Timothy Donnelly

Dream of Arabian Hillbillies


Salutations from the all-encompassing
      arms of a hammered millionaire!
I send a blessing of watches over your body
      and a messenger to your folks

sanctifying them in a long crude eruption.
      May you journey in the security
of a huge American truck. May your enemies come
      to wither in front of this truck

allowing you and your kinfolk to occupy
      the avenue of personal interests
privately and in full style for 60,000 years.
      Talk about divine measures!

All enemy forces threatening your basic
      philosophy of life demand a helpin’
of grievous medicine: it is no longer possible
      to press letters of forgiveness

loaded with soft words and in diplomatic
      style into their hands when clearly
in their hearts they would strip you of such
      incredible resources: money out

back in important places, a wicked grip
      on the situation, pools of lost time
and no little grace…but who can push the enemy
      underground with hospitality?

No one. Gain control of circumstances by
      taking some. Repel with mischief
raised to the utmost power, one forbidden
      behavior after another, from pure

dissociation from the feelings and prides
    of your forefathers to aggression
against the infrastructures of the sea and sky.
      Spell serious danger to their being,

y’all—only half your hoard is remaining.
      I address you now with a big torch
of guidance handed over to me by the stars
      above Texas. It is unacceptable

to assist the enemy in your dispossession.
      Be not bitten by the same snake
twice. The first explosion inspired
      the devil, and the second a gathering

of military leaders who talk to you through such
      fast moving light, one day today
is tomorrow’s fear commercial, thank you
      very much. The money you pay

out for loving this world will all come back
      for the money you have left, saying
“To express hate and anger is a moral gesture
      to the future.” I did not just say that.

Time to be enshrined in the sanctities
      of pleasure, not dragged through the streets
of the bubblin’ in your head that is
      the persistence of news agencies.

Time to liberate that head from the whole
      world’s behind and listen for a pen
to spell the words of your foes’ humiliation.
      Why not paradise before as well as

after death, kept at a beautiful 72 degrees
      and with nothing between you
and all the privileges heapin’ so high
      a neck is pinched just signing up for them?

Terrorizing the snake for twisting filthy
      text to your house is a human duty.
Let your good black shoes witness you push
      hard into the red dust of the battle

burning your intestines like a pagan tea.
      Cleanse the road to your destiny
of all idolaters and claim what they be droppin’
      for your booty. Take no captives—

or maybe one or two, should they surrender
      wealth, drink, hearts and selves
to your supremacy without hesitation.
      Paradise’s nearness isn’t getting any

better. May you not cave in and weep deep. May wolves
      not eat your wings. May your life
not be a lifelong movie of your life
      but a steadfast becoming other than that

which you are: a slave to the power
      fiddling among hills of fed clouds and shaken
into wonderment like a shot horse barely
      gathering will to lay down with it, y’hear?


Dream of Arabian Hillbillies is composed of words selected from successive pages of Osama bin Laden’s “Declaration of War Against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places” (1996) and randomly from the theme song from The Beverly Hillbillies, Paul Henning’s “The Ballad of Jed Clampitt” (1962).