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Post-Coital Depression

            after the parties,
                                    and after the Seders,
      a few scant hours before the POWs come home

(and home is here, this is their home, and this is my home, far from my
friends and family and far from their friends and family and the things
that any of us would call home)

Now, on a quiet Saturday, I ponder   art   for   art's   sake
and   art   for society's sake
and   art   which by its nature could never last
because it is too             specific
too 	    focused in its          condemnations
      and not at all metaphorical

Today I ponder		the role of an artist
at the close of a war
                              and the dawn of an empire
And what it means
                   to believe in something
in a time of blind faith
                        in blind and stupid leaders

Today I am an artist and a businessman

so I look over my projects

what is due, what is due me, what will be due soon

what must be achieved today so that
other artists will still consider me important

so they will come to my rallies
and come to my readings
and thank me for my politics
and thank me for my energy

Today				           at home
I think of the best way to relieve the burden
of living, writing, and voting in the country
destined to conquer the world

Today I think of stacks of burning bodies

dictatorships established in the name of democracy

and the motherless sons who will come back to America
and do everything they can to bring it down
and what does that mean to anyone, anyway?

                                 the POWs come home.
tortured.		beaten.			terrorized.
and I will celebrate
                   with my city and with my country
and I know
that this is the last day we can call ourselves
a Republic of Laws

I fear for myself
I fear for my son
I fear for the Syrians
I fear for the Iraqis
I fear for the Israelis
I fear for the Americans
and I fear for every artist
			   who makes art for art's sake
						        who won't speak out
		   at the end of our world.

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