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George W. Bush and the Theology of Malthus Applied to Katrina

by seanfarragher 

Posted: 26 September 2006
Word Count: 678
Summary: This was the time when New Orleans hurricane spake back to Noah and the US President of Sleaze in Rose Garden Mix and Match Fund Raiser for earthquakes in Pakistan and crickets in Tehran

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George W. Bush and the Theology
of Malthus Applied to Katrina

This was the time when New Orleans
hurricane spake back to Noah and
the US President of Sleaze in Rose
Garden Mix and Match Fund Raiser
for earthquakes in Pakistan
and crickets in Tehran.

August 29, 2005
New Orleans, Louisiana

God and Wal-Mart saved lives during
Hurricane Katrina. Bush played golf.
Don’t tell anyone. He shanked it,
but didn’t lose his PGA exemption.
Shall we indict the President
for the human crimes that
incompetence drew in freehand
maps? Imagine school yard football.
Patches of uneven grass strung between
bare space and deep unknown holes.
When Cain strikes you down there
were few reasonable risk-gain scenarios
and the ambiguity of the loss
keeps most solid in time. Memory
lists you as a perpetual winner no
matter how hard your unprotected
head hit the up thrust thigh of some
fast tracked monster racing for the ball.

If you manage the hurricane, winners live,
loser die as if they are at some great universal
prom and the King and Queen are already
dead scattered in wheel chairs and unnaturally
drowned when their care givers vaporize.
The dead do not get to choose up sides
and kiss his captors. He doesn’t screw Iowa
cheerleaders within endless rows of kryptonite
in brittle soy bean fields where contempt
rustles the ass of an unremarkable game.
She does not lose all her children when
collateral damage, that cliché left her
in her burka wearing Baghdad blind.
On some other side of the street
different “school children” with new
ideologies plot the next theater piece
in a scripted game where the winners
and losers plan to die and glory ascends
without protest from Abraham, Christ
or Mohammad simplicity. Once upon
a time the slogan “better dead than red”
rang itself up the “Friendship 7” rocket
to record John Glenn and Yury Gagarin
post coital whispers.
We cheered, and perhaps that was
a unique last man standing scenario
that mattered when you record fact
as indelible grit stained data.

Thumbs down is an extraordinary signal.
It tells us all we need to know about
that one moment when hate lost, or when
love imperfect could not prevent drama
that materialized into the after sex when
Katrina dispensed disease, theft and human
plots to right the wrongs perceived to game
all the capital left for successive serial
games that will catch you eventually
and hack you down for kindling.

On this early September day
remembrance plays New Orleans
Jazz as fusion wakes. Imagine tired
mayonnaise as issue one to warm
contrite days when “rosy dawn”
emerges to the mildew floral septic
fury of a rejected land where human
beings are forgotten by all gods
in unprotected grace amen.
My last daydream that American always
cared for its own died with denial
that bureaucrats wheedle during
many thumbs down extravaganzas
as fund raisers for real estate
speculation and urban renewal.
I believed we would never let a city die.
Imagine, and it could happen, Chicago,
New York, Phoenix doomed in dirty bomb
luster this is beautiful and blue, graceful
and deadly when violet, wild Australian
viper snakes slipped ‘cross Oceans
as spy novel devices come true again.

4. September 11, 2001

These 9-11 Memorial September days note
boundaries of events to cast more shame
than soft cream curdled oil on picnic table
with half eaten eggs and dried up burgers.
In this Male and female doesn’t matter at all.
Have you noticed? All are inept? Mother,
Father and child do not register on Richter
until much later in history of political lies.
God or secular ideology can not save
the world from the insight of Thomas Robert
Malthus in his 1798 Essay. He preached
that population tends to increase faster
than food supply, with grievous results,
unless checked by weapons or media slight
of hand that flips, spins, twists action
packed melodrama where the illusion
defined on the sly distracts with John
Wayne war movie famine as patriots
clamor for stalemate and compassion.


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Comments by other Members

Beanie Baby at 20:21 on 03 October 2006  Report this post
I will be honest - I did not really understand this poem. I think I got the jist of it but I was left wondering at the end exactly where it was headed. That is not to say there is anything wrong with it, Sean, so please do not be offended. You are a brilliant poet and I find - even if I don't quite get it - that every poem you write is a work of art in itself. Your use of words and phrases and blatant observations always make for fantastic reading and this is no exception. It might just be because - as I have said many times - long poems like this are not really my thing. But I will always try to read your work, Sean, because it is always amazing.

seanfarragher at 22:18 on 03 October 2006  Report this post
thank you for your read.

I appreciate it. You are so great


Paul Isthmus at 17:48 on 13 December 2006  Report this post
I read it too.

The lyrics to the song "Everybody knows" by Leonard Cohen keep coming into my head these days.

I have been accruing this argument in my head, and I'd like to share it with you, as it stands so far. The argument tells me its name is "Aesthetics and Social Development", but it's not sure yet, it might be human development instead.

It goes that when we reach a level of technologically extended action and need media to tell us the effect of our action, or to bear witness, then aesthetic concerns start to divorce themselves more and more from life and action. I remember the story about a photographer who was taking photos of one of the concentration camps in Germany after the war, and he was taking pictures of this big pile of bones, an enormous pile of skulls and hip joints and ribcages and limb bones of the victims of the holocaust. And he suddenly caught himself focussing more on the framing of the bones in the pictures he was taking than the reality of the situation itself, of its history and import. He was trying to frame it in the most beautiful way he could. And he realised he was doing this and was shocked - when he was telling the story (this was on film) he laughed at himself.

I think poetry can break through this though, somehow. I don't think it's the same as photos or photoshop or anything.

Anyway, a girl has just invited me for some wine, so I'm off. I enjoyed it, but I think it could be better somehow, compared with your other stuff - but I still enjoyed it anyway. Your stuff always gets me thinking.


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