Poem For El Salvador

 

(Sung)                           I want all the children
                                           to have enough to eat
                                           I want to believe
                                           in a world without end
                                           I want everybody
                                           to be safe and happy
                                           I want everyone
                                           to be loved


(Spoken)       Poem for El Salvador
                            Poem for Lebanon
                            Poem for Cambodia and Chile and Northern Ireland and Grenada
                            Poem for South Africa and Namibia and Angola and Poland and
                                     Afghanistan and all of Southeast Asia
                             Poem for the millions and millions of words
                                      written for the millions and millions of strong angry fighting men

                              Poem for the bleeding gums of 50,000 women refugees in Somalia
                                       and for the broken ribs of Cambodian nurses raped by Vietnamese
                                               soldiers
                              Poem for the breasts of Argentinians hooked to electric shock
                                               torture machines
                                        and for the ashes of Palestinian mothers exterminated by
                                                Israeli bombs
                              Poem for the hands and knees of the maids who scrub the floors
                                                of the Salvadorian ruling class palaces
                                        and for the hair of Spanish midwives hacked off by the
                                                medical police
                              Poem for the cracked skulls of the battered wives of San Francisco
                                                and Dallas and Philadelphia and Chicago


                              Poem for the wombs of all mothers
                                         birthing more and more men
                                         who invent new diseases
                                         and cut off the heads of children with bayonets
                                         and worship and torture
                                         for the greater glory
                                         of the Cult of Personality

                               Poem for cancer in the hearts
                                         of all strong angry men who hate life

                               Strong angry men keep coming up to me and saying
                               “Why don’t you write more poems about the armed struggle for
                                         liberation in El Salvador and the Philippines and Namibia
                                         and Angola”


                               So I wrote a poem
                                         about the son of a Russian Communist Party official
                                        who begged me to smuggle him in some “good American pornography”

                                        and the wild stag parties of the Red Brigade
                                        on the night before they go out and shoot off the kneecaps
                                        of another Italian judge

                                        and sitting with macho Marxists
                                        at a disco in downtown San Salvador
                                        looking all the pretty ladies up and down

                                        and making love with the daughter of a white collar criminal
                                                 from Exxon
                                       while she was on an Irish vacation
                                       and I was living with real wife-beating soldiers
                                       of the Irish Republican Army

                                       and hearing the same dumb joke about the slut who couldn’t
                                                 get enough
                                       as told by Yassir Arafat and Henry Kissinger
                                       and Colonel Khadafy and the Dallas Cowboy football team

                              Poem for the starving women artists in Somalia
                                       and the bleeding women geniuses in El Salvador

                              Poem to burn all criminally innocent entertainment
                                       and the bad fatherly poetry of Mao Tse-Tung
                                       and the naked pictures that remind us who we’re here to serve
                                       and the pamphlets of right-wing assassins
                                       plagiarizing the slogans of left-wing assassins
                                       and the literature of all strong angry men who hate life

                              The problem isn’t overpopulation
                               It’s overpopulation by the wrong people

                                                                                                                                 The problem isn’t overpopulation
                                                                                                                                  It’s overpopulation by the wrong people

                              Poem for the wrong people
                              Poem for the strong and angry capitalist, marxist, Christian,
                                        Islamic, Jewish, caucasian, black, arab, and asian
                                       woman-haters

(Chanted)                                2-4-6-8
                                                       Organize and smash the state
                                                        2-4-6-8
                                                        Organize and smash the state
                                                        Kick the ass of the ruling class
                                                        Kick the ass of the ruling class
                                                        Push ’em back
                                                        Push ’em back
                                                        Way back
                                                        Push ’em back
                                                        Push ’em back
                                                        Way back
                                                        Push ’em back
                                                        Push ’em back
                                                        Way back

(Shouted)                                 Use the food as a weapon
                                                        Use the medicine as a weapon
                                                        Use the soul as a weapon
                                                        Use emotions, use words, use laws, use love
                                                        Use it all up
                                                        Throw it all away

                                                        The thing we dreaded most
                                                         has already happened
                                                         We’re already living
                                                         after the end of the world

(Sung)                             I want to go back
                                             to the simple life with you
                                             I want to believe
                                             in a world without end
                                             I want to be strong and tender
                                             Be in love with my life like you
                                             I want to go back to the source

                                             I want all the children
                                             to have enough to eat
                                             I want all the children
                                             to give up the fight
                                             I want everyone to be happy
                                             and warm and safe and strong
                                             I want everybody to be loved

 

