[I wrote this as the first poem in a creative writing class while I was in graduate school in the summer of 1990. It was a response to Gulf War I under George H. W. Bush. The course was the first creative writing class I had ever taken and I took it as a lark and also as a change from the grind and pressure of graduate school. When I was in high school I had been envious of the people who wrote for the literary magazine. I had no idea how to write poetry. It seemed magical to me. Much later in my life I happened upon Betty Edwards' Drawing on the Right Side of Your Brain. I was delighted to discover that the artistic skill that I thought I had lost because I hadn' t cultivated it since my last art class while in fifth grade was not lost after all. My parents never encouraged me to pursue art even though (I tell you this in all immodesty!) I was my art teachers' favorite student. In reading Edwards' classic I discovered how I could write poetry too - by drawing on the right side of my brain!
I submitted "Logic" and another poem to Porter Gulch Review. PGR published this one and declined to publish the other one, which was published instead by Seaweed Soup ("To Nancy [Kerrigan]: Our Lady Sexy Virgin American Princess") and then staged as a mini-play. (Seaweed Soup got renamed and I'm going to have to look up the subsequent name.) A member of PGR told me confidentially that the poem they didn't publish was considered too controversial by some of the staff. She, on the other hand, thought the poem was great. When I locate my copy I'll post the other poem here too.
There's another story behind this poem "Logic" too. After the professor asked me to read this poem in class two other students came up to me afterwards to complain about it. The husband was not as militant as his wife but they told me that they were both Zionists and didn't like my reference to Israel. Subsequently I learned that the wife went to the college where I was a lecturer and tried to get me fired because of what I had written in this poem. The staff at the college thought it quite amazing that she would try to do that. This was my first encounter with Zionism in person.]
Hussein now he's done it
Fed him and those I-ranians guns fo’ seven years
And a million died
But it’s only A-rabs
And when he poisoned gassed those Kurds
Hell it’s only more rag heads
But now he’s done it
Shakin’ up the region
Threaten’ our oil
Stirring up those damn Palestinians worse than before
He can’t invade a neighboring country
He says he was invited - ha!
Who does he think he is?
What? Can’t hear you
Israel you say?
Well that’s self-defense
Huh? Grenada? We was invited – really!
And ‘sides those medical students was in trouble
Libya you say? What is this a geography lesson?
We all know Khaddafy’s a madman
I know I know let me guess – Panama?
Hey everybody there loves us
Now look can’t you see
When they do it it’s a blitzkrieg
When we do it it’s liberation
Causes Dennis Loo Supports
World Can't Wait, Occupy, War Criminals Watch, Doctors without Borders, Wikileaks, We Are Not Your Soldiers