a 10-minute exercise

11 May

what’re you doin he said
he was loading up for the day
full metal jackets he called them
the machines were click-clacking under turning little wheels and cogs
what’re you doin
i heard you the first time
a ten-minute writing exercise i said
like a warm up?
somethin like that
you people warm up for this shit? like musicians?
yea we need to ease our way into it
we were headed to Srebrenica to cover the massacre
it was july 1995 and yugoslavia was in pieces
and cold for summer even in the Balkans
everyone i met that year in that country was named Goran
my Goran had been assigned to Rwanda the previous summer
when he came back he requested Srebrenica
all shit happens in the summer man he said
…and in the winter and in the fall and in the spring
yea man, specially offensives…offensives always happen in the spring
he shot the Muslim genocide on film and i wrote about it on paper
which was cabled back to a comfortable news room in the capital
of the most powerful country in the world so a select few could be horrified
day after day and talk about the atrocities and injustices from 7200 kilometers away
on our last day working together we went out to a bombed cafe
in the Bosnian countryside and drank two bottles of home made tzuica
we smoked Marlboro Reds and he spat on the ground incessantly
i curse this land he kept saying
in September he was shot in the head by a sniper and buried in a mass grave


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