Prayers For Brilliant Blindesses
And Dangerous Teachers

oh dangerous god who never kills but only changes
            What is the difference between right and wrong

oh god, father of the stagnant water and mother of the funny words
        I thought of while I was there
            All the things I believe in are wrong, and I know it,
            and yet I still have as much power as people who hate

oh god sabotaging climaxes with your obscene abundance
oh god of pure disappointment
            I want to say what can’t be said
            I want to live without opinions

oh god of unnatural animals living in me like sex on other planets
            Give me a song about sex and war that shocks people so bad
            they pay me to stop suffering

oh god who scorns all mediocre longing
            I am living without ulterior motives
            I have shut up until I had something to say
            So reward me now
            Give me dreams I can spend like money
            Give me an ego I can laugh at no matter how beautiful or stupid
             it is

oh normal god who can’t hide your fear from me
oh god of childhood eating up the mother and the father
            I have no wife and kids
            Tell me why
            I play with dolls and toys
            What am I waiting for

oh nagging god who begs me to tease and not to fuck, to create and not
        to conquer
you croaking reptilian two-faced teacher who inspires me only a little
         bit just to keep me hooked
            You can’t stop me if I want to imitate you
            You can’t abandon me if I free myself
            from looking for a woman who would complete me

oh god of haunting facsimiles and hungry substitutes better than the
        original
            Once again I have proved my self-control
            Once again I’m becoming bigger than life and wilder than my fears
            forcing you to change all your teachings

oh god of unlearned love and of heats and smells that go nowhere
            What am I trying to prove
            Who am I trying to impress

oh sneaky, anguished god who can’t escape me no matter how  much I heal
            I’m not the most dangerous person in the world
            or the most intelligent
            or the trickiest
            or the most spontaneous
            or the most anything
            Help me therefore to give myself away for free
            and to make things that last only by accident

oh god of brilliant blindnesses and enemies who reawaken life
            I’m not myself
            So then who am I
            I want as much emotion as women
            I want to be disciplined enough to go crazy
            in the name of creation not destruction

oh god of opening the negative world to me as I fall asleep on my birthday
            I can’t crave what I never hated

oh god revealing to me my exact infinitesimal purpose in history at the
            weakest moment of a day when pleasure extinguishes my worship of the
            adolescent in women
oh loose and yowling god of childbirth who saves all the best pleasure
            for women alone
oh god of no hope for men who try too hard
            What hidden forces control me
            What if there are women who secretly want me
            What if I can give them nothing

oh god of drowned worms and electricity leaking out my feet into the rain
            as I cry about the temper tantrums and obsessions I can no longer have
            with any conviction or joy
oh backwards god, oh god of hoarding up feelings for years and then
            spitting them all out in one night

oh intimate and delicate and precise god
            I’m afraid I might try to imitate myself
            I’m afraid I might try to live off the love I saved
            when I was too strong to love anyone

oh god you pushy cruel generosity that gives people gifts too big for
        them to handle
            Prove to me that I don’t have to suffer in order to be creative
            Stop me from saving people who don’t even want to be saved

oh too much god
            Am I influencing you yet
            Am I hurting your feelings

oh crippled god of fascination and repulsion and nothing
        in between
            I’ll forgive you if you forgive me
            I’ll fake an emotion until it becomes real
            if you admit that’s how you create everything

oh god of the usual mystery, god of no explanation, god of
        no good reason
god of thousands of people who all have a different image of me
oh imprisoned, fecund, crumbling god whom I have known for less
        than one hour
oh god of muscles in the face twitching at unanswered emotions
            I never claimed I was a human being
            I never agreed to be raised by kind and gentle parents
            I never said I gave up being a dirty dog-headed god of
                the underworld
            flailing in the snow in North Carolina, dying brilliantly
               of LSD
            And if you don’t stop strangling yourself now where cunt
               meets cock
            I swear I’ll never do anything normal again
            I’ll make myself into a bomb, I’ll live without routine
            I’ll pretend I’m insane when I talk to considerate people
                in cafes in the middle of the day

oh outmuscled god, outlived god, god drained of all human will
oh end of god and beginning of a fierce alien tender ego in my
       heart with a face like yours but no name yet
oh black solar heat of god at midnight
love bomb god exploding from a dream impossible to translate,
       impossible to use on this earth
            Help me think up bigger, better, more original sins
            before you change forever into the perfect pungent flavor
                 of cunt
            and disappear from this world where there are no real men

oh best god in the world, happiest, funniest, hippest god
            I know you want me to be my biggest, most confused,
               greediest soul
            I know you want to give me the pleasure of thinking
               terrible things
            and having more flagrant desires than you could ever
               imagine alone
So that I am still and always split in two.
So I know I am a man and a woman fighting it out in one
               and the same body
            just so I can stay attracted and excited by this life
            of never being born and not knowing how to die