Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Punitive Expedition: Wretched and Despotic House


In bus stations and tea houses

we began to unravel

the unspoken subtext.

Around convivial tables laden with plates

we question the received wisdom,

the willful shattering of images

and irrational historical outbursts.

It is difficult to explain,

left unexamined,

generations of proxy rulers

who fill the mellifluous mouths

with the last theoretical vestiges,

grim and shattering.


We are radically impinged upon

by cutthroat desperados,

overwhelming and relentless.

Pursuing eradication of cultural heritage,

they dare to consider themselves supreme icons,

while we  become

a chorus of earnest protest; 

anguished petitions

on prime-time news.


Condemned by the mentalities that created

these cataclysmic events,

a perversion of

possible pipeline projects,

opinions differed, of course,

as to the precise means,

the exact nature of this geopolitical architecture.

A series of apocalyptic explosions,

a ruthless rhetorical slash-and-burn

reshape dogma into ideological dominance.


The willing imagined it -

a forgotten page in a crumbling history book.

A new urgency in writing

partook of all these things:

the profound currents, the tutelage of political preeminence,

a suddenly unforeseeable future.


Even it is skewed, this thorough re-ordering

by  the sanctimonious.

Ideological dominance

coveted by would-be contenders

who measure themselves in might, 

influence and opulence,

subverting religion,

they form a throaty and sanctimonious chorus.


Dare to breech convention

applied indiscriminately.

Expel the forces of occupation

subsumed into an absolute scheme

of submission and stigmatization.

Down to crushing defeat,

branded as terrorists and exterminated,

counteractive ideological vectors arise.

Wield it as a weapon,

not a policy of nuance.

Grasp the calamity.

Ann Blackwell

                   January 7, 2006

Words and phrases extracted from “Shattered Images: the Rise of Militant Iconoclasm in Syria” by Fred A. Reed,

Excerpted by Peter Babiak in sunTerrain # 38

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