22 December 2002

Louis all mad at the Yemenis

Louis is all mad at the Yemenis now for some reason. He thinks... who the hell knows what he thinks. He glares at us from over his beer. Brian is leaning on the bar thinking about himself. Various objects reflect him, he is at the center of their spectacle. A haze of signs and meanings he moves through like a ray of light playing over facets. He isn't impressed with Louis. But he doesn't want to get on Louis' bad side, as the Yemenis appear to have done today. So silence again and back to CNN on the TV above the bar. Me I am working on this newspoem using words from the Times crossword but I can't finish the crossword. I have a guess about 42 across and it's a word I really want to use in my poem and I hope, I hope, that I am right but everything is not exactly falling into place, shall we say, with the Times Crossword Poetry Project. Well we know Louis is upset now, at the fucking Yemenis, at fucking Arafat, always Arafat, the fucking Palestinians, bomb Iraq? Louis is refreshingly enthusiastic about the prospect. Hell yeah, let's bomb Iraq and any other country ending in Q. Nothing like the gridlock of a divided legislature, Louis is unequivocal. Bomb, what the hell, Libya too. Definitely Yemen, don't ever turn your back on Yemen, not even for a second. And then the story comes back and it is about a ship from North Korea bound for Yemen, no markings, carrying scud missiles. The CNN footage shows the scud missiles beneath sacks of cement. Louis gasps, is rigid. They look more like toboggans than fireworks. It's hard to see how they can fly. Louis pounds the bar as if those Scuds were destined to head up the Ohio river, straight up the Ohio river, to Cinti, where maybe a bunch of fucking Yemenis would move in next door, free country, and set up their fucking scuds in their backyard pointing at Louis' window. Boarding a ship in international waters is generally considered piracy, I say. You see: the ship was bound for Yemen, fully legal purchase. Fucking A right board a ship in international waters Louis says, unequivocal, beyond equivocation, piracy my ass. If some fucking Yemeni is in the back seat of your car with a gun to your head and the police come in through the door to get him is that piracy? I open my mouth to answer. Is that piracy? Louis seems ready to throw something, to break something, to smash through the wall and just fucking go kick Arafat's ass himself. Is he drunk? Louis is never more drunk than me, I remember, or is it more drunk than I? I don't remember. Now there is commentary. It appears the US knew the ship was bound for Yemen, knew of the missiles, and had seized it as a pretext to launch a "preemptive" war against Iraq, but the Yemeni's backed out of their end of the deal and claimed the ship and so the US had to let the ship go. Let it go? Let it go? Louis is really upset. There goes the ship, off across the ocean en route to Ohio. Let it go. I can't reason with Louis. Brian has finished my crossword puzzle and has wandered off to the mens room to fix his hair, he always fixes his hair, guys like Louis never fix their hair. Let the Yemenis fix their fucking hair, Louis might say, I ain't got all day.

Louis, man, I'm just not worried about the Yemenis. Or the North Koreans. his unblinking eyes as wide as the hole in national security I represent, and opens his mouth. Louis is going to go ahead and tell me what he thinks of that. We're about to start arguing about United Nations Security Council Resolutions again. Time to change the channel.

Newspoetry at Spineless Books