My Olive Breasts

My Olive Breasts

by Tony Martin-Woods

My olive breasts are covered
In Western urine and sweat,
In Russian vodka and vomit,
In mustard from Asad the chef,
Who bakes with toxic dribble
Iranian and Turkish bomb cakes.

Nations of hate,
It will not be me
Who’ll take you away!

Rebels trained by the CIA
Launch infidel lethal grenades
Paid with Saudi lazy gold.

A million Goliaths from Israel
Enforce an embargo in Gaza
On crackers, slings and stones.

Hyenas fathered by Blair
Behead innocent people.
May sharpens their swords.

Priests of hate,
It will not be me
Who’ll take you away!

In the streets of Ankara
Dozens begged my return
But perished in Gladio attack.

Eloquent porters in Europe
Feed the masses with fear
Shutting borders and hearts.

Traders of hate
It will not be me
Who’ll take you away!

Doctors brutally killed,
By silent fighter jets
Sent by Peace Nobel Prize.

Rivers and rivers of Syrian blood
Desperate flow through humble canyons
Carved in mountains of media lies.

Gods of hate
It will not be me
Who’ll take you away!

As my mission in this world is to wait,
Nude and simple as I came here,
For a big testosterone eruption
To wash down the power of states
And all the filth that their leaders
Splashed on my olive breasts.

Copyright © 2015. Tony Martin-Woods
Todos los derechos reservados. All rights reserved.
Poem started in the night of the 9th of October and completed in the afternoon of the 10th, following the Ankara bombings.

Bards Behind Bars: Prison Literature In The US

by William T. Hathaway

Prisons are one of the few growth industries in the USA today. They are becoming money-making institutions, and profits are rising. New ones are being built and old ones expanded to hold all the new slave laborers being captured. The prison-industrial complex is the epitome of capitalism.

The USA imprisons a far higher proportion of its population than any other country, 730 people per 100,000. As of 2011, our prison population was 2,266,832. (1) Read the rest of this entry »

Domestic Insurgents – fiction by William T. Hathaway

Chapter One of a Novel

Five fathoms down, Marla Wilson swam past catacombs of coral sparkling in shafts of sunlight, her motion swaying sea anemones. The ocean embraced her, caressing her legs as she kicked, streaming her breasts as she stroked. A manta soared by, swift and undulant, then vanished with a whisk of tail into the sargasso forest. A gray shark with blinkless eyes cruised a school of young tarpon, who sank in slow abandon through purple shrouds of gulf surge. Jewels of nacre gleamed on the sliding bottom, luring her down, tempting her to stay, forget the surface and its flimsy air.

She was mostly water anyway, salty too.

But she had a job to do.

Dan Travers swam beside her, streaming bubbles; Grace Adams was behind, all of them held in the buoyant press of the sea. Above them the surface, a glassy roof of dancing light. Ahead the island … and a Hera missile about to be launched.

They had to stop it, at least delay it. They carried no weapons, just chains and locks. They were the weapons, their soft, warm bodies chained to fence posts ringing the launch site.

In an hour the Pentagon planned to blast off Hera, all twelve tons of her, and then shoot her down with a Patriot missile. They claimed the testing was needed for national security, but Marla and her friends were convinced it would just increase the arms race, shatter the peace of the Florida Keys, and terrify the animals. They were swimming in to put themselves on the line against it. Read the rest of this entry »

A US Election Day Parable – fiction by Joe Emersberger

What follows is a brief discussion between with The Prophet Who Looks Back (also known as “History”) and a regular US citizen.

***

You’re going to be mugged?

What?

Tomorrow you will be mugged. That much is certain. Stay in all day. Go out. It doesn’t matter. You will be mugged.

I don’t believe you.

You know how impressive my credentials are.

Yeah I do, but what you’re saying is so frightening.

So you only want to believe nice predictions. I gave you more credit than that.

I’m sorry. You’re right. Just let me get myself together.

No problem.

Okay. What options do I have? What can I do about this?

Well I can offer you a choice of two different muggers depending on whether you choose to stay home or go out. Both of them are real nasty characters – totally hardened criminals. However, I think one of them (his name is Barack) might at least leave you with a pulse after he mugs you. I’m not saying he will. I’m just saying it is more likely than with the other guy -MItt. 

Oh my God I’ve heard of these guys, but some people say that Barack is worse, that the other guy just talks meaner but that he is slower and easier to run away from. Are you sure Barack is less dangerous?

Well, I can point to ….

You know what, never mind. I don’t care which of them it is.

What? You’re not being rational. You need to choose your assailant wisely.

It’s not that clear who is worse so I’m not wasting time agonizing about it. If I knew for sure one of them would leave me unharmed then that would be different. Since they’re both totally nasty fucks, just tell me which weapon and tactics I can best use against them. Prepare me as best you can to fight whoever it is.  I don’t want either one of these guys to walk away from me unscathed.

Remarkable. Most people assume they can only choose a mugger but not the option of fighting back. I have some excellent news for you. You’re attitude has altered your future.

