Monday, December 15, 2008

Threw Shoes?

[for George Perreault]

“So what if he threw shoes?”
says cheekily defiant Dubya,
missing the significance of
a Cairo TV-reporter's throwing
his shoes at him during
a Baghdad press-conference,

one shoe making him lame-duck,
the other, over his head, slamming
into the wall behind him. Throwing
shoes at someone is the worst
possible insult in the Arab world:

shoes cover the body's lowest part,
tread on animal dung, are removed
on entering a house or mosque.
What’s lower? Just the dung itself.

(15 DEC 08, Santa Clara CA)v5

Friday, December 5, 2008

Paper Tiger

In Silicon Valley's Cupertino,
a dutiful grandson eagerly awaits
an annual U.S. Savings Bond

from his indulgent grandfather,
a manufacturer in Shanghai
who shuffles yuans, reading
his falling quarterly orders
report on the United States.

This year his indulgence
will bear the 2-tongued-E
of a Eurobond instead.

Facing the Chinese in Beijing,
Paulson involuntarily shudders
at a hint of chill across the table.

Something’s morphing. Paper’s
no longer just promissory scrip.

(O5 DEC 08, Santa Clara CA)v3