Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions. Use "Verse News Submission" as the subject line. Send a brief bio. No payment. Authors retain all rights after 1st-time appearance here. Scroll down the right sidebar for the fine print.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Volume Twelve

by Bill Costley


CNN journalist Erin Burnett debuted her show “OutFront” in early October by mocking Occupy Wall Street & defending the industry that destroyed the economy. On Monday night Burnett gave a platform to a man almost as loathed as his Wall Street buddies, former Vice President Dick CHENEY

CHENEY, predictably, contemptibly,
bashed POTUS Obama for not
authorizing “a quick airstrike” to
retrieve a predator drone that
was recently downed in Iran.

"The right response to that would
have been to go in immediately &
destroy it. You can do that from the air.
You can do that with a quick airstrike,
and in effect make it impossible for them
to benefit from having captured that drone.
I was told that the POTUS had 3 options
on his desk. He rejected all of them.[
They all involved sending somebody in
to try to recover it, or if you can’t do that,
admittedly that would be a difficult operation,
you certainly could have gone in &
destroyed it on the ground with an airstrike.
But he didn’t take any of the options.
He asked for them to return it
& they aren’t going to do that."

The former VPOTUS has been insulting
Obama since Inauguration Day, insisting
his policies will make the country “less safe.”
2 months into his administration, CHENEY

charged that the new POTUS “is making
some choices that, in my mind, will...raise
the risk to the American people of another attack.”

He’s accused Obama of “half measures”
& “dithering” on foreign policy. More than once
he’s criticized the POTUS for not taking a
tougher stance on Iran. Even after Obama
authorized the successful mission to kill
Osama bin Laden, who Bush & CHENEY
essentially let run free thanks to their...
war with Iraq, CHENEY wasn’t happy.
“I still am concerned about the fact that
I think a lot of the techniques that we had used
to keep the country safe for more than 7 years
are no longer available. That they’ve been
sort of taken off the table, if you will.”

So CHENEY's carping is nothing new.
But suggesting that the POTUS launch
a quick airstrike” to retrieve the downed drone
is ridiculous, even for CHENEY. There’s
no such thing. CHENEY has to know
that any new U.S. incursion, following
on the drone discovery, would sharply
escalate tension with Iran, & to do that
to recover a drone isn’t at all worth the risk.

Rebecca Jarvis this morning asked a follow-up question:
“Would not, though, an airstrike on Iran have potentially
led us into a war with them?” 

CHENEY: "Well, if you look at what Iran
has done over the years, they’ve been
the prime backers of Hezbollah, Hamas,
the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut
in 1983 that cost us 241 American lives.
These were Iranian-supported ventures.
It’s not as though they haven’t already
committed acts that some people would
say come close to being acts of war.
For us to go in and take out the drone
that crashed would have been, I think,
a fairly simple operation, & it would have
denied them the value of the intelligence
they can collect by having that aircraft."
“But the administration basically
limited itself to saying, ‘Please give it
back,’ the Iranians said No."

CHENEY was bullish on Newt in 2012,
though he hasn’t endorsed anyone formally.
“I wouldn’t underestimate him,” CHENEY said,
praising Gingrich’s political skills. “The thing
I remember about Newt, is we came to
Congress together at the same time, ’78,
& when Newt showed up, he said, "We can
become the majority. We can take back
the House of Representatives. We hadn’t had
the House since the 1940s & initially,
none of us believed it, but he was persistent.
& he was tenacious. He kept it up & kept it up
& kept it up &  finally by ’94, he’s the newly-elected
speaker of the House of Representatives
with a Republican majority.” CHENEY declined
to describe the way Gingrich crashed & burned
in the years that followed. You’ve got to count
that among the nicest things anyone who’s
worked with Gingrich has said about him
during the whole campaign. Stay tuned.


after waiting 20 mos.
for a transplant @ 71,
after 5 heart-attacks
since 30. His well -
& ill-wishers view
this as overdue.
Doctors & reporters
describe it without
dread & awe, few
lip-slipping that
CHENEY’s really a
heart-receiver, not
heartless deceiver


prepares to discover
who his heart-donor was.

Fearing it was a black lesbian,
he asks his gay daughter
to accompany him.

“This way there’ll be nothing
sleazy about doing this,” he says
as they walk the long corridors
of Walter Reed Hospital, past
its crumbling walls, great rusted
window-grates, closed bathrooms.

CHENEY begins to realize
it might have been a soldier
who might have served in Iraq,
& trembles uncontrollably. His
daughter holds him tightly.

They finally arrive at
the janitors’ slack-room.
Nobody there is white.
Some are women.

CHENEY blurts out:
“Anybody here a lesbian?”

One woman speaks up:
 “My wife was.”

CHENEY’s heart thumps,
more than, more than once.

(to be continued)

Bill Costley has served on the Steering Committee of the San Francisco Bay area chapter of the National Writers Union. He lives in Santa Clara, CA.