jueves, 2 de septiembre de 2010

Jack Hirschman, poems.

Jack Hirschman


No, it wasn’t a punishment for harboring Talibani
on your eastern slopes or even in your capital city.

No, it wasn’t a punishment for allowing the American
government to dictate the terms of anti-terrorism.

It was the reign of the rains, pure and simple water
because the clouds are sick of all the rot in the world,

all the abuse of women, the trafficking of them and kids,
the eyes of porn, the sperm-oil spurts of dead men

enslaved to perpetual indifference, the hunger that looks
out of the eyes of children for food, understand?

Food is what we’re yelling for in your ears, we’re starving
and a volcano’s going to erupt, a tsunami’s rearing up,

the earth’s quaking under us, fires spreading over our land,
monsoon, typhoon in the last years of this katun: we’re starving

and only water can save us, and it’s killing us! It’s flooding
and drowning us, soaking down to our soul, O undersea,

O undersea sons,
O undersea sons

Where is the whale that can drink this whole flood, this
oil of the blood and the flames of this war-sick world,

in the immense cave of whose belly, we will have to live
until we re-learn the alphabet of the future from scratch?

All our gods have failed.
Peace is the only one left.


The satin of BP’s slick
has killed millions of fish
and still it’s taxed shit-all,
and 11 exploded corpses
are bloodcrusted on its hands.

And don’t give me please
the scolding of the President.
He needs that fucking oil
for his drones and copters
to keep killing innocents abroad.

Let’s hear it for… statistics:
How many animals are murdered
in the poor and battered Gulf?
How many soldiers suicided
and overdosing in Afghanistan,

Iraqistan, Newyorkistan, Iranistan,
Sanfranciscistan. How many are
raising their knives to have done
with their humiliated lives
worth less than barrels of oil.

Or putting gun-barrels to brains
instead of making the BP rats
meet the most gigantic cats in
human history, licking our chops,
dying for ratatoui between our teeth.


Oil-water, a spill of gold
that’s killed workers, animals.
Cross the border. Drill a hole.
Arizona, why you so cold?

Tears in Detroit people’s eyes:
the only water not privatized.
Motown lowdown Louis Joe:
All’s backwards, doncha know?

35 thousand without any, who
refuse to send their daughters
to ho for pennies, who shout:
Retaw, Retaw they backwards

cry: Water! Water one day will
sink this stinking system of money-
stuffed lying mouths, our pliers
will get into their mugs, yank all

the rotten teeth out of their bite,
fit those mouths over the pipes
where the spill of such swill of
profits finally will be plugged,

and corporate thieves, downright
plunderers of what’s decent in life
will guzzle till they drown of death,
and all in Detroit, New Orleans and

Cleveland too will raise their glasses
full of simple aitch-two-oh, and toast
and sing, because no sink or tub will be
without it, The Water Song:

Agua! Acqua! Eau!Wasser! Voda!
Hallelujah, Nature’s natural again!

Jack Hirschman (New York, 1933).  Poet (Laureate of the city San Francisco) translator, journalist & painter.  He is an assistant editor at the left-wing literary journal Left Curve and is a correspondent for The People’s Tribune. Among his many volumes of poetry are A Correspondence of Americans (Indiana U. Press, 1960), Black Alephs (Trigram Press, 1969), Lyripol (City Lights, 1976), The Bottom Line (Curbstone, 1988), and Endless Threshold (Curbstone, 1992). 
His first volume of poetry, published in 1960, included an introduction by Karl Shapiro: "What a relief to find a poet who is not afraid of the vulgar or the sentimental, who can burst out laughing or cry his head off in poetry -- who can make love to language, or kick it in the pants."