An Invitation to a Circumcision: the World According to V. Putin (Found Poems).

Reading Putin*.

I looked the man in the eye.
I found him to be
very straightforward
and trustworthy.

We had a very good dialogue.
I was able to get a sense
of his soul,
a man deeply committed to his country
and the best interests of his country.

I wouldn't have invited him
to my ranch
if I didn't trust him.

*George Bush, June 2001.

2. Putin, On Chechen Muslims

If you’re prepared
to become
the most radical Islamist,

if you’re prepared
to get cir-cum-cised,

I invite you to Moscow.

I would recommend
that he who does
the surgery
does it so
you'll have nothing
growing back, afterward.

3: On American Exceptionalism

My working and personal relationship
with President Obama
is marked by growing trust.

I carefully studied his address
to the nation on Tuesday.
And I would rather disagree
on a case he made
on American exceptionalism,

Stating that the United States’ policy
is “what makes America different.
It’s what makes us exceptional.”

It is extremely dangerous
to encourage people to see themselves
as exceptional,
whatever the motivation

4. On US Involvement in the Ukraine
(and Russia's Right to Intervene).

I think they sit there
across the pond
in the U.S.,
sometimes it seems...

they feel like
they’re in a lab
and they’re running
all sorts of experiments on rats,
without understanding
the consequences.

Why would they do that?

5: On the US and Assad’s Syria

There are big countries
and small countries,
rich and poor,

Those with long democratic traditions
and those still finding their way
to democracy.

Their policies differ.
We are all different.

But when we ask for the Lord’s blessings,
we must not forget
that God created us equal.

6.The Rape Joke*

“Say hello to your president.
He really surprised us...

I met him. He turns out to be
a really powerful guy.

He ravished 10 women.
We all envy him.”

*Putin to Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert, 2002.

7: On Rumors of Yanukovych’s Death.

After he came to Russia,
I saw him once,

That was barely
two days ago.

He was alive
and healthy.

He will catch a cold yet,
at the funerals of those
that wish him dead.

Achirri Ishmael

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