Came across this poem today. Good stuff.
by Tony Hoaglandis
the reason the Chinese orphanage was bombed
It wasn't a stray piece of lint on a bombsite,
or the spastic movement of a twenty-year-old jet pilot
leaning forward to inspect a zit in a cockpit mirror.
No -- someone had pulled the wrong map from the top-secret filecabinet,
had given the map to someone else in office Z-13,
who had circled the wrong building with lavender ink,
and passed it on,
and when the smoke rose from the successfully-demolished target
and the other kinds of fallout began,
the error had already been given a name by the damage-control guys,
which the radio announcers were murmuring over the airways,
and it was: Bad Intelligence.
Hearing it on the radio, driving to work,
I think, Yes, Bad Intelligence: that's what has guided me most of my
Like the lesson I got from my mother: Anticipate betrayal:
measure out your love in teaspoons, so you will never lose
more than you can easily afford.
Or the other one, about how a worried _expression on your face
proves you are a Thoughtful Person;
Or the one about despising weakness.
Bad Intelligence. Bad intelligence
is why Candace always dated guys with snake tattoos.
Why the homeless woman said, "God will take care of us."
Bad intelligence is what tells the fat man in his kitchen
there might not be anything to eat tomorrow.
It's not that we are stupid,
but that we go on doing stupid things because we learned
never to believe the simple answer
never to rearrange the words in the sentence.
We're like the beautiful bodies of humankind, as drawn by William
muscle-bound in chains, gorgeous but imprisoned,
sealed in the caverns of the you-know-what -- Bad Intelligence.
So it goes creeping through the tunnels of the blood
And it covers our lives like mold on bread, like fog
which seeps out through a crack in the human head.
Telling you to never to apologize,
telling you to count your wounds
and nurse your evil in the dark --
I too followed the instructions I received from ghosts.
I bombed people with my love or hate,
then claimed it was an accident.
But then it was too late. Bad intelligence:
choices made someplace far away.
Words heard through earphones and repeated.
And little people far below
getting ready to suffer.