Sunday, May 19, 2013

#586. Life & Theft Sunday: A Grunt

recently i was thinking
about war again

durm und strang
and bang and blame

i think the people
who hate war the most
are the ones who can't
keep their own horrors
out of their eyes

war is a terrible thing
don't get me wrong
but there are a lot of bad things
that happen all around us
all the time and war
has its worst effects in the mind
where most war is pitched
every single day

far from the battlefield

or at least any
that will ever be

so what is it
about war and people
getting blown to bits
because that's
what they set out to do?

we find it a horror
because we can't imagine
how anyone could volunteer
for such a fete

yet we've been a volunteer army
for decades now
and the strange thing is
i wish we still had the draft

i wish we still had the draft
because it prevents all the typical bullshit
it prevents assholes from telling you
that you can't fight for your country
because once you go volunteer
you can be rejected
and i know all about that now

when there's a draft
they'll take anyone
and you're all in it for the same reasons

when you volunteer you can be screened away
like it's a good thing to reject the willing
on technicalities while those who slipped in
can be as bad as they want to be
like all the assholes behind a wheel
on the battlefields of the road

volunteers come into a regimented culture
but it's an artificial one that's just as phony
as anywhere else
the drafted were always forced into conformity
because there was no telling where they came from

the drafted could bitch about the horrors with justification
volunteers have no one to blame but themselves
and damned if no one still knows the difference

war in a volunteer state is a tacit approval
and a true dichotomy of the culture
even after all that culture revolution
there are still people who believe in war
and ain't that a bitch?

until the other day i thought the iraq war
was less stupid than the popular opinion suggested
a hangover of the vietnam years that we still cling to
like dependents on the drugs that helped make it possible
you all said bush was an idiot
burning in his own folly
you still claim that it made no sense
and yet it made all the sense in the world
the only problem is that we lost the stomach for resolve
and instead just wanted to believe in absent hope

hope in the middle of climate change
is like a winter that doesn't want to go away
snow in the middle of spring
and spring in the middle of winter
when the levies broke we all saw monsters
a hushpuppy in a bathtub

well maybe it was an obsession
that wasn't so healthy after all
but in a lot of ways it really was inevitable
a mess we had to clean up if we ever wanted
to look at ourselves in the mirror again
and in the 21st century mirrors are no longer miracles
but more of our patented nightmares
they're on the walls and nowhere in the landscape
and there is no fairest of them all
just another warrior attempting to find their grail
in a childrens crusade to a holy land
stuck in a quagmire of conflicting faith
all derived from the same source
but speaking a different language

someone is making the argument
that all of this makes sense
and that the only explanation is that
black is still black and white is still white
but black isn't a color and neither is white
these are absences and they are the abyss
and we are all staring at it
never once realizing that it is indeed
staring back at us

we moonwalk toward Golgotha
and there's not a Cyrenian in sight
and we look upon the grim works of
Ozymandias and tremble because we no longer know
how to look at history with any perspective
perhaps because all those books of Alexander's
were lost and really i was recently reminded
that 97% of human history was left off the annals
so what do we really know except what we tell ourselves?

drafted into this world and volunteered to fight a war
i try to blend all the disparate conflicting impulses
that float around me and the life and the theft of it
are just things that happen before it all ends

so tell me again why i should be outraged
or why i shouldn't be outraged
every single day

i respond with a grunt

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