We’ll call em’ French Fries again

Cartoon drawings of profits splattered with blood

draining from the wrists of artists pushing the limits

tempting the reality of a world we’ve created

since the crusades

fought now by Muslim police officers

dying in the streets to protect a country

that sees no difference

sees the same faces

names sound the same

faces of Muhammad

faces of Osama

unnamed, faceless,

face it, we’re racist

about face, racing against

time is no longer

on our side of the road

dead children playing with bombs

dropped by soldiers fighting for

fighting for

soldiers know not what they’re fighting for

freedom to fight

more war after war

after years of aggression and oppression and exploitation

and this is nothing

if not new-age colonization

and the empire never dies

just travels to new kings

with new crowns

and we don’t want to be royals

flush blood diamonds

drown in crown royal

tear the queen’s gown

unraveling the planet,

thread by thread

unraveling humanity,

thread by thread

the dead

bodies pile up

soon enough

head to China

by way of new silk

road blocks don’t stop

progress must go on

climbing over the great

wal-mart shoppers

lining up to be

shots ring out in

wal-mart

made for TV

nightly

news to progressive shoppers

buy made in China

rotten apple products

progress must go on

must make reasons to expand

empire needs a

reason

no shortage of enemies

from sea to

see what we’ve done

see nightly news

headlines spreading

from DC

acoss the Atlantic

xenophobia spreading

like the plague

they get us to panic

read between the lines

outside shopping centers

to buy more

toys

made in China

toys

made in America

tanks

and guns

and drones

and of course terrorism

is

terrible

but where did they come from

who built their bombs and guns

who built their ideology

to freedom fight communism,

who trained and funded them…?

there doesn’t have to be a good guy in this

it’s not a pissing contest

both sides can be wrong,

because we all know what violence begets…

think about it,

are men blowing themselves up

worse than an empire blowing up villages,

destroying whole peoples and cultures,

circling the planet

like insatiable vultures

flying

drones blowing up

villages destroyed

toy soldiers marching around

the world war three

is a video game

played at American Air Force bases

with joy-

sticks and stones

thrown from thousands of miles away

displayed on screens of

black and white

fighting on computer screens

sifting gold

from the sands

of history

blowing in the wind

no answers

can’t see

sand blinding me

can’t see

cartoon drawings of prophets

freedom of speech

is an Orwellian term

when cops beating up activists

has become the norm

when desert storm winds

carry sands

fill European cobblestone

streets

broken men

push falafel carts

broken wheels

wobbling round downtown

square

don’t you dare buy

into the lies

they’re only doing it

to get a rise

out of you

when you ain’t got nothing

you got nothing

Toulouse, France

cheering on militarized police

goose stepping with machine guns

through the cobblestone

streets monitored by big brother

glancing cameras everywhere

conjuring boogeymen in Paris

scaring little old ladies

with baguettes in Marseille

and brain-washing four-twenty babies in Lyon

with wine

bottled-up

rage misdirected

away from austerity

we’re all lambs now,

silently led astray

led to pray for pie

-in-the-sky promises

but the only promise was Orwell’s

1984 was an instruction manual

Ronnie Reagan was a novice

but these draft dodging politicians

are no joke

gone are the days

of funding covert ops

with opium and coke

now it’s real

wars funded with our future

with the blood and treasure

of Reagan

and Bush

and now Clinton babies

but gone are the 80’s

when we were born

they were only getting warmed up

and uncle Europe has studied up

and our on-again off-again friend France

has learned a thing or two from us young pups

we made the world tired

and hungry

and poor

but now its up

up

And away with

the immigrants

turn around their ships

hope they drowned

hope they,

well…

we need the cheap labor

here in France

so some can stay

but they’re

just so

scary

look like they

might have Ebola

or Aids

or they’re running around

dressed like nuns,

depending where they’re from

Christ,

they probably exit the womb

with Kalashnikov

lullabies

getting them by

until the time

when they can

kill us,

blow up a bus

or something.

