Friday, September 28, 2007

"Ain't No Party, Ain't No Disco" (But The Propaganda Ministry Disagrees)



Before I turn of the TV
The blonde flight captain says,
"You're life needs accelerating."

She looks like an actress,
she wants me to think
I'll meet her in the Navy;
Her smile says bogies at 9:30.

And it's too early for me to be
all that I can be, or one of the few
who think like all of the rest--
in a war with no beginning or end
a checkered board filled with pawns
and a couple useless princes on a
cold, black and white playground.

Sorry there, sweety--
not even if Godsmack
writes the soundtrack.

Not even if I am an army of one,
a captured, debriefed heart and mind
in someone else's chicken-wire cage.

I can see it now:
Johnny returning home as one
in an imitation pinewood box--
in nine pieces, or one lucky whole;
intangibles lost on the other side
of this temporal oil-slick planet.

It's 9:41--bogies turned bandits,
and I've lived through the last
twenty four hours dodging bullets
fired in my own divided house--
elephants and jack-asses,
no mission accomplished,
homeland insecure.

I'm Alive,
still kicking in these jack boots
in the concrete jungles of home.

I'm still Alive.

And so are many--except the few
and the proud, bless them for
their sacrifices.
All of those whose precious lives
were valiantly given before 9:48
and all who will yet spill their's
on an Arabic-Aztec alter of
our national dark god's choosing.

It's 9:55--fuck itdo you know where
your army of one
has been sent to now?

It's 9:59 --fuck it
accelerate your life;

because the reaper is
one quick little bastard.



Addendum, thanks to beerspitnight and Henry Rollins:
Letter from Ramadi

50 comments:

MyUtopia said...

I like this line: Her smile says 9:30.

eric1313 said...

Myutopia

Thanks! I liked the calling of the clock, like they do for targets in the military.

"Bandits at you 6:00!"

Thanks.

singleton said...

"And it's too early for me to be
all that I can be, or one of the few
who think like all the rest--"

Today, those are really big words in my world....

Clink! To what you see hear feel know

eric1313 said...

Singleton

I'll clink! to that. Got my mountain dew "spritzer" bubly right here.

Yeah, I just added up all those slogans and other snipets of propaganda that the folks "above" bandy around, attempting to make the military sound really cool.

I hope the fighting in your world is simmering down. I'm with you, friend. Great post today, btw.

as always... peace.

Maithri said...

Powerful words my friend, keep writing, keep challenging the status quo.

We need your words,

Love, M

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Stuff that comes out of real combatants a little tamer than yours.


I wished to be a pilot
And you along with me
But if we all were pilots
Where would the air force be?

It takes guts to be a gunner
To sit out on the tail
Where the Messerschmitts are coming
And the slugs begin to wail...


Sometimes poetry from a real tail gunner not all that great.

But I'd look into some of it.

There is now a creative writing program for Iraq vets.
Some of the poetry is a lot stronger and more fascinating than the above.

Ivan

eric1313 said...

Maithri

Thank you for coming by.

I'm glad you liked this one, since I, too, am really sick of our country pretending to be a defender of a democratic way of life, yet its leaders behave as autocrats from another century.

It does next to nothing for our poor, and the rich suck up more welfare than those who deserve it.

Other than that, I'm glad to have the freedom to say what I do. There are other places where the people are far less fortunate. I know you understand that.

Peace out, Maithri

eric1313 said...

Ivan

I'd bet the emotions of the soldier made to fight, or who volunteered to fight, can run very high.

Thanks for the recommendation, Ivan, I will look for it. I sometimes feel bad when writing things like this, but I've also had many members of my family who served in various branches of the military, and heard their stories, as well as their strong recommendation that I never join the armed forces.

I take their word for it. But I study the conflicts, try to know the reasons why they are fought, and come out with my own thoughts on the subject. Thanks, Ivan.

JR's Thumbprints said...

So where do I sign-up for Blackwater & Co? Now that the Republicans are making the State of Michigan pay for electing Gov. Granholm, I guess I'm forced to ask Dick DeVos (or more accurately, his wife, who undoubtedly wear the pants in the family) for a job. The temptation is certainly there, when you put a bombshell on a bombshell. Where do I sign up?

