Monday, March 31, 2008

Deputy Dubya Doubles Down

Deputy Dubya doubles down
Betting on bombing, he blitzes a town
Shocking and awe-ing his sycophant scribes
Known for their nodding; needing their bribes

Dim little dauphin; desperate joke
Sawed through a branch that he sat on, then broke
Losing more lives on a lark and a whim
Who but a whore would play harlot for him?

Fortunate profligate; fabulous fraud
Bullies the browbeaten, brandishing “GAWD”
Baiting and switching: bullshit, then swill
Hardly can hide both his hands in the till

Corporate crony of carpetbag crooks
Caught at his borrowing; cooking the books
Robbing the future to finance his fleecing
Greenspan agrees and provides all the greasing

Nancy, the Speaker, has not proven stable:
Cravenly taking her cards off the table
Pressured by turncoats, proposals she tenders
Frightened, this female our freedom surrenders

Blank rubber checks Nancy bounces on cue
Wouldn’t want Dubya to whine for his due
Squandering billions and blood by the barrel
Nudely parading his naked apparel

Dubya the dumb with his gambler’s addiction
Lives for his lies in a lunatic fiction
Sending our soldiers to serve out their time
Stalling till SHE comes to shoulder the crime

Boys need a mother to mop up the mess
Drying their tears in a time of distress
Dubya, though, counts on a diva to do it:
Fib to the folks who in fact know he blew it

Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2008


Reactionary Rodent Regency

From somewhere undisclosed yet all-too-near,
He whispered single “choices” in the ear
Of one whose” gut” decided, not his brain,
Those issues on which hung such grief and pain.

He sneered -- when told the people’s feelings -- “So?
With me in charge, they’ve nowhere else to go.
I’ve unified all power in my hands
And need but some Viagra for my glands.”

"It’s Dubya who’s had ‘senior moments’ since
The age of twelve, when he could not convince
Two thoughts of his to free-associate
Because of all the mental crap he ate."

"So who could blame me, once I saw my chance,
To grab the bureaucratic battle-lance
With which I jousted and my foes un-sat
Who ‘saddled up’ to argue, then fell flat

To squirm like iron larvae on the ground;
The worm inside, like Colin Powell, found
Himself not near so terrible as caught
Too easily to learn the lesson taught."

"For those beneath the level of my game
Have no one but themselves to rightly blame
For handing me a priceless prince as prop;
A perfect catapult for silly slop;

The kind of foil in which rubes see their kind,
Which guarantees that they will never mind
Whatever drivel from his mouth ensues
As long as I supply him with his cues."

"What John Nance Garner once pronounced as fit
For not one bucket brimming with warm spit
(Or, “piss,” most likely was the proper term)
My lowly office, I have made a germ

That gestates best just like the mushroom stool
Who gladly pays lip-service to a fool.
Preferring dark and dank to light of day,
In secrecy, I knew where power lay."

"See, Dubya sleeps profoundly at the switch
And scarcely stirs except to scratch his itch
For posing as the ‘chief commander guy’
Who barely learned to crawl, much less to fly.”

"So I have just my own self to efface.
In public, I profess to know my place.
While yet, in private, none escape my hold.
With all the cards, I never have to fold."

"I’ve given out instructions how to lob
Pure double-speak at the unblinking mob.
To any questions, we just ‘haw’ and ‘hem’.
What do they think? This land belongs to them?”

"They volunteered two times to let us rule.
Why, then, should we respect the public school?
The more we piss directly in their face,
The more they beg for even worse disgrace.”

"The ‘opposition’ needs a better name,
Since ‘Democrat’ has long since lost its flame.
But since they find it such a yummy taste,
Why should we let our urine go to waste?"

And so on goes Dick’s lecture to the lame
Who cry for ‘change’ but settle for the same;
Whom TV advertisements terrify
With images of blonde girls who might die

Unless a pantsuit sitting near a phone
Picks up and finds herself home all alone
With sniper fire incoming as she lands
At airports, greeted by some cheering bands.

With this piñata prom-queen punching bag
As sparring partner (now a stand-up gag),
Why wouldn’t Regent Dick enjoy his days
Spent torturing small mice with which he plays?