It has?

You’re chances of walking away unharmed just shot through the roof. You may even walk away with their wallets. Now here is how you can fight either of them. They won’t see it coming….

Rivas’ Banana Field – fiction by Andre Vltchek

     Manuel sat next to me. He was leaning against the door of the car while I drove. Manuel used to be a soldier, an officer in the Sandinista army, but now he was as retired as one gets, pissed off and constantly badmouthing his former comrades. Not that he had changed sides, he hated the Contras and the right-wing government of Aleman even more than the Sandinistas and he hated all that was in between, which appeared to be by now north of ninety percent of the country. Read the rest of this entry »

Bay kou bliye – fiction by Joe Emersberger

There was a long-forgotten incident in Murray Temple’s life that he suddenly couldn’t stop thinking about. The memory began as a minor nuisance but eventually developed into a source of acute misery. His family doctor had suggested anti-depressants but he refused to take them or see any counselor the doctor recommended.

He had always been very open with his wife but he couldn’t bring himself to tell her anything except in the vaguest terms. A few times, he had felt desperate enough to consider calling his daughter, who was away at university, but he never did. He didn’t want to burden his daughter who was extremely busy, but, as in the case of his wife, it was mainly shame that prevented him from opening up.

The memories that tormented him appeared so embarrassingly trivial to him – bullying he had been subjected to in childhood.

Some older boys humiliated him by making him move out of his seat at a high school football game. Temple – and the friend he was with at the game – were only in elementary school at the time. He never saw those bullies again in his life. Forty-five years later, he couldn’t stop dwelling on their meanness and cowardice. He fantasized about going back in time and calling their bluff. Why hadn’t he considered the consequences those boys would have suffered if they had touched him? He had very violent fantasies in which his father or uncles, or his friend’s older brothers (who were on the field playing), swooped down on those boys to beat them up. Sometimes he imagined himself as a grown man coming to his own rescue. The fantasies became so vivid that they frequently sent his heart racing to the point where he felt like passing out.

One day, he actually had to lie down on the floor of his office to keep from fainting because of those violent thoughts. His secratry rushed to call 911 when she saw him on the floor. He convinced her not to call by saying that he had merely thrown out his back out and needed to lie on the floor to alleviate the pain. She cancelled his appointments for the rest of the day.

Earlier that day, he had sent an email to that friend who had been bullied along with him at the football game. Without beating around the bush, Temple asked him if he remembered the incident. His friend, who had recently given up practicing law to become a school teacher, replied at once. He said he vaguely remembered the incident and then invited Temple and his wife over for dinner. Temple made an excuse not to accept.

As Temple was lying on the floor of his office, he was convinced that the memory of that minor incident at the football game would soon kill him. Then he began to remember numerous other times when he had been bullied as a child – then other, more subtle, incidents in later life when he had been humiliated. His life appeared as a series of humiliating incidents that he had suppressed until that moment. He wondered why people had been so cowardly as to pick on him when he was – for one reason or another – vulnerable. And why had he been so cowardly? Why hadn’t he stood up for himself much more often? Of course he realized that he was, uncontrollably and destructively, distorting his own past. He tried to think about all the nice things that had happened to him in his life – the first time he kissed his wife, their marriage, the birth of their daughter, the first lawsuit he won. He thought of starving and abused children in India. He was perfectly aware of what a very fortunate person he was, but that awareness did absolutely nothing to comfort him.

With considerable difficulty, he managed to calm his thoughts. He slowly rose from the floor and slumped into the chair by his desk for several minutes. He was about to go home when he noticed an email from his old friend.

Murray,
If you have any kind of midlife crisis thing going on Abdias Jean is the person to talk to. Trust me. No one else is as good.

His old friend put Abdias Jean’s contact information at the end of the email.

Temple had never heard of him but immediately called to make an appointment.

He did not make any attempt to do any research about Abdias Jean. He was not alarmed when he saw the modest house where Abdias Jean worked, nor that the garage that had been converted into a semi open air waiting room. Temple’s fellow patients in the waiting room looked normal enough to him.

When he finally saw Abdias seated at the dining room table where he met patients, Temple asked him where “Dr. Jean” was.

“I’m Abdias Jean, and I’m not a doctor,” replied Abdias.

“But on the phone-” stammered Temple.

“You spoke to my father. He’s Haitian, hence the accent.”

“Yeah, okay but…How old are you?”

“Almost Seventeen.”

Temple just stood there and said nothing.

“Have a seat,” said Abdias.

Temple sat down reluctantly and asked “People pay you? You can’t possibly be licensed.”

“People only pay me if they want to, and only what they can afford and think is fair.”

“And fortunately,” Abdias added with a chuckle, “people don’t need a license to talk to each other. Things haven’t gone that far out of hand.”

Abdias smiled but Temple looked back at him coldly.

“Who recommended me to you?” asked Abdias.

Temple gave him the name of his friend.

