Friday, December 17, 2010

Combatwords December 17, 2010: It's For Your Own Good

Combatwords December 17, 2010: It's For Your Own Good

Because you do not know what is good for you and because I am feeling tremendous compassion for you, I'm going to trick you and lie to you and I don't care if you'll hate me forever when you find out it was me—it's for your own good.

Because you do not understand that those new business partners are sharks and vampires who are going to drain your blood and make you the patsy for their scam, I am going to sabotage your work and secretly undermine you to mask your delicious scent.

Because you do not understand the power of images and symbols, because you do not understand how they compel you, because you do not see the difference between you and your God, I'm going to bully you into proper conduct.

Why? Because it's all for your own good. I don't care about what's good for me. I am filled with agape with you as my center. I understand that by interfering, I become a focus of blame—if not scapegoat. Although the price is expensive, I do these things because I love you—and true love is difficult and sometimes unrequited. And I don't really want your love anyhow you idiot. Look at everything I have to do for your own good!

Combat Expiration: 12am PST 12/20/2010

Critique Expiration: 12am PST 12/21/2010 with 24 hour grace period for critique rebuttals.

Bonuses/Penalties: +2 if posted by 6pm PST 12/17/2010, +1 if posted by 12am PST 12/18/2010; -1 if posted by 6am PST 12/20/2010, -2 if posted by 12pm PST 12/20/2010

The Rules:

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  1. heart monitor beeps
    respirator whirs and gasps
    ricin works slowly

  2. Hold your dusted rubber walls
    Here comes the heat
    Humidity swells your belly
    When you're a balloon
    You're all belly
    Except for a scrunched up ring of a mouth
    Twisted off into a knot
    Not a breath escapes
    But for some reason the next day
    You have lost the fullness of your shape
    Like a once plump grape
    Gone slack and loose in it's own skin
    On the floor now, with a sunken side
    Taking the shape of the carpet
    No longer convinced that it's such a good idea to be
    Swollen with praise
    Stuffed full of words
    Opting instead to be deflated
    A life without pressure

  3. Uninhibited—

    dark light lingers
    as a matter of


    a light bursts
    in a muzzle of



    the light dissipates
    and a life lay





    dark light lingers
    as a matter of

  4. The honor system:

    Talk about gunshots
    In a matter of fact manner
    Like commenting on school board shootings
    While watching from your computer
    And all this time there is a man making funny noises
    From behind a dumpster
    Somewhere in my college days
    His gurgles still awkwardly climb the alley walls
    In the same matter of fact manner
    I comment on his predicament
    While walking, never stopping
    Surely he is a drunk bum
    One of many
    A price to be paid for progress
    Living in a city with Opera houses and ballets
    It wasn't till later I learned
    When the cops came and clogged the street
    To cart away the student who bled out
    Mugged and left to die in the alley
    Your dark light lingers as a matter of consequence
    While my conscience lingers
    A self imposed sentence

  5. Smalahove (a true story)

    On the edge of town, in a neighborhood that was once farmland, sits a plot of land on whose back stands a strip mall. The owners of the six businesses which comprise this strip mall are all eating establishments, most of which also serve liquor. One day, they figured out a clever way to increase their profits. They realized that if they divided each of their stores in half, they would instantly double the number of lottery machines they could legally install. So this is what they did, there being no law against doing such a thing.

    The state lottery officials were of course delighted, as were the owners of the property, who, besides collecting the rent, were entitled to eight percent of the profits gained by the machines. Twelve shops with six video lottery machines each, with booze thrown into the mix. Soon the crime rate in the neighborhood began to rise. Burglary, vandalism, drug dealing in broad daylight all became everyday occurrences.

    When the neighbors began to complain, the state lottery officials chided them. Why, the officials asked, do you realize how many millions of dollars these machines raise every year? And do you know where that money goes? Elderly care. Welfare. Protection of our beautiful state forests.

