Sunday, September 30, 2012


I wrote this poem a few months before Bush's re-election, I think. Strangely enough it still seems to be relevant now. It must be Timeless Art!


When we were waiting in the line
It passed hand to hand to hand
“Ten”, the note read
We looked at, up, eye to eye
And waited
For the branded bottles of water
Among the flies
The mold, the crooked sign

"It's time to go" he said at the bar
"Time to join up"
His recruiter would get a bonus
His face gleamed
And the TV static
Formed a nine, circled,

He had a job
The dismal flicker of eight
On the CRT
The flights sent to Uzbekistan
Dropping people one-way
Only digits came back
"Eight" he Emailed

"Seven" puffs the sky writing
Over the assembled cameras
The backdrop
The camouflaged ranks
The mike

They were well dressed
Celebration signs waved decorously
"We want the Rapture"
"666 is the second coming"
And forward-looking smiles
And a wind-blown sign tumbling
With one more six

"Five" whispered the voice on the phone line
It was recorded
Aren't they all?
In a special file
Played over and over
Scanned for hidden messages
"Five" it said "five"
They let it alone
There was so much else

"Four" he laughed crazy
To the people at the nation's mall
"More years" he laughed
"You all want more"
And they nodded,

The radio said three angrily
In between the uncanny voices
The old-time talk
They had been talking from the beginning
About three-fifths,
Three fifths
And how that was always
Written, always should be

When all the LEDs
On all the alarm clocks
Blinked two endlessly
The people
Who were to have awoken that day
Looked, groggy,
Decided to get up, go on,
Wanting it over with
Wanting it the same

On the final day of that country
The voice said One, everyone heard it
"One" and they took out matches
"One" and burned the books that told them they were good
"One" and stumbled, footsore, into the wilderness

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