Well, all the Muslims I know

are nice

but I watch the news

each and every night

so I know that they wouldn’t think twice

about killing me

I can see it in their eyes

see,

I just know the newsman

wouldn’t lie

just know

that we would all die

if not

for all of the militarized police

and all the cameras on every street

corner…

Well,

don’t say I didn’t warn you

when you’re the only one left

and the government comes to

take you away…

please

pull your head out of your

ass now

before its too late

because

what we’re looking at today

does not have to be

our fate…

please,

France

and other countries,

let’s learn from

our collective mistakes,

Indochina

didn’t end well

and remember,

Uncle Sam,

at the end of the day

even Rome fell…

Posted in american dream, bigotry, Black Lives Matter, civil rights, collateral damage, death, democracy, Edward Bernays, empathy, fear, France, free speech, hate, history, human rights, humanity, hunger, ignorance, immigration, life, peace, poem, Poetry, police, police brutality, poverty, propaganda, racism, religion, taxes, Toulouse, travel, Vietnam, violence, war, war tax resistance, white privilege | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

My letter to the IRS: War Tax Resistance

War tax resistance letter to the U.S. government

soitgoes1984

The following is the letter I mailed to the IRS a few days before tax day about my reasons for not paying federal income tax. This is the first year since leaving the military that I have had taxable income, otherwise I would have done this sooner. Working under-the-table is a much simpler form of protest, and perhaps no less effective, but it also involves no risk and no sacrifice. I am no longer protesting in silence. This is not a symbolic gesture either; I am not paying one penny in federal tax, but instead donating every cent of it to charity. I do not think any less of my family, friends, and neighbors for continuing to pay taxes, however I urge you to consider exactly how those hard earned dollars of yours are being spent. They’re certainly not being spent in our communities. We all deserve better.

13 April…

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America, 2005

Broken levees

and broken bones

a decade gone

without house

and home

there’s no place

for the heart

get high on the fumes

of political art

as jam bands learn to play

amazing grace

sweet old ladies

try hemming

superman’s cape

but it’s too late

no heroes left

around here

wonderwoman grounded

like doves with wings clipped

choking on olive pits

still waiting on old

jazz men

to sing

songs drowned out

by

flood waters rising

sing,

crying out for a

life raft

craft beer flows

as hipsters go

wading through toxic water

waiting for the jazz man

to play on

and on and

the water rises still

no need to water lawns

below sea level

let me level with

you and your crew

wouldn’t know

what to do

if the levees broke

in your backyard

but at least you got

daddy’s car to drive away

wait out the storm

at the summerhouse upstate

where you’ll only unlock the gate

to let the maid in

made in Mexico

maiden voyage

bon voyage

make a collage from pictures

of dead Americans

dead humans

being turned into ratings

nightly news stories

until

-cut-

to drunk frat boys

treating sorority girls

like cheap toys

cheap beer

and whiskey

a culture cheapened to

plastic beads

forget the heart

of the city

bleeding still

blood spilling from

the fingers

of old musicians

trying to close windows

as water seeps in

keep the shades pulled down

drowned out by cries

for Saints

doors still marked

lead-based paint

count the bodies and move along

ride your bandwagon

home

drunk

gone before long

line up for

ashes to ashes

mourning after

Fat Tuesday

catch the fat blues lady

singing about saints

pray for grandmas

Cajun cooking

looking around the French Quarter

for a pound of grass

summertime

get high

feel god starting to cry

again

gotta get outta here

can I get an amen?

Get a case of Purple Haze

then catch the train

as the rains

break the calm

before the storm

college kids head back

to dorms

high

and dry

as it is color

coded

who’s left

to die

who’ll be left to cry again

when the saints lose

and march away

before long

all that’s left is booze

and old jazz

musicians

trying to stay

in tune

as flood waters

force them to

the roofs of old theaters

left to rot

after the last storm

and they join the jam band

playing taps

because the waters five feet high

and rising

and the newsmen

will only show up

again

once the bodies are floating

away

passed gambling men

on riverboats

into the

oil-saturated Gulf

and the politicians

will only fly over

in helicopters

on their way home

from summer vacations

spent smoking

expensive cigars

with their gulf buddies

and the governor will say

the National Guard

couldn’t save the day

because they were sent back

to Iraq

but he assures us

that the flood waters

will recede

and the important parts

of the city

will be cleared of debris

in time for

Mardi Gras

Posted in america, american dream, bigotry, Black Lives Matter, blues, collateral damage, college, death, jazz, Katrina, mardi gras, music, New Orleans, poem, Poetry, poverty | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Génération Perdue

