Racket: Ode to Smedley Butler

Melt these medals down

make a chalice

drown sorrows

wasting borrowed


throw in towels

finish lines

salt and lime

bury hatchets

end this racket

can’t handle

shit on shingles

ready to swing low

band of angels

went home

so no one left

to carry me

after strike three

and freedom ain’t free

is what the tell me

can’t see

humanity suffering

through rising stocks

blinding me

to reality

sea to shining


and colorful ribbons

and rose pedals

and sins are forgiven

in long lines

pills piled high

and what color is the sky?

Well, today

God made it grey

but now I’m feeling blue

watching green grass

growing too fast

douse myself in gas

light a match

unearth the hatchet

chop down the hanging tree

set all political

prisoners free

we’re on to you

there’s nothing to fear

so set down your beer

clear your mind

and you will find

time after time

line after line

mine after mine

stepped on

by limbless children

and bomb after bomb

dropped on villages

without precision

and birth control glasses

which help with our vision

and boots

and socks

and uniform shirts

and pants

and clocks

and chow hall deserts

like Ben & Jerry’s ice cream

and pumpkin pie on thanksgiving

and fuel in the MRAPs

and humvees

and connexes shipped overseas

and for morale,

video games and flat-screen tv’s

and port-a-shitters cleaned

by highly paid folks

and all-you-can-drink

near-beer and Coke

and Pizza Hut

and Cinnabon

and Subway

and Green Beans coffee

and even a brand new Harley

you can pre-pay


although you’re at war

and it will all ensure

that Jane and Joe

come home broke

and this is certainly

not a joke

and I haven’t even mentioned

M-4’s and drones

and mercenaries

and, of  course

contracts to rebuild

what we paid to destroy

trillions of dollars

for neo-con joy

and NASCAR sponsorships

and paid patriotism in the NBA,



& the NFL

and while many

will tell you

that war is hell

I assure you

that it is

also a racket

which benefits those

in a different tax bracket

than 99% of us

that 1%

has long made a killing

and fortune

from the hard-earned tax dollars

that Uncle Sam gets from us

“War Is A Racket”



Medal of Honor recipiant

Smedley Darlington Butler

said in 1933

and I can’t even imagine

what Smedley would say

if he could see killing

they are making today

off of everything

from boot camp boots

to the rifles we shoot

to the flags

and the coffins

that bring home the dead,

how is it

that in over 80 years

we have never listened

to a word he said

and how have we

never heard of

the “bonus army”

of veterans he led,

forget TED talks

look up his life story

and learn about a


who walked the walk

not another one

of those

Goddamned chicken-hawks

who only talk

by lying through their teeth

with fight songs sang

by Toby Keith

place a wreath

upon my door

I can’t take this racket














About soitgoes1984

I live on a small island in the middle of the Pacific ocean in the Hawaiian Kingdom which is currently illegally occupied by the American government. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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