Beerspitnight said...

Oh how I love our capitalistic world.
"So how do we market this WAR thing?" "How do we make the youth of AMERIKA want to join and fight for our wealth?"
"Billboards and Tag Lines for future Dog Tags."

Oceanshaman said...

Powerful shit . . .

"homeland insecure"

"national dark god's choosing"

All this war . . .

Over there,
Here at home,
Inside each and every one of us . . .

Time to shift the paradigm
Beyond time and space . . .

Some monks in Myanmar
are currently showing us the way . . .

karma lennon said...

Love it. My brother`s across seas right now (but luckily not in Iraq! At least for now, who knows when they`ll move him). He volunteered but I honestly think that part of the reason he did is b/c he didn`t have many options in life, ya know?

BTW, the new site is www.fantasticalwhimsies.blogspot.com

There`s only 2 posts up as of now since I just created it at the end of the workday yesterday. Hopefully it`ll grow in leaps and bounds.

Beerspitnight said...

Have you read this yet?

eric1313 said...

JR's Thumbprints

Well, seeing as a lot of people didn't think Granholm had a chance last election, I think she'll do stard procedure and cry foul, and comercially expose the Republican's intentional footdragging. That's what all skilled politicians (didn't want to say 'good' or 'decent' in connection with the word politician) would do--if they smell a rat, they make sure everyone hears about it.

I used to think a lot of things were her fault, but I realized the state was in a slow-building landslide that has tumbled to a roaring pitch, and only a Herculean effort would be able to slow it, let only hault or--dream time--stop it all together.

Blackwell and Co. is a good pick. War supplies and debt collectors--those are the two booming sectors of the economy! Granholm should have pushed for ethanol production, since if Brazil can boast an eighty percent ethanol use rate, we should two. Corn is up to out ears in this state--pun intended. That would have helped the whole nation--except for the top one percent whose bank accounts live off of...
gee...
what was that again?
OIL?

Thanks for the visit. Peace out.

eric1313 said...

Beerspitnight

Patroitism isn't enough. They learned that in Vietnam, that people aren't all going to believe they are fighting for their freedom or way of life just because someone on TV says it's so.

Now they need to make army comercials like beer comercials. Make navy comercials like videogame comercials. Don't mention that there is no end to this kind of war.

Thanks for the word. Peace out.

eric1313 said...

Oceanshaman

The monks of Myanmar are displaying the ultimate in courage; they are true martyrs, showing what it means to die for what you believe in. It's terrible what's going on there, but word is getting out.

Their sacrifice will not be in vain. Change is moving quickly and I hope and wish the best for Myanmar's people.

Peace...

eric1313 said...

Beerspitnight

Thank you for the link.


Karma

I have nothing against the people who volunteer for military service, they make a couragous choice of their own. My beef is just with the motives behind this particular war and how it is being marketed and twited as part of the war on terrorism. Iraq wasn't a breeding ground before, but it sure as hell is now. And we made it that way.

I hope your brother is able to stay away from the fighting. Each death is one too many, from the first death to what will soon be four thousand dead.

Thank you for coming by. I hpe the best for your loved one's who are in the military. I too have familly in the mix. I understand.

peace out.

Crashdummie said...

gotto agree with singleton, i just love the part where you wrote:

"And it's too early for me to be
all that I can be, or one of the few
who think like all the rest--"


Powerful words my friend - i just wish more ppl actually bothered thinking of the cause, thinking for themselves, not just swallowing all the porpaganda...

you bring hope, no one can expect anytihng more... cheers

Enemy of the Republic said...

"She looks like an actress,
she wants me to think
I'll meet her in the Navy;
Her smile says bogies at 9:30.

And it's too early for me to be
all that I can be, or one of the few"

Yeah, I like that--selling the war as if it were a car. Your second stanza is great, and it is what gets so many of our young men; Lord, I've seen it and I'm married to it.

