Quis Custodiet?

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
— Juvenal

They accused me of murdering Truth!

I gave them the “least untruthful” reply.
“What is truth?” I asked them, quoting Pilate.
“Hath not the Truth eyes?” I wondered,
Paraphrasing William S. “If you prick Truth,
Does it not bleed? If you tickle it, does it not laugh?
If you poison it, does it not die?” But, they were not
Amused! And they hauled me off to Gitmo.

“What is my crime?” I wondered. “Some musings
Passed between friends? A bit of Twainian humor,
Ridiculing the P.T.B.? Or POTUS?
Or SCOTUS? Or the “permanent criminal class”
Twain called Congress? (OK! I threw in the MSM,
As well; and Big Finance and Big Pharma—
The insane “celebrity culture”; mis-education,
And all the other “mis”-es, including,
Most of “history,” all that I’d mis-learned
About good guys and bad guys, who to trust, and,
Whom to look upon askance, with jaundiced eye,
Because, in fact, they wore masks; they were never
What they seemed; they were, in fact, grotesque.)

So they padlocked me in Solitary!
An hour a day in sun or rain, in an orange jump-suit—
Like a clown—outdoors. (They let me pray—in my clown suit!)
I refused their food, loaded with chemicals
And their “untruth serum.” So they clamped me down
And force-fed me. A tube down my nose, a tube
Down my throat. They padded my cell. They wouldn’t
Let me die! “What is my crime?” I protested.
“Asking questions? Ain’t this the Land of the Free?
Ain’t it the Home of the Brave” Ain’t it? … Ain’t it? …”

Down the corridor where they kept the hopeless,
I heard the echo of my ravings; and,
Beyond the iron door, some soft humming
Of television voices, and occasional
Muted laughter; and, above, I thought: a droning
Humming. … And then, a crack of thunder! Then,
Lightning! Then…, all the flickering lights went out. …

Gary Corseri has published/posted poems, articles and stories at Dissident Voice, The Greanville Post, Uncommon Thought Journal, CounterPunch, Countercurrents, Transcend Media Service, Veterans News Now, The New York Times, Village Voice, Redbook Magazine, Common Dreams, and hundreds of other worldwide venues. His dramas have been produced on PBS-Atlanta and elsewhere, and he published novels, poetry collections, and a literary anthology (edited), Manifestations. He has taught in US and Japanese universities and in US prisons and public schools. He has performed his work at the Carter Presidential Library and Museum. Gary can be reached at gary_corseri@comcast.net. Read other articles by Gary.