobby

Who locked up Mandela, Dhoruba, Geronimo,
Assata, Mumia,Garvey, Dashiell Hammett, Alphaeus Hutton

Who killed Huey Newton, Fred Hampton,
MedgarEvers, Mikey Smith, Walter Rodney,
Was it the ones who tried to poison Fidel
Who tried to keep the Vietnamese Oppressed

Who put a price on Lenin’s head

Who put the Jews in ovens,
and who helped them do it
Who said “America First”
and ok’d the yellow stars
WHO/WHO/

Who killed Rosa Luxembourg, Liebneckt
Who murdered the Rosenbergs
And all the good people iced,
tortured , assassinated, vanished

Who got rich from Algeria, Libya, Haiti,
Iran, Iraq, Saudi, Kuwait, Lebanon,
Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Palestine,

Who cut off peoples hands in the Congo
Who invented Aids Who put the germs
In the Indians’ blankets
Who thought up “The Trail of Tears”

Who blew up the Maine
& started the Spanish American War
Who got Sharon back in Power
Who backed Batista, Hitler, Bilbo,
Chiang kai Chek who WHO WHO/

Who decided Affirmative Action had to go
Reconstruction, The New Deal, The New
Frontier, The Great Society,

Who do Tom Ass Clarence Work for
Who doo doo come out the Colon’s mouth
Who know what kind of Skeeza is a Condoleeza
Who pay Connelly to be a wooden negro
Who give Genius Awards to Homo Locus
Subsidere

Who overthrew Nkrumah, Bishop,
Who poison Robeson,
who try to put DuBois in Jail
Who frame Rap Jamil al Amin, Who frame the Rosenbergs, Garvey,
The Scottsboro Boys, The Hollywood Ten

Who set the Reichstag Fire

Who knew the World Trade Center was gonna get bombed
Who told 4000 Israeli workers at the Twin Towers
To stay home that day
Why did Sharon stay away ?

Who,Who, Who/
explosion of Owl the newspaper say
the devil face be seen Who WHO Who WHO

Who make money from war
Who make dough from fear and lies
Who want the world like it is
Who want the world to be ruled by imperialism and national oppression and terror
violence, and hunger and poverty.

Who is the ruler of Hell?
Who is the most powerful

Who you know ever
Seen God?

But everybody seen
The Devil

Like an Owl exploding
In your life in your brain in your self
Like an Owl who know the devil
All night, all day if you listen, Like an Owl
Exploding in fire. We hear the questions rise
In terrible flame like the whistle of a crazy dog

Like the acid  of the fire of Hell
Who and Who and WHO  who who
Whoooo and Whooooooooooooooooooooo!

It’s Angry Poetry Week! “Let America be America Again”

Langston Hughes, novelist and poet, photograph...

Langston Hughes, novelist and poet, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1936 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s a lot of shit going on to be pissed off about in our great country (note: isn’t there always?): We have racist murdering vigilantes running around free, we have a great disparity of wealth, which continues to wreak havoc with the economy, we’re fighting wars (still) in the name of the almighty dollar over seas, and Bones has gone on hiatus for two months now, with no explanation as to why, or for how long. Furthermore, in this election year, we have the conservative war on, well, anyone who isn’t a rich, white, christian male.

Could there be a more perfect time for angry poetry week?

Monday’s poem features Harlem Renaissance Poet Langston Hughes. His poem “Let America be America Again,” is a wonderful poem, which sarcastically laments the loss of an America that never existed. Hughes wrote this piece in 1935, and it was published in 1936.

Without further adieu, I share with you:

Let America be America Again

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed–
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?
I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek–
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean–
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today–O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That’s made America the land it has become.
O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home–
For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,
And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came
To build a “homeland of the free.”

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we’ve dreamed
And all the songs we’ve sung
And all the hopes we’ve held
And all the flags we’ve hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay–
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

O, let America be America again–
The land that never has been yet–
And yet must be–the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine–the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME–
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose–
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again,
America!

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath–
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain–
All, all the stretch of these great green states–
And make America again!  

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More Sordid Tales From Zinn City: Emma Goldman and Mark Twain Speak Out on American Imperialism.

English: Photographic portrait of Emma Goldman...

Image via Wikipedia

Feminist and Anarchist Emma Goldman gives her take on the Spanish-American war, many years afterward:

“How our hearts burned with indignation against the atrocious Spaniards!…. But when the smoke was over, the dead buried, and the cost of the war came back to the people in an increase in the price of commodities and rent- that is, when we sobered up from our patriotic spree-it suddenly dawned on us that the cause of the Spanish-American war was the price of sugar…. that the lives,blood,and money of the American people were used to protect the interests of the American capitalists.”

And this from Mark Twain, circa 1900:

“I bring you the stately matron named Christendom, returning bedraggled,besmirched,and dishonored from pirate raids in Kiao-Chou, Manchuria, South Africa, and the Phillipines, with her soul full of meanness, her pocket full of boodle, and her mouth full of pious hypocrisies.”

With the exception of WWII (and even that war was a golden opportunity to extend our sphere of corporate interest) every single war, “police action”, and military intervention has been about making corporations wealthier while our soldiers kill or be killed under the pathetic guise of patriotism. Only the names and locations of our “enemies” change; the motive remains the same.

Tin foil props to Howard Zinn, and “A People’s History of The United States.”

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