Hugh Seidman


Thinking of Baghdad

Flesh gorging on oxygen.
Apes of smoke and debris writhing and struggling in air.

Wails of the infidels and assassins.
Mutilations from the centuries of bronze.

I wanted to exonerate the infants.
The event horizon was white hot.

The infernos were igniting the armor between myself and the infants.
The projectiles were piercing the armor between myself and the infants.


There, city, just past imploded brick.
There, city, just past the trope for black holes.

Here, I resented the price of a loaf of bread.
Here, I sat on a park bench in the sun.

Here, I dozed—numb, livid (nine hours from bombs).
Here, I paid tax—to forge the uranium tanks.

Here, I tongued language.
Here, I pled: country! country! country!


It is good to be made na´ve.
It is good that blood forces in gut, as in brain.

Dreams bloom to the chroma of terror.
Long ago I swore to uphold the imperial power of dream.

Shrapnel purifies the eye of the testifier.
Protozoa bore harder into the fly.

The warplane graphic rotates slowly on the vengeful news channel.
Fate reiterates: thirst, starve, curse, scream, burn.

fr. Somebody Stand Up and Sing [New Issues Press, 2005]

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