Friday, December 11, 2015

A Contemporary History Project on the Alien Refugee Crisis

Yay! More scifi poetry!
(stupid finals)

It's obvious from the title, but this was primarily inspired by the Syrian refugee crisis. 



A Contemporary History Project on the Alien Refugee Crisis

“Earth in Nuclear War!”

History homework:
always the worst.
Almost as bad as the news
blaring hate across sound waves,
the screen filled with
pink and brown
some marching
some fleeing
some dead.

“CSAM conquers American capital,
holds much of the continent’s eastern shore”

We hear it so often
I forget what it means,
have to scramble for my notes.
What words create such
terror, rage, hate
burning bright in the belly
of an entire planet?

Christian State in America and Mexico

It’s beneath the page
on the Un-aldu—
human translation:
United Alien Coalition—
should be
Useless Al-iinsan Club
but I guess it’s not as catchy

The reporter’s face fills the screen:
green skin and treetrunk hair a
welcome, familiar sight, spilling
unwelcome, familiar words,
like emerald acid
pooling in my ears

“Food and fresh water shortage on earth—
Billions starve”

News titles wrap around me
printed on paper ultra-thin.
Black words on white fields,
hate and terror and blood and bombs are
soft between my fingers

“Our prayers are with the humans”
“Head Priest pleads with the gods for mercy on the humans in public ceremony”
Which is funny, because now
“'We don’t want these Christian terrorists!’ majority cries”
even though
“Un-aldu prime minister says terrorists are ‘a fraction of a fraction of a percent’ of Christians”
And never mind fifty years ago, when
“New planet discovered! Inhabited by billions of aliens!”
“Murder of Al-iinsans by humans, motivated by fear”
“Earth-aliens’ first contact: no policy for Al-iinsans”
But then
“Earth welcomes Al-iinsans, thanks to human Pope”

It’s funny,
our short memory.
Makes me laugh ‘till I cry.
Or do I cry ‘till I laugh?
I have to remind myself why
I want to study history, that
it’s never fun
learning from our mistakes

“Al-iinsa joins human civil war, bombs Mexico, America, and Canada”

What’s next makes me ashamed
of my four lavender eyes
of my three-fingered hands
of my violet skin
wrapped around me like a
coat of privileged shame

More bodies on the screen.
They’re alive, this time.
Wrapped in dark rags, they’re
pushing into rockets amid white
acid snow pooling around their boots.
Now they’re pouring out of rockets
to blue and green and purple
masses of hate

A picture,
famous now:
an Al-iinsan in an
orange ocean guard vest
carries an infant human—
on the beach.
Caused a stir
at the time,
no one cares

“Millions of humans dislocated, homeless from war”

The reporter’s still talking.
A few humans,
two or three, are
“Human terrorists attack Ba-ris in mass shooting”
and now
“31 Al-iinsan nations reject human refugees”
Even though
“Ba-ris proudly welcomes refugees”

The reporter turns to
the Emporer’s son:  Prince Dun-alid
the picturesque Al-iinsan:
rich, his robes a pale purple
believes in the gods, but not too much
deep violet skin, not like former slaves of blue
male, with four lovely wives, 
He speaks:
“We don’t want these
They destroyed their planet—and you know what?
They’re bringing those bombs.
They’re bringing nuclear weapons.
They’re bringing drugs.
They’re bringing crime.
They’re rapists—
And some, I assume, are good people.”


It’s scary,
the people who cheer
undying love, unyielding faith,
following their prince like slime from a snail
bellowing hatred and anger to all else—
how can stupidity be
so powerful?

I don’t want to be
the same species
as that.

“Un-aldu prime minister says Al-iinsa has provided
‘far less help’ on refugee aid than needed”

Disappointing, depressing, nerve-wracking—
no wonder no one pays attention anymore.

“Prince Dun-alid tells human refugees ‘Go Home’”
“Scientists declare Earth ‘Completely Uninhabitable’”
“Reports show 56% of all homeless are human”
though sometimes a
“Retired couple in Nor’Shamal opens home to human refugees”
and yet
“Violent crimes against humans at an all-time high”

“'Don’t fear us’ human refugees tell Al-iinsans”

I read that one closer:

“Don’t fear us
Don’t hate us

We are human”


Thanks for reading!

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1 comment:

  1. Interesting. Great ideas, but... I read it aloud (as poetry should be) and found too many confusing, fake Arabic-sounding words not clearly defined for poetry.

    I would love to see a version of this that is a lot more subtle and brief, more poetic and less polemic.

    Thanks for sharing! Best to you,