"War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength."
-- George Orwell
They gave birth to a child called Chaos
whom they nicknamed Freedom.
Feeling feisty, Freedom
went out and bought an Uzi
after a 24-hour cooling-off period.
He looked down the barrel
at the young father
shopping at the mall with his daughter.
He took aim and fired
at the homeless veteran
digging for clams
in the dumpster
He sighted the old people
in their apartment
watching their DVD cozily.
He went to the beach where the students
in delicious nonchalance.
He waded and nuzzled against them.
True Love and Freedom
were on a collision course.
They'd been toolin' the country for a year.
They'd pick off a coupla gas stations,
shoot up the back roads
past the blue sirens
into the Ozarks and Rockies.
They lived in an old school bus
an hour out of Boulder.
Now True Love was expecting.
Freedom got rough with her.
"I don't want no whining machine
camping out on my lifestyle!"
He flashed his sharkgrey teeth,
raised his irongray hand.
True Love sobbed when he left her
in the mottled motel --
black-eyed, bruised, miscarried.
Freedom went down to the jungles of Colombia
to sniff around.
He bribed some local padrones,
set himself up in the mountains
of the occupied territory.
The white powder came
and he made it green paper.
Washington sent helicopters and rifles
and he turned it all to green paper.
He put on his business suit and made a speech on Fox.
"The people of Columbia are dying for Freedom," he said.
"Freedom requires sacrifice."
He wept as he spoke.
The Nielsen Ratings were the highest in history.
Transforming into a sleek jet fighter,
Freedom streaked over Fallujah.
He shat white phosphorous
and six thousand Iraqis writhed like bugs.
He kicked down the doors of ten million homes,
siced dogs on old men, ravaged the girls,
imprisoned young men,
looted the treasures of old Babylon--
the jewels of antiquity jangling
through five thousand years of ruin.
Freedom to pillage, rape and murder,
Freedom to terrorize,
enslave, and impose
its indelible stamp on this floating world;
Freedom to oppose
every countervailing freedom;
Freedom to censor and expropriate,
To spy, torture and shred evidence,
to be foolish, loutish, boorish and
to sell Christ for silver,
to bow before the God of War;
to be mercenary,
hateful, lustful and sadistic;
to lie in all sincerity.
Freedom smacked his lips, burped,
looked over his work, blessed it,
lay down on a pile of corpses, and slept
while Predators swept dark clouds above,
and the Machine whirred on below.
Gary Steven Corseri’s work has appeared at Dissident Voice, Common Dreams, CounterPunch, The New York Times, Village Voice, City Lights Review, Redbook, Sky, Georgia Review and PBS-Atlanta. His books include A Fine Excess, Holy Grail, Holy Grail, and Manifestations. He has taught in public schools, prisons and universities and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other Articles and Poems by Gary Corseri