The Clowns Are Clowning in Iraq

It comes straight from the song
you sung a long time ago
when the people's revolution
of your own homeland
had yet to rev up to full speed
and its engine from the anger
we had known so well spoke
of wars we had to go through.

The same holds for Baghdad now,
this synecdoche of of our common lies
now getting on a foothold to a truth
we can never do without.

It is like the caffein
on the sugared soda: it gets into your blood
and you go look for the addiction
the gushes out of other people's lives
and then the soda, like bullets, and wars,
and this terrible scene that reminds you
of resurrection gone past
becomes your eternal god,
terrible in its invisibility
like the sleight of hand
of showman and politicians
of commerce men and clerics
of generals and presidents.

In Iraq now, they send in the clowns.

And they murder them too
like in Kabul.

The children have to be amused somehow,
diverted from the everydayness of bombs
the terrors of the dogs of war
the helpless deaths that come in multiples
each day that these children wake up
each night they go to sleep
the images of dying and wounded hearts
spilling out on the streets in their minds.

What gunpowder will not cajole
them into believing that war
is the lot of men and women in these times
when we have known how to kill quickly
the penalty at an instant?

Which is why the clowns come clowning
the yellow and red of their tricks
the exaggeration of their magic
the studied movement of their hands
all colluding to create for us as for the children
an illusion in sweetness and delight.

There is no war, or soon it will end.

That is the magic the whole ruse gives,
and soon the disjointed account
of our common miseries takes on the victor's
word, his language blasting all others',
and the glory will come to the table
so all will partake of the savagery of this deed.

A Solver Agcaoili
Hon, HI
Mar 3/08

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