Boobie Listening Tours
(from Fernando Po, U.S.A., America's post-literate retreat to Plato's Cave)

He speaks of swells and "surges" like
They have some potency
To leave impressions in a mind
In jail for vagrancy
He listens without hearing and
He looks but doesn't see

But still he puts on quite a show
Of looking like he looks
Like those who run for office while
Distributing some books
Designed to sell celebrity:
A line with barbs and hooks

He also likes to have it look
Like he is listening
While on a tour to have him seen
Appearing as a king
Who cares for what his subjects think
When he cares no such thing

Appearing at appearances
He speaks to utter sounds
Which noisemaking activity
His empty self surrounds
A comment on humanity
Beneath and out of bounds

In post-linguistic times like these
The cattle prod now serves
To jolt and stun intelligence
That normally observes
So from the sight of painful truth
The Boobie conscience swerves

It hurts too much to see no thing
Where something seems to be:
Transparent apparitions like
Those deserts in the sea;
Mirages in a mind made hot
By bogus imagery

Performing their experiments
On captive focus groups
The word magicians seek to find
The kinks inside the loops
Of wires crossed up in circuits that
Make Boobies jump through hoops

Some sequences of noises or
Some spell-marks on the page
Can often boil some Boobie brains
And put them in a rage
Inducing executions of
Some felon on the stage

And posing in some certain way
Drives Boobies 'round in ruts
Some glandular secretions seep
From heads to Boobie butts
Till "take a load off" means relief
From pressure on the nuts

To hold the arms akimbo and
Stare sternly into space
With nothing recognizable
As thought upon the face
Moves blocks of demographic votes
And shames the human race

By placing in high office one
Who knows no rhyme or rule,
Discredited disciples of
Dick Nixon made a tool:
A propaganda catapult
Aimed squarely at the fool

Repeating repetition till
The brain begins to numb
Shows method in a madness meant
To make the Boobies dumb
Techniques to which the Boobies proved
They'd willingly succumb

No study of the language helped
For Boobies would deride
Attempts by English teachers to
Some overview provide
"It's just semantics," Boobies jeered,
So meaning simply died

"You leave those kids alone!" they brayed,
Like donkeys in the pen
"Why we've been speaking language since
Before the age of ten;
And Uncle Jim-Bob never had
To tell us where from when"

"It all depends," the Walrus said,
"On what you mean by that;
Not what you mean when you say 'is,'
But what you mean by 'fat'
Does 'fat' mean 'dumb and happy' or
By heart attack laid flat?"

Or does the use of expletive
Constructions queer the game
By puffing up bad grammar with
The empty and the lame
With things that look like nouns and verbs
Deserving all the blame?

"It is just what it is," he claimed
"I said just what I said.
You'll know just what I mean some day
Long after we're all dead;
Which means you've just allowed me to
Evacuate your head"

"Hee Haw! Hee Haw! I fooled you good!
Now don't you feel ashamed
To realize that I know what
To hit where I have aimed?
And all the time I skated while
Some innocent you blamed!"

"That's got to chap your ass, I know;
But here's the better part!
Now that you rightly feel betrayed
I'll demonstrate the art
Of rubbing in the lesson so
Get ready: let us start …"

"You can't admit how easily
I took you for a ride
I've got the key to you and that
Has gotten me inside
Down where the lizard lurks
With all your vanity and pride"

"The mammal cortex in your skull
Can sometimes work or not
Depending on the use it gets
Or if it goes to rot
Assuming without questioning
The Boobie monoglot"

"You speak one language, so you think;
Although too loosely used,
A word like "think" can only show
The organ you've abused
Combining neural nets into
One neuron tightly fused"

"But, anyway, the Carpenter
Has made of me a dunce
Who blows your brains out endlessly
Without reloading once
A single-bullet sloganeer
Who shills for whom he fronts"

"This makes me look the cynic, sure,
And not the simple sod
That I portray on TV sets
Before the gawking clod;
But put a flag behind me and
The Boobies think I'm GAWD!"

"Like Oz behind his curtain, Dick
Designs the things I say
Projecting me commanding all
My statues made of clay
Who do just what they're told and will
Until their dying day"

“I could have grown up poor which would
Have put me to the test
I could have gone to serve in war
Like many of the best
But since I chose my parents well,
I got to take a rest”

“I know it sounds unsportsmanlike
To rip off those in prayer
With heads pressed to the pavement and
Their asses in the air;
But what thief could refuse to lift
A wallet here and there?

“I didn’t make the world this way;
I take it as it comes
I only set them marching off
By beating on the drums
That means I get to eat the cake
While they fight over crumbs”

"Thus ends the lesson, Boobies, so
Go home and take a nap
You'll soon forget and then I'll have
You eating from my lap
The usual arrangement for
Dispensing you your crap"

So as the tour continued, George
And You-Know-Her alike
Pretended that they gave a shit
And spoke about a "spike"
A "surge" implying "more" troops now
Like fingers in the dike

Just why the dike had sprung those leaks
The touring Boobies knew
But since they poked the holes themselves
Their fear of flooding grew
How could they get to higher ground
Among the chosen few?

The answer lay in moving fast
Creating quite a stir
A spasm of activity
Resulting in a blur
A cyclone storm of bullshit meant
To mask the flying fur

Appearances deceive, they say,
Thus more and more appear
To tour deceptively in hopes
This way they'll dodge the spear
Now cocked, and aimed, and set to throw
At their buck-naked rear

Transparent touring two years out
From when someone might care
Has absolutely nothing much
To do with burning air
Or bodies piled up in the morgues
'Cause we went "over there"

Which sort of makes it all too plain
Why daily hundreds die
It all comes back to Boobies who
Go fish while others fry
Our "leaders" take for granted that
We'll wait for their next lie

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright © 2006