the muse apprentice guild
--expanding the canon into the 21st century




FOUR WORKS
BY B. GLEED

THE WAR ON DRUGS

I.
Hey --
These three cats sat on a fence, see
Bangin’ on a tambourine--
Ravin’ up the moon,
Eating the petals off a great big bush o’catnip.
Whoa boy! Minding their own business.
Suddenly an androgynous aardvark
Saunters over and sits down in his undercover clothes.
Smells up the joint
              in a fashion most un-bird like.

He said, “Hey cats-- what it was. That is some scary groove you be layin’
down. Is that catnip you got there?”

No cat said nothing;
One cat turned around.

Then the kleig krieg lights crashed on.
Sparks flew,guns drew;
The door came rabidly down.

Aardvark said, “Watch it son, I got a gun.
The Supreme Court says I can beat the shit out of you!”

All the little Vark Narcs came screamin’ in looking like Ninja commandos;
throwin’ crowd control hand grenades.

The head Vark said, “Everyone gave up their civil rights. I can look in their
underwear whenever I want, no probable cause required.”
    
A camera came in.
The aardvark said,
“Show these innocents to the people, we don’t need no fair trials here.”
The lights were bright but they threw no heat.
They attracted unfeeling moths.
II.
President Mephistopheles had bad breath, ate chicklets, Smoked his shit in
secret, wore his flag on his sleeve.

As he looked out from his television screen he said,
“Way to be, you confused sexless Ant Eater.
Those big time cats make too much money and don’t pay Taxes.
Should electrocute ‘em right off!
Don’t think about it!
Justice is just one more mindless blind bitch with a scale to worry about.
The rest of you cats should let me tell you what is best for you.
Grovel in the dirt before me for the crumbs.
Give me your soul, and let me tell you about the
Capital Gains tax break.”

================

UNPROVOKED

The light of Freedom is going out of the world
Her heart beats slow
the flames flicker
and hope dies.
The great experiment is over
and the last best hope of man has failed.
Freedom is empty- She means nothing.
Unprovoked,
we killed in her name
to buy freedom for the dead-
the dead only.

================

AN EXPLANATION OF POEMS IN THE REAL WORLD

“A poem is a small or large machine made of words”
                            William Carlos Williams

Many times, early on a weekday,
the streets are full of them.
They are not hard to find.
Your little brother knows who is who.
He could show you the difference,
but you keep him chained to the bed in the attic
trying to print money.

All day he pleads to be released but you have no time,
and the subway is so expensive that there’s nowhere for him to go.
Even if he wanted to, he would only run away,
and you would find him broken on the ridicule
of some old woman sitting in the park by the pond
where the tramps wash their clothes before they look for work.

Anyway,
you let him out just long enough to laugh at your reflection in a mirror.

================

DEE-MO-CRAT BLUES (OR WHAT WASHINGTON D.C. MEANS TO ME)

Look at that big ole circus train rolling over you and on into that town--
band a playing them mean Dee-mo-crat-Lost-the Last-Election-Capitol Blues --
flags a waving-- Folks a stomping on each other
and running to get outta the way.
You ole dee-mo-crats
don’t nobody want you ‘round here no more--
no more bleedin’ hearts-a-social-activism making speeches from the capitol
steps
all ‘bout not leaving anybody out in the cold
and having to work hard to provide for the general welfare of everybody.

See them Ree-public-uns?
They done take took the podium and the microphone and the television camera,
which done went away to some preacher praying in a slick loud voice-- eyes
slit-closed in a silly grin as he spouts off about nothing but: “Sweet Jesus
lower my school tax and my income tax and my property tax, and my tax on
capital gains and all the taxes I get lawyers so I don’t hafta pay, and then
make everybody be just like me ‘cepting my bad parts, ‘cause I’m the only
type of American we oughta have room for around here, and I’m a-leading your
holy flock-a-fudiciary-salvation in a culture war on all of Them other types!
Just call me up and send $14.95 worth of private donations!”
While off behind him the satellite truck dish throws news-reels of this
transition scene out to the provinces where the anti-poor folk vendetta
cowboys stand on main street wearing tax deductible kevlar army helmets and
big plastic shields, toting clubs, separatin’ folks and shiftin’ their
weight from side to side and waiting to crack some heads-- arms akimbo, face
shields pulled low like the knights of the crusades. They’re sure enough
God-fearin’-straight livin’-sons-a-Miss
Liberty’s-a-comin’-morality-defenders-- know what I mean-- Yeah, you
seen’em before, I know-- them really big ones so easy as you please. Oh me
oh my oh-- so many dastardly and disordered crimes-a-passion shockers in
these latest chapters of this creative journalism serial that’s been scaring
them all over them provinces where they ain’t got no compassion nor stomach
neither for none of it these days.
And then there’s all kinds of other maniacs in that town of every stripe and
description all juiced up over every kind of 'cause' you can dream up. They
hold candle light vigils and summertime marches by the reflecting pool and on
the steps of the Lincoln Memorial as a professional occupation that don’t pay
too regular, but can’t pay too poorly. All of ’em wearin’ signs saying
Pro-gress this or Con-serve that.
But regular folks is speechless and dumb in that town and that means
every-you of whatever type or flavor and me and everybody who is just a
citizen and who doesn’t have no special interest lobby nor
big-company-multi-national-conglomerate so he can take his congressman to
Barbados or Antigua for a weekend or so of golf and snorkeling in hopes that
 the gentleman-from-whatever-state-you-might-live-in could be persuaded by
the letter you would’ve wrote’em on the hotel stationary during the trip of
what you think and what you want him to do in your name next time he goes
voting-
But they do have a fine circus in that town I must say, running round about
that capitol hill with a band playing music and fire-eaters swallowing
gasoline and spitting flames in every direction past the ears of
snake-charmers charming each other and belly-dancers wiggling for the cameras
and everybody singing at the top of their lungs- so loud- while everybody
runs this way and that- away from me and toward you or away from you and
toward me and it’s a mixed up confusion absolutely growing all by itself and
nothing gets done
While I get poorer, and everybody gets poorer and the sick people get sicker
and the rich people get richer and the street people get thicker and start to
look familiar and then a few more banks fail and the Government builds a few
more jails for everybody that didn’t make it through highschool or has become
an animal of one stripe and description or another. And radio people and T.V.
people tell you what to think and nobody shows you how to think, and most
people ain’t got time to think and fewer still got time to care, and I aint
got any better clue than you on how or even if we can fix it.