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during the passage of a day



up in the morning

I dress     drink my coffee

and depart


I buy a ticket

on an airplane



I travel         travel         travel

farther than

my father


fire rises throughout this land

and consume me

I leave with my ashes


scattered on the wind of its breath

as hot as an insomniac computer

the world flames up as its heart beats


I burn       I learn

many hidden secrets few

believe are true


their darkness shines

like a precious stone

locked safely in a vault


I'm told not to care

by a floppy disked god

made in my image and likeness


who protects me from myself

and from gangs of komodo dragons

holed up in Baghdad


I'm urged to hate those

who don't understand

our mythic slogan lingo


of loss and sacrifice

locked in the president's



carried under guard

and labeled

top secret



there's still hope

we'll win the lottery


by selling millions as slaves

in the promised land

of despair


we caw like crows for salvation

dead bodies hung

like scarecrows


complaining about comfort

on death rows full

of famished hyenas


who laugh as they rip

every sacred morsel of mystery

from our dreams


I know it's hopeless as

I hear nationalist hymns

and anthems


crooning about freedom


to save us from its wicked curse


making me shake my head

hoping to scatter

fear and hate








cruises the river Styx



Charon could use some help

and another boat to cross

the river


corpses arrive everyday

and he's always ferried



casualties from wars

plagues and untimely accidents

are usual passengers


waving a long goodbye

but still Charon keeps

his ferry cruising


the callouses on his hands

are as hard as a

politician's heart


and the black waters

of the river land us

where life


is a distant dream

a fading thought

not a wager


or a bluff

just something Charon



with the first

and final strokes

of his oar








a hunchbacked nation



a nation with a hunchback

getting bigger every four years

uses it as a benefit


there's wheelchairs for everyone

and a specially reserved

parking place


near the front door of

a pharmacy where it cops

all the medicine imaginable


curing pain and

keeping you functional is

important for a peon


everything else depends

on how the budget's used

and that's always in flux


a doctor who

by popular opinion is mad

dissected departed hunchbacks


and discovered the hump to be

makeshift trash dumps full

of odd things


they were littered with

computers    empty pill jars

used syringes


automatic rifles          sheriff's' badges

a baby's booties       credit cards

cash registers


promissory notes        bad novels

westerns starring

John Wayne


speeches by George Bush

second mortgages and

eviction notices


despite our efforts

to stop this horrific



more people with

hunchbacks appear each

and every year


no cure has been found

and some think

there is none


believing their fate

one of power and affluence

is the same as Quasimodo's


who as Hugo tells us

was employed ringing a bell

at a cathedral in Paris