Margin of Error
(From The Triumph of Strife: an homage to Dante Alighieri and Percy Shelley)

When people die in thousands each four weeks
The president sets out to "take command"
A blip in the approval polls he seeks

Some noise in the statistic margin band
A ploy to make a Muslim corpse deflect
The world's disgust and voter reprimand

Three years of war for campaign ad effect
Three hundred billion dollars down the drain
No options on the table to select

To demonstrate the absence of a brain
He learns no lessons; sticks to dreams that paled
Fanatic zealots do the same again

Whatever things they've done before that ailed
Expecting new results from what has failed

Zarqawi Goldstein must be pleased as punch
To realize in death a martyr's dream
As everywhere and nowhere all at once

He causes presidents to shout and scream
And yellow Pet Press sycophants to foam:
To huff and puff and in their panties cream

"We got him!" crowed the fanboys safe at home
Their DNA-stained comic books in hand
"Let's tailgate party at the Astrodome!"

While in Iraq the troops stack bags of sand
Around the Green Zone Castle they defend
From those outside spread all across the land

Who have in mind a different sort of end
For those who on America depend

For nothing in the castle keep relates
To what goes on where most could not care less
Both in Iraq and back home in the States

The people know King George has made a mess;
He dictated a mad and bad affair:
Some dreadful crimes to which he won't confess

Or he would feel a rope choke off his air:
A necktie of the frontier sort employed
To entertain the crowd assembled there

To watch a wayward soul enter the void
To chanting of some hymns by the devout
In justice for the lives he has destroyed

This time dad's Saudi friends may not bail out
The disassembled failures of this lout

In desperation George the Worst conflates
The wildest sorts of fruitless factoid dots
And with his crayon logic joins and mates

The disparate into contorted plots
Up the abstraction ladder he ascends
To babble with the pie-eyed polyglots

Then back on down the ladder he descends
To mumble 'Murcan mush that mystifies
With walkin', talkin', stalkin', posin' friends

Who raise the millions for the ad that buys
An error in the polling margin thin;
Who focus-group the trash that typifies

The ones who soil their pants when they hear "win"
Then think that prayers absolve them of their sin

King George has earned with these expenditures
At best a fleeting moment of respite
An ad man second rate, he reassures

His toothless dog, he swears, can take a bite
Just craft a script that says so and rehearse
Then call in the "reporters" paid to write

Whatever "news" condensed to sound-bites terse
The government thinks fitting for display
Before the short attention spans disperse

Ignoring his crusade in disarray
He shows Zarqawi Goldstein's corpse in bed
And promises that tides have turned this day;

That lights at tunnel ends lay just ahead
Yet still long years of "terror" we should dread

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright 2006-2010