Saturday, July 1, 2017

Jack Scott writes

They, the People?

There is room within recalcitrance 

for sheer audacity to seat committees 
casting leaden ballots 
and voting shooting war. 
(They, some People) 
their ballets should be as glass, 
hard as bullets, but transparent 
so the shell-pocked acres 
of far strewn body parts 
and napalmed skin, 
no longer act as dam 
to keep the level of spilled blood 
from reaching our newspapers.

Too late, 

the trail of ink tracks 
leads back to signatories 
after the deed is done, 
but before page one; 
the blood has clotted before the ink is dry.

Hail, the black and white 

that is the flag of wars; 
our Leading Citizen is now John Gray. 
John Doe, our Unknown Patriot, 
is dead and disremembered, 
a victim of the carnage.

There is room 

within so-called democracy 
for vacancy 
so that the rent-free few       
can assign the maybe to the many:
their John (not Patrick) Henry’s on the dotted line 

and each lottery is won by someone else 
drawing all attention to their checks 
as big as sheets of plywood 
while each election stays 
well within extended clan 
who paid top dollar for it, 
while denouncing living wage 
as a communistic ploy.

The rib Adam once hosted 

‘ere his surgery by god, 
evolution co-opted 
as a tool that it could use. 
Thus, begats were begotten 
and a family was started 
much like the dysfunctional ones 
we have today.

The unbroken line of this genealogy 

is a one-way street. 
(Evolution does not retreat.) 
Adam’s Army has many ranks: 
privates, corporals, sergeants, 
who march in one direction only: 
toward the Bad Man, the Other. 
Target men, expendable, 
trained by national psychology 
to kill and not be killed 
shipped over foreign seas, 
marched over distant lands, 
(To Adam, where is foreign?), 
armed by physics, 
applied and theoretical, 
used tactically, strategically 
to occupy all Eden, the Homeland,
by force if necessary, 

which it is and always will be.

We’ve also had our Eva Brauns 

knitting ‘neath her lampshades 
and our Lizzie Bordens, 
but relatively inconspicuous 
by the faintness of her footprints.
Throughout history 
there is a another thread, 
not a subplot of the larger tale 
which we could aptly call 
The Maulers and the Healers.

Mothers, sisters, daughters, 

they’re all Eve, still waiting. 
God gave them patience 
while overdosing Adam 
with testosterone. 
Hopefully, we’re approaching 
the curtain of Act One 
and not the ending of the play. 

Eve should take her cue 

from what Adam’s done
and cast herself as neither victim nor enemy, 
for if, with her growing power, long overdue, 
she makes of him her foe 
she’s gained neither justice nor equality, 
but merely turned the table 
to play his own hand 
against himself 
and, therefore, all.

The problem is a flawed design 

back on the drawing board. 
Eve was sketched as Adam’s mate,
but as ribs go, he could just as easily 
have been made from one of hers. 
When there were only two of them 
living on the planet 
there must have been 
repressed repression, 
for man has a basic need
which can be fulfilled by women 
only when other men are not around, 
but that is not first preference.


not too much later, actually, 
Man was at last free 
to act out his stifled fantasies. 
War was declared by degrees, 
when there were as many men, 
who engaged in the battle 
that will never end.

But no one’s ever thought 

to have a good look at it, 
and also what’s behind it. 
The cause of war 
is as clear as it can be, 
we all need an enemy 
far more than we’ll ever need a friend.

Image result for giant lottery check images


  1. The preamble to the constitution of the United Stats of America reads: "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." It was added to the constitution by Gouverneur Morris and his Committee of Style and Arrangement (James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Rufus King, and William Samuel Johnson).

    John Gray, an associate of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the leader of the Transcendental Meditation movement, wrote "Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus: A Practical Guide for Improving Communication and getting What You Want in Your Relationships," a 1992 book that sold more than 50 million copies, making it the all-time best-selling hardcover nonfiction book although most professionals have derided its central thesis (that men and women are fundamentally different: “Like their Martian ancestors, men pride themselves on being experts, especially when it comes to fixing mechanical things, getting places, or solving problems.... Venusians have different values. They value love, communication, beauty, and relationships.” ). It was adapted to the stage as a one-man play by Eric Coble in 2007, and led to a TV talk show in 2000-2001, theme vacations, his-and-hers salad dressings, theme vacations, fragrances, and apparel lines. In addition, Mac Lethal released a hiphop album, "Men Are from Mars, Pornstars Are from Earth," in 2002.

