38 – Footnotes

Today I was doing some reading about the Opium Wars between Britain and China in the mid-19th century, and honestly it just made me depressed. The more history I read, the more it all seems like a series of pissing contests between rich men trying to become more rich, fatally misunderstanding each other or riding their big-dick egos to failure, at the cost of millions and millions of lives. The Eternal Fable, the Greatest Story Ever Told: King Compensation tumbles ass-backwards into power and glory on a majestic wave of poor-people blood. Here comes the new King, same as the old King. Everyone clap for your sovereign, assuming he left you both hands.

“Actaeon’s Revenge,” December 2008

The map-lines move with each season of war,
but the lines on the earth move much faster,
jump ninety miles with each disaster
till tides of blood are lapping at our door.

Not one of the men at the door knows me.
They’ll kill us in the name of some rich man
who’s out to swell his wallet if he can.
If only he would let us both go free.

They’ll burn this land to ash and salt the ground,
excoriate the old king for his theft,
and with their guns make this land theirs once more.
When they finally put their weapons down
we’ll lift our loved ones’ bodies off the floor,
and pay tribute to our new king from what’s left.

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