This poem addresses an issue that bothers me so much--the indifference. It's why I teach Vietnam. I want students to make the transference. People are dying why you are sneaking a text message in my class. Isn't it time you give a shit?

kj said...

hi eric, this is a really potent piece of writing. there are so many memorable lines, "too early to be the best that i can be" being my favorite. it's a terrific anti-war poem.

do you know about lulu publishing? you might check it out...

:)

benjibopper said...

careful, you're getting dangerously close to not supporting our troops, buddy.

kidding.

this was some good verse, keep blasting from the brain and heart, you'll light up the sky.

Cazzie!!! said...

OMG, I cannot get past the first omage...wishes I looked like that..maybe I did, once, pre kids eh LOL

drips of paint said...

I am lost of word about this war thing... but glad that you have express your view of it ...

like someone's checker board .. I think so too. ... & homeland insercure .. ahhh yah yah .. I better stop my rambling on

LOL

neko said...

what movie did Godsmack do a soundtrack song for...?

great, now it's gonna bother me all day.

^_^

eric1313 said...

Crashy

"I can't give up hope--It's all I have left."
--Percival, Excallibur

Proper thought is discouraged here in the states. Dumb voters and dumber-er consumers, that's what the government likes. But people are allowed to seek out things on their own, and many do.

That, at least, gives us all a little hope. Cheers, Mate...
Ka-Boom!

eric1313 said...

Enemy of the Republic(ans)

It is so time to give a shit! Never to late for that.

And I'm glad you do that. Metaphor and allegory. I know from talking to my old prof. that it's frowned upon if you touch on current politics in a college setting, and a student can go to the dean and make good on getting you in trouble.

But you've found a way to wake them up, and get them to draw their own conclusions.

That's exactly what we need more of:

Teachers who will seek the means to bring back the spirit of the young, away from all the distractions and glitz-blitz and drama of the media, at least for an hour or so per day, so they can see that this will affect them, sooner or later.

Sorry about the marriage partner, but you're handling that, too.

Peace, every one, every where

eric1313 said...

KJ

lulu publishing? I think I'll give it a shot. Thank you, KJ, for this info and your visit.

And the compliment. I guess I found a great line by putting those two musty old slogans together. They work for me!

Peace out

eric1313 said...

Benjibopper

Yeah. I wish ElBusho hadn't gone therewith the "if you're not for it, you're against it" thing. His goofy face will next be on the side of buildings and posters with a caption, "He's watching you".

Thanks for the good words of encouragement.

Peace in the middle east... now, not never.


Cazzie!!!

You'll always be remembered by me as looking like that, if you want. No problem.

Just don't ride a missle over here! It gets really chilly above the stratosphere, and I wouldn't want you to catch a cold. Or blow up, or anything like that.

Peace out!!!

neko said...

yes, i am back -- albeit, briefly.

my work takes me to the middle of nowhere. so, i can't be online nearly as much as i'd like. sad, i know.

glad you are still fighting the good fight.

eric1313 said...

Drips of Paint

Yeah, the checkers/chess analogy is a fitting one--useless princes and all. As well as the homeland insecure line. I like all the lines. It was hard to think of something original for the whole "mission accomplished" thing, so manyu others have ripped that one to shreds already.


Neko

It's all good. I know of a couple movies their songs got into, but can't remember their names right now.

The one I mentioned was in our Navy's "accelerate your life" comercials on TV, 'Swallowing You in My Hate' was purchased for it's use. So eveytime I here it now, I think of the commercial for it. It's a shame, and hasn't worked all that great. As per usual in our history, those with a large sense of patriotic duty, or plain old psychotic tendencies are the ones who join the armed forces during times of war.

After all, or army's very first recruiting slogan ever was "Joint the Army, see the world, meet interesting people, and get to kill them."

No lie!

Peace, everybody...

eric1313 said...

Neko2
Glad to see you, anyway. I hope your new job is a good one, and if I can see you every now and again, then that's all good.

Of course I'm still fighting the good fight. I couldn't give it up. I've just learned to pace myself quite a bit. I have a hundred poems in backlog, though. It's kinda crazy...

