Self- [de] termination

A Poem by Gerard Donnelly Smith


Between determination and termination, a simple "de" or in Spanish "of"
reordered into termination of self in the name of democratization: a
little magic trick of deconstruction, applied by the post-imperialist
Imperialists who will democratize civilization's cradle into a cradle for
consumerism: watch now as these future workers of the Arab world
reconstruct themselves into Its capitalistic image.

Between deconstruction and reconstruction, a minimal pair or in
global-economic terms the opportunity to "re" coup, to provide a regimen
after regime change: to help the body politic recuperate from collateral
damage. A little business trick of the post-industrial entrepreneur whose
military expenditure becomes the cost of opportunity to be recouped
through minimal input contracts.

Between abject horror and sublime beauty, a question of value or in
literary praxis a defining of pathetic characters upon a stage too full of
sound and fury, signifying that nothing besides ledgers and accounts has
any value, that the line in the sand is a bottom line, that red blood
seeping into the desert will transmute into the bullish red of speculators
and money-changers who should have been driven from the temple long ago.

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Poetry on Swans

Iraq on Swans


Gerard Donnelly Smith, a poet and musician, teaches creative writing, literature and composition at Clark College in Vancouver WA. CERRO de la ESTRELLA (Logan Elm Press, 1992) was chosen for The Governor's Award for the Arts in Ohio, 1992. Excerpts from THE AMERICAN CORPSE (10 poems) were published in Apex of the M in 1995. He is the current director of the Columbia Writers Series, an Honorary Board Member of The Mountain Writers Series, and co-advisor of the Native American Student Council at Clark College. He has also organized readings for Poets Against the War.

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Published April 28, 2003
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