Avete sentito parlare del desiderio i giardini
Dove scorrono lucenti fiumi cristallini
Laggiù nella corte mattutina
Immortale il morto ancora cammina
Laggiù i ragazzi hanno occhi ridenti
E sbirciano tra le foglie degli alberi
Degli angeli le timide cosce fruscianti
Nelle loro magie d’estate
Laggiù gli angeli sono tutte giovani ragazze
Pubescenti in boccio e sboccio
E i loro occhi sono come falene dell’oscurità
E le loro bocche sono come frutti del destino
E come danzano tutta la notte sotto lo sguardo di Sirio
Presso i laghi ammantati di luna come danzano!
Ora immortali, divinamente deliranti
In girotondo in una intossicante trance
E un giorno si sveglieranno piangendo
Nella fredda e ruvida luce dell’alba
Allora il sogno scomparso lascerà il posto al nulla
Nessun Xanadu, nessun Avalon!
E con sorpresa scopriranno allora
Nell’orrenda luce solare
Che fuori dalle nebbie dei Maya
Le trame del mondo sono state filate
O il sole fatto di polvere di cocaina
E la luna una farfalla impazzita
E tutti son colpevoli di aver ucciso
E solo Dio ha un alibi
Ora i ragazzi sono tutti ricurvi e spezzati
E le ragazze hanno gli occhi bendati
E la magica luna è scivolata
Nel mar morto dove è adagiata.
Many have given me sorrow
many have made me sad
some with the love they bore me
some with the hate they had.
They filled up my cup with poison—
envy, suspicion, doubt:
and many had much to give me
before they left it out!
But the one whose poison made me
sicken and almost die,
gave me neither love nor hatred—
just a cold look in the eye.
You were the one who gave me
vinegar mixed with gall:
a look that went right through me—
you never saw me at all!
Like all things pure and precious
Like holy bread and wine
I love the radiant Rachel
Who died for Palestine.
Once through a green field drifting
In the doldrums of the day
Watching ravens peck out lambs’ eyes
In their cruel, gloating way:
I remembered, I remembered,
How those raptors vulturine
Seized the land and plagued the people
Of historic Palestine.
How the snipers on the rooftops,
Armed with Uzis, standing tall,
Splash the blood of little children
On the weeping classroom walls.
How the settlers spit on Christians
In the land where Jesus died,
And how those who do the spitting
Have the world upon their side.
How they bulldoze people’s houses
Till the roofs crash on their heads
And the women lie all broken
With their babies in their beds.
How the wolfish killers wander
Through a vale of endless tears
Shooting children in their faces
While the world stands by and cheers.
How the bright-eyed Rachel Corries
Lie in cemeteries dead
While the birds of prey grow fatter—
And the world just turns its head.
Christ, come back and save these children,
Put an end to all their pain!
Put an end to evil Zion!
Palestine, come back again!
During this prolific period, Karlin was supporting herself with commissions of her well-known “House Portraits”. These meticulously executed works of art commemorate the history of a place, a building, or even a boat, in Karlin’s distinctly American naïve primitive style. Here we have a patchwork quilt in the border, with the central image being the focus of the eye. A multiplicity of images help to create the story in the border. These paintings were snapped up at once by museums, civic centers, 5-star hotels, and private buyers who knew they were on to a good thing.
Editor’s note: the following 4-part poem, purporting to be a transcription/ translation of a new “undiscovered” poem by Osama bin Laden, forms the centerpiece of a political article. The article can be read in its entirety here:
1. The Great Satan
The inhabitants of the earth
With the wine of your fornications!
You have given birth
To terror, hatred, hysteria!
Your people are sunk
Darkness has come upon you.
You think you live in the light.
Your eyes have been blinded.
Your people stumble in darkness.
Greed has undone you.
Pride and lust are your blight.
God’s sees, and has minded!
Miserable crew, forever whining
About 9/11 and your precious virtue!—
As if you alone had known pain
And the world were under obligation
To kiss your feet and court you
And approach you with shining
Eyes—you blot, you stain!—
You object of utter detestation!
Country of murderers and thieves,
Bloodsuckers of the Third World,
Devils with smiling faces—
My curse on you for ever!
May your land be reduced to a wild
Desolation, may all that lives
In your tainted spaces
Never know peace—or joy—ever!
2. The Coming Doom
Where your people once lived
Secure in the illusion
Of their superior virtue,
There the bison will roam
Again, the frog spread confusion
Over the marshes, the vulture thrive.
There’ll be none to hurt you
There, buried beneath your slime!
Another people will possess your land
Taking your place, a race
From beyond the sea, superior
In virtue: one that practises
What you only preach, showing a face
Of kindness and compassion and
Care for mankind: a race far dearer
To God, and less prone to vices.
You brew trouble, you foment wars
So you can peddle your arms.
From the mouths of children so
That your hatchers of harm
Can trinket their whores
And live the American dream.
That way lies hell, and there you go!
You defile all the regions you rule,
You scatter your bases and rob
The lands you begrime and bescum!
Who helps to kill children for kicks
In Palestine? May Abu Ghraib
Gnaw away at your inmost soul
Like a maggot! The time will come
When your backs will be beaten by sticks!
3. The Holy Land
Israel!—an American colony
Disguised as a Jewish state,
Deliberately planted to destabilize
And drive entire races demented!
A country whose main product is hate,
Whose raison d-être is to make misery,
Where peace would be the only surprise!
A country not owned, but rented
From the Arabs temporarily, by force
—Where the rent is always in arrears.
America, the day will come
When the rent will have to be paid
With compound interest. You’ll reap in tears
What you sowed in joy! At the end of this course,
You will pick up the tab and become
Chief debtor for the monster you made!
See, the betrayer of the Jews—
The Jews themselves! Or rather
Those who call themselves Jews, the pseudo
Ashkenazi Jews with their blue eyes
And blonde hair! Could any race be further
From the true Semitic Jews whose
Blended blood has been poured into
Other bloods under alien skies?
These are the ones, the hocus-pocus
Imposter Jews, who now blow the trumpet
For Zion, stigmatizing
Their critics, and heaping abuse
On those who object to the rank armpit
Of Israel!—Oh, how we loathe these bogus
European Jews whose devisings
Were all learnt from Hitler’s hellcrews.
4. The Day of Reckoning
September 11? That was just
The beginning! Prepare for more
Of the same!—for further contingents
Of “cowards” hell bent on suicide
Flying in to your hated shores!
How can you win? You’ve already lost!
You’ve lost respect: the moral argument.
You are universally despised!
Invincible America, aren’t you glad
You’re so strong? What “courage” it must take
To skulk behind the clouds and rain
Cluster bombs on the weak, without peril
To your own skins! Yes, it’s a piece of cake
Killing women and children in Baghdad!
Congratulations, America! You win
First prize for shooting fish in a barrel!
Hear now my message: Depart
From our lands: you have your own.
Don’t steal our oil! It lies under
Our sands, and there it shall stay!
Get out of our sight! Leave us alone!
Practise the torturer’s art
On your own people! I wonder
What Christ would think of Camp X-ray?
Nation of impudent parasites!—
Supervirus of the world!—
So you think you hold all the aces?
Hear now my curse: May all your bones
Be broken, your ashes all whirled
To the wind! May you who delight
In sowing tares in all places
REAP, REAP, REAP WHAT YOU HAVE SOWN!