“Wouldn’t You Confess?” by Bob Lucky

Bob Lucky


I want to write an anti-war poem
like Marvin Bell or Robert Hass.
I want to write an anti-war poem
but I’m always tripped up
by how stupidity gloms onto power until
power becomes stupid.
I’ve tried to write anti-war poems
but I don’t have the heart.
I don’t have the guts.
I do not suffer suffering well,
nor the inhumanity of us versus us.
I know we’re not all on the same team
but can’t we play nice?
I can’t think too much
about smashing testicles
electric cattle prods
boot licking piss showers
shit eating dog collars
without wanting to develop a serious drinking problem.
Wouldn’t you confess
to anything
if some moron with a high school diploma
or GED who enjoyed smashing your balls
looked forward to responding to your pained
muteness with another knee to your groin?
Say something. Say anything. Say you’re sorry for bleeding
on the fist that loves your face or pissing in your pants,
say you’re sorry for your accent and your father’s religion,
for the color of your skin or the gender of the person you love,
say you’re sorry for shitting on the baton shoved up your ass. Say
you’re sorry. They like that.

from Rattle #38, Winter 2012

[download audio]


Bob Lucky: “In elementary school, my teacher made me write a haiku. She got me hooked on words and images. In recovery years later, I wrote songs for ukulele, but it was too noisy for my wife. That’s why I write poetry. I’m addicted to words and images and my wife hates uke.”

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