Inner City Arts&Culture

   Inner City Press has covered, not only in prose but poetry, the Federal Reserve, Wall Street and the South Bronx and places like it on each continent. Now why not the UN?

January 2010

Haitian Earthquake Fragments: On the Beach at Labadee, by Matthew Russell Lee, January 23, 2010

Haiti's fallen buildings still held infants trapped
When foreclosure sharks from Scarsdale
Threw back cold daquaris of Royal Caribbean
On the beach at Labadee, behind a twelve foot wall.

After throwing back, some few threw up, threw down

On the UN's cement floor, Bill Clinton cracked a smile
Praising these cruise lines for bringing in assistance:
A shipload of lobster bibs and  sun block with a coco scent.
The war lords in Sri Lanka sent a thousand pounds of tea.

With Haitians firmly blocked or blacked at Hispaniola's border
The Dominican Republic sent its own peacekeeping troops
To prevent mass immigation, with APCs and rubber bullets.
The UN dressed it up, from the fun house of its Log Base.

For Haiti was no vacation, but a training ground for murder
To war game Rio crack downs, Brazil used Cite Soleil
The Chinese sent a riot squad, fresh from Xinjiang province
Nightsticks used on Haitians would be seasoned for the Uighurs

From the pancaked ruins of the Christopher Hotel
Last cries of a whistleblower who knew the walls were cracking,
Who knew that re-enforcements had never been procured
Ignored by search and rescue, for riot squad's controllers

It's bad form to mention this, so the UN will exclude you
The French will cry for access and the USA will laugh
Airbrushed images of caring will be beamed by satellite
Some will emerge from earthquake better than they entered--

But few will be the Haitians, the voices of Jacmel
The petit gens of Petit Goave, Carrefour and Leogane
For a week in the ruins they waited for the aid
While Clinton praised the barbeques on a walled off beach

Life is a beach
And then  you die

Many secrets can be buried
In a hotel's ruins

But despite false help and false hopes
Haitians will rise again

Reptile Media, by Matthew Russell Lee, April 6, 2009

Reptile media
that's what the Korean called them.

Today with their power strips they surge

eating up table space
filling up the stake out
putting down sticks on the riser

The Seoul man, Park Il-kook
Can't get through their raving maw.
The Chinese, used to it, roll over
Them and their miniature cameras like tanks

Where is the mother of the maw in all this mess?
In some neon lit bullpen over Tokyo
in some Blade Runner anime fantasy
saying, what will the Council now do for us
now that the missile has flown?

Nothing, quoth the raven
haired Chinese ambassador
feeding the lizards three thousand years
old Confucian wait-your-turn

Russia, with only Deputy and Billy Idol
likewise left them hanging
America postured but Obama would go soft
the cynics said, through hardened lizard skin

Reptile media, not for nothing they were called
By Kooky Kim Jong-il

(or was it Ban Ki-moon
one chameleon queried
who strang them along
and then demanded changes
said too late, off the record
still asked for special treatment
an ASEAN premium)

Lizard to lizard
at the stakeout

[to be continued]

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