Since 1996 Volume XXII

             JACK HIRSCHMAN

Jack Hirschman was born in New York City and grew up in the Bronx. He was a popular and innovative professor at UCLA in the 1970s, before he was fired for his anti-war activities. Hirschman has lived in California ever since, making an artistic and political home in the North Beach district of San Francisco. His poetry and translations from nine languages of other poets, and his organization with other poets in the Union of Left Writers, the Revolutionary Poets Brigade, and the World Poetry Movement, has had one intent over the past fifty years: the overthrow of the capitalist system of the American imperialist empire, its replacement by an enlightened communism. With computers, androids, smart phones, etc., Hirschman sees the proletariat as having become the Planetariat and the fact that with the push of a button one can be in touch with another human being on the other side of the world has made a new Internationalism possible. That process has already begun. Poetry, he insists, is its most powerful weapon. https://www.amazon.com/JackHirschman/e/B001JOY8C2



Shema here,
shema hear me,
a child born 
and raised originally
in Superman’s 
capitol of Death,
whose rule is trumpery. 

This stack of 
matzos I fling
one after another
across your Rosh
Hashanah clear
to your Yom

like a paroxysm
of memory,
a matzography
of unforgettable
irony of ironies:
you, who were
so holocausted

by the nazis 
have created
the largest
concentration camp
in the world,
in Gaza, yes
we in Gaza,

when Sari Shobaki 18,
Amir Al-Nimra, 15,
Louay Kahn, 16,
Kami Halas, 14,
Nasser Shurrab, 18,
Louay Hasan, 13 

a series of non-violent 
protests calling for 
the return
of Palestinians
exiled all
over the world,
you murdered them

in cold State blood
or sniped their
legs or slingshot
arms off and—
irony of the ovens
where the nazis

so many of
your families—
those New York
settler thugs
celebrating a 
wedding were
crying out:

“Ali’s on the grill”
referring to
Ali Dawbsheh,
whose 18
month-old body
they’d burned
to death.


Dilapidated shacks
or even tents 
in which we live
all crazy now 
without a capitol
and filling with

Gaza, we’re Gaza
who may rainbow:
Dareen Tatour,
you magnificent,
“terrorist” poet,
and you, 
Ahed Tamimi

who physically  
Took on a couple 
of Israel’s cops,
you of a family
of grassroots

of Razan Al-Najar,
that glorious
21 year-old
who gave her 
life helping to
nurse the wounded
in the protests.

We don’t hole up.
We stuff malice,
be terror cool,
steer no one wrong,
even as arms are torn,
even as wounded legs 
are smoking.




The talky, yabbery 
of It, which is the 
USA, Hollywood 
be its fame,

approaching the day 
devoted to the body
from which we all came;
the screamingly funny, 
lethally hysterical,

digitally channeled 
situation comedy,
the humiliating 
about her who 

sustains, nurses, 
fights for, grows, 
suffers, possesses 
and lets go of us, 
who has her own 

job, puts in her time 
like any man, puts in 
more time than any 
man, makes less bux 
than most men, 

is more enslaved, 
more burdened yet 
smiles through all 
fights. loves saying 
Nice, and fights on.


I love you, Momma, 
even if you’re three 
years dead, love you 
in any woman. You 
made me a Red, 

or rather lead me to 
the hallway where 
Terry Winter read me 
poems of Paul Eluard
before we necked 

and afterward gave
me the address of  
Young Progressive 
League. Anybody 
stupid enough like 

Henry Miller to say 
he hates his mother
can laze around 
anarchist heaven 
with the rest of

the famous flops. 
Anybody says a
word against—I  
mean Motherland,—
I’ll be happy giving 

him a red nose
courtesy Nellie 
my momma, my 
bowler, cane and, 
between my lips, 
the rose.



As we’ve seen: it’s a law
that’s the essence of evil,
71 years old and enacted
after World War 2 in 1947:
with peace rallies sprouting
allover European countries
that had enough of Death,
and the workers here were
picketing allover the land.

So the fascists in Congress,
wanting to break the hold
of the New Deal over the 
union workers, and sensing
what was to come a decade 
later, with the Black workers
breaking segregation chains,
enacted the law, making it
Illegal for any union worker

to have anything to do with
Communism and, among 
other things, making illegal a 
Solidarity Strike of one union
with another, in effect killing
the working-class movement
by amputating the possibility
of its growing larger than any
single union’s demands.

That law was the Taft-Fartly
and that law is the Taft-Fartly
and it stinks as it’s always 
stunk, smells to high heaven
and, even after the fall of the
Soviet Union, the corporate
takeover of communications
and the trans-globalization of
1,000 sickening billionaires,

it remains the back-breaker
and ball-buster of the whole
working-class movement,
the intimidating foreshadow
of the McCarthyism that in
a couple of years would lead
to the televised insulting of
those who for most of their
lives had dignified workers.


No longer the Proletariat, we,
with our computers, androids
and other instruments of the
technology epoch making us
into a pushbutton Planetariat
capable of rapidly organizing
strikes and Solidarity Strikes,
but for that Taft-Fartly smell
forcing all fingers over the

noses of the whole citizenry,
and even the undocumented
doing the dirtiest work for the
less than minimum, for those
mickey-mouse-dumb wages,
have to hold their noses, the
stink’s so devastatingly putrid;
because the wills of the poor 
and the homeless, of those

men, women and children the
robots have tossed from their
jobs, are dreaming of the strike
that’ll multiply with others in the
Solidarity Strike that’s gonna
create the movement of a new
Planetariat which is gonna lower
the boom on the capitalist class
by first getting rid of that vicious

law that’s been used by gangs
of trans-globalized thugs, those
investors in death by war and 
famine who’ve amassed those
billions till now. But no more!
We’re gonna butt-plug the ass
of Taft-Fartly so that it dies of 
its own gas, and the Planetariat
becomes all our future at last.




En nombre de quienes lava ropa ajena  
(y expulsan de la blancura la mugre ajena)  


En nombre de quienes cuidan hijos ajenos  
(y venden su fuerza de trabajo  
en forma de amor maternal y humiliaciones)  


En nombre de quienes habitan in vivienda ajena  
(y aun los mastican con sentimiento de ladron)  


En nombre de quienes viven en un pais ajeno  
(las casas y las fabricas y los comercios  
y las calles y las ciudades y los pueblos  
y los rios y los lagos y los volcanes y los montes  
son siempre de otros  
y por eso esta alli la policia y la guardia  
cuidandolos contra nosotros)  


En nombre de quienes lo unico que tienen  
es hambre explotacion enfermedades 

All poems Copyright Jack Hirschman

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