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Saturday, 16 February 2013

George W. Bush, the Iraq War and me

This weekend marks the tenth anniversary of the huge anti-Iraq War demonstrations. So, it seems fit to remember a poem of mine which I haven’t read for several years now: Talking With The Cat About World Domination The Day George W. Bush Almost Choked On A Pretzel.

                                    Talking With The Cat About World Domination
                                    The Day George W. Bush Almost Choked On A Pretzel

Now that pretzel’s gone and done
something an expert like you never would
- loosening its hold a split-second too soon -
I think it’s time we revised our strategy.
Just sitting back waiting for the big collapse?
Face facts. It isn’t happening.
If there’s a job to be done, why not us?

This time tomorrow we’ll be in Washington
telling Bush to come out with his hands up.
Faced with me and you, Puss, I bet he’ll just crumble.
And we’ll whisk him off to Guantanamo Bay
where he’ll share a cage with the Emir of Kuwait.

I see from the frown wrinkling your brow,
you’re worried, perhaps, how
Mariah Carey fans everywhere might react.
Too late for all that. To put it in terms
I think you’ll understand: after the years wasted
here in this litter-tray, it’s time to deliver
for me and you, Puss. Our battle-cry?
Something snappy? Like?
Yes, I have it! Repeat after me:
Don’t make me angry, Mr Magee.
You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.
The closing couplet is my homage to The Incredible Hulk and is perhaps the aspect of the poem of which I am most proud.
In the Spring of 2003 it featured in the anthologies Irish Writers Against War (The O’Brien Press) edited by Conor Kostick and Katherine Moore (with a foreword by Richard Boyd Barrett) and 100 Poets Against The War (Salt Publishing) edited by Todd Swift.

To buy a copy of Irish Writers Against War

For a copy of 100 Poets Against War see

The poem also features in my debut collection The Boy With No Face (Salmon Poetry, 2005)

A lot of water under the bridge in the decade since that poem first appeared (and a lot of the other stuff too) but  in the words of Kurt Vonnegut: “so it goes.”