(Copyright © 2001 Al Aronowitz)

[Charles Potts has been publishing since 1963 and three of five new books
are in wide circulation: Little Lord Shiva: The Berkeley Poems, 1968,
from Glass Eye Books in Northhampton, MA; Nature Lovers, from
Pleasure Boat Studio on Bainbridge Island, WA; and Lost River
from Blue Begonia Press in Yakima, WA. He is the editor,
publisher and force majeur behind Tsunami Inc., publishers of poetry
books and The Temple, the third most widely circulated poetry magazine in
the US, now in its fifth year. He studies Yoga and the structure of oriental
languages. He has just completed a linguistic geography prosemetrium on
how the Chinese will clean the clocks of American conservatives in their
war for control of the Pacific Basin economy called Across the North
. ANP is in fact the second leg of a major economic geography
analysis entitled How the South Finally Won the Civil War: And
Controls the Political Future of the United States
. He lives in Walla
Walla, Washington, but can be found almost anywhere.]

Country and Empire

America is an empire
Not a country
Which makes it impossible to defend
And pointless to attack.   ##

* * *

Easter Surprise

Downwind of Christian Capitalism
Vile, loathsome smells of Boise Cascade's paper mill
Blow in on the wind from Wallula to foul
Up the thin and beautiful pagan fog of morning.  

People began worshipping the sun;
Theology has gone downhill ever since.  

There are billions of people,
Christians Buddhists Moslems Republicans,
Who believe libraries full of fantasies for which
There is not a shred of reproducible evidence.  

They meet in difficult to appreciate rooms
Full of noisy fools for whom
One life on earth is not enough.  ##

* * *

Geezers in Space: AKA the Case for American Exceptionalism                                                                    for John Glenn, et al

All Americans are exceptional, let them tell you.
It was an exceptionally wide path God cleared for them
Through the exceptionally beautiful American Wilderness
Over an exceptionally large number of dead Indians
Creating the exceptional doctrine of Manifest Destiny
Which manifests itself in their exceptional reluctance
To acknowledge the exceptional scale
Of the genocide that is the bedrock of their exceptionality.  

The exceptionally rigid American Constitution
Has governed the United States for an exceptional length of time
Disguising the plutocratic use of power as democracy exceptionally well.  

Look at all the exceptional immigrants
Ratifying these exceptional choices.  

The last thing anybody needs to know anything about is
Geriatric reactions in space, and so
An exceptionally large amount of money was blown into space
To discover the effect of weightlessness on mindlessness.  ##

* * *

Pope Apology the First

Easter Sunday, April 23, 2000
Also Shakespeare's birthday.

Can you believe
The infallible Pope
Pimping for the whore of Babylon
Sputters around the deserts of Sodom
Let alone Gomorrah
Apologizing first for the Inquisition
Then the Crusades.  

What's next,
The Crucifixion?  ##

* * *

Sport Utility Poem 

We’re in trouble.
Car trouble.  

America had a love affair with the automobile
And got knocked up.

Now these little metal bastards are everywhere.  ##

* * *

The Hot Dog Train, The H.M.S. Beagle

(A journey to nowhere)

Because Davis, California, is so hip,
Babies are born there with bicycle sprockets
Instead of ankles, so there no longer is any
California transportation problem.  

Because the power is giving out
In Davis, California, home of the terminally hip,
It has been necessary to clean the refrigerators
At the University of California at Davis.  

They found a lot of dead bodies,
Dead bodies of Beagles experimented on
With various traces and doses of radioactivity.
Man’s best friend frozen stiff in a manmade Nuclear Winter.  

They also found the Beagle shit on ice,
Frozen now but it was too hot then,
When the dog shit stashers of Davis, California,
Didn’t have the nerve to flush it down
Their too-hip-to-be-radioactive sewer.  

Who besides us saves their frozen hound dog shit?
Talk about Iceberg Slim as an anal retentive.
As least we know what besides control of the plutonium supply
Turns these assholes on.  

But they found a place in our not-so-hip-backyard.
Our NIMBY, WHIMPY, Governor Gardner couldn’t say no,
On a cold day in Dog Do Heaven
To such federal nuclear dog shit stashing scientists of Davis,  

Who had the long reach to the Hanford Reservation,
Home of the Manhattan Project, the Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs,
Where the radioactive tribe finally brings
Everything including the radioactive dog shit home to roost.  

When the bona fide members of the Hanford tribe
Leave the Reservation glowing in the dark.
'Twas Kennewick Man
Actually found
Radioactive in a pile of hot dog shit.


We’re talking about tons of this shit.
A trainload of radioactive dog shit.
With a half life longer than all the railroad songs
You’ve ever been subjected to.  

It really sticks to your feet.
Sticks to your ribs.
Sticks in your craw.
This radioactive dog shit of Davis, California.  

Chill out with
Radioactive Dog Do
Dog Do
Dog Do
Radioactive Dog Do,
(This is not The Ballad of Los Angeles),
Keeps us glowing in the morning.  

I’ve been to the world’s biggest cities:
Mexico, Tokyo, Beijing, New York.
Where smug mayors act on everyone’s behalf
As if they had it all.  

But they better not have any radioactive dog shit
Because we intend to corner the market.  

I don’t want anybody holding out on us.
Washington state wants your radioactive dog shit,
All of it. 
And we want it now. ##

* * *

The Pledge of a Grievance  

I pledge a grievance
To the flag
Of the empire of the United States
And to the people
On which it stands
One nation under foot
With gliberty and injustice for all.  ##



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