Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Found Poem: Terror

This is mostly an erasure poem created from an article in The Guardian entitled Terrorists See Reason in Madness of Targeting Public Events, with some linkage phrases added. It is a poem about terrorism. It is not a poem exclusively about Islamic terrorism - one of the perpetrators most in my mind when writing it was Dylann Roof - but as the immediate precipitating event is Manchester, yes, it is about that too. 

who are the targets:
not embassies, army bases or planes.


the most attractive targets the most mundane:

a government building in Oklahoma
a Charleston church at a prayer meeting
a movie screening of Batman

trains and buses
a nightclub in Bali
Glasgow airport
a magazine office

the Louvre museum
the Champs Elysées
the promenade of Nice

music concerts
on the streets outside a football international in Paris.

Berlin’s Christmas market, while the people strolled about
choosing their silver-winged angels and winter tchotchkes


One reason: military bases are better protected.
But that is not the whole of it.

There's this:
A rigorously puritanical vision is always at work.
If  any other culture is a threat, attacking its soft spots is both strategy and statement.
Where children dancing to a song are recharacterised as shameless,
by those who have no shame.
Where gunning down people as they pray, as they pray for you,
is recast as resistance.

Another reason: escalating brutality terrorises target populations.
Attacking people where they live and play means all immediately feel endangered,
convinces that the threat is as ubiquitous as it is unpredictable.

Not entirely rational? No.
But true in the viscera.
True in the heart.

it is why terrorism often works,
despite all the words of resistance

it is the war no-one can win
or not, in any case, with guns and bombs

it is a war inside the skin

- Kathy, 24/05/17

1 comment:

  1. Powerful, Kathy. And what the terrorists want is our fear and hate.