Abdias suddenly nodded as if a key truth had been revealed.

“You hung out with him as a boy didn’t you?”

“Yes,” replied Temple.

“Let me guess. Your visit to me is related to some bullying that took place in your childhood.”

“He told you about the football game we went to as kids, about that email I sent him last week?”

“No. I haven’t heard from your friend for about a month. He came to me because he was suffering greatly because of some bullying he had experienced as a child, but it was not at a football game.”

“And you helped him.”

“Well, he recommended me to you of all people, so that speaks volumes.”

Temple looked puzzled but he now felt uninhibited enough to give Abdias a quick synopsis of his problem.

He was quite relieved that Abdias did not burst out laughing or say “that’s it?” after he finished.

“I know it’s a ridiculously minor incident,” said Temple. “People survive horrific experiences and get on with their lives, but I honestly think I’m going to have a stroke because I can’t get these bullies out of my head and these violent thoughts I keep having…”

“If you found those bullies today, do you think they would remember what they did?”

“Of course not,” answered Temple. “I bet they wouldn’t remember anything about that night at all.”

“Bay kou bliye. Pote mak sonje,” said Abdias.

“Excuse me?”

“The one who delivers the blow forgets. The one who bears its mark remembers,” said Abdias. “It’s a Haitian proverb,” he explained.

Temple nodded and after a pause asked Abdias how he had helped his old friend. Perhaps the same technique would work on him.

“I’m sure it would. He needed to forgive you.”

“Forgive me?” Temple asked incredulously.

“Yes, you bullied him mercilessly whenever you with a certain groups of friends you considered cooler than him. You taunted him and even challenged him to a fight when he asked you to stop. He backed down and, many years later, was suddenly tormented by the humiliation.”

At first, everything Abdias told Temple seemed preposterous, but as Abdias supplied more details Temple began to remember.

“He was my friend,” gasped Temple.

“You know how people, especially kids, can get when they are in groups and out to impress.”

They sat quietly for a minute. A few more unflattering memories then came into Temple’s mind.

“It is a lot easier to forgive people when you accept that you are no saint yourself,” said Abdias. “The gentlest people among us should be able to understand the worst villain if they examine their own lives and hearts honestly. But we tend to idealize ourselves in memory. Countries do that as well. That ‘why do they hate us?’ question people asked after 9/11 is a good example. Look where that led. ”

Abdias added that Temple’s friend had concluded – thanks to their meetings – that he had in fact made a lucrative career out of bullying. That was why he gave up law – to try to make a fresh start.

Temple looked very alarmed. He thanked Abdias politely, paid him generously, and never gave those bullies a second thought. And he never contacted Abdias or his old friend ever again.

The Home Remedy – fiction by Joe Emersberger

At sixteen, Abdias had already established himself as Walkerville’s most sought after psychologist. Of course, he couldn’t legally call himself one. His embittered rivals preferred terms like “witch doctor,” “charlatan,” and “fraud” among others that were more hateful.

One afternoon, a balding overweight man of forty paced in Abdias’ garage which served as a waiting room. Scott was oblivious to how he alarmed the other people by pacing and making angry faces.

An old black man (Abdias’ dad) eventually led Scott to the dining room inside the house. Abdias was sitting at the table wearing a T shirt and jeans. Scott had expected to see a very thin bookish kid. Instead, the young man before him was very large and muscular.

“Have a seat Scott,” said Abdias as if they had already met.

Scott’s parents had forced him into this appointment by threatening to kick him out of the house. If that was not humiliating enough, he was now face to face with a teenage “success” (and a son of Haitian refugees no less) while he, a forty year old white guy with a degree in economics, was a “failure”.

“Look, no offence,” said Scott as he took a seat “but unless you have a job for me this is a complete waste of time and money.”

“I don’t charge for this,” corrected Abdias. “People just pay what they think is fair and can afford.”

Scott looked pleasantly surprised for a moment but then sighed wearily and explained his problem.

Since finishing university, Scott had constantly been working hard yet moving backwards rather than forwards. His greatest workplace success was with an insurance company where he held on to an entry level clerical job for several years. Employers and co-workers found him weird and unpleasant. The way he talked to himself and made angry faces for no apparent reason was often described as “creepy”. The quality of his work, despite his effort, was not exceptional. He had trouble concentrating, so he was always the first targeted for dismissal. As he got older, he was treated even more ruthlessly. He was now working part time as a janitor in a factory.

He was too beaten down to feel humiliated by the work. In fact, he found it somewhat therapeutic. It was clear what was expected of him, and there were hardly ever people around to notice or care about his eccentricities. Unfortunately, Scott had just been threatened with dismissal again. The problem was that he had been asked to fill out a checklist at the end of his shift and he couldn’t do it. He had lost the ability to write.

“I can read just fine but I can’t write,” he explained to Abdias. “I noticed the first time I tried to fill out that goddamn checklist. I have a degree in economics but I can’t write. I can’t even write my name anymore.” Read the rest of this entry »