Shoot to Kill

In Memory of Jean Charles de Menezes

I can just hear the sentiments
racing through that cop’s heart
(do cops actually have hearts?)
as he pumped seven bullets
into an innocent man’s head:
“Take this, you Muslim bastard!”
And this – bang!
And this – bang!
And this – bang!
And this – bang!
And this – bang!
And this – bang!
Except he turned out to be Brazilian.
Oh well, win some, lose some.
And I doubt there’s a shortage
of electricians in London.

Seven slugs? At pointblank range?
How dead did you want him?

There are lessons to be learned:
Never wear a coat in summer,
you might only end up colder.
Running late for a train?
Miss it and catch another;
yesterday’s ride could prove your last.
Forget about taking a lunch to work,
especially in a briefcase or backpack;
choke at a nearby greasy spoon instead,
unless you don’t mind never eating again.
If you’re being chased by strange men
and are afraid they want to mug you,
stop in your tracks and let them go for it;
better beat up & robbed than safely dead.
Or maybe skip going out of doors altogether;
stay home, quietly starve, and watch on TV
all the lovely ways good people say bye-byes.

Meanwhile, you can trust me on this one:
There are more bombings to come.
And if the West and its lackeys
fail to quickly change their tunes,
very soon you’ll be hearing me say
not merely that we asked for it
but that we fucking well deserve it!

July 26th 2005

This poem has been published in Parisiana, Vrijeboeken, Vrije Schrijvers and elsewhere online