When the Pope came to America
He wore his white, brocaded gown.
He wore a white yarmulke, too.
(Looked like a yarmulke–I wonder what it is?)
He carried a scepter to let us know
He ruled the Earth’s dominions.
When the Pope came to America,
He met the war-criminal Bush
On a blood-stained red carpet.
He didn’t arrest the war-criminal
In the name of the People.
He didn’t arrest the war-criminal
In the name of Christ.
He gave the war-criminal
A private audience
And he blessed him
And he let him kiss his ring.
Then he kissed the war-criminal’s ass
And they sang “Ave, Maria” together.
He said, “I am the Vicar of Christ on Earth
But you are the mightiest some-bitch in the world.
Christ said, ‘Render unto Caesar
The things that are Caesar’s,”
So I render unto you
Allegiance, obedience, subservience—
So long as you don’t tax what we own.
And when it comes to your various war crimes–
I’ll turn the other cheek.”
Then the Pope went to the National Cathedral
Where he expressly did not
Ask good Catholics not to fight in illegal wars.
And when he went to Yankee Stadium,
The house that Ruth built
(No, not the Bible’s Ruth!),
He expressly did not say:
“Stop paying taxes to an illegal government
That robs from the poor to give to the rich.”
But, in spite of him not saying that,
And a hundred things like that,
60,000 Catholics waved their Bibles
And swore never to have an abortion—
Not even in the event of rape—
Because the life of an embryo
Is more precious than rubies,
And far more precious than
The life of a mother
(Or, the life of a baby
Starving in Africa or wherever).
Because it’s more important to sell corn crops
For American SUV’s than for African babies, etc., to live.
The Pope didn’t talk politics
But he did say he was sorry
For all those horny Catholic priests
Getting it on with boys and girls.
Holy Mother of God!
What a 2-billion-dollar mess
That turned out to be!
The Pope said nothing about women being ordained
And the nuns wept with joy.
He said nothing about cheap toys from China
Painted with lead, nor about workers in China
Having nothing better to do
Than dab lead paint on American toys,
Nor about outsourced jobs, nor about a capitalist system
150 years out of joint; nor did he say anything about
Healthcare, lousy schools, and 7,000 different versions
Of Law & Order propagating themselves on TV
Like so many spirochetes.
The Pope said nothing about Oprah Winfrey being
The world’s biggest bore,
Donald Trump being it’s biggest yokel-egomaniac,
Nor Rupert Murdoch being Rupert Murdoch.
He didn’t say a prayer for dead Iraqis.
He went to Ground Zero of the World Trade Center,
But he didn’t say a word about Ground Zero, Hiroshima.
Every time he didn’t say something—
The crowd went wild.
It was heart-warming to see a shepherd so beloved by his flock.
I thought of Jesus among the lepers,
Mother Theresa in the black hole of Calcutta,
Martin Luther King with the garbage-workers of Memphis,
Oscar Romero with the peasants of El Salvador,
Barefoot St. Francis embracing the moon.
But somehow the similes didn’t fit.
Gary Corseri, an Arts & Culture editor at Cyrano’s Journal Online, has had his work posted, published and performed at hundreds of venues, including, ThomasPaine’sCorner, DissidentVoice, Atlanta-PBS, AtlanticFreePress, The New York Times, Village Voice, and WorldProutAssembly. His books include Manifestations (edited) and A Fine Excess. He is Arts Coordinator of the “Building a New World Conference” (Radford, Virginia, 5/22-5/25 http://www.wpaconference.org/) and will be performing his work at the Yippie Museum Cafe in Greenwich Village, New York on May Day, 2008. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.