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The Bush Family Grapes of Wrath | An Italian Hit Man's Pangs of Conscience

Chuck Orloski: Today, back home from “liberated” Iraq under attack by ISIS, and unemployed, I looked at Tom Joad's “Facebook” page.
grapes of wrath

The Bush Family Grapes of Wrath

Looking for work, 1980s America,
I learned about fortunes available
on Iraq and Iran borderland,
where keeping Sunnis and S hi-ites at war
with one another, promised security
in the Zionist Promised land,
and sufficient pressure for oil companies
to continue raising prices for diesel and gas.
Oliver North –
a household name to indoctrinated citizens
like me, “Ollie” passionately defended exchange
of arms for hostages before U.S. Senators,
and with Greenspan “hand bills” in pocket,
off to Tigris and Euphrates Valley I went,
unashamed, I was there for Iraq crude booty.

Iraq and Iran War over, come 1991,
I read in The Ancient New Baghdad Times
about Saddam Hussein's plan to conquer Kuwait,
kick neighbors out of Iraq's oilfield range.
I assumed US satellite monitoring systems
of Iraq troop movement (east) were on blink,
and Ambassador Glaspie's “green light”
to Saddam, formed shaky prelude to Desert Storm.
With solid UN references, I applied for job
operating bull dozer for military mass burial
of Saddam's slaughtered “Republican Guard.”
Waited, waited for interview summons
for a job with 'Stormin' Norman,
all in vain, the General refused, explained,
“Bull dozer burial jobs require vast experience,
strong stomachs.”

In meantime, with economic sanctions
and “No Fly Zone”enforcement
throughout Saddam's Iraq,
I kept fingers crossed, converted to Islam,
was hired for work in date orchards,
but my 1965 Ford pick-up got caught-up
in CIA vs. Baathist cross-fire,
tires went flat, and like a stranded muezzin,
I cried out to Clinton's Whitewater god for help.

Alas, to Zionist Likud consternation,
Saddam Hussein doled-out lots of money
to Palestinian martyrs,
and had no extra dinars to give me.
He refused granting Iraq oil contracts
to Exxon-Mobil and such ilk,
and after 9/11 terror attacks,
I tried to warn about G.W. Bush's
Gathering Wrath, what's next on sour Agenda.
Still looking for work, I offered to help hide
his massive W.M.D. stockpile,
and Saddam consolingly replied,
“Uh, Charles, how does one hide what's not here?”

March 19, 2003, in nervous Baghdad,
while employed as “Temp,” making good dinar
translating Koran into NYSE dialect,
suddenly ..., I witnessed “limited” bombing
begin upon Saddam's “Presidential Palace.”
Later during day,
I spoke with one of Saddam's scattered “doubles”
who explained how, at hour of US onslaught,
the dictator watched his favorite US film,
The Godfather (1972),
the part where Santino (Sonny) arrived
at a toll booth checkpoint, got sprayed
by competing mobster machine-gum fire.

Today, back home from “liberated” Iraq
under attack by ISIS, and unemployed,
I looked at Tom Joad's “Facebook” page.
Tom killed a man with shovel at a dance,
later-on, killed by California Coalition Forces
during an orchard worker strike.
My god, December 30, 2006,
what world wide T.V. spectacle,
Saddam's Christmas Eve lynching!
History down a Baghdad street man hole –
The true enemy of America?
Epidemic-level INSOUCIANCY and
our elected dictators who pass out
devalued hand-bills, advise avid Steinbeck fans
to inform on one another, “shop-'til-you-drop.”

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An Italian Hit Man's Pangs of Conscience Heard from Deep Inside a Calabria Wine Cellar

Luca Brasi looked over shoulder,
and from gold chalice,
downed fine Gaja Barbaresco wine,
a choice Don Vito Corleone promised
will put “more gray hair on broad chest,
stiffen weak spine when told to do odd jobs,”
for example, painting houses, rendition,
maybe defenestrate mob competitors.

By wine cellar candlelight,
old “John Sullivan” muscles, IQ below 90,
Luca strained eyes to read
morning Calabria Herald astonishing
headline story,
Pope Francis's excommunication
of “those who in their life
have gone along evil ways,
as in the case of (Ndrangheta) Mafia...,
they are not with God.”
A regular church-goer, including Feast Days,
Luca tossed chalice into damp stone wall,
pondered all Euros he gave the Church
out of monthly mob retirement paycheck
for victims of 2009 L'Aquila earthquake.
All alone, angry, he cried aloud,
“Ah, my beloved Gaja Barbaresco,
can you transfuse bad blood out of me?”

Very drunk, Luca watched
a stalking spider enter stone crack.
He recalled Don Vito Corleone's comical sermon
about Pope Benedict's having THANKED
ex-CIA Director, Pentagon Chieftain, Leon Panetta,
for “helping to protect the world.” 1.
“Ha, ha,” how Vito mocked Benedict, he said,
“Grazie, grazie, my ever loyal Catholic Leon
for supporting war profiteers,
enabling surgical assassins, and heroin traders!”
And the spider knew better
than to emerge laughing from wall crack,
face instant excommunication from the wine cellar.

Luca lit another candle,
regretted big dent in the chalice.
Tears dropped, he considered mother's prayer,
his first confession to Father Antony,
assigned penance, “say one Our Father,
one Hail Mary.., and always remember Luca,
Dio is there to forgive, gives people second chances,
you can always turn-turn, renew oneself.”
Where did spider go, a creature on Luca's “kill list”?

Fierce headache, he tried to forget excommunication.
Maybe, one day, Luca's syndicate Ndrangheta
shall repent, re-brand itself “C.I.A.O.”
Who knows, who ever really knows a hit man's future?

Dew formed in bushy gray mustache,
off key, Luca sang Dean Martin's lullaby,
“When Moon hits between your eyes,
like large pizza delivery spies,
it's Dio's amore!”
Lonely laughter, laughter, he burped,
reached for another bottle of Gaja Barbaresco.
Large head bobbed up and down,
Luca remembered John's gospel, slurred,
“evil-doers be attentive... and ye shall know truth,
and the truth shall make you free –
the CIA motto carved into gray Langley floor.
Drowsy, drowsy, Luca looked east
to the Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed,
slept well, dreamed he gave both Pope Francis
and the spider
holy communion in Calabria catacomb.

1. January 16, 2013, Pope Benedict XVI, formerly Joseph Ratzinger, scholar and champion of peace, graciously took time to meet with and compliment the world's most powerful and active military leader, Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta.

Charles Orloski