The cat with only kittens to confront
Could not care less if he their views affront.
As Regent for the infant Dubya, Dick
Has earned his reputation as a prick.

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright © 2008


Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Munificent Travesty

(After the Style of Robert Browning's "Childe Rowland to the Dark Tower Came")

No doubt, he lied because he simply could,
This pampered prince of privilege posing proud
Who found a giant’s stick and waved it loud,
Convinced of what he thought he understood:
That power exercised sells its own good,
Not just extorts from those whom it has cowed.

His cynic courtiers this of him knew,
As well as how to pander to his pride:
The deadly sin they labored long to hide;
The useful flaw exploited by a few;
The narrow, stubborn path to which he’d hew
Once faulty choices led him to decide.

Child Dubya’s regent read him like a book:
A graphic comic illustrated clear
That masked the jaded dauphin’s inner fear
Of having to compete for what he took
Instead of simply gaining by a look
Rehearsed until it numbed the eye and ear.

Yet soon the longed-for opportunity
Appeared, as suicidal bombers struck.
So Dubya quickly seized upon his luck,
Transcending negligent inanity,
Compounding irresponsibility
With crime -- to profit as he passed the buck.

Upon a building’s rubble, then, he stood
And set a megaphone before his lips
To send a message in the form of quips
Addressed to those like him with heads of wood.
He swore that he'd avenge the neighborhood
On those who took advantage of his slips.

He maybe thought that he would strike some fear
Into the perpetrators dead below,
Some corpses burnt to cinders, smoking slow,
Whom one would think could hardly see or hear
His threats to kill someone that they held dear:
Identities that he could never know.

Yet, still, the ones who did the awful deed
Had Saudi friends – and well-connected, too,
Who from the coop straightforward homeward flew;
No questions asked of those whom Dubya freed.
With bull-horn blaring bile, he crowed his creed:
"The pooch Saddam Hussein, I plan to screw."

The child apprentice knight-errant set out
To prove his mettle in a grand Crusade
While posing boldly, stern and unafraid.
Advice from wiser men he chose to flout.
Believing in a “higher” father’s clout,
His earthly dad’s renown he soon unmade.

In thrall to visions fed him in the dark
By sycophants who whispered in his ear,
He thought himself the point upon a spear,
Embarked upon an epic Sunday lark,
Deployed to vanquish picnics in the park.
On cakewalks such as this, what fraud felt fear?

Somehow, he’d got his hands upon a toy:
A power dark and dangerous to flaunt,
But even worse if loosed upon a jaunt:
A game of chance played by a little boy.
He threw the deadly dice, consumed in joy.
Both enemies and friends he chose to taunt.

Whatever words he spoke, the press would buy.
Although not worth the ink and paper cost,
Whatever thoughts he gained he quickly lost.
His “mind” as evanescent as a sigh,
The word came down from editors on high:
"Portray him as the dew and not the frost."

So, unexamined outside or within
Child Dubya took to walking while asleep.
Commander of his clueless castle keep,
He sallied forth, his conquest to begin.
With trumpet fanfare urging him to win,
He rode up to a chasm wide and deep.

This great depression had an entry sign
Beside which warning sat a lonely wretch,
Who cautioned that an act of faith would stretch
Good fortune past its outer limit line.
Advising reason rather less malign,
The wraith read caution scribed in stony etch:

"A child unto the darkened power came
Unbidden but attracted nonetheless;
Too innocent of strife to bear the stress;
Too inexperienced to know the game;
Who entered with excuses long and lame;
And smelled some blood – just whose, he could not guess."

There at decision’s fork, Child Dubya strayed.
He ridiculed the wretch who said “Go back!
Or turn aside for knowledge that you lack,
Or else prepare to find yourself betrayed
Into those traps for you that Fate’s arrayed:
Too late retreat, too early to attack.”

Child Dubya to the crippled beggar lied
With every word that in his mouth congealed.
Yet in the wretch’s glance he saw revealed
Bravado’s smiling lips now grinning wide,
Reflecting back at him a taunting snide
That showed what he had from himself concealed.

What opportunity lay here at hand!
A crime to craft for Error’s erstwhile elf.
No weaponry not stocked upon the shelf;
No army not awaiting his command;
No chance of any needed reprimand;
The Order thus got orders from itself.

