the hassan family dead living roadblock iraq

1

man
stands

before box
of bones

odor
of offal
omnipresent

he nothing
other

than figurine

seeping
bile
onto stage

floor

affirms apology
asserting justice
of annihilation

he remembers
nothing

knot

not Hassan girls

soaked in blood
of their beloved

he cannot recall
Haditha

where wild
things thudded
in their boots
over the bodies

family
after family

double

double tap
only dance
dead assassins do

his memory
does not go
back
to Tal Afar

where

where
every living thing
laid to waste

men's head
found in openings
ripped by boy
from Boston
in woman's
belly

man
before box
& teleprompter
not capable
of clean

conscience clotted
with women
of Baqba

the limbs
of old men
in Tikrit

the babies
who form
giant ball
of flesh

like cruel comet
fallen

fallen
on all
of us

he cannot
remember how

organs clustered
from gardens
of Gethsemane
to Babel

how
from one
border to another

skin is spread

a wild crop
of carnage

he cannot remember

standing before box
with teleprompter
for company

he cannot
quite remember
how they fell
from windows

blasted out
by bombs

borne in some
northern American city

to keep
people happy

in a dream
he feels being

held by Hassan
teenager

place blade
nape of neck
puncturing polyphonically

hoping it brings
her family
back into dead
world

this he remembers

trembling

as all
tyrants tremble

man
standing before box

once a barrister
made lamentations
law

law
which carved families
into pieces

burning in furnaces
from one frontier
to another

sands & fauna
flayed with flesh

law to make
people stay
silent

during massacres

Fallujah
for example

is just
a form
of town
tonight

between unburied bodies
& the barely living

breath obliges
to leave
by any route
possible

remembering
what lands
they laid

waste
he forgets

face of painter
of Arab world

because she splinters
into thousand pieces

words
do not
come to him
unless they are
of commotion

maelstrom

catastrophe
he can
justify to tune
of big ben

counting of cash
in city double

tap tap
on computer

to kill
tens of thousands
more

more
he can remember

demand for salary
of peace maker

man
who stands
before box
with teleprompter

imagines himself man
but is
shapeless mass

dribbling dialogue
to him

self we are
not listening

one word

we hope
you stop
breathing because
you didn't

listen to one
word in
12 million

yesterday you yell
as if
you were grosz
drawing bark

to bowels
in us

but it didn't
work we didn't

hear a whisper

more

he is eloquent
when he begs
to be representative

in this
shattered quarter

sharing joke
with Bono

which he can
remember

he cannot recall
that we see
him naked

covered in blood
shit viscera

black

brown

green

black

red

brown

green

we see it

& will remember it
forever

2

be
quiet

hear
word

for
word

flight
of time

time

time
sleep

death
forage
through fog

remember
trenches

surface
explodes

emanations
last

element

time’s
sorrow
rotating

take apart
machinery of minutes

remember
beloved

pilgrim
damned

sea
silhouettes

close

fires
in head

being
hollow

harvest
thread

horizon
lost in lines

chart
circle

diminishing
still

being
accurate

moon
burning

remember
name

remember
scale

clear

howl

number
you have to
howl

live up
to name

wise
night
inscribed in ice

another
cold
dawn
reigns

in Baghdad

3

man
stands
before box
of bones

attempting to deliver
Disraeli’s discourse

he isn't dirt
on Disraeli’s shoes

or cloth
that a man

such as that
made from

all
he was capable
of learning

from cousins
was carnage

he was
Thatcher’s thought
idea of idea
as Hegel said

but even he
could not have
imagined caricatures
& creatures
that
they were

that
they were

laying waste
to worlds

only expertise

Britain became beast
that couldn't bite

but whose odor
of putrefaction

wafted over lands
desiring their liberation

heads hung
in Malaya

heads
of Mau Mau
hung

wanted heads
in Suez

but they were
beaten by boys
with badly formed
bodies

so they bit
into their own

until
there

was little
left

an island
where no one
employed

except in city
to clean

cash
of men

who rule
from roll

of dollars

4

man
standing
behind box
of bones

rags

rants to rats
reptiles gathering
to press
conference conscience

to
grasp
grotesque

he hollows himself
out for other
beasts to bellow

within what
called man
depraved

he goes beyond
depravity

into exercises
of viper's
vanity

that
is to say
he spits out
each syllable

word wrenched
from stomach
whose stench
i smell
in small studio
in Nantes

noises leave
him looking
for holy place

where words still
something

sacred
so
little

so little

silhouette
of silhouette
retches

reminiscence

without wind

surrounding self
which in him
is sickness

so sordid

this

only time
i will speak
of it

so to say

so to
say

regurgitating telegrams
sweat running down
back of neck
corridor in Washington

man
who stands
behind box
of bones

rags

bellows to other

beast be
bought
by Murdoch
to be accessories
in murder

after murder

in life

this man
standing
behind box
fits in pocket
of Murdoch’s
stained
suit

with other
o

o u's

kept
for another

war
another

war

Christopher Barnet

Christopher Barnet

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