February 1, 2019 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION




I.B. Rad




Banality of Evil/Then and Now



While admiring Judy Chicago’s diptych,

“Banality of Evil/Then and Now,”

comprised of two photolinen panels

reproducing brown tone photos

on which the actors and their props

are painted in acrylic grays,

I was roused to write:



The “Then”


The “Then” starts with a photolinen panel

showing a European cottage

in a sylvan setting.

The Nazi flag swings beside a window

as a small acrylic boy proudly thrusts his dad

a Heil Hitler salute

(four toy soldiers and a drum

at his feet);

meanwhile, still in SS uniform,

jacket slung over his left shoulder,

newly arrived from his post,

dad strokes the pet dog

while smiling at mom

who, hugging a chubby baby,

beams at hubby,

while a diminutive daughter,

standing pigeon toed,

demurely waters the garden.

Innocuously painted in the background

so as not to disturb this idyllic scene,

a smokestack oozes

a horizontal plume of gray.

Nothing to bother about,

no need to fear,

no evident pollution here,

just more Gypsies and Jews

going up in smoke.



The “Now”


Underlying the “Now” scene,

is another photolinen panel

showing two suburban homes

set against the backdrop

of an imposing New Mexican foothill.

Two acrylic boys toss a Frisbee.

while a little girl, holding her dolly,

sits on the lawn.

Physicist, part-time outdoor cook, dad,

complete with apron, chef’s hat,

shorts, and sandals,

barbecues hamburger patties

while beaming mom,

also sporting shorts and thongs,

lounges in a lawn chair,

drink in hand.

Standing beside her, their pet dog

looks longingly toward the hamburgers,

a large bone between her forelegs.

All the while,

disclosed by a cutaway,

the imposing foothill

hides a nuclear armory

[“out of sight, out of mind.”]

Just one more lazy weekend in the sun

with nothing more important

to worry about

than enjoying a good barbecue,

except, perhaps, too much exposure.




The artwork described above can be found in Judy Chicago’s fine book, “Holocaust Project, From Darkness Into Light






Until the Lion Lays the Lamb



Until the lion lays the lamb

I fear our future’s rather slim.

Love between such dissimilar beasts

is less improbable than peace

surmounting that monumental hump,

honest international unity.

And from such unseemly intercourse

what might the issue be?…

Time to love enough for you and me.






Nuclear Pat-a-cake



‘Pat-a-cake, Pat-a-cake baker’s man’ is one of the oldest and best known surviving nursery rhymes



Yellowcake, yellowcake,

nuclear man,

make me a bomb

as fast as you can,

protecting baby and me.


We’ll buy them and buy them,

check them and try them,

then mark them with an “E”

for those mean Enemies,

who’d irradiate and cook us

if we ever strike

and bake baby and me.


Yellowcake, yellowcake,

nuclear man,

make me those bombs

as fast as you can…






I.B. Rad

I.B. Rad lives and plays in New York City. This somewhat controversial poet is widely published with much of his work available on the internet. His most recent book, “Dancing at the Abyss” was published by Scars Publications.”

Editor review


No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.