Theater of War


The Plot Against the American Mind
Nicholas Powers
978-0-9760142-0-1 (paper)
January 2012


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A collection of socialist, surrealist poetry and prose, Theater of War parodies the rhetoric of the U.S. National Security Strategy Report, exposing the fascist machinations of the Bush administration. Presented with unforgiving humor, disjunctive syntax, and subversive wordplay, Theater of War removes the earplugs that “defend” us from dissent.

Nicholas Powers is an English graduate student at City University of New York. Our tour guide at African Meeting House, the first Black church in the Northeast, where he taught fugitive slave history and tied it to globalization sweat shop horror. Enjoyed minor celebrity status there, moved to New York, began teaching in September 2001, after the Event work in shadow of Twin Towers. Breathed in asbestos and ash at his job at Borough Manhattan Community College. Now walks around trying to catch the ghosts of people falling and bury them in poetry to let them rest. Is writing dissertation on Middle Passage and a Novella. Wants to make a living by writing so that writing will let him live.

“In this detournement of political statements like the U.S. National Security Strategy Report, a reader will inquire when is “the truth” blurred; conversely, when does Powers’ alternative reading come painfully close to the real? The author’s hard-hitting, farcical longer-form poems might have constituted a part one, dissolving into the more empathetic, injured fragments. But his choreographed admixture embodies how emotions come. Anger interspersed with hurt; a loudly reinterpreted official voice, broken by still louder whispers.”
—Bruna Mori