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GOTTERDAMMERUNG

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Gotterdammerung

The little pieces
of shredded Palestinian children
fall as lightly on the conscience
of Europeans and Americans
as the dust from the crematoria
on the neat-as-a-pin flower boxes
brushed off daily by German hausfraus
living in the shadows of Dachau and Auschwitz.

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These tiny human sacrifices
to nationalism and dominion
are as remote and dim as the cold light
from Alpha Centauri amid

an obscene frenzy of slopping at the trough
of narcotized consumerism designed to make us complicit
and to numb the vestigial morality of the most arrogant know-nothings
to grace the world's stage since Caligula,

indoctrinated since infancy with entitlement and exceptionalism
via fables and demonization fed to us by our parents,
school's daily boosters of pledges of allegiance 
and the continuous, intra-ocular injection

by the corporate media
of its creation, the Great Satan
of TV advertising and Public Relations.

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As we, the comfortable and gluttonous, wallow
in beer, NASCAR and any sport that involves balls,

and shop for a lifestyle while "living" like empty bags
waiting to be filled with whatever is dangled
in front of our faces,

as we, the ignorant and insulated, fixate
on whitening our teeth and erasing lines from our faces
in order to avoid looking into the mirror and being mocked
by a moldering portrait of Dorian Grey,

as we stick I-pods and cell phones into our ears
that make it impossible to hear anything about the deal

we've made with the devil, or had made in our names,
since we might have to re-think the claims that we've made

not to hear the crying of our brothers' children dying
as they reap what we have sown,
exploding in red-dripping shards of flesh
and white, jagged splinters of bone,
coalescing in the fetid pool of the West's
sophisticated and cynical indifference,
while we suck contentedly on the TV tit
and swallow the murderous poison
of its corporate ejaculate.

*         *         *         *         *

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Wounded Knee and America's Peculiar Institution
of kidnapping Africans and forcing them into slavery,
established a template for institutionalized brutality
whereby we broke every treaty that was signed in our names

as we settled and slaughtered our way across the continent
to establish an empire stolen by means of atrocities
committed with Manifest Destiny's self-delegated authority
wrapped up in flag-waving dressed as democracy.

As Americans slaughtered and slaved their way into history
they embraced genocide as their moral duty and a mandate
in bearing the White Man's Burden of civilizing the inveterate savages
who were already cluttering up the "American" landscape

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Vi's works appear widely both in print and online. She conducts Poetry Workshops and gives readings in Central New York. Her latest chapbook is "Sine Qua Non Antiques (an Arcanum of History, Geography and Treachery).

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