Writers Workshop




At last in the clearing in the hot afternoon sun

            amid thousands of flies and wasps

The four dead soldiers were found by their comrades,

            naked, twisted, mutilated—

One with his hands and feet cut off,

            the cut-off feet placed where his hands were,

                        the cut-off hands placed where the feet were;

Another with brains scooped out and placed in two piles

            on the chest like breasts

                        with a gouged-out eye on top of each;

Another, a young woman with her eyes missing

            later found stuffed up her vagina

                        and the genitals of her companions

            crammed in her mouth;

The last, a mere boy, disemboweled, decapitated

            with the guts placed where the head was

                        and the buttocks cut off to the bone

            and placed over the face

                        with the cut-off nose and tongue

            stuck up the asshole.

Meanwhile, on another continent,

            in an air conditioned

                        university building

A creative writing class listens

            to the poet-professor explain why

                        political poetry is not

            poetry but rants

                        disguised as poetry

And assigns them to write

            for the next class poems

                        about their grandmothers.