Bush Era Tattoos by Steven Storrie

I got these tattoos when
George W. Bush was President
When there was a war on something called
The Patriot Act, WMD’s and Guantanamo
And nobody knew what the fuck was going on

The leader of the free world
Didn’t care about black people
A singer said
And was secretly glad to see them getting washed away
His brother liked to hang with a guy named Chad
In Florida or something
And together they pulled off the greatest robbery
The country had ever seen

Hadn’t he been an alcoholic in his youth?
A waste of skin and space?
Someone best thrown onto a Nascar track
At the Indy 500
And left to fend for himself?
A man who, when faced with the prospect of war
In some place they called ‘Nam
had ran to his over indulgent Daddy
Who told him with experienced conviction
Don’t worry, son
Money will get you out of this.

I my mind I see him in a classroom
Reading to kids all seated beneath him
Kids who probably read at a higher level
Than he did
All wondering who the fuck this old guy was
Who couldn’t get his mouth around
6th grade words.
Who held the book like it was a foreign object
And kept stammering like he was caught in a lie
I see the aide lean in and tell him the news
The news that changed everything
Changed the world
the news coming out of New York City
something about two planes and the World Trade Centre
he sits
and he sits
and he sits
a glazed look on his face
wondering if Spot the dog
is ever gonna catch that ball
before someone in the Secret Service
says to him in a whisper
Mr President
Don’t you think we’d better go?

I can still see him standing at Ground Zero
Stood atop the rubble
Of concrete and steel
Revelling in feeling like
One of the boys]
One of the regular joe’s
Who’d buy him a beer
If he ever wandered into their bar
On the corner of some cold street
In the middle of downtown Pittsburgh
He’s crowing into a megaphone
Arm draped around someone
Hired from the lines
Of a Bruce Springsteen song
In order to denote authenticity
And how he’s one of us
His bemused look has faded
Now he’s enjoying himself
He thinks it’s a deleted scene
From a new Bruce Willis movie
As his head cranks up
He’s playing to the crowd
He hears us, he says
The rest of the world
Can hear us too
And the people who knocked these buildings down
Will hear all of us soon.

Somewhere in a room that wreaks of leather furniture
And the vilest abuses of power
Dick Cheney is laughing his ass off
Slugging 100 year old whiskey
And abusing the Thai houseboy

I got these tattoos
When George W. Bush was President.

Steven Storrie
Steven Storrie has worked as a cable T.V repair man, dishwasher, choreographer, ice cream vendor and junk yard attendant. Tired of this shit he is currently locked in his basement working on his first collection of poetry, bickering with his neighbours over nothing and storing the baseballs he keeps when they are hit into his yard. You can find him at @renegadepriest1

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