    John Doe is a placeholder name used to refer to people whose names are temporarily forgotten, irrelevant, suppressed, or unknown in the context in which they are being discussed, especially in a legal case or to an unknown corpse or patient. Sometimes "John Doe" is a "typical male." The name was one of several used in English legal instruments to satisfy technical requirements governing standing and jurisdiction, beginning in the reign of England's King Edward III (1327–1377). The term was revived in the UK in 2005 when lawyers acting for JK Rowling obtained an interim order against an unidentified person who had offered to sell chapters of a stolen copy of an unpublished Harry Potter novel to the media.

  2. In 1847 George Lippard's story "The Fourth of July, 1776" (though usually reprinted as "Ring, Grandfather, Ring") appeared in the "Philadelphia Saturday Courier" and then was incororated into his book "Washington and His Generals; Or, Legends of the Revolution." In it Lippard invented the story that an "unknown patriot" exhorted the Continental Congress to sign the Declaration of Independence with the words, "Sign! if the next moment the gibbet's rope is round your neck! Sign! if the next moment this hall rings with the echo of the falling axe! Sign! By all your hopes in life or death, as husbands -- as fathers -- as men -- sign your names to the Parchment or be accursed forever!" Lippard, a close associate of Edgar Allan Poe, wrote what he called "historical fictions and legends," which he defined as "history in its details and delicate tints, with the bloom and dew yet fresh upon it, yet told to us, in the language of passion, of poetry, of home!" (He was also responsible for the story that the Liberty Bell cracked when the people of Philadelphia celebrated the announcement of independence from the UK, though most probably the crack was caused by ringing the bell upon the death of chief justice John Marshall in 1935; the bell did not become an important American symbol until it was adopted and named by abolitionist societies in the 1830s.) The fiction was revived in a lecture at New York's Carnegie Hall in 1942 ("The Secret Destiny of America") which was included in the 1944 book of the same name by Manly P. Hall, a popular American astrologer who published over 150 books and gave some 8,000 lectures, and then picked up by Ronald Reagan in his commencement speech to his alma mater, Eureka College, in 1957; Hall and Reagan both falsely claimed that the story had been related by the author of the Declaration, Thomas Jefferson.

    John Hancock was president of the Continentl Congress when the Declaration of Independence was adopted. Though a leader in the early revolutionary movement that led to the creation of the US, he is primarily remembered for his large, flamboyant signature on the Declaration. "According to an apocryphal legend that appeared much later, as an act of defiance he signed his name on the treasonous document largely and clearly so that king George III could read it without his spectacles, but the story is apocryphal and originated years later. Contrary to popular mythology, there was no ceremonial signing of the Declaration on 4 July 1776. The document was approved on 2 July and its final wording on 4 July, and a fair copy was sent to the printer John Dunlap. The Dunlap broadside was widely distributed and bore only Hancock's name (besides that of Charles Thomson, who was the Congress secretary but not a delegate). A second broadside was issued six months later with all of the signers listed, their signatures arranged according to the north-to-south geographic location of the states they represented. Hancock's signature, and those of several other delegates, did not appear until the "engrossed copy," a sheet of parchment that was carefully handwritten sometime after 19 July and signed on 2 August. About 50 years later John Hancock" became an informal synonym for a signature. However, at about the same time, western cowboys began calling their signatures a "John Henry."

