June 21, 2007

The Poetry of al Qaeda

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” consider ourselves rather well versed (if you will) in the realm of bad poetry. As hosts of our famous annual Horrible College-Student Poetry Competitions, we’re pretty much experts in the land of atrocious balladry.

It was with great delight, then, that we spied a story in the June 20 number of The Wall Street Journal called “The Prison Poets of Guantanamo Find a Publisher.” Penned by one Yochi J. Dreazen, the piece amounts to free publicity for what could be one of the most horrendous examples of collected versification in recent memory.

As the article relates, a defense lawyer love-struck with the odious terrorists in Gitmo called Marc Falkoff has collected their poems and had them translated into English. The result is the University of Iowa’s forthcoming collection Poems from Guantanamo: The Detainees Speak.

From what we can tell from the meager excerpts provided in the article, the poems are clumsy and artless. That’s no surprise. As the report informs us: “According to Mr. Falkoff, most of the poetry he is aware of was written by prisoners who had not written poetry before being arrested.”

Gee, then it must be just wonderful. Yet the quality—or its obvious lack—is clearly not the point.

Rather, these poems—presuming they aren’t filled with secret messages to al Qaeda leaders—are merely aimed at convincing bien pensant fools of their political prejudices. They’ll allow the NPR crowd to pretend that, say, Jumah al Dossari, a Gitmo detainee and newfound poetaster, is just a poor fellow mistreated by the evil American government—instead of a fiery Islamist with connections to the Lakawanna Six.

It all reminds us of a humorous Firesign Theater bit about a famous writer visiting a condemned man in prison. The author says to the inmate: “Oh, you poor brute of a killer without a conscience.”

This, clearly, is the message the useful idiot Marc Falkoff hopes to instill in the audience for his odious edited collection. After all, as a lawyer, Mr. Falkoff personally represents 17 Gitmo prisoners, and, according to the Journal piece, describes them in the book’s inscription as “my friends inside the wire.”

Oh, puh-lease. What a bunch of drivel. Naturally, you won’t be surprised to learn that the University of Iowa Press “website” advertises for the book with the obligatory Audre Lorde reference and the obligatory fawning blurb from Adrienne Rich, the arch-feminist-cum-pseudo-poetess.

Well, maybe it’s too late to get it in the collection, but we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have a poem for Marc Falkoff. Unlike the loveable scamps at Gitmo, we are not his “friends inside the wire,” or even his pals at all. But surely we write as well as his ever-suffering terrorists in Cuba.

We call our poem “Marc Falkoff: A Twin Evil.” Without further ado, here it is:

Marc Falkoff: A Twin Evil by the Crack Young Staff

Marc Falkoff, you are many things.
A dupe.
A fool.
A lover of violent anti-American, anti-Semitic Islamist fascists.

But let’s not forget
That you are two things above all—a Twin Evil.

For you are a lawyer
And a lover of bad poetry.

Hardly can a more dreadful combination be imagined. (Nazi and Billy Joel fan?)

So maybe, Marc, as a lawyer
And a lover of bad poetry—a Twin Evil,

You will love this poem too.

Really moving, is it not? We hope that the University of Iowa Press, in its double assault on Western civilization, will see fit to publish it in some new terror-supporting collection of wretched doggerel.

Posted at June 21, 2007 12:01 AM | TrackBack