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Wednesday, June 24, 2015


by Roger Aplon

"We forgive you."

on  a blast of heated air – one flash & another

& nowhere  to run,
to hide, to breathe free  . . . & he keeps
coming on
this pilfered heart, this shameless ragging,
like a lion on fire,
provoked, pissed-off,  punishing, a collapsed invention where
fear marries power,
with guns blazing the angel of death smacks his lips
slurping up a treacheries soup . . .
Speak not of justice, sanity & bigotry in one breath. Speak not
of mercy without
passion. Do unto others as you do unto me. 
The words ring wrong.
If harmony reigns what will come to fill the vacuum?
passed to the sons.  Inbred fear of retribution. The Other, no longer dark
but from the light
comes to resurrect that supreme fabric. Owner. Master. Overseer.
That sublime indifference
born of  guilt – suspicion – nurturing – fomenting.
Is there no one to speak
against the blind warrior?
We forgive you.
It’s said with conviction – tearful & full of grace. Who’s earned
such a holy gift?
Tattooed across his brow a crown of thorns, swastika etched
between his shoulder blades.
This is the time of mutilation, of dementia, of disgrace.
Where are the voices of revolution?
Those willing to stand & be counted, unafraid of hard choices?
The one who bears malice bears
a cataclysm too long dismissed as fated, too long
      tolerated, too long unchallenged.
“Born in blood, so blood must be spilled.”
It’s the way of the smuggler,
the rapist, the strangler of kids, the demon lover of hatred & dread.
To this we say, with all our strength – No more!

Roger Aplon has had eleven books published: Ten of poetry (most recently It’s Only TV) & one of prose: Intimacies. He’s been awarded prizes & honors including an arts fellowship from the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, New Mexico. After eight years in Barcelona, Spain, he now lives in Beacon, New York where he publishes the poetry magazine Waymark & is working on a new collection: Poetic Improvisations after musical ‘experiments’ by composers such as John Adams, Elliot Carter, Miles Davis & John Zorn.