November 21, 2017,
The Day after the Inauguration of President of Donald Trump,
I heard a firm knock on my door at 7:00 A.M.
"This is the F.B.I., Mr. Moskowitz," they said.
"Open up this door now."
"We're gonna' take you away."
When I opened the door,
I asked the F.B.I. agents,
"Officers, I haven't broken any Federal Law, have I?"
"This ain't got nothin' to do with the Law, Jewboy!"
"The problem is your goddamn Big Mouth."
"Put on these handcuffs."
"You're comin' with us!"
So, I went downstairs from my condo unit
And got into the F.B.I. Jeep.
We drove east out of Denver,
And out onto the Plains.
The Jeep got off the Freeway
And began going on remote, Country Roads.
We reached this remote complex,
Surrounded by Barbed Wire.
I asked the Officers,
"Where am I?"
"What is this Place?"
"Where have you taken me?"
The lead officer responded gruffly.
"This is Auschwitz II, Jewboy."
"This is where we take Loudmouth Dissenters like you!"
Then, the second officer.....the little guy piped in.
"We ain't gonna' waterboard you like them Muslims."
"We just gonna' fry you up like Hitler did."
"Ain't no reason to fret, Jewboy."
"It will be quick."
I became really alarmed with what these F.B.I. agents were saying.
They really were going to incinerate me alive
Because of all the remarks I made in support
Of the Demonstrators at Standing Rock, North Dakota on Facebook.
I knew that was why they wanted to kill me.
I became hysterical.
"What about my wife, officers?"
"What about her feelings.......her grief?"
The big F.B.I. agent responded calmly.
"Don't worry, Jewboy."
"After you're incinerated,"
"We'll send your ashes back to your wife,"
"And she'll be able to spread them on the flowers"
"At Denver Botanic Gardens"
"To ease her feelings of grief."
I am standing in the spot where my family almost died
Here, in this land
All of life turned gray
Not the temporary gray of a rainy day
Not the gray of a fading photograph
The gray like ash
Or the ashes of the fallen
Gray like the plumes of smoke
Billowing out from the gas chambers
Standing in this spot
I feel connected
A throwback to my roots
I feel so… somber
Like I can see that day
January 27th 1945
My family members
Or what was left
Some of the 6,000 that were left
Staring and wondering
Is this real?
Is this just another delusion brought on by hunger
Or are we free?
They told us we were free back in the day
We walked for 40 years into the hands of a new oppression
Into a stereotype
Into the butt of a joke
Into the law offices and bank teller of the world
Go back a little further
Back into Poland
I know what a needle and ink on skin feels like
But I cannot imagine it by force
Forced away from the laws of my religion
A name, reduced to a number
More like A-98288 on a forearm
I can feel the burn
In my eyes and in my lungs
Not from the gas and the filth
But from the pain of generations of jews and others labeled as different
As not pure
I feel the pull
My grandmothers 14 siblings reduced to 3
Back to 1945
My existence no longer focused on minute by minute survival
Of anxiety, of pain, of…
Brought on by these men in uniform not seated in hate
Hope that we might live
Hope that the end is here!
But not the end that we have prayed for
Fade into color
I am standing in the spot where history almost erased me
And I remember all the years of oppression
And I can see how it continues
And I can see how it needs to change
I am standing in front of my peers
Begging you to see what I see
I am begging for change
I am begging for peace
It's upsetting to think
That several thousand (to mention a few)
Lost their lives
By the blade of rusty sticks
And men who's hearts
Who deserve a place in the pits of hell
And thousands more
Who died of religion and race,
Mental health and where, how they lived
Metre upon metre upon metre
Of hair, shoes,
China and combs,
Death found in every corner,
Nook and cranny,
Where no bird will fly,
Or sing a song,
Insects will never make a peep,
This hauntingly beautiful place,
Reducing us to tears.
Strindberg was born here
who is he?
an author who
wrote plays poems
never heard of him
we were in a bar
sipping our beers
she in her jeans
and tee shirt
and I likewise
(not in her jeans
but my own)
what's the book
on the minivan?
The Gulag Archipelago
you don't half read
some funny books
what's it about?
Russian labour camps
between 1918 and 1958
where millions perished
sounds a right
bundle of laughs
why do you read
it interests me
how evil humans
can be at times
she lit cigarettes
for us both
and we sat sipping
our beer and smoking
do you know
I had relatives
who died in Auschwitz?
no I didn't know
my parents told me
a few years ago
when I was becoming
and they said
what would great uncle
Franz or Abel say
if they saw
how you behave?
and I said
who the heck are they
and they told me
and I cried
but I'm still
an arsehole at times
killed like that
drink up Benny
we're on holiday
more beer and smokes
and she laughed
and she added
and more sex tonight
if we can get
my tent free
of the other woman
and I nodded
and gave her
my Elvis smile.
Each death, a searing lesion in my soul
I wonder if you are alive, trapped
Among these treacherous walls
Are you starving too?
Desperate for home
Tired of all the spilling tears
And the sight of broken people?
I think I may have seen hell
But if I should pass by heaven
God will need to bawl and beg
For my forgiveness
Today three hundred gather recalling to the World its’ shame.
They’ve come once more to Auschwitz on a more comfortable train.
The youngest, in their Seventies, were children at the time,
when Russians overran the camp and exposed the Nazis’ crimes.
If you were gypsy Gay or Jew incarcerated there
They starved and worked you unto death-
Your grave was in the air.
The walks were paved with bits of bone from those who died before.
These lives and deaths were cataloged for the Reich Chancellor.
All who remain now gather for this last and final time,
to testify to their suffering and rebuke those who deny.
On this day in 1945 Russian troops liberated Auschwitz. This anniversary marks the final time that living survivors are expected to attend( the 70 year anniversary), In another ten years few if any could be expected to make the trip.
Would you believe me to be death?
I guess it makes sense
For this reality, truly is hell
But I am a cheater of death
So here I stand;
Amidst the stink of burning corpses,
Dead eyes of starring, children and women,
Oh, but how I wish I was dead.
Now, 80 years after,
The smell of burned carcass,
Still clings to everything I touch