Living Public Nightmare: 2016 Presidential Campaign

Dystopian fictions
canoe down
whitewater rapids,
From dream to consciousness…

At the diner, the cook in the back,
who eyed your black friend suspiciously and
the wealthy elite who tells
his friends about the ‘lazy’ Hispanic
sucking the government’s teat,
they are at the podium with
reality TV theatrics

Marginalized, hate-guzzling Islamic radicals
goad them on…it’s as if they’re in this

The brick wall contender runs to the racist wealthy elite
and proves her patriotism by saying the
words “Islamic radical.”
And now, that’s all that is required –
not to have a coherent policy but
to apply two words when referencing
a certain kind of cyclical terrorism and
counter responses that remind one they’re
amidst a Hobbesian state of
anarchic nightmare

Totalitarian gleaming eyes hold a
thirsty cradle in the jailed wind;
crowds beckon to the cradle, “Save us!”
A thirsty man in his window repeats, in pious fashion,
“Islamic radical, Muslim terrorist.”
And the Hobbesian state of nature
disappears immediately, for he has
defined the radical other.

Let us destroy their villages with
stealthy drones so that they may attack again.
And again, we can get on our knees and pray, enunciating clearly these words:
“Islamic radical, Muslim terrorist.”

As a prolific author from the Boston area, Peter F. Crowley writes in various forms, including short fiction, op-eds, poetry and academic essays. In 2020, his poetry book Those Who Hold Up the Earth was published by Kelsay Books and received impressive reviews by Kirkus Review, the New Age and two local Boston-area newspapers. His writing can be found in Middle East Monitor, Znet, 34th Parallel, Pif Magazine, Galway Review, Digging the Fat, Adelaide’s Short Story and Poetry Award anthologies (finalist in both) and The Opiate. His books That Night and Other Stories (CAAB Publishing) and Empire’s End (Alien Buddha Press) were released during the week of Friday the 13th in October 2023. Read other articles by Peter F..