In all the world he had no puerile peer.
No younger child or older fool compared.
No losing prospect loomed, and so he dared
To sail -- without a star by which to steer
Aboard, a blind Parsee to serve as seer --
With fluttered sails and shivered timbers bared.

The sun came up just so his eyes could see,
But then went down for feeling hardly used.
In black of day he saw with circuits fused;
No breakers tripped, and so the amps ran free,
Which boiled his brain into a fricassee:
Stewed meat cut small like those whom he abused.

The night came on so he could get more rest,
Still feeling tired from all his daytime naps.
Untroubled by his military flaps,
With all the answers, still he failed the test,
Despite all that his “higher” father blessed:
Like deadbeat sons who lose at cards and craps.

With sunrise and with sundown impotent
To signal “charge” or sound a wise retreat,
He lost a victory but won defeat
The moment he decided to relent
To every wastrel instinct that he spent
By pouring gas on flames to make more heat.

The earth and sky and waters gathered ‘round
To cheer him on, as even turnips bled,
From gruesome glimpses of the gore ahead.
No warp or woof to weave a fabric sound,
His artless tapestry fell to the ground,
Designed by Dubya’s “thought” that had no thread.

"Now smite Saddam Hussein!" he heard a voice
From somewhere undisclosed yet nearby still;
"And then upon his folk impose our will!
Call this ‘democracy’ and offer choice:
A Cadillac, Mercedes, or Rolls Royce?
To those who send the others off to kill."

"Those tolling bells that signal the alarm?
Pay them no mind for what do others know
Who never had the chance this much to blow,
Or millions such as we can bring to harm,
Or billions we can squander on a farm
That never any profit has to show!"

"Like Ishmael and Queequeg on the town
We have no cause to pay them any heed,
These Tom O’Bedlams out to score some feed.
These crippled, mad Elijahs always frown
And warn us that with Ahab we might drown.
Just syndrome-selling sailors gone to seed."

So down into the murky gloom he slid
Ignoring veterans who’d made the march,
Who pointed to a cave door not an arch;
Who saw the trashcan rather than its lid;
Who knew the “bad guys” hadn’t run but hid;
Who’d seen their friends laid out as stiff as starch.

Yet childish Dubya sought a holy grail,
Which he had heard lay free for him to find;
But which instead made him its grist to grind.
So he “decided” he would flop and flail
While “bad guys” poured some salt upon his tail,
Which left him flightless, caged in his own bind.

His bad intent stamped Karma on his deed.
Valhalla’s maids pick others from the field
Who fought the losing fight but did not yield
As much as him who gave in to his need
To mouth a motto, making it a screed,
Employing symbol soldiers as his shield.

Behind the sacred aegis of the troops
Whose nameless features hid for him his face,
He found that they’d reserved for him a place:
An off-road sanctuary, circling loops:
A Mr. Toad’s bike ride through circus hoops,
Where Dubya exercised but left no trace.

So as the wars he started fiercely blazed
He grew more insignificant each day.
As his incompetence came into play.
When seen in public forums badly dazed,
He seemed outright and frankly simply crazed.
His bafflement loomed large and on display.

He kept insisting that he held the reins.
No power had, he said, fell from his grasp.
And yet, events could only make one gasp
To witness all the petty, paltry pains
He took pretending that he felt no strains
As servants tried to save him in their clasp.

The bugle of the cavalry he heard
Sent on a mission, his bare ass to save.
Yet this would not relieve but just deprave.
Humiliating help has never cured
The fallen angel's cursed and final word:
"I'd rule in Hell before be Heaven’s slave."

Child Dubya to the Dark Power came and said:
"At last, I can command, as did my peers
Who lived in former times through scorn and jeers,
Yet still achieved renown once safely dead."
(This “thought,” which echoed in his empty head,
Owed less to thinking than to coke and beers.)

Content with thoughts of predecessors who
In death long since had earned a fair regard,
(No matter how he trashed the playground yard)
Child Dubya simply guessed that he would, too.
Instead, his blunders earned a verdict hard:
Those awful consequences that accrue.

He’d sought a vast dark tower to accost
Whose terrors he proposed to vanquish quick
With slogans trite from which he'd have his pick.
In nightmare tempests soon he turned and tossed,
Urged on to more mistakes by one he bossed;
Left only with more endless wounds to lick.

