“The innocence of the creatures is in inverse proportion to the immorality of the Master.”
—Gravity’s Rainbow, pg. 602
Because if you fold your clothes, if you purchase ramekins and use them, you believe you can change the world.
If you pick up a cup, throw it away or wash it.
When you take off your clothes, and you are alone, and usually you are, hang them up.
By not paying the bills you are endorsing the punishment you will receive for years to come.
Toenails are caught in the barbed individual bristles of carpet.
The little bumps in various places on your body signal, with their hardness, too late for a doctor. Too late for the cleansing effects of honesty. There are things that are in your control for only a duration.
All that has moved beyond is in the category “Monsters.”
Poems don’t say “hello.”
Poems don’t say “hello” for you, I mean.
I mean poems don’t pick up the phone. So, the phone never rings.
That shit is scary.
Angelica played the flute in Guanajuato, Mexico. Played it beautifully, I think. Gave me her virginity.
She was real. I was just a guero in the story she tells of Andy who gave her his virginity. I was Catholic.
I wish that, she said she wished he wouldn’t have, she wouldn’t have.
At my desk surrounded by cups.
Within shooting distance of Effrain Rios Montt.
Mayans marching through the streets of Guatemala City in support, as if a lemming were dreaming of a seaside resort.
The insufficient complexity of my language to explain this to me.
And now you understand why I hurtled into that tree.
I had my dream of dying taken away by reality.
I had no other dreams.
"He said, 'I wish things were like when Ronald Reagan was still president,"' said one of the soldiers who guarded him.
I wish I could control my bowels.
The 1950’s All-Electric House introducing California Living.
The Night the Old Nostalgia Burned Down. For the first time a man could sit on his patio and watch TV. Hungry Man Dreams. Galileans.
Applied Economic Analysis. One light for tanning, one for killing germs, one for doing anything. A house of light. The future right before our eyes and we didn’t burn it.
End of the World. Flying Saucers Have Landed. Tooni Schooner. Flying Saucers Outer Space. They moved in and opened up a laboratory. Tornadoes of the U.S.
Light simulated light in the “fireplace.” Light simulated “candle light” on the dinner table. We Survived. Did we? How to Raise Your Own Salary.
Humanity & Happiness. She was happy for the dishwasher. Birds Wild & Free. Far Far from Home. The reality of TV behind a sliding seascape. Buttons to push, it must be worth it.
Dear Dorothy Dix. America is West. Separate beds for this electricity does not ignite the passion. Letter to Lord Byron. Russia: What Next.
Good Home Cooking. Girls from Esquire. Meters running behind two-way mirrors. The washing machine. The blender. The pure white light. The diamond of intention.
Apostles of Discord. Right-wing dictators eyeing broilers. A house worth starving your nation for. This proof of the divine provenance of innovation. History of Philosophical System.
Second Happiest Day. I know that one. After I meet you it will follow the first one.
We even have a list of books that were on the shelves in the living room. The only thing dust settles on.
So he sold him a few helicopters.
Category beyond my control.
Leaving Home. We still seek the following:
Grabbing headlines on a Friday is hard to do, imagine if you were a committee report reporting on bad news.
Subcommittee on Crime Terrorism and Homeland Security. Imagine if you were the interview both innocent and guilty.
Subcommittee on Economic Security Infrastructure Protection and Cybersecurity.
To hold a closed briefing on certain intelligence matters, Senate Committee on Intelligence, Location: Hart Senate Office Building, Room 219, 2:30.
The category of light receiving receiver with a facet of light. House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct.
First time I’ve heard of these. Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies.
Subcommittee on Labor Health and Human Services Education and Related Agencies.
Subcommittee on Terrorism Unconventional Threats and Capabilities.
Worn smooth like handrails linking sidewalks to subways in the city. Invisible dogs on trick leashes we don’t know we’re walking. Waters wash over rock. Subcommittee on Research.
With barely a word, workers removed the blue drapes exposing Spirit of Justice and Majesty of Law to a deserted building. Subcommittee on Social Security and Family Policy. Someone opened the true book of Enron (Subcommittee on Seapower) in a room without cameras. I read poetry.
The soft parts of my body respond softly.
The felt of a pen gives its liquid contents.
Depression is value-added capitalism.
I love that. Zombies are the dispossessed. Their bodies now conduits for reckoning and when they enter the high-density commercial space of the combination retail and penthouse towers they are hungry.
A chewed head hyzers into the fountain. A mall full of apple eating.
Teeth tearing skins. “Look it up in the dictionary," Mr. Rumsfeld said. I’ve searched for the word to describe the smell of Dolly Madison meeting Tyson Fine Meats.
Trucks rolling off of highway 50, straight shot down 6th to Prairie. In the lane next to a haul of cattle, eyes through slats.
Cooked sugar, butchers, inhale deep.
Emporia’s movie: tail of the reel slapping, pocked whiteness until a bulb burns out.
