In a move declared by the US Department of State as “stunning,” Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has unilaterally, independently, and under no apparent duress, foresworn violence altogether. At a press conference, Syria’s dictator gave his solemn motive for the farewell to arms: a small group of pacifists who happen to call Fort Collins home.
The group, calling itself Poetry for Peace, is composed of CSU students and aging, local hippies. Weekly gatherings along the banks of the Cache la Poudre River, or at low-rent watering holes, have them exchanging verses and ideas for such causes as the environment, racial reconciliation, gender, economic equality and of course, world peace. It appears that their poem, “A Call to Compassion” so moved the hearts of readers that even Bashar al-Assad was compelled unilaterally to end his country’s 6-year long civil war.
The Focopolitan Tribune has been unable to reach president Assad or his press secretaries, but we were able to contact a capable spirit medium who, after hours of ecstatic dancing, a sacrificial chicken and the appropriate hallucinogens, contacted Richard Holbrooke. Holbrooke’s 40-year career in the State Department and the Peace Corps spanned the globe; he is probably best remembered for his role in the Dayton Peace Accords ending the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well as for his role in the Kosovo War, which culminated in the arrest and trial of Slobodan Milosevic.
Asked about Poetry for Peace’s accomplishment, Holbrooke said, “I can’t believe these people! They write one poem, ONE POEM, and boom! Peace. As for me, I spent 40-plus years in public service paying my dues, navigating bureaucracy, kissing the right asses only to get to the top and have warring sides barely want to talk to me, let alone each other. Then what? I patiently take miniscule steps and put up with their idiotic bullshit only to get a string of fragile agreements that over time, my team and I turned into a feeble peace. I used to think that these people were a bunch of useless quixotics, involved in nothing better than pseudo-intellectual circle-jerking, but I was wrong. I should have been a poet.” Asked for more comment on the matter, Holbrooke ended the seance by stating, “I can’t believe it! When I was alive, The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal would go out of their way to get an interview with me, but now that I’m dead, the only ones who want my opinion are two-bit muckrakers from fourth-rate newspapers like yours! I’ll tell you, being dead really sucks; now fuck off, I’m done!”
It was at this point that the spirit of the late president of Kosovo, and frequent Holbrooke interlocutor, Ibrahim Rugova inhabited our intrepid spirit medium. “Really, man. I envy these people. I spent decades writing literary criticism and pushed for peace, but I only got it after I abandoned literary life, and embraced the squalid, frustrating world of politics. What are they doing that I didn’t do? Seriously, tell these people to fuck off, and while you’re at it, go ahead and fuck off too.”
Focopolitan Tribune reporter Ludwig Schnee met up with Poetry for Peace at Lions Park and after a good sharing of a group joint and the obligatory sing-along to John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance” and “Imagine”, spokes-human Puffy Snuggle, who is gender non-conforming, gloated on the group’s accomplishment, “I wanna see Boulder top this, bee-yotch!” Snuggle continued, “We’re probably gonna write our next poems with the titles ‘Let the Poudre Live’ and ‘Give Impeachment a Chance’.” We at the Trib can’t wait.