And Then You Think  

It’s like voting
for Republicans
year after year
and never making the connection

it ‘s like growing up in Lake Hiawatha
where the  Indians were killed off
the polluted lake filled in
long ago 

it’s like wondering
if Peace for Galilee means
the invasion of Lebanon
how come making love isn’t  a war crime

it’s  like the moon and the stars
as you say goodbye to your friend 
and then head home to
separate ghettoes

it’s like learning it costs the same
to send a kid to prison as to college
so asking why the kid can’t 
just be sent to college 

its’s like the glitter of the rich
buying mazeratis
and the sound of the nothingness
trickling down

it’s like a benefit
for breast cancer research
sponsored by the Dow Chemical

It’s like a war 
from the folks  who brought you
the war
to end all wars

It’s like watching the news one night
amid the layoffs of your life  
and stumbling upon
the presidential candidates debate:

“I’m  running for President
because I believe
with strong leadership
America’s glorious days

will always lie ahead of us,
just as they lie
ahead of us

the way things sound
smooth and deep,

and  then you think ---

--by Chris Butter. Originally published in Blue Collar Review (Spring 2011). Used with permission.



(In memory of Juliano Mer Khamis)

our paths
never crossed

I’m sure

funny man
much more

5 bullets
casings on the floor
blood painting the pavement
masked gunman gone
people chattering
fingers pointing
Israeli media
and politicians
sharpening knives

won’t let him rest
five minutes
before digging in
for points
serving an agenda
he fought daily

won’t let his kids
break down
gasp for breath

don’t know
what runs through
someone’s veins
before that trigger
is pulled
what excuse
what idea
oxygen to enter
that motion

wanted to meet you
shake hands
share coffee
keep working
it is appreciated
it is loved
it is felt
rest in peace
rest assured
your memory will
be a theater
open nights
until justice is served
freedom is brought
and a stage is set
that pities this landscape

--by Remi Kanazi. Kanazi is a Palestinian-American poet, writer, and activist living in New York City. He is the editor of Poets For Palestine and the author of the newly released collection of poetry and CD, Poetic Injustice: Writings on Resistance and Palestine. For more information, visit www.PoeticInjustice.net.

Post your comment

Comments are moderated. See guidelines here.


  • Wonderful poetry, nice blend of history, politics...reminds me of Ozimanidas by shelley or the Man with the Hoe by Markham. Every weapon counts. Thank you.

    Posted by Mario Rios Pinot, 05/07/2011 5:43pm (8 years ago)

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments