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Saturday, January 22, 2022


by Ron Riekki

“Guantánamo is probably the number one recruitment tool 
that is used by these Jihadist organizations.” 
“Don’t tell me it doesn’t work. 
Torture works, 
OK, folks?  Torture— 
Half these guys [say]: ‘Torture doesn’t work.’ 
Believe me, it works. Okay?” 
6,000 people work at Guantánamo. 
Close to 6,666 people work at Guantánamo. 
Roughly 6,666 people work at Guantánamo. 
9 people killed at Guantánamo.  Roughly. 
A cardiac arrest at Guantánamo.  Roughly. 
A death by cancer at Guantánamo.  Roughly. 
Seven suicides at Guantánamo.  Roughly. 
Rags in the throats of the suicides.  Yes, rags. 
Rags in the throats of the suicides?  Yes, 
rags in the throats of the suicides. And eyes? (See
cages.) Go Geronimo with this Guantánamonow.
Called Gitmo, if you twist the language, if you 
distort the language, if you torture the language, 
then it becomes GTMO.  Git, an unpleasant 
or contemptible person.  “That mean ol’ git.” 
Don’t call him that.  What should I call them? 
You will call them ‘detainees;'
you will not call them prisoners. 
They will call out for their mothers, call 
out for their grandmothers, call out for their ancestors. 
You will not call them children; 
You will call them ‘juvenile enemy 
combatants.’  They will not be allowed 
to call home.  On the outside, it’s supposed 
to say HONOR BOUND, but it looked like 
HORROR BOUND the first time I saw it. 
We spend 5.6 billion dollars on Guantánamo.  
And 5.6 billion less synapses after 
chronic traumatic encephalopathy. 
Difficult to count after traumatic brain injury. 
6,000.  666.  9.  3.  1.  0.  0?  Mouthlike, but 
you don’t call out for your mother when you’re dead. 
You don’t call out for your ancestors 
with a rag in your throat.  Rage.  Honor, 
beating, hooding, waterboarding, bound. 

Ron Riekki co-edited Undocumented: Great Lakes Poets Laureate on Social Justice (Michigan State University Press).