Poetry, Un-Cooperative, Call, Disarmament and this Page
Daily Barbarian Number 2

Fifth Estate #316, Spring 1984, Vol. 19 No. 1

The poetry found on this page is what we hope to be the beginning of a regular feature of the Barbarian, and an attempt to create a publication that not only critiques modern society, but also expresses the dreams and desires of a new life, free of both leaders and followers, through a synthesis of political/social theories & critiques, art, poetry, prose and humor—to name a few. Below is a collection of poems that were read at two separate anti-war gatherings in Detroit.

Why we are in El Salvador, was read earlier this year during an artist’s Call gathering to protest U.S. intervention in that country. Author Ken Mikolowski is a Detroit poet, now living in Grindstone City, who along with his wife Anne, founded The Alternative Press (Grindstone City, Mi 48467).

All of the other poems on this page were read in October 1983, during the two-day Festival For Universal Disarmament, held at the Uncooperative. Rick McKenzie is the founder of the Motor City Free Arts group (a loose group of poets and performers), John Mason is a member of the Detroit base Horizons In Poetry (HIP) group, as is Rod Reinhart. Rod has published several collections of his works, the most recent of than entitled: Splinters in the Wind: Poems of El Salvador and Detroit. He is currently working with exiled Chilean poets on a collection of poems from that country.

If you have any poetry, prose, lyrics, art, etc. that you would like to send to us, please do! We give no assurances that it will appear in the Barbarian and if you want whatever you send to be returned, please send along a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

Meditations on the fire ball
by Rod Reinhart

And we felt the fire fall
Eliminating us
In less time
Than eyes wink
Or we think
The end has come

And we felt the fire fall
Shopping malls
Cotillion balls
Marble halls
Muraled walls
Funeral palls
Bowling balls
Old Pall Malls
Horse stalls
Phone calls
Us all
Us all
Us all.

And we felt the fire fall
Brilliant as the Autumn smoke
Brilliant as the winter snow
Brilliant as the flaming nun
Brilliant as the rush hour night
Brilliant as the river noon
Brilliant as the Ren-Cen storm
Brilliant as the poet’s dream
Brilliant as the courage death

And we felt the fire fall
Autumn leaves
Anvil dance
Snow storms
Fire storms
Fire sale
Growing pale
Setting sail
Ride the rail
Last detail
Coffin nail
Coffin nail
Coffin nail

And we felt the fire fall
Crushing wall
Endless hall
Screaming gaul
Final call
Final call

Sec Bomb
text from a performance
by Rick McKenzie

The pornographic go-go dance
of current events
America wants to burn the breasts
We want to burn the breast to glass
with bombs
America the sex deviant
We spend money to feed our sex vice
We spend so much money
For men who never touch a woman
For men who fear and hate the touch of women
So much money
We spend so much money
For our sex bomb
So much money
Our family is neglected
Our children and our schools
Are shabby and hungry and poor
We spend so much money for our lust
Our key to power
Our leaders need this to get hard
We buy the sex bombs to get hard
We spend it on our vice
To burn the breasts we hate
To burn the children we fear
Burn them all to glass
Then we feel safe to get hard
We feel the power to get hard
This is our sex vice
The bomb
The sex bomb
We have to spend to buy the sex bomb
Forget the families we did not want
Forget the breasts we fear and hate
Burn them all to glass
Men and women and children that we fear
Burn them all to glass
Spending for the sex bomb
All our taxes for the bomb!
All our money for the bomb!
Taxes for the bomb!
Money for the bomb!
Taxes for the bomb!
Money for the bomb!

The Treason of Sergeant O’Malley
by John Mason

(A poetic discussion between O’Malley and a private at a missile silo, after the order to fire has been given and the button pushed, yet the missile will not take off. The discussion includes a telephone call from the Colonel.)

The fucking bomb won’t blow for what
we do not know
the circuitry is right
the seals are all tight

But still, it will not go
The big guys want to know
if it will ever work
well don’t just stand there, jerk

Go check the gauges,
you know the rage is
gonna fall right on our heads
we might as well be dead

But why’d they give the order?
there’s no-one on our border…
No missiles have been fired.
I hope this room ain’t wired…

Cause treason’s never fun
but our work has been done
The damn thing just won’t shoot
and I don’t give a hoot

They can take their goddam wars
and ship ’em with their oars
As far as I’m concerned
no cities will get burned…with this baby..

But Serge I kinda think they’d know
if it was real
The closer to the brink
the more they’d watch the deal

Shouldn’t we just call them
Shouldn’t we just call ’em
I sure don’t want to stall ’em
If this is it, we’re dead
behind or up ahead

C’mon, let’s call ’em serge
if not they’re gonna barge
In and then we’re done
Oh Shit, there goes the phone

O’Malley here, yes sir, we fired
but it hasn’t taken off
We checked the fuel and the wires
it sits there warm and soft

No malfunctions to report sir
the thing don’t want to blow…
We…yes sir, I’ll shut up sir…
You said none of them would go?

I guess I don’t know what to say
but maybe we should shut down
If all the missiles have their way
we might as well leave town

Yes sir, I’ll wait for further word
this may just sound absurd
but I bet nobody’s missiles blow
puts a whole new light on things, you know?

Serge what’s the word
What we gonna do?
Was that the Bird?
Do we get the screw?

Does this mean there won’t be no war?
Without it what are missiles for?
And what about that bomb in there?
I tell you serge, it just ain’t fair!

So go and turn the damn thing off
it only blows if it’s aloft
You kill the gas, I’ll cut the juice
Without those it is out of use….

Just take it easy kid, we’re safe
we won’t be post-atomic wraiths
We’ll shut her down as orders say
and maybe learn to laugh and play

My hitch is up in early June
It might be time to change the tune
and find out why they will not fly
I bet there’s reasons, how and why

If I should ever find the folk
who made atomic war a joke
I’d join ’em all, and play their game
I think I’d even change my name….

Why We are in El Salvador
by Ken Mikolowski

because there are peoples to debase
issues to debate bureaucracies to departmentalize
orders to delegate parameters to delineate
borders to defend documents to declassify
dominoes to deflect computers to deprogram
jungles to defoliate workers to debilitate
missiles to deploy rebels to demobilize
nuns to deflower sympathizers to demoralize
rumors to denounce zones to demilitarize
atrocities to deny buildings to demolish
situations to defuse villages to destroy
theories to debunk areas to depopulate
minerals to desire corpses to decompose
resources to deplete bombs to detonate
profits to deposit wars to declare
currencies to devalue children to deprive
overruns to defray to deform
coffee to decaffinate dehumanize
diplomats to debrief desist
rights to deny desist
elections to delay desist
churches to desecrate
despots to deify <!—[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]—>