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poems from God Bless
Artwork: Bush/Osama Lipstick and eyebrow pencil on paper by
Debra Di Blasi
'George W. Bush' © 2007 Debra Di Blasi
'Osama Bin Laden' © 2007 Debra Di Blasi
click to enlarge

   

September 2003

Laura sends her love. We’re a strong country,
and we use our strength to defend the peace.
I’m interested in solving problems quickly.

I have proposed a good plan to the Congress:
a strategy in Iraq and a mission,
the work that history has set before us.

I have laid out a comprehensive plan.
I know there’s talk about the deficit,
first of all, the $87 billion,

but the $87 billion is worth it.
We have carried the fight to the enemy.
With these people, you can’t negotiate.

The signs are…good about our economy.
Peaceful Iraq will save this country money.

Interleaf

That your methods reveal your cowardice
does not restore our women and children
or lessen our suffering over their loss.
What shall we call deaths by enforced starvation?
Is murder only murder as explosion?
Someone in the darkness has to call it night.
Someone has to ask the obvious question:
If self-defense is terrorism, what is legitimate?

That your people believe your cynical lies
doesn’t make them true, nor does repetition;
does not make those bombed at evening prayers
in the mosque at Khost less dead, less civilian.
Group our men, call us al Qaeda, Taliban;
are our children any less innocent
than yours, that their deaths should not cause us to mourn?
If self-defense is terrorism, what is legitimate?

Even confrontation with the evidence
cannot overcome your repression.
You substitute denial for conscience.
Three civilians murdered in Afghanistan
as collateral for each American
in the towers. Videotaped, the incident
of Muhammad al Durreh gunned down.
If self-defense is terrorism, what is legitimate?

Riyadh for Iraq, Kashmir, Lebanon.
Cole for occupying our holiest site.
Manhattan for Burma and Palestine.
If self-defense is terrorism, what is legitimate?

   
divider

H. L. Hix
Writer’s Statement

These poems come from a project entitled God Bless, which will be published later this year by Etruscan Press. All passages in the Bush poems were spoken by Bush during the month identified in the poem’s title, and all are quoted verbatim, as they appear on the official White House web site, www.whitehouse.gov. The “interleaves” imitate arguments from the public statements of Osama bin Laden. Only the italicized passages are direct quotations from bin Laden. My source for bin Laden’s discourses was Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden, ed. Bruce Lawrence.

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last update: July 2, 2007