    Then the property owners chipped in, reminding the people that they themselves were big supporters of both local and national charities, and patrons of the arts to boot, and so because of this, but mostly because this was the greatest country on earth due to its embracing the free market system, they could damn well do whatever they wanted to in order to make a buck, even if they did have to pay exorbitant amounts of taxes on those same bucks.

    The civic leaders and government officials spoke up as well. How dare you complain about a little petty thievery, they scolded, a little dope dealing? Do you know how good you have it, living in this greatest country on earth, where you have freedom of speech and the ability to raise yourself up from nothing if you weren’t such lazy sponges? How can you be so selfish?

    Besides, they all said as one voice, you are poor, you are a burden on society. You people in your shitty neighborhood on the outskirts of town need to learn to sort things out amongst yourselves. Learn to settle your problems in a civilized fashion. Or don’t, see if we care.

    Also, the city and state and national political leaders whined, even if we wanted to, how else could we come up with that much money? Do you want us to raise the taxes of the very rich, make them pay their fair share just because they have so much more than anyone could ever need? No, the people muttered, feeling guilty, for they most certainly did not want for anyone to have to pay higher taxes, especially not the very rich, even though it had been proven time and time again that the amount of taxes the very rich paid really had no effect one way or the other on the economy or much of anything else for that matter.

    So the crime rate rose, and the neighbors who could afford to do so moved away, and the ones who remained grumbled, though not really all that loudly, all things considered, and as long as the shepherd promised not to take away a single mouthful of the precious clover which filled the pasture, the lamb enthusiastically agreed to have its throat cut.

    Agreed? Hell, the poor creature practically got down on its knees and fucking begged.

  6. Despair overwhelms me
    Like a sudden flush of cold water
    The breach of a hull
    Where balance precedes imbalance
    When perfect is no longer prime
    Woe is me

    The dogs of night
    Evil predators
    Hunt me like the vanquished
    Immaterial my complaints
    Incessant their stamina
    I lament

    Greatly do I sorrow
    For these dogs of night
    Yelping without fright
    Rejoice in their lingering triumph
    Prude in their prudence
    Give no regard to my future state

    Nothing is left
    Therefore I acquiesce
    Putting forth the scepter of surrender
    No longer to plead my cause
    For the dogs have me
    I am beholden to their whims

    The wind of life departs
    My spirit takes flight
    There is no joy in ascension
    My mind in concurrence
    Oh the trouble in my soul
    Oh the trouble in my soul

    I ascend in torment
    Loathsome to my detriment
    Tricked by invincibility
    My pride a pool of poverty
    Such is my despair
    Such is my despair

  7. Speaking of President Obama
    “That guy scares me!”

    How many times have I heard that stated?
    How many times have I heard that reiterated?
    So many times I can't even remember

    That guy scares me!

    He’s a socialist!

    Says who?
    Sean Hannity of FoxNews?
    Who sanctioned him final arbiter of the truth?
    He’s nothing more than a harbinger for the aloof

    Give me a break!

    He doesn't know squat
    He's a former contractor
    I bet that was a disaster
    He acts like he's so smart
    Metaphorically speaking, he's an aardvark
    He eats termites
    Like the issues he make larger than life

    What a fool!

    Promoting country music doesn’t make one cool
    Charlie Pride’s cool
    He tread where black men told him “Bro, that ain’t cool”

    Believe you me--
    Sean Hannity!
    That’s a guy who scares me

    That guy scares me!

    He’s a fascist!

    Says who?
    Tea Party Tea Baggers?
    Them gum flappers
    What yarns and sun-setters

    Go ahead,
    Exercise your right to free speech
    But be discreet
    More importantly
    Be judicious about what you peep
    Have some class
    Stop acting like a jackass
    If you don’t know what fascism means
    Search the dictionary or watch a video stream

    The first tea party
    It was about taxation without representation
    Oh, by the way
    That April 15th Tea Party celebration
    It failed to capture the nation’s imagination
    Believe you me Tea Baggers!
    You’re the people who really scare me

    That guy scares me!

