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O Say Can You Hear? (english)
by Stephen Oliver
Email: sao (nospam) smartchat.net.au
12 Feb 2003
An imagistic statement on the condition of war and meltdown of the American Dream.
Stephen Oliver is the author of six major collections of poetry. His recent collection, Night of Warehouses: Poems 1978-2000, covers five volumes of poems and spans two decades. A poetry chapbook, DEADLY POLLEN, is to be published by Word Riot Press in 2003. Stephen is a transtasman poet and writer who lives in Sydney. http:people.smartchat.net.au/~sao/
O Say Can You Hear?
The dripping Gorgonís head
over the sands of Iraq, spittle of snakes flame out
from a thousand gun barrels -
at last! the two worlds unite in the death struggle,
the two as one to make a third:
fantasy is reality is fantasy.
America has become its own horror cartoon,
each thought locked within its renegade cell,
Bugs Bunny holds forth in the senate on
the bankrupt dream-stocks buried at Fort Knox.
Donald Duck meantime jerks off in disgust
over the American flag - quacks
the countryís been bushwacked,
'ainít worth a hill of beansí
in archaic colloquialisms of a nation near claim
jumping the Middle East.
The last capitalist gasp v the last medieval groan;
eventually, to make way for the eco-terrorists whose
motto: destroy what you cannot save: will sound
the retreat to a history vaporised - a memory erased.
So we come to inherit 'Our Common Lossí.
The Space Shuttle Columbia makes
its long wave 'good-byeí
bright finger nails tearing at the sky (like)
'morning Lucifer, that star that beckons all
mankind to daily roundsí
scratching down Godís blackboard
as seven souls fly away
toward the Pleiades.
So we make our omens to live and die by.
Stephen Oliver, 2003