A travesty of such munificence!
So generous in its monstrosity!
A heaping helping of calamity;
Betrayal of a trusting innocence;
Converted now to just incontinence,
The duped now see their own stupidity.

Now who hurts worse: the liar or his sap?
As those fooled many times much more than once
Have now to face the corner as a dunce
And sit upon a stool with clownish cap
While knowing who has fed them worthless crap
And will again, as will all lying runts.

For who has cleaned the leopard of his spots?
Why would success at lying make it cease?
No charges filed? No prisoner release!
Why think of spurting blood that never clots?
Or any corpse that in its shroud now rots?
Who now will dare demand a chance for peace?

A bull-horn to his lips, Child Dubya blows
Yet no sound comes from out the tiny part,
For he blows backwards, from the end to start,
"Accomplishing" too fast what later shows
As failure timeless as the tide that flows
Then ebbs, exposing reefs that cut and smart.

Yet undismayed, this lame-duck churlish kid
Pretends to not have screwed-up for all time
Not just the language, but performance-mime.
As nothing can obscure the things he did,

No words or gestures ever can outbid
The final verdict on his life's bad rhyme.

The ogre in his tower has a name:
The darkling lust for power that compels
A crass and callow clod whose essence smells:
A feckless fraud who seeks a shallow fame
Through hawking snake-oil war for “reasons” lame
Because, among his countrymen, it sells.

From horrid children’s rhymes, the mind adrift
Recalls the ogre’s word, “fie, foh, and fum;”
While Dubya stammers on: “ah, er, uh, um,”
The blood of “Coalition” men is sniffed --
And women’s, too, which leaves their loved-ones miffed
At stinking gas from Dubya’s leaky bum.

Child Dubya to the Dark Power came and groaned
As something wicked tantalized his groin,
Reminding him to pilfer and purloin
The treasury for greedy friends who moaned
Until he from the future gladly loaned
Himself and them our children’s payroll coin.

Thus Dubya robbed the future for today
And placed the land in hock to foreign banks,
Who sought repayment, not just empty thanks,
When plans not laid at all soon went astray
And left “commander” much less fun to play
While billions squandered purchased only blanks.

Child Dubya to the Dark Power came and cried
As nothing good had come of all his waste;
That in the country’s mouth he’d left a taste
Too foul and fetid for the source to hide
The tawdry trade of treason that he plied.
The likes of him few lands had ever faced.

The Dick and Dubya Duo much has blown.
They, for no reason, millions have abused.
Their ignorance and pride have tightly fused
Into the seeds of dragon’s teeth they’ve sown,
Which into crops of cruelty have grown,
Which leaves the ogre in his tower amused.

Child Dubya to the Dark Power came and went
He’d made a war on “bad” but lost the fight.
Since “evil” hypnotized him with its fright,
He baldly borrowed, then he badly spent.
Yet neither would he stop, much less repent;
His life, upon the world a needless blight.

Child Dubya to the Dark Power came and sighed,
A little disappointed at the end.
Yet not for him his hair-shirt suits to rend.
His planned procrastination cut-and-dried,
Now bought for him by those who for him died,
Still leaves him with more troops that he can send.

Child Dubya to the Dark Power pawned his soul
For vapid, venal vanity or less.
Yet this bad bargain caused him no distress,
Since “have-and-have-more” friends will grant parole
And pardon him forthwith for what he stole.
That he might ever pay, no fool would guess.

Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2008


Friday, March 28, 2008

"All in" on a Bad Bet

Shrub had an urge to waste and splurge,
But now we moan a mournful dirge.

Procrastination has its aims,
Yet never offers truthful claims.

Again we stay to stall for time,
'Till Shrub can cover up his crime.

Like Vietnam in desert sands,
Iraq once more has tied our hands.

The violence goes down, we say;
So that just means we have to stay.

The violence goes up and so
That just means we can never go.

We train them to dependency
So that they’ll never once break free.

We’ve given them vast wounds to nurse,
And English, so they’ll learn to curse.

Thus, mission-creeping with a "surge,"
We flog ourselves with our own scourge.

But Dick says Shrub the burden bears:
Deciding stuff while chaos flares.

