Apres Bush

The most delicate organ in the [American] body is the pocketbook.
— Mark Twain

Fists of a million plus undead
Corpses pale completely bled
Ghostly fingers at our door
Rapping, tapping… evermore

Iraqi bodies heaped so high
Palestinian dead in good supply
Shot or tortured, bombed or hung
Droned to death, sniped while young

Afghans J-DAM’d at a wedding
Somalis blasted as if shredding
The Lebanese? They’re cluster-bombed
White Man’s death comes with aplomb

His high tech tools efficiently
Murder extra-judicially
No need for trial by your peers
The Magna Carta disappear’d

Black and brown, the starved and poor
Consigned to death, the Western cure
For non Judeo-Christians all
Dare they resist, dare they not crawl

But hark!

Cold legions with insistent knock
The payment’s due, our fear they mock
What do they want? What have we wrought?
Dead hands outstretched, they can’t be stopped

They’ve risen from the Stygian deep
Icy from uneasy sleep
To meet, confer and set their price
They’ll now assign our cost precise

“Take now their souls!” Up goes the cry
“We’ll suck them out and leave them dry
The dearest jewel of humankind
Empty husks with death entwined”

But comes a young girl’s voice like thunder
Bloodied brow, limbs torn asunder
Rising from Jenin’s high rubble
“Forget their souls, let’s cause real trouble!

“Long has the White Man left behind
Care for his soul, it’s been consigned
To ninth or tenth place of concern
Their love of money is what burns

“Into their hearts, into their brains
Money masks their psychic pain
In comfort, excess, life of ease
Their goal’s to do just as they please

“‘Freedom of choice!’ Their battle cry
Toothpaste, cars or weaponry
(But when they did send Death to call
No choice had we, so we did fall)”

Thus sayeth our Jenin miss
“Let’s skip the dread dementor kiss
Instead we’ll take what they love most
T’is property of which they boast

“Not kindness, love or character
To gold, to things they do defer
Their bloody sacred ‘way of life’
We’ll strip it down, loose on them strife

“Their mortgages and IRAs
Pensions, shares, do not delay
Demolish all of them forthwith
De-capitalize and make it swift

“As recompense for all we’ve born
It seemeth paltry, a mere thorn
Stuck in their bloated, moneyed flesh
They’ll writhe a bit, flail and thrash

“But financial chaos is much more
It heralds what can’t be ignored
Their empire’s dying by degrees
The time has come, we won’t appease!”

The bill’s now due to those who’ve gone
On before us, they’ve been blown
Away by us, they had no choice
In our distress they now find voice

Exposed are we, fault lines laid bare
Our house of cards? Beyond repair
Humbled, cheated we must bow
Recompense forced duty now

It is but little, it is but late
Greed supreme has cast our fate
Drugged by siren song of wealth
We all wreaked mayhem, blood and death


To those amongst us those who assumed
Progressive mantles, we presumed
‘Cause we protested, whispered “no”
We did our part, our quid pro quo

A special place in this new hell
Reserved for those who did “rebel”
In sheep-like demos with non-violence
Producing only deep dark silence

Our silence was so deafening
We could not change a single thing
Childish marches tightly muffled
In cowardice we bowed, we shuffled

In the end our principles
Were worthless really, utter bull
Wealth purchased our true loyalty
And here we are still on our knees

And finally…

The blowback is a-blowing back
It’s creeping inward on a track
To devour its own with rank abandon
No mercy – none – and it’s begun

For those who sent forth Death abounding
Made Death – like interest – compounding
Have turned their gaze to a fresh view
And now they’re coming after you

J.A. Miller is a grandmother activist from the Middle West who spent many years traveling and studying in the Middle East. She has published essays on Counterpunch, Dissident Voice and StateofNature. Her poetry also was included in Remi Kanazi’s 2008 anthology Poets for Palestine. Miller is currently writing a book on the Protestant origin of the Zionist project. She can be reached at: jsec_miller@hotmail.com. Read other articles by J.A..

5 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Barra said on November 8th, 2008 at 4:37pm #

    haunted by the truth in this powerful poem.

  2. Joseph Anderson, Berkeley, CA, said on November 9th, 2008 at 12:10pm #

    Yes, hauntingly eloquent.

  3. Pete V said on November 9th, 2008 at 2:33pm #


    Non-violence produces only deep dark silence?

    It seems strange to insinuate a call to arms while indicting the ineffectuality of movements which seek to resist the kind of atrocities that are cited in the body of this piece.

    Yes, Americans are saturated with the spoils of an unjust world (“Wealth purchased our true loyalty”). Yes, the apparent futility of “grass-roots” organization to halt the inertia of the murderous regime is frustrating (“And here we are still on our knees”).

    Yes, it is tempting to satisfy our guilt by assuming a progressive mantle. Yes, we should be more active, seeking ways to implement the good in our lives and communities.

    Shall we implement good with violence?

    When we are lost the gun provides an expedient path. That road has been trod before, we know where it leads.

    “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

  4. bunnyzero said on November 9th, 2008 at 11:08pm #

    This is chilling.

  5. kalidas said on November 10th, 2008 at 11:57pm #

    Or, another take could be, very well may be, … you ain’t seen nothing yet.
    Does anyone really believe these demons will not burn entire nations to cinders? Incinerate and poison millions, billions anywhere and everywhere.
    They’ve proved their willingness and intent more than once in recent history.

    Oh, by the way, J.A. Miller, somewhere around 100 million white people were 86’d in WWI, WWII, Stalin’s massacres and the subsequent clean ups.
    Hope that helps quench your thirst some.