Poet Niall McDevitt performed in Iraq last year at the Babylon Festival of International Arts and Cultures.
MARDUK (neoliberal sonnet)
no loss mars you, winner lord. Babylon exults. the moneycomb sun
flares in your favour, barbed with policy, in the sub-edited days
you issue. your pornography and puns are crude and black as oil
but the massed ranks in your scriptorium work energetically
as wasps producing it, anxious to please their solar monarch.
alas, you’re too busy inspecting sewage of the sky’s imperium
and dipping cuneiform discs into lion droppings
– for pungency – to care about the hacksawing minions
who hoist your red letterhead onto a dawn of optic nerves.
your orb is lethal,
your rod is laced
to end the fifth act of your psychodrama in a fall of corpses
while you rise the following day, coiled in American legs.
fire burns to the right and left wherever you have raged.
in the bald oven of your gold aura, Iraq bakes as you bid.
“Rupert Murdoch argued strongly for a war with Iraq in an interview this week. Which might explain why his 175 editors around the world are backing it too” – Roy Greenslade, 17 February 2003