Puerto Rico: Shock and Awe

Exposing Capitalism’s Criminality

Water is life…and
even saliva’s in short supply…
For drum-tight mouths, sandpaper throats.
Yodeling bellies cave in on spines,
as evil scents of sewage and death float in,
Refashioning an island into a spreadsheet.

Cell towers, power lines snapped like
legos—electricity’s a distant memory—
Refrigerated insulin’s useless.
Oxygen tanks ran out eons ago—
Generators and motorboats are
Music where ATMs froze and
Desperation’s setting in…
celebrity charity’s touching—
But, not the Billions needed…

Cuba’s been ready with doctors—
Venezuela offered oil,
Jamaica wants to jump in—
Even earthquake-ravaged
Mexico lined up supplies!
But, an embargo of greed,
masked in maritime law,
Blocks arteries of foreign-
flagged ships, primed to pump
Blood to Puerto Rico’s body—
food, fuel, water, medicines—
Once again exposing capitalism’s

Is there a method to
Boss Tweet’s madness, his
Shock and awe? His
0 empathy victim blaming,
As animals and people perish; his
cruel, callous debt sermons while
His sordid career floats on
like an oily
Turd in a

Maybe there’s a method to
his five day fusillade of
Tweets at NFL kneelers;
NBA War House-no shows?
Maybe fire and fury,
Killing 25 million Koreans, makes better
Business sense than delivering food and water,
Saving 3 million Puerto Ricans?
Perhaps “it’s business, not personal—“
Regime change in Venezuela
Trumps diaper change
for Boricuan babies?

Isn’t it elegant,
Gnawing Wall Street’s pound of flesh—
Katrina-style—from island bones?
Succulent FEMA cost-sharing;
Juicy PREPA electrical grid;
Tender teacher pensions;
Storm-skewered Commonwealth
Shish kabob for bondholder,
Bankster, disaster capitalist
contractor/sub-contractor jackals—
How refined!
And for dessert:
Puerto Rican-free Pudding—
Served on high-rise
luxury hotel, golf course,
Post-hurricane playground for the
Rich parasite sponge cake—yum…

Don’t Blame Maria—blame
Hurricane IMF; Hurricanes World Bank,
Goldman-Sachs, Citibank… Blame
Hurricane Financial Management Oversight Board;
Hurricane Taxation Without Representation—
Begging the question:
“Is they is, or is they ain’t citizens?”

Debt cancellation/Reparation/Self-determination

Former forklift driver/warehouse worker/janitor, Raymond Nat Turner is a NYC poet; BAR's Poet-in-Residence; and founder/co-leader of the jazz-poetry ensemble UpSurge!NYC. Read other articles by Raymond Nat, or visit Raymond Nat's website.