The War Production Canzon, by Stephen Kuusisto

Sam Hamill, Writing for Peace AdviserCommemorating Ten Years of Poetic Resistance, PAW Post No. 11

During the month of February, Writing for Peace  commemorates the Tenth Anniversary of Poets Against the War with Daily PAW Posts from a host of contributors.

*Parental Guidance Warning –The poets featured during our February Daily PAW Posts write of war and its effect on the human heart. Writing for Peace has not censored these poems, and we encourage parents to review the content before sharing them with children.

To purchase a copy of POETS AGAINST THE WAR from Powell’s independent bookstore, click here.

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The War Production Canzon

by Stephen Kuusisto

“Whirlpool: Imagine It”

–advertising slogan

I have come at last
To understand
The power
Of my dishwasher:
I use it
To bring back
The dead!
Don’t kid yourself
The dead
Live on
In proximity
To machines
And why shouldn’t
My dishwasher
Become
A Tibetan
Portal—
A “Bardo-matic”
Multi-cycle
Soul cleanser?
I set the dial
To “Advanced Patriotism”
Making sure
To add
The Orphic spot remover,
And
Let the falling
Inertia
Of the unreal dead
Wash backwards
Into history
With the fused stones
And magic gems
Of unfathomable
Becoming.
And how quietly
My dishwasher
Shifts
Into
The Pythagorean
Cycle!

The mathematic
Flesh and bone
Stirs
With
Leaf pattern,
Scarlet berries,
Until
My good
Dishwasher,
My Whirlpool
From RCA,
A corporation
Heavily invested
In weapons
Of mass destruction
Lo!
My death-ray
Dishwasher
Raises up
Out of the mineral earth
Those
Who once
Were buyer
And seller,
Master
And victim,
Foot soldiers,
Iraqi children,
Kurds,
Sandinistas,
Contras,
Maoists,
Integrationists,
Trotskyites,
Mensheviks,
You get the picture
And
My dishwasher,
Makes a sound
Like wings
And washes out
All the blood drenched,
“civilized”
Abstractions
Of the rascals
Who live
By killing
You and me.

Stephen Kuusisto, Writing for Peace Guest Poet

About Stephen Kuusisto

Stephen Kuusisto is a graduate of Hobart College and the “Writer’s Workshop” at the University of Iowa. He has studied as a Fulbright Scholar in Finland and currently directs the Renée Crown University Honors Program at Syracuse University where he holds a University Professorship in the Center on Human Policy, Law, and Disability Studies. He speaks widely on literature, diversity, disability, education, and public policy.  He is the author of Eavesdropping: A Memoir of Blindness and Listening and the acclaimed memoir Planet of the Blind, a New York Times “Notable Book of the Year”. His debut collection of poems Only Bread, Only Light, was published in 2000 by Copper Canyon Press. Recognized by the New York Times as “a powerful writer with a musical ear for language and a gift for emotional candor,” Steve has made numerous appearances on programs including The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dateline NBC, National Public Radio and the BBC. His latest book Letters to Borges is brand new from Copper Canyon.

Visit his website at: www.stephenkuusisto.com

 

Writing for Peace News:

All during the month of February, Writing for Peace is commemorating the Tenth Anniversary of Poets Against the War with a Daily PAW Post. If you are interested in arranging a reading this month in honor of Poets Against the War, please contact us with the details at editor@writingforpeace.org, and we will be happy to share your information on our site.

2013 Young Writers Contest

The Writing for Peace Young Writers Contest is in full swing, with entries coming in from all over the globe.  The contest is open to writers of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, for ages 13 to 19. Contest deadline is March 1st, 2013. Spread the word to young writers everywhere! You’ll find contest guidelines here.

DoveTales,  An International Journal of the Arts

The first issue of DoveTales will be released this month, featuring poets, writers, artists and photographers from all over the world.  We are also looking forward to seeing the winners of our 2012 Young Writers Contest in print. Watch our posts for news of the journal’s release. The new submission guidelines will go up on March 1st. Thank you for your support!

 

 

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