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Wednesday, January 03, 2007


a truepoem by Bill Costley

"I was a civilian advisor to the military. We
went & saw Saddam. We were impressed."

Another quiet American confessing to stealth.
Time: just before closing. Place: a bookstore

in an upscale suburb, in late Summer. We
quietly talked until closing. Regretfully, we

exchanged names. I closed up, went home
& wrote about him in my weekly column

in the regional Harte-Hanks daily. Soon
that quiet American came back, stood,

staring grimly at me, another quiet American
caught doing what quiet Americans do: War

via intermediaries, dictators who invariably
betray, haunt, defy, discredit, disgrace us

in the world's unblinking eyes.

Bill Costley serves on the Steering Committee of the San Francisco chapter of the National Writers Union. His epic-in-progress The Cheni@d appears here on The New Verse News.