The force that placed us here cannot be trusted

Poet's Notes

--with lines from Walt Whitman, Tristan Corbiere, Sterling Brown, Ernesto Cardenal, Kevin Bowen, Czeslaw Milosz and Ray A.Young Bear

--Whitman, Walt, "Would you hear of an old-time sea fight?", Song of Myself, 35
--Corbiere, Tristan , "Letter from Mexico", trans. William Meredith, Effort at Speech: New and Selected Poems, Northwestern University Press, 1997
--Brown, Sterling A., "Master and Man", The Collected Poems of Sterling A. Brown, HarperCollins Publishers, 1980
--Cardenal, Ernesto, "Ecology", trans. Marc Zimmerman, Flights of Victory/Vuelos de Victoria, Curbstone Press, 1995
--Bowen, Kevin, "Incoming", Playing Basketball with the Viet Cong, Curbstone Press, 1995
--Milosz, Czeslaw, "Dedication", trans. Czeslaw Milosz, New and Collected Poems, The Ecco Press, 2003
--Young Bear, Ray A., "A Drive to Lone Ranger", The Invisible Musician, Holy Cow! Press, 1996

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At dinner, Zach asks
about our nation's history, wars.
I say We're taking on everyone, one at a time.

First Britain, then Britain again: "He was the surly English pluck, and
      there is no tougher or truer, and never was, and never will be."
Next Mexico: "Death is indifferent to what hide he tans; life crushes men
      like flies."
The War Between the States: "Well done, Mr. Cromartie. Time now
      for rest."

Most of Latin America: "Not only humans longed for liberation. All
      ecology groaned for it too. The revolution is also one of lakes,
      rivers, trees, animals."
Then Southeast Asia: "The slight bump the mortars make as they kiss
      the tube goodbye. Then the furious rain, a fist driving home the
      message: Boy, you don't belong here."
Now the Middle East: "A land to be admired like all lands. Harsh
      mountains and deserts, indigenous plants and people, adapted
      ungulates, carnivorous mammals."

Can't forget the Krauts & Nips: "Then I heard the bomber call me in:
      Little Friend, Little Friend, I got two engines on fire. Can you see
      me, Little Friend?"
Nor the Commies: "You mixed up farewell to an epoch with the
      beginning of a new one. I put this book here for you, who once
      lived, so that you should visit us no more."
The original indigenous people say: "In time wexll become prosperous,
      or else we'll become martyrs. The force that placed us here cannot
      be trusted."

Copyright © | Year Posted 2015

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