They came in, not silently, but disguised as something else entirely, something nobody really noticed yet everyone would feel the effects of over the coming innocuous battles for the hearts and minds who just wanted a boob tube to suckle and a guarantee that their doctors could patch ’em up and the bounty would keep flowing, we’d earned it damnit, sacrificing life and limb in a battle that wasn’t really ours until Waimea saw those red raider flying suicide machines, who could be surprised when the art of war began mutually assured destruction via an emperor who could command the brightest and the best to obliterate themselves in the name of dominating that sanctimonious emblazed emblem of the facade of success.
The crash, the dust bowl, men sliding by past your office grandfather – the one who so formally referred to my status as bastard child back when I was 22 and a good girl cut out of the family fortune the will the mysterious ups and downs fortunes and disasterous turns for the worst where Alice stayf by his side. I wonder if a kinder woman might have been a better salve for his bouts of madness. But without those two not very nice grandparents but certainly only part of the worst things that happened to me in my 50 years, we would never have had the unique amalgamation of genetic predispositions and rebellious cells retreating back through more righteous innocents as the father recounts such violence inflicted on the natural world with his stories she can’t forget of frogs and birds and squirrels in the Bronx circa 1938-1941. I can’t recall where Grampus was during WW2. I know he lied about his age to join the navy for WW1. Not that crazy or too common back then when Robert was a child turn of the century educated by college professors and yet his beloved adjunct professor father managed to be stupid enough to let himself die from a non-fatal impiety. Or injury. That prosaic pride or wanton stupidity turned into sewing the poison into the blood so grandfather had to run away from home at 15, right in time for hat assassin’s bullet to take out the Austrian Ottoman Empire as a blunt force trauma fuhrer move.
Imagine the balls to just start a world war.
Then, 70 years after he was born, fought in one boots on the ground. Invented for the second, son served in Korea and all that for Nixon and Vietnam. America with its pants down like the streakers in the 70s.
But we did what we always do and we expressed all the opinions and ideas and beliefs that Americans have and it was messy but we got through it because we love this country and we believe in defending each other’s right to freedom which includes slightly different priorities, wildly ranging disparities (as the middle class eroded and became the fragmented underclass of impoverished, itinerant, scattered tribes of Americans wandering the streets as the homeless for as long as I was a girl.
Starts on the grates by he capital
The veterans come home can’t live inside after being used for fodder by the men inside he concrete
Points east south west north in circular motion
Does it go through to the core
Magma volcanic heat forging the soul
Or shoot out for above like a beam of light
The beckoning so many will seek.
Any Rand in her cloak, harvesting privilege, trading for flawed syntax to die for
Creating the monster honeycomb orator, just a b-grade actor with a bone to pick and a fantasy that he was tougher than he was and so, like the bullies we all talk about defeating through well-played celebrity PSA campaigns to rid the playgrounds of the free world from bullying. If you don’t happen to be living in the free world, your child may just be beheaded by maniacs because you are a different race and creed. And not even because resources are scarce or the “conflict” so distinct, so relatively easy to pinpoint and trace, Lawrence of Arabia epic tale of regional sorrow confronted by encroaching world heaves and somnambulant sighs, shaking and shifting, outgrowing its size, extinguishing and refashioning in new and beautiful form.
Or the horror.
Pick your poison. To live ignorant of your human transgressions assuming all good fortune is deserved and judging others who have proven their worth to you when you had nothing to offer them at all by sharing their shamanic presence with you and blessing your selfish prideful existence with sleight reprieve if only you could have noticed instead of using your vestiges of power to denounce, oppress and leave for dead, the very person your children are going to need in a far away land fighting a battle you designed—for other people’s kids as soldiers.
This fight is the repeated fall of Beirut, the “Paris of the Middle East” until the rich let their poodles go as they fled to get the last flights and rides out of the city – but no one talked about how the poodle ran with the pack of wild dogs or where her owner was in such a hurry to get to that she would leave her beloved pet behind to fend for itself, surely in a situation never asked for.
That is the refuse of the time that gave us our life’s breath. The time we started to understand and shed our skins of self-righteous indignation. The shape shifters come and go singing of Michelangelo.
And once again we start with Romeo who cannot hear Mercutio.
The curtain goes up…
The theatre stands.