The Second Casualty

For Jim Schembri and Lawrence Money.

It was often said of Saddam Hussein 
by those in favour of his dethronement
that when he really wanted to be gory
he literally tore his enemies to shreds
by throwing them into a huge grinder.
And our dictator was clearly insane.
He ground the notion of atonement
with hands hardened by the crank.
But turning men into mince? The story 
was exposed as atrocity propaganda,
and didn't they then shake their heads,
the journos who could be a lot kinder 
to this here former criminal of little rank 
long defaced by their lack of candour
concerning certain assaults by stealth,
long rendered by all the social workers,
nurses and cops who slavishly follow 
our messianic masters of mental health, 
unduly rounding up unhappy lurkers   
outside hallowed cathedrals, so hollow.

A More Brutal Death

For Jim Schembri and Lawrence Money

I bet it was more brutal for thinking her boy  
lost to schizophrenia, my poor mother’s death.  
Being on opposite sides in her final hours,  
cruelly separated by the psychiatric shibboleth  
that has long branded as deeply psychotic  
what reason defends with the utmost rigour   
(my belief that you used a major newspaper  
to secretly ridicule the schizophrenic nigger),  
and by my inexplicable, unspeakable habit     
of disappearing in the Devil’s triangle of bliss,  
I abandoned her to the days before I became in love  
EVERYTHING and nothing but a pissoir for your piss,  
and with her fearing her meeting with Jehovah,  
to the thought that she alone fucked me over.