This propaganda catapult
Continues to our minds insult.

His lies he’s never once un-spun,
Or failed to twist the Truth for fun.

So now he waits for greater fools
To buy his worthless quagmire jewels.

We've gone "all in" on Shrub's bad bet.
How stupid can one nation get?

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright © 2008


Scapegoat Job Application

Universal scapegoat wanted
Applicant(s) apply inside
No experience required
Simply pander to our pride

In our image we will make you
Nothing you need do or say
Ambiguity desired
What you've spoken, we will say

Unpredictable is better
Less you do, the more we gain
That way, anything that happens
Afterwards we’ll just explain

In your mouth some words inserted
By our ministers and priests
Gild the lining of their pockets
From our meager meals their feasts

From each one what he produces
To the church its lustful needs
You must only never quibble
With the contents of our screeds

You must form the perfect mirror
Simply stand there and reflect
Into you we’ll pour our darkness
This, of course, you can’t reject

We’ll write down what you’ve commanded
Do not trouble with the “what?”
Someone else will figure that out
You just keep your own mouth shut

Do not feel the least embarrassed
At the empty praise you get
Even though you’ve never earned it
Just pretend and soon forget

When we do the vain and stupid

We'll claim you approved the joke
When we pass the ammunition
Your great name will we invoke

When our slaves complain, we'll tell them
That you've authorized their grief
When their country's wealth we've stolen
You, we'll say, ordained the thief

When the pile of bodies rises
You, we'll claim, feel really sad
Nothing, though, you'll do to stop us
Interfering would be bad

See the virtue of your "power"?
Impotence by other names
Covers up the crime and guilty
Something rules but never blames

Thus we've framed our Constitution
Nothing higher than this dream
All supremacy is equal
You, of course, are "more" supreme

Burnt upon your sacred altar
Though you’re dead, you’re still not stiff
On your back our sins we’ll pile up
Then we’ll shove you off a cliff

What we do defines our "essence"
Nothing "is" or ever "was"
Big spooks in the sky, and little,
Don't exist; but "doing" does

So our learning curve has no slope
So our E.E.G.-line’s flat
None can "damn" and none can "bless" us
Only we can manage that

So, we’ve got a deal then, don’t we?
Such an offer, who’d refuse?
Nothing paid for nothing offered
That’s what makes you great to use

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright © 2008

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Peace With Horror

A leper knight rode into view
Astride his mangy steed
A harbinger of violence
A plague without a need
An apparition of discord
Upon which fear would feed

His unannounced arrival meant
He'd lost his leper's bell
And yet his ugly innocence
Could not conceal the smell
His good intentions only paved
Another road to Hell

With mace and lance and sword deployed
He vowed in peace to live
Through rotting lips he promised not
To take, but only give
He swore to only kill the ones
Whom he said shouldn't live

He did not speak the language and
He did not know the land
So why the healthy shrank from him
He could not understand
Why did they want the water when
He'd offered them the sand?

Committing to commitments he
Committed crimes galore
As steadfast in his loyalties
As any purchased whore
A mercenary madman like
His slogan: "Peace through War"

His slaying for salvation masked
An inner, grasping greed
A lust for living good and well
While looking past his deed
A dead man walking wakefully;
A graveyard gone to seed

He planned to leave in "phases," so
He said to those back home
Who'd heard some nasty rumors rife
From Babylon to Rome
Of murders in their name meant to
Exalt their sacred tome

But still he needed to "protect"
Some pilgrims on the road
Who for "protection" glumly paid
A portion of their load:
For this decaying derelict,
An object episode

When asked to give a summary
Of what he had achieved
He shifted to the future tense
The gains that he perceived
And spoke in the subjunctive mood
To those he had aggrieved

"The future life to come portends
More suffering than now
Through me alone can you avoid
What I will disavow:
The promises I never made
While making, anyhow."

"I unsay things that I have said
And say I never did;
Then say them once again to pound
The meaning deeply hid,
Down where the lizard lives between
The ego and the id."

"I've given you catastrophe
And called it a success;
If you want other outcomes then
Step forward and confess
That you believed a pack of lies
With no strain, sweat, or stress."

