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Which Way Does This Bird Fly?


Is this what a modern ghost-town civil war looks like when it's unfolding across the

 ornithological neuropathways of America's heartland?

A virtual conflict fought with corporate logos & internet joysticks so no one keels

over in U.S. hospitals, but thousands of tens perish on asphalt unfinished

teapot boiling emergency room streets of Iraq?

While acrobats of Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, and Venezuela pilot solar-powered helicopters

onto the triangular landing pads of 21st century gymnasium rooftops,

the Bush administration remains mudstuck worried about 2000 and 2004 vote tallies

so is laying a trail of depleted uranium dust to cover its tracks,

and America's windmills are blowing our lead-lined windowless copters

back in ahistoric time to the McKinley 19th.


Across the partially beheaded streets of every state in the union, young people have

weathered ROTC anthrax advertising attacks and beaten real or synthetic drums

for peace, housing, healthcare, & carbon sequestration--

In the lobbies of America's most eccentric rainbow drought hotels, songwriters without

enough guitar strings have penciled tunes for more humane global instruments.

Artists are stepping up after their 5th grade no-child-looks-behind math proficiency

exam to draw pictures of Bush being led out the Yellow House in white candy

striper chains.

Only 18 people in the entire country are willing to be photographed with Cheney!

But somehow an electroshock Occupied Territories Fence has been built along

deserted Election Day alley roads between the smoke-stained halls of

government and the ever-circling computer-hacked will of the people

and it looks impossible to get these guys out the exit door for another three years!


What Christian pastor in his or her right mind would approve the raining down of white

phosphorus at Falluja?

What orthodox or reformed Rabbi would bless Pentagon's El Salvador-style creation

of Shiite death squads roaming back porches of Baghdad?

Could even the most patriotic mosque in America rationalize angry American soldiers

rounding Iraqis in Abu Sifa or Haditha for vengeful execution?

Is there a Hindu god that can paint over those pictures of hooded electric torture we all

witnessed with our own eyes at Abu Ghraib?

Why does a born-again American president make the Buddhist shrines across India

tear & tremble?

How do we get from marching Times Square recruiting station and playing Hammerstein

 Ballroom antiwar piano to a newly paved policy road for America?

How many Americans would risk crossing the Democracy Wall without proper

documents to join a Movement of the Democratic Left?



[Originally published in NHS 2006, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs06/Katz.htm.]