Hope you're careful out there in the middle of nowhere.

I look forward to more brief visits in the future, and I'll keep an eye out for you on your blog, of course.

Great to see you again!

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

Greetings from the 51st state.

Agreement is Affirmitive, Sir.

Crashdummie said...

.. if you lose hope, you lose everything…

So keep on spreading the hope sunshine!

Cheers

captain corky said...

My friend just got fucked into another year in Iraq after already doing his time.

benjibopper said...

speaking of the middle east, just read a great little book by a friend of mine who spent a few months working in palestine as a peace builder (very different hing from peacekeeper) and playing on a rugby team in jerusalem. fascinating position to be in.

Behind Blue Eyes said...

Intangibles left on the other side. I like that.

Ian said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Blancodeviosa said...

Not even if I am an army of one,
a captured, debriefed heart and mind
in someone else's chicken-wire cage.


.. i love this line. i will have to use that one the next time i get hit on!

the walking man said...

Actually if you ain't willing to give your mind,body and soul to this here illegal war then you had better start CALLING YOURSELF PATRIOT AND NOT AS IN MISSILE BATTERY EITHER YOU RANK RECRUIT YOU NOW DROP AND GIVE ME TEN more just like it.

Peace

TWM

MyUtopia said...

Have a good week!

*4 days and counting until I step off a plane at Detroit Metro Airport! Make the weather stay nice for the weekend : )

eric1313 said...

Ultra Toast

Word from Landing Strip One is heard loud and clear:

Bring the boys (and girls) back home! **que the Floyd song**


Crashy

You callin' me Sunshine? That's your roll! A firecracker of light and enthusiasm keeping us native English speakers on our toes.

Here's to hope--cheers!

eric1313 said...

Captian Corky

That's just about the norm, from what I understand. They even try to press people who've been retired from the military back into service.

Recockulous, I say...


Benjibopper

Sounds like an interesting experience. Did he rebuild homes? That had to be good work--for the soul, at least. What a quandry--two peoples, one homeland. A terrible bunch of rocks and hardplaces to be caught between, but it probably felt good for him.

Peace out, y'all...

eric1313 said...

Behind Blue Eyes

Glad to see you, too! Hope everything is well.

Yeah, I liked that, because if science can explain how life works, and yet not have a clue as to why, it is deffinitely in the intangible category. The soul, and life force it's self, is going to forever escape the measurements of science.

eric1313 said...

Ian

Thanks for the word--wish it wasn't brutal.

Peace


Blancodeviosa

I liked that one, too. It took some pruning to get all these lines just right, glad you enjoy their subtlty.

You can use any line you like; especially if it helps you cut through the bullshit of life.

Knock'em dead, friend. Just don't get caught...

Peace out!

eric1313 said...

TWM

Yep, the poor "maggots" who get turned into "men"... Wonder if the girls are called maggots and told they aren't women until they graduate basic training...

I digress. The here illegal war needs to be fought! OUr president has an agenda:making his familly rich. Which familly is that? The Bush/Clintons, that's who.

Have no doubt why slick Willy and Georgie Sr. are strnge bed partners. They both earn equal interest from this conflict.

eric1313 said...

Myutopia

I will! I hope this doesn't mean you'll be gone all week...

Anyway, I'll do a Chippewa sunshine arrow dance, and may the pristine light of day greet you as you exit your plane.

Peace and Love, all...

Princess Pointful said...

I can't believe I have let this beautiful piece of work sit here until now and that I just missed it.
This is one of my favourites that you have written-- it has a playful tone, yet still says so much that is serious and true. Good job.

eric1313 said...

Princess Pointful

Thank you so much. I always enjoy your comments, as well as your posts.

I was going for the tone they strike in the commercials for the military, like it's a kind of video game, or a social thing. Or that you'll get to be yourself--an army of one. The truth is the opposite, just as it ever was.

Thanks for taking the time to read further and glad it was worth your while.

I've been on a roll, lately!

Cheri said...

I quite liked this one. =D

eric1313 said...

Thanks for the word and the read, Cheri.
Peace out!