"You know the meaning of my words
Lasts only just as long
As sound takes to decay in air
So that you take them wrong
If you assign significance
To my sly siren song."

"A 'propaganda catapult'
I've called myself, in fact;
A damning human document
Which I myself redact
At every opportunity
With no concern for tact."

"If you think what I've done before
Has caused me to repent
Or dream that I, in any way,
Might let up or relent
Then I've got wars for you to buy,
Or maybe just to rent."

"I've little time to live on earth,
So why should I reflect
Upon the dead and dying souls
Whose lives I've robbed and wrecked?
I care not if they hate, just that
They know to genuflect."

Thus did the ruin of a world
Continue in its curse;
The great man on his horse relieved
The faithful of their purse
And gave them bad to save them from
What they feared even worse

So onward to Jerusalem
He staggered as he slew
In train with sack and booty that
He only thought his due
For spreading freedom's germs among
The last surviving few

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright 2008

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Escalating Sacrifice

I first wrote this poem back in April of 2007 when it became clear that the mal-administration of Chancellor Dick Cheney and Deputy Dubya Bush had concocted a neologism for Vietnam-era "incremental escalation," or "mission creep," calling the misnomer: "The Surge." The supine American media avidly bought the duplicitous dodge and America then proceeded to suffer more dead soldiers in the coming year of "surging" than it had in any of the previous four years of not-surging. "Violence has decreased," the headlines continued to read.

So, with year five of Vietnam II in Iraq having passed and year six now beginning -- with the death toll among Iraqis unknown but horrific and American dead now hitting the 4,000 mark -- I thought I would update the poem. I'll probably have to do this again next year, although I don't yet know what new euphemism for galactic stupidity I'll have to substitute for the same old incremental escalation and mission creep. Anyway, the updated (2008) version of:

Escalating Sacrifice

"Slow-ramp," "peak," and "spike," and "surge "
Sell the urge to escalate
Great Success just needs more stuff
Not enough has worked to date

Keep repeating what has failed:
Plan derailed by what it lacks
Just deny the evidence
Talk in senseless Duckspeak quacks

If at first you don't succeed
Pay no heed to reasons why
Keep on doing what you did
Count on kidding those who die

Keep on getting what you've got
One more blot of reddish hue
Like the sunset-staining clouds,
Bloody shrouds, and corpses, too

Toss the dice in reckless glee
Play for free with others' stash
Then demand a subsidy
One last spree to burn some cash

Someone else will save the day
You just pray for time to stall
Later when we all have died
Your vain pride will seem so small

Unforced errors in a game
With no name or published rules
Made-up reasons for some wars
Work for whores and pimps and tools

Focus-group some soothing noise
Salesmen's toys to wrap and shrink
Alice plays the willing chump
Humpty Dumpty knows to think

Anything to drag the feet
Win the treat through tricks enhanced
Races into journeys morph
Backwards Orpheus has glanced

Who is master? Who is slave?
Whose cold grave contains the price?
Wooden-headed stumblebum
Wants more human sacrifice

Missions into quagmires creep
Fast asleep, the folks back home:
Trained to cringe at any slur;
Mumbling, “sir;” saluting Rome

Any ruse to dodge the fates
Dante’s gates inscribed with gloom
"Enter here! Abandon hope!"
Learn to cope with your own doom

Just around the corner you’ll
Find a fool with time to kill
Turning one more corner ‘round
Which he’s found another still

In a circle now we go
Never noticing the pain
"Leaders" at us clichés hurl
As we swirl on down the drain

Just how stupid do we look?
Why have lying gamblers scored?
How can they keep stealing while
We keep smiling, mute and bored?

"Just another century!"
Cheer the senile John McCains
Where our soldier plants his boot
There, the loot with us remains

Pity poor Prince Dubya’s load
Praise his goad to “Bring ‘em on!”
Consequences of his jest
Laid to rest beneath the lawn

Vast, the vacuum in his head
Brain cells dead from lack of use
Sheriff Cheney’s deputy
Shills his free-lunch-war abuse

Five long years without a plan
Still the man-boy says he wants
More, so he procrastinates
"No set dates," he stalls and taunts

Waiting to unload the mess,
Ever stressing things not done
Escalating years and cost:
Life has lost and Death has won

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright 2008