The word JC Pennies. The dream I have of a woman so real it’s hallucinatory.
Frank told me my problem was love for you and not the poem. Wishing someone else saw lights over the park at night like light from a spray bottle. Light splayed from the mouth of a boxer, knocked out.
The Midwest is complicit and sexy as any other. War comes home to Kansas (Fort Riley, The Big Red 1). Kansas has long dreamed, produced, and sold the machinery of War (Beechcraft, Boeing, Cessna, Raytheon).
Protestants arm and armor our fighting forces. Mexicans and Vietnamese slaughter our cattle.
Everything flows through here just as everything flows through there. I don’t believe in the soil or god.
Friends are more likely to move with you into the future, here or anywhere else. I would never describe myself, or anything I know. As Midwest, writing is prior to that.
I’ll be leaving as soon as I can. I’ve left many times. I never say goodbye. There are good people here and I love them.
Scrub Kansas with a lemon.
Scrub the cutting board. Wash your hands. Walk off the edge of a flat earth.
Walk up to a deer and choke it with both hands.
Tuesday, July 19th, 2005, 95 miles north of the capital city, a government formally accepted responsibility for the killing. I guess we’re sorry.
Now we can [ ] that Ronald Reagan praised Efrain Rios Montt as he was razing Mayan villagers with machetes.
So fucking [ ], a flickering light. We are Kaibiles.
A robin slobbering in the heat that puts dogs to sleep.
My right hand is a claw that can hold cups. They grow from my carpet.
When the computer tires of electricity I plug in myself and let it search me. Any scar is an outlet if you push hard enough.
The computer likes pornography or that is all it can find in me.
Robins falling from the sky onto my roof. Behind a cloud turning a bag of doughnuts upside down.
Gingivitis. Sun’s shadow spreading over the plains, straight razor shaving an unprepared face.
Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas. By the time you read this. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
Nicked in the process. Robins fall in slices. Landing shrink-wrapped at a discount.
In my rear view mirror I saw a black cat galloping towards me in reverse. My heart felt the thunder of a herd.
When they come for you. When they only practice.
It will be too late. “I made my commitment
and it will get done." You look like a kind old man.
July 9, 2004, Conclusion 101.
When these inspections did not find evidence…analysts did not regard this information as significant. [the president is not responsible for this]
Conclusion 19…did not examine them carefully enough to see the obvious problems with the documents. [the president is not responsible for this]
The Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) should have taken the time to read the State of the Union speech and fact check it himself. [the president is not responsible for this]
The judgment in the National Intelligence Estimate…was not supported by the intelligence.
Conclusion 31….is incorrect.
Conclusion 34…was incorrect
Conclusion 38….at a minimum, misleading and, in some cases, incorrect.
Conclusion 48….is not supported by the intelligence...
Conclusion 51….withheld important information concerning both CURVE ball's reliability and BLACKED OUT
Conclusion 57…is not supported by the intelligence…
Conclusion 58…..overstated both what was known…
Conclusion 63….was not substantiated by the intelligence…
Conclusion 70….was not supported by the intelligence…
Conclusion 72. Much of the information…for inclusion in Secretary Powell's speech was overstated, misleading, or incorrect.
Conclusion 73…This information should never have been provided for use in a public speech.
Conclusion 84. The Committee found no evidence that the Vice President's visits…were attempts to pressure analysts
Conclusion 85. The Intelligence Community's elimination of the caveats…misrepresented their judgments to the public
Conclusion 86…the dissenting opinion was excluded completely.
Conclusion 93…these contacts did not add up…
Conclusion 99….there was little useful intelligence…
Conclusion 102…changes were made to the paper as a result of the participation of two Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy staffers
Conclusion 112. The Intelligence Community had limited actionable intelligence…
Conclusion 114…were factually incorrect.
Conclusion 115…inherently subjective, inconsistently applied, and not well-documented.
Conclusion 116…lists lack coherency.
Conclusion 117….unresponsive, incomplete and inconsistent.
“As I said last night, I can’t sleep in the silence of sleep, the story I told haunts me with its lingerie, let’s keep in mind the fact that this war’s going to happen without apology from the machines and we can die trying to stop it or live and be allowed to watch from a safe distance, regardless of what Curve Ball said or didn’t say, he was drunk and pleading for forgiveness, and that the Powers That Be probably aren’t terribly interested that I shit myself unless I make a scene, unless I smear it on my face and run screaming, my dream will be redacted, a faint lingering heat from the leather whip across my lips swelling, I’m not interested in whether Curve Ball knows what he’s talking about, he’s a pair of panties on the war effort, However, in the interest of Truth, we owe somebody a sentence or two,
we owe somebody a sentence or two,
of warning, if you honestly have reservations, I’ll give you my life back - remember when you had it, a light switch.” (pg. 249)
Author’s note: Portions of the poem were taken from the “Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community’s Prewar Assessments on Iraq.”
Copyright 2005, Andy Carter
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