We are a generation

lost amidst the rubble

of the                            world

we                                 trade

our souls away

self                                center

bullseye

hit targets

hit bars

collapse on bar stools

drink it all

away now

far, far, away

far away

far away

from families

away from society

corrupted

we’re not

lost

you left us

behind

buried us deep

beneath ground zero

mountains of

red

white

and blue

clouds of black smoke

rising

clouded our eyes

only our ears

left to hear war drums

drumming

cheer on red horses

running

around the

bend but don’t

break the illusion

you dumbed us down

public school propaganda

white-washing blood-

-soaked history

standardized testing

punishing creativity

eliminating critical thinking

cutting art and music programs

programing us with Playstation violence

gladiator sports

and plenty of pills

when we didn’t comply

propaganda

propaganda

propagandized

to hate an ‘other’

but we saw our mothers

and sisters,

fathers

and brothers in their eyes

so we hate ourselves now

and cry

in our beers

because we were socialized

to fear

socialized

to wind up

lost

you wound us up

let us loose

now we’re

losing

generation after generation

keep losing

generation after generation

keep losing

our friends

our families

our minds

our time

never get it back

running out of

time

the hour glass is cracked

can’t patch it up

with yellow ribbons

and gi bills

the hour glass was smashed

just about

run out of

worn out

boots

were made for

walking

not stomping

left

right

left

and right around the corner

you’ll find a Santa-looking

Vietnam vet

staring at the sun

drinking cheap wine

and talking to ghosts,

the only folks who would listen

until I sat down

right next to him

bummed a smoke

and joined in the conversation…

Posted in addiction, Afghanistan, america, american dream, collateral damage, France, Iraq, poem, Poetry, propaganda, suicide, summer, Toulouse, veterans, veterans for peace, Vietnam, war | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Andalucian Red Wine: part I

Big fan of the wine here…

soitgoes1984

I took the midday train

to Spain

and found old women

singing

and dancing

in the

middle of the

cobblestone street

tapping their canes

to the beat

while kids splashed in fountains

to spite the heat.

But then the rains came to Spain

and the drains failed to drain

so the rain turned to a flood.

But just as flood waters

began to rise

and we were getting high

one last time

on the finest wine

you can find

this side of the Pyrenees,

flood waters started to part

like the Red Sea

and a flamenco dancer

outstretched her hand to me,

“Put on your dancing shoes

honey,

this is just the opening band”

but she said so in Spanish,

so I didn’t really understand.

I took off my shoes,

handed them to her,

and ran.

But my feet began to hurt,

all banged up

from the cobbles

of Triana

and…

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Las Barreras Full Moon

Two-thirty in the morning

full moon-howling

in this ghost town

woke me up.

I put my glasses on

and wandered

around the farm,

through row

after row

of olive

and almond trees,

soaking up this

late-spring

wee-hours-of-the-morning

moon

illuminating the mountains

and valley

and Orgiva in the distance.

I was appreciating the breeze

that was carrying away

that stagnant-water stench

from the Moorish channels

as I stared at the moon,

mesmorized

by the soundtrack

to this night sky.

But just then

Rosita the donkey

appeared out of nowhere

and stood there

staring at me for a moment

then,

I swear,

she joined me in admiring

the moons beauty

until she vanished

just as fast as she appeared.

Well,

when I looked over

I did see her walking away,

I suppose she just stopped by

to say hello

before she hit the hay.

Now,

standing all alone

between the olive

and almond trees,

thankful for the moon

and the cool breeze,

I listened quietly

to the music

in the distance,

happy it woke me

in the first place.

Posted in Andalucia, coyotes, dogs, Full moon, howl, moon, poem, Poetry, Spain, wolves | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Andalucian Red Wine: part III

I lost myself

in those endless fields

of olive trees

picture-perfectly framed

by the window

of that train

as we cut across

the Spanish countryside.

I started to feel more alive

my headache from all that wine

began to subside

by the time

we reached Madrid.

Posted in Andalucia, dancing, Flamenco, Olive trees, poem, Poetry, singing, Spain, trains, wine | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,