The Agonist Journal

Under No Flag

Of late I've felt the need to submarine
Away from this odd port, to disappear
When talk that litters roads began to foul
My rudder, block my periscopic view,
And stop torpedos from their quick release.

Although I'd struggled long to keep the peace,
And didn't like disturbing my good crew,
Lie calmly back to mutter, hiss and growl,
I hadn't found new means to settle fear.
And so, I acted on my rising spleen

With full intentions to disgrace, demean
All those who give us only lie and smear.
Their presentations, dropping from the bowels,
Expose us all to poison, through and through.
And I, now fully armed, demand them cease.

But what metaphor restrains increase
Of civil chaos, which has put askew
All sense of joy or purpose? See that scow!
Her gross, blunt bows have borne the sick careers
Of gangsters where the rest of us steered clean.

But my imagination seeks ablution
And finds it now: a firing solution.


Now Nancy didn't lack for love or friends,
But her deposition from the prior week,
When Bernie had offended her, struck some
A mite excessive. Calling him a dog,
A sluttish mutt, demanding his arrest,

To some, that seemed, while Bernie was a pest,
"Too much," "Too much," "Too much." And such a fog
Descended round his shoulders. Even rum
Could not assuage his wounds from piquant pique.
In truth, such treatment, if unguarded, rends

The target. He'll present his doctor ends
So open as one might describe a freak.
God help the nurse examining this bum,
Who might be tempted to reach back and flog
His new tormentor—angel for the blessed,

White-coated Devil with a hornéd crest
For patients dug up from a loveless bog.
The scorned had better sound an alarum
To save us from the vengeance of the weak.
Only the most courageous comprehends

That danger can't afford to play the mime.
We all depend on voice's place in time.