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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Charles Orloski's "The Nourishing Red Turds"


“While visiting South America, Pope Francis called unfettered capitalism the 'Dung of the Devil.'  The Telegraph (online); July 10, 2015. 

All day long, I (Beelzebub) have been busy
at work inside Hell's Master bathroom.
Like humans do, when bowels stall,
I patiently peruse de Bono's book, 
“How to get rich in America in 30 easy steps.”
Luckily, back in 1905,
with “insider” Wall Street tip,
I invested heavily in Ex Lax
and presently have endless supply
of pure red dung, available for use by
the planet's “unfettered capitalist”
marketing departments.

Look, look, Francis, it's harvest time
in the Fields of Dung,
and #1 son, Commodus, is paymaster!  

Seated perfectly upon Golden Commode,
I tighten stomach muscles, grimace in pleasure.   
No doubt I get exhausted at times...,
to devour human souls is 'hard, hard work,' 
and one might reasonably inquire,
“How can dung feed so many Greeks and Spaniards?”
Ummph, oomph, I feel grand discharges coming!
So stand aside City of God, and recall how
a foolish Russian once wrote about
“The History of Our Sewage Disposal System,”   1. 
and realize I'm ready to dump all over Earth,
'till the end of Imodium caplet time.     

Hear, hear, Jesuit Francis, the hypocrite,
how late you are come to malign my House? 
Give me all your dirty minded Catholics –
including open ones, Republicans,
lapsed ones too... for my abode even has room
for northern white rhinos, the Trappists too.
I am the builder of City slums!
Gone are sanitary waste treatment systems,            
and as to the Vatican electric Light bill payment?
(Sigh) Centuries overdue.    
But O how I love you Rome..., flush, flush
away all your sins, let commingle with mine!   

1.   Chapter 2 from Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago.                                       



Chuck Olroski said...

Integrated, regrettably without "credit," into this poem are the thoughtful thoughts (comments) of Elizabeth Hayes. I sincerely hope she does not mind my having Mr. B. take a sneaky leap & speak them.

Thanks, Linh, for bringing this work to light, and no...I have neither enlisted into nor (as yet) drafted into hell.

Rudy said...

I'd be mighty proud to have written that.

Chuck Olroski said...

Rudy, So good of you to read the work, and I'm fascinated how you used the word "proud."

Having read, re-read & learned from C.S. Lewis "The Screwtape Letters," I have little filthy lucre, but I want to say "thanks" by passing on the following quote from Mr. Lewis's forward:

"The best way to drive out the devil is to jeer & flout him... and this he doth not only because the PROUDE SPIRIT (my emphasis) cannot endure to be mocked."

Pride? Pride? I suspect some red outer space drone will be aimed at me? Uh, maybe a Swiss Guard lance? Thanks once again Rudy, I wish you well!

Anonymous said...

Chuck can easily become the Bukowsky of Pennsylvania!
Jim of Olym

Elizabeth said...

Chuck, you can steal my lines every time! I am so flattered! This is an amazing poem, and I see we have squirrelled into each other's heads--no harm in that. In Cleveland the worshipped local poet is d.a. levy, who insisted that poetry should be free for the taking (there's another suicide for ya, poor boy; my friend Wendy was good friends with him, and she'll be getting her own chapter, definitely. she thinks that the way he did it, he must have required help.

My friend Wendy used to run poetry workshops for her buddies and there was this one sparkly-eyed social worker, diagnosed schizophrenic, who would always ask if he could steal one of my lines. "Of course, of course, I'm so pleased" is the proper etiquette in such situations, at least here in Cleveland.

Elizabeth said...

Correction to above post: it was Judy who was friends with d.a. levy. but both should get their own chapters, or maybe they'll have to room together in one. That would be tough!


About Me

Born in Vietnam in 1963, I lived mostly in the US from 1975 until 2018, but have returned to Vietnam, where I live in remote Ea Kly. I've also lived in Italy, England and Germany. I'm the author of a non-fiction book, Postcards from the End of America (2017), a novel, Love Like Hate (2010), two books of stories, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), and six collections of poems, with a Collected Poems apparently cancelled by Chax Press from external pressure. I've been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000, 2004, 2007, Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present, Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology (vol. 2) and Flash Fiction International: Very Short Stories From Around the World, etc. I'm also editor of Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (1996) and The Deluge: New Vietnamese Poetry (2013). My writing has been translated into Japanese, Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Korean, Arabic, Icelandic and Finnish, and I've been invited to read in Tokyo, London, Cambridge, Brighton, Paris, Berlin, Leipzig, Halle, Reykjavik, Toronto, Singapore and all over the US. I've also published widely in Vietnamese.