War All The Time

27 Jun

Left Bank, 1922:
The boys never had it
so good;
Drinking fancy aperitifs:
Pernod, Lillet, Dubbonet,
all kinds of “net”s.

Blue skies, clear days,
white, fluffy clouds on
lazy afternoons on the Boulevard St. Germain.

Now:
Iced tea, green ginseng
maitake mushrooms to thwart contemporary illnesses.
Pretty-colored painkillers to grapple with hangovers.
Anti-depressants to smooth over holes and insecurities.
Temporary patches.
Easy fixes.
The threat of societal deficiency,
the dangerous comfort of economic mediocrity,
obscene consumerism.
Salt on wounds sprinkled by giants of industry;
advertising;
the pain of failure neutralized by plasma TVs and placated children
drooling from their ADD medication.

No, they never had it
so good;
beautiful people,
beautiful babies,
plenty of time to waste gazing
or grazing…

Entertainment—
twenty-four hours a day
without leaving the room.
Dial-a-whore
Dial-a-channel
(Bigmouth strikes again)
Dial-a-Sicilian pizza
Dial-a-mattress
even!

No, the boys never had 21st Century candy
but they had bullets.
And they used them selectively
sometimes to blow off their own heads.

The thinkers left with the trees;
the writers and artists–extinct like cheetahs
cut down to make room
for condominiums.

German chocolate cake,
Solzhenitsyn’s sugar-coated first circle;
mixed in with the scientists.
Beautiful front for reality.

The boys never had it
so good;
They starved in the name
of God,
or rotted away in some little room
above some anonymous restaurant.

But they produced;
timeless, ageless food for thought.
Thought for food—
anything for food!

There is nothing left now
here—except a war of attrition.
And, sometimes
lines between the fronts
are blurred so
we have to squint to see the battles
or wear corrective lenses.
Either way
salvos fly askew, misdirected.

“War is peace”
( ’48.)

The cars still flow
like rapids down the asphalt causeways
and now we have therapy.


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3 Responses to “War All The Time”

  1. slyboots2 27/06/2007 at 2:31 PM #

    Is it because the filter of time is an important part of the equation? Will someone looking at us from 50 years see an entirely different reality? Betcha. But then I don’t plan on hanging around quite that long. So I don’t betcha after all.

  2. Lx 27/06/2007 at 9:53 PM #

    i think it’s always going to be part of the equation.
    and whether i like it or not,
    it’ll always carry some degree of import.
    we look at things and times through personalized lenses.

  3. Janete 01/07/2007 at 4:45 AM #

    I think it is amazing that others can see through our eyes at any one time…

    glad to see another poem lx…

    how do you find the time to post everyday ? I am very jealous…not just because of the regular posting but the quality of your writing..

    I have reduced my work to four days a week so that I could dedicate more time to my writing… But then again I also traded the UK for New Zealand last february …I felt too trapped in the big medical institution. Some people were not happy. But there is no price in doing what you want.

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