A known known…

…there are known knowns. There are things
we know that we know. There are known
unknowns—things we do not know we know…
— an infamous War Criminal

We know “extraordinary rendition” wasn’t
Gladys and Marvin dropping smash hit
versions of “Grapevine” the same year…
We know “enhanced interrogation” wasn’t
probing philosophical conversations regarding
Grand mysteries of life…

In a dark, damp, dank, demonic den of depleted
uranium shrouded in white phosphorus clouds
belching fracking fluid; A devilish war criminal
WMD dances around gaslighting Dr. Goebbels and
Empire’s death rattle. The stench of sulfur swirls
up into his flared nostrils. Alas, he’s home!

Bloodthirsty thug in Brooks Brothers suit; Architect
of Terror on War; Walking war crime; he arrives on a
Hellfire Missile—Fallujah, Bagram, Abu Ghraib tags
on his baggage. Unapologetic for The Hague leg of his
journey, he’s the latest ghost detainee housed in the
Hitler-Hoover wing for the worst of the worst.

War criminal crème de la crimson, his place is cemented
in the pantheon of war criminals. For continuity he leaves
behind warlocks like Ol’ Schmo, Raytheon’s Craven Raven,
The Drone Ranger and Warlike Rice Women, Ladee Blu, et. al.
Now he can devote himself full-time
to stress positions, 20-hour interrogations, weaponizing phobias

After the war criminal’s laid to rest—and off the news cycle;
after boots are gone from the ground, Ol’ Schmo will keep on
sending and sending and sending shareholders drones “over
the rainbow” to Afghanistan/Pakistan. And Congressmembers
sporting red, white and blue Wehrmacht jackets will keep
Huffing and puffing hot air…floating war profiteer balloons…

And now…A Moment of Silence—wet, cold, Wikileak, foghorn loud—
for Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, Pakistan millions slaughtered on the
watch of a cunning sadist-torturer-mass murderer; devil of death…

Raymond Nat Turner is a NYC poet privileged to have read at the Harriet Tubman Centennial Symposium. He is Artistic Director of the stalwart JazzPoetry Ensemble UpSurge and has appeared at numerous festivals and venues including the Monterey Jazz Festival and Panafest in Ghana West Africa. He currently is Poet-in-Residence at Black Agenda Report. Turner has opened for such people as James Baldwin, People’s Advocate Cynthia McKinney, radical sportswriter Dave Zirin and CA Congresswoman Barbara Lee following her lone vote against attacking Afghanistan. He is Co-Chair of the NY Chapter National Writers Union (NWU). Read other articles by Raymond Nat, or visit Raymond Nat's website.