  3. Patrick Henry was an orator and politician who was an important early revolutionary leader. He may have proclaimed, "Give me liberty, or give me death!" in a speech to the Second Virginia Convention on 23 March 1775 at St. John's Church in Richmond, Virginia. The delegates had been selected in August by the First Virginia Convention, an extralegal assembly of the House of Burgesses after the royal governor had dissolved the legislature for its show of solidarity with the rebellious activities in Massachusetts. Edmund Randolph claimed that the convention sat in silence for several minutes after Henry's speech, and Edward Carrington, who was listenening outside, was buried at that spot in 1810 at his request. Due in large part to Henry's oratory, the convention resolved to declare its independence and appointed a delegation to the Second Continental Congress. However, the speech itself did not appear until William Wirt's biography of Henry in 1817, and Wirt himself may have created the speech as it became known to posterity.


  4. According to "Genesis," the Elohim created Hawwah (Eve)["living one" or "source of life"] by taking her from one of Adam's ribs. In the 1st century Joshua ben Hananiah claimed that "God deliberated from what member He would create woman, and He reasoned with Himself thus: I must not create her from Adam's head, for she would be a proud person, and hold her head high. If I create her from the eye, then she will wish to pry into all things; if from the ear, she will wish to hear all things; if from the mouth, she will talk much; if from the heart, she will envy people; if from the hand, she will desire to take all things; if from the feet, she will be a gadabout. Therefore I will create her from the member which is hid, that is the rib, which is not even seen when man is naked." (It has also been speculated that the bone was not actually a rib but rather the baculum, a bone found in the penis of many nonhuman primates.) Adam named her "isha" (woman); she was not named Hawwah (perhaps linguistically related to an Aramaic word for snake) until after the serpent persuaded her to disobey a divine commandment, leading to the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. The story seems to have been derived from a Sumerian myth in which the goddess Ninhursag created a garden with edinu (fruit trees) in Dilmun, the earthly paradise, and put her lover/half brother Enki (the god of crafts, mischief, and intelligence) in charge; but after Enki ate some of the plants Ninhursag punished him by causing a pain in his "ti" (a word that meant both rib and life); however, she relented and created new goddess Ninti ("lady of Living" or "lady of the Rib") to heal him. Subsequently, Adam and Eve became the progenitors of the human race, and the Bible contains many lisst of genealogies in which some figure "begat" another who "begat" yet another and so forth.

  5. In 1929, 17-year-old Eva Braun, working as a model and assistant to Adolf Hitler's personal photographer, met the leader of the Nazi Party. About two years later they became closer, especially after Hitler's half-niece Geli Raubal (perhaps his lover) killed herself with Hitler's pistol in 1929. By the end of 1932 Baun had become Hitler's mistress. They married early in the morning of 29 April 1945. At 3:30 on 30 April she killed herself with a cyanide capsule and Hitler shot himself in the head with a pistol. Their bodies were then partially burned. SMERSH ("death to spies"), the umbrella organization set up by 1942 to oversee Soviet military counter-intelligence units, was tasked with finding Hitler and capturing him if possible. Hitler's dentist confirmed the identities of Hitler and Braun, and their remains were buried in the SMERSH compound in Madgeburg. In 1970 they were exhumed, thoroughly burned and crushed, and their ashes thrown into the Biederitz river. "Knitting 'neath her lampshades" is an allusion to the practice of converting the tattooed skins of Auschwitz victims into lampshades for sale, combined with the image of Madame Defarge, whose knitting secretly encoded the names of people about to be executed during the Reign of Terror in Charles Dickens' 1859 novel, "A Tale of Two Cities."

    In 1892 Lizzie Borden was acquitted of the murder of her father and stepmother. Her father had been struck with a hatchet 10 or 11 times, and her stepmother 20 times. Her name was soon memorialized in a skipping-rope rhyme sung to the tune of "Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay," a song that was featured in "Tuxedo," an 1891 revue performed in nearby Boston by the George Thatcher Minstrels. Their manager, Henry J. Sayers, claimed that in the 1880s he had heard the sung performed in a popular St. Louis brothel. The song became an international hit, was used in Bromo-Seltzer ads, was featured as the theme song to the "Howdy Doody" children's show on televison from 1947 to 1960, and adapted into a protest song by Joe Hill, an organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World ("Wobblies") in ca. 1914.

    Lizzie Borden took an axe
    And gave her mother forty whacks.
    When she saw what she had done,
    She gave her father forty-one.


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