George Carlin, RIP

“Tell all the truth
But tell it slant.”

— Emily Dickinson

George Carlin’s dead!

He was a funny guy.

He’d take a truth and dance with it.
The truth was like a big rag doll.
It could be bent.
It would fall down.
He’d hold it up and pirouette.

George Carlin was on a rant.
He’d rant about the government.
He’d show the stupid grin behind
Tyranny spying on its drones.
He’d show a people
Stewing in their fear.
It was funny —
The way nightmares are funny.

George Carlin, the murderer, is dead.
He was a dangerous man.
He’d walk around with his machete swinging.
He’d macerate myths and propaganda.
You’d never know where or when he’d strike.

“I have only one life to give for my country.”
We keep killing the same fools over and over.
We raise them to kill and be killed.
“Government of the people, by the people
And for the people –”
“– Shall not perish from the earth.”
Whack! Whack! Whack!
He carved it into a pretty dish.
He served it with a lot of salt.
“This is the war to end all wars!”
Whack! Whack-whack-whack!
He stood it on its big fat head.
All its shiny coins fell out.
Blood skirled over the coins.
“The only thing we have to fear –”
“– Is fear itself.”
Whack! Whack! Whack-whack-whack!
There was nothing to fear about fear.
We could figure that out ourselves.
There was everything else to alert ourselves to–
Especially lies from those who said
We had nothing to fear but fear.
“We the People”
“–In order to form a more perfect government …”
Government’s always imperfect–
It deals with human beings.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident …”
Truth is never self-evident.
It wears a thousand transforming masks.

Reverend Carlin’s dead.
He ministered to our wounds.
He applied the balm of love and laughter.
He walked us up to the Kingdom of Light.
He dared we make ourselves free to enter.
He left smiling.

Poet-playwright-journalist-fictionist-editor-professor, Dr. Gary Corseri has published work in Dissident Voice, The New York Times, Village Voice, CommonDreams and hundreds of other publications and websites worldwide. His dramas have been produced on PBS-Atlanta, and he has performed his work at the Carter Presidential Library. Gary can be reached at Read other articles by Gary.

4 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Don Hawkins said on June 23rd, 2008 at 12:12pm #

    I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, “Where’s the self-help section?” She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.
    George Carlin

    One can never know for sure what a deserted area looks like.
    George Carlin

    When Thomas Edison worked late into the night on the electric light, he had to do it by gas lamp or candle. I’m sure it made the work seem that much more urgent.
    George Carlin

    I recently went to a new doctor and noticed he was located in something called the Professional Building. I felt better right away.
    George Carlin

    Always do whatever’s next.
    George Carlin

  2. hp said on June 23rd, 2008 at 1:30pm #

    So long, George!
    You made me laugh.
    You told the truth.
    You always left em wanting more!

  3. Giorgio said on June 23rd, 2008 at 5:35pm #

    ‘In God We Trust’
    ‘In Israel We Trust’
    Whack! Whack! Whack-whack-whack!

  4. Max Shields said on June 24th, 2008 at 9:47am #

    Thank you, Gary!

    I remember the botton down version of Carlin in the early ’60s and saw him live on the Columbia U. Campus in the early seventies.

    Best comic – ever!