Tuesday, April 11, 2017

National Poetry Month Day 11: Robert Cooperman

Robert Cooperman's latest collection is CITY HAT FRAME FACTORY (Aldrich Press).  Forthcoming from FutureCycle Press is DRAFT BOARD BLUES and from Liquid Light Press, SAVED BY THE DEAD, Cooperman's love letter to the Grateful Dead.

The Reaction from Abroad, Great Britain: The Second American Civil War

“YANKS NEED TRANQS”—Headline in The Daily Galaxy, a London Tabloid

As if further proof were needed
that the Dis-United States of America
is a failed experiment, the Yanks 
have gone more bonkers than a cage 
crammed with meth-crazed chimps.

Rather than continue to bicker
as they normally do in Congress,
the two sides have declared war.
The nub of the confrontation?
The maniacs of Guns for America—
proof that those with the impulse control 
of small, sugar-maddened children 
should not be allowed near weapons—
have declared the overthrow of 

“The illegitimate government,
in the name of our holy democracy.”

Of course, the yabbos are oblivious 
to the Newtonian Law that for every action
there is an opposite and equal reaction.
Hence Society for Progressive Change—
a hitherto laughable gun control group—
has been training the multitudes 
that have volunteered to fight in its ranks,

“To keep our country from the clutches 
of a gun-wild theocracy.” 

Only in the States can one fight gun insanity
with more guns, in the country’s death rattle,
which we’ve predicted ever since their naive
Declaration of Independence, almost 
three centuries ago to the day.

The Reaction Abroad—Canada, The Toronto Star: The Second American Civil War

The numbers that flee the mushrooming 
hostilities across our border swamp the trickle 
that sought to escape the Vietnam War: 
a flood as opposed to a dripping faucet.

Our sane and benevolent nation scarcely 
has the manpower to process the refugees, 
nor the resources to feed the hordes swelling
our population five-fold; and still they come:
common humanity dictating we welcome them 
as best we can, for America once welcomed all—
in theory, at least—knowing political oppression 
and physical want are implacable foes.

Besides, innocents are caught in a crossfire 
so visceral the factions are Siamese Devil Fish,
that have merely to glance at each other
for combat-to-the-death to be irresistible.

But in their desperate haste to escape, fleers 
of the broken American dream have rioted,  
overwhelming border facilities and staff,
and illegal immigrants have poured through 
like panicked rats, vicious with terror, 
and oblivious to the irony of their crossing 
without seeking proper channels, as they accused 
those farther South seeking asylum 
of being illegals, in the decades before this war.

Indeed, our citizenry grows weary; sympathy 
turns to scorn, that Americans can never contain 
themselves from violence, and like bison bulls, 
they smash everything: theirs, or the property 
of others, babies powerful as Samson.

The Reaction Abroad—France, Le Globe

Once again,
America’s bloated 
sense of exceptionalism
is trumped by its fratricidal idiocy.

Every resolution taken
by the United Nations 
that might have stopped
the slaughter has been ignored,
since America no longer retains
an ambassador: the one appointed 
by the President assassinated;
the one positioned by 
the gun lobby met a similar end.

And just ahead of the destruction
of New York City by the far right, 
the world’s legislative body 
withdrew from Manhattan
to the safety and sanity of Geneva.

In the latest act of lunacy,
both sides in this uncivil war
have flung nuclear thunderbolts.
And proof that the stupidity
has spread, some on our far right 
howl to unleash our nuclear arsenal 
against the States: revenge 
for the mortification of America
liberating us from the Germans
close to a century ago.

We can only throw up our hands
in despair, the world gone mad.

The Reaction Abroad—Chinese News Service: The Second American Civil War

Now that America is meshed in its death coils,
we lead the world; but our scientists warn
there may be little of a world to lead and instruct 
once America’s radiation-saturated clouds drift
over our glorious homeland, though that dread 
conclusion may be nothing more than alarmism.  

We thought it would be the Arabs and Israelis 
or the Indians and Pakistanis who would trigger 
the cataclysm, never imagined the Americans 
would destroy themselves like fighting cocks,
and peck the rest of the world to death with them.

We knew sooner or later we’d replace them: 
good only at running up their foreign debt to us
so they could mindlessly buy tawdry baubles, 
grow soft as their empty food, loud as their music.

Soft power, subtlety, working behind the scenes 
so no one sees the strings; and never let the enemy 
feel our boot on their throat, until they’re gasping:
how we like to work, not their shout and swagger.

This catastrophe is what comes of their allegedly 
benevolent party system: two scorpions in a jar.
Far better, one ruling class; and if some are crushed, 
the necessary price for peace, order, and serenity: 
everyone on his rung in the great ladder of all things.

Now, let our scientists be wrong about America destroying 
the world before we could run it as it should be run.

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