Cost of the War in Iraq
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Saturday, January 29, 2005


Frostbitten toes in
Cheap and crappy Wal-Mart shoes.
God, I hate Cleveland.

Sitting in Kan Zaman

An instrument I
cannot namebut my heart knows.
Transcending culture.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Phillip Morris

Phillip Morris
Kevin E. Cleary

Discarded remnants
of moments of stress,
carcinogenic tenants
in a lonely ash can.

Minutes burned away
by nervous gestures.
Gaseous nicotine swayed
in the changing wind.

Such mixing of brands
and mingling of personalities,
the corpses lay in grainy sands
and scattered across the area.

And each had a filter pinched,
or grounded-up tip, reluctant
about the coffin toward which they inched.
With one last fiery kiss and a flick,
the smokers mourned the moment.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Love Suffocates

Love suffocates
when you know you
don’t deserve it

But you still feel guilty
when you dodge
and desert it

Their hugs will smother you
Warm looks chill you
to the bone
Their cup of good cheer
and milk of mother
are hemlock, and their
compliments sting like hurled stones.

Running away seems like good service
Love suffocates
when you know
you don’t deserve it.

They don’t seem to understand
you only look like a man
they once knew.
Demons speak through you like a ventriloquist.
A fallen angel’s hand suffices for a spine
while you turn away from invited bliss
because you are indebted with a spiritual fine.

Taxing you night and day, well,
you’ll never get out of debt.
And so, your soul you sell,
to subsist in eternal regret.
The demons won’t let you reach out
and take extended hands
You delude yourself into thinking
that no one understands.

Love suffocates
when you know
you don’t deserve it
A true cliche’ love can’t be destroyed
And you still feel guilty
when you dodge
and desert it.
But guilt and self-loathing won’t
ever fill the void.


A Cassandra deemed Chicken Little
still deciding if I’m a messiah
or a pot identifying a kettle
Whose downfall am I foreseeing
while I transform into a pariah?
No longer a paragon of virtue
yet still a prophet
I saw the Temple laid to waste
and the Gestapo instill a curfew
I just couldn’t stop it.
I heard the war drums before
the drummer was even born
and yet I’m still ignored.
I see no roses, only thorns
as my curse and alleged gift.
I try to hand the gardener a glove
only to be nonchalantly spurned.
Watched bankruptcy mutate from thrift,
and investors jump from high above.
As I walk amongst the living,
I can onlysee their deaths.
Hand in handto tearful, cold and bawling.
Unheeded precognition leaves me lonely;
no one ever seems to understand
To me, the sky is always falling.

Wound Up

Wound Up
Kevin E. Cleary
March 12, 2002 C.E. 6:05 PM EST

Let me out
The jack silently screamed from inside the box
You wound me up halfway and didn’t complete the melody
I’m sprung so tight I’m ready to snap
and you just walked away
It’s dark in here, and lonely
I just want to come out and play
Your other toys have come and gone
Yet here I still remain
Shelved and imprisoned
It’s no wonder I’m insane
Coiled potential energy pushing me against the ceiling
You must think I’ve got no feelings
to treat a jack this way.
Dust creeps in through cracks in my strained lid
I’m all gussied up with a painted-on smile,
like some drunk rodeo clown’s id
I cough and shift and
still the melody goes no further
If only I could fall off the shelf
End this suspended animation in my quadratic coffin
We’d both be surprised
and my arms would bounce
open for embrace
But then, I surmise,
you’d probably just grab my face
and cram me back in.


Kevin E. Cleary

Every time I
watch the news now
I think of the protagonist
from Fahrenheit 451
and that part when
his boss tells him
the public gets spoon-fed
crosswords and statistics
by the television
to feel informed and intelligent.

It always strikes me
as odd when I fall
into a CNN coma
That it’s easier to remember
to ask my doctor
about prescription WellbutrinTM
than to recall the name
of the leader of that country where
there’s that genocide worse
than the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helen’s
and the name of that dude
who may or may not
have killed the Kennedys
and the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr
or how many people died today in Iraq
versus how many people died
in Vietnam before the 1968 Tet Offensive
which trial studies in California have shown
to cause cancer in lab rats.

But I’m not allowed to forget
what happened on 9-11,
and don’t you know
it’s unpatriotic
to want a second opinion?

Fortunately, there’s prescription RitalinTM
so I can get back
to focusing on the freedom
the terrorists hate us for.
If only I could afford health insurance.