The Artist Fills His Days with Black Ink

Flames of fervent faith lick at the heels of rawhide shoes as they flee the news of corporate crime on a global scale; green scars etched with economic nail.
Tassels of inertia on cowboy sleeves, shrunken heads of state adorn the body’s bloated greed.
And of the faces of those spectators who line the path, some will look, many will act, but most will avert their eyes, questions unasked for fear of reprise.
And beside the path grow paper trees, cut from pages of glossy magazines whose pornographic motivator is to titillate and tease.
But whose carbon copy edit adds fuel to fire’s feed.
While from windows bare of curtain care glow candle flames and alarms from laptop battery low.
His black ink squid scrawls truth and lies, slipping paranoid beneath the radar spies.
What human values lie in blasted limbs and dusted children dead; in border lines of racial genocide; in warfare declared by capital and real estate gain; in disagreements solved not with dialogue comma colon question mark - but with ballistic full-stop underlined?
To the earth are returned the dead too soon; fruitless and unfulfilled; martyrs to nothing; newspaper clippings whose names are not known or shouted on street corners.
Nor will their lives make a difference to those living dead, who see no value in life but who would kill for land; sterile land thorn tree spread.
And soon the heels of shoes will be lost to feet bare; calloused by neglect they will move on from here; the path will fork and the story disappear - behind trees of complacency and in the face of greater lies.

This was written for Mazen Kerbaj during the 2006 Naziraeli invasion of Lebanon.

August 2006

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