    He’s a communist

    Says who?
    Alan Keyes, self articulated politicalee
    Oh my gosh, please!
    Calm down Mr. Keyes
    Your rants are not unreasoned tease
    You speak to me
    In your vitriolic diatribe
    There is reason, logic, and a nice vibe
    Be calm and methodical
    Your reasoning is quite thoughtful
    Many times you make a lot of sense
    However, your rhetoric
    It all sounds erratic
    More aptly, catatonic
    Sometimes you confuse less articulate folk
    Don’t forget, these are common folk
    Many of them your folk
    You can dumb it down
    Doing so will give you fertile ground
    Because if you don’t
    Believe you me Mr. Keyes
    You just another one of them guys scaring me

    That guy scares me!

    I hope he fails!

    Says who?
    Rush Limbaugh! Radio talk show host
    He who lives to roast
    The President of the United States
    For god sakes Rush!
    Give it a break!
    You act like Obama’s some demonic snake

    All you got is a one trick pony
    Every day you more and more phony
    You and your conservative cronies
    Admit it
    For you it’s a hustle
    Yeah, you know simple minded people
    They always want to tussle
    Run for office man!
    Stop talking out of the side of your mouth

    Believe you me
    You the sick, racist, misogynist, pig
    that scares the HELL out of me

    Oh, by the way--
    Speaking of President Obama?


  8. We've got people being 'spiritual'
    Everyone's got their own opinion
    On God
    Or that wishy-washy greater power
    There are some old school folks
    Who follow the rules
    Pray in the right directions
    They are less and less in the house of worship
    And more and more in the nursing home
    Singing cluelessly to the wrong song
    On piano night
    I'm speaking generally now
    For the middle-agers
    Who are going through the motions
    Crossing their hearts before shotgun wedding dinners
    Trying to keep it together
    Telling ma in the home that it was wonderful
    She's gotta go, they're playing her song
    Good thing too
    Cause the kids didn't want to put the game on pause
    Just to talk to old grandma
    They're too busy not thinking about it
    Putting off their religion to the last minute
    When they suddenly develop a sense of God
    Maybe that's just the way it's always been
    From the pyramids to present man
    Slowly shucking off the husk of each generation
    Working it's way to some final fruit
    Now I dont care if it sits on the table of the maker
    Or rots on the ground as our rock spins out of orbit
    I just find it interesting
    And funny
    So thank the great energy
    Happy holidays to the terrorists
    And merry Christmas to the Christians

  9. Why We Took Your Freedom [Combatwords Poem, December 19, 2010]

    As soon as you could, you'd return to graffiti.
    You were there—so what? Nobody cares.
    If fake leather swallowed your feet,
    You might fake your way through conversation;
    Fake through directions and dramatize conflict
    With right of way stoplights; with hazardous drivers.
    You've wanted conductors since rain, since savannah:
    One's there to greet you at birth
    And another to bury your leftovers.
    All this freedom's oppressive; you cannot imagine alternatives,
    Cannot imagine outside of your circumstance;
    Cannot imagine your life without work, without idols—
    And idleness scares you and openness moreso;
    This freedom is just a rejection of moment;
    It's faith in the better, though nothing is better.

  10. I went wandering down death row in my mind
    Peered into a cell where a man was eating his last meal
    He cut the steak patiently
    He requested rare filet
    Got medium well London broil instead

    Don't feel sorry for this man I said

    He murdered babies for fun
    Spiked them on the ground like a football
    Said in an interview he thought they were just like
    Fat ketchup packets

    That reporter quit
    She has a family now
    And doesn't mention it
    Though she gets a little awkward at picnics

    Back down the well-lit and populated death row of my mind
    The maniac is cutting his steak
    Using the fork to push it through a runny sauce
    Till it collides with a mound of instant mashed potatoes
    He makes the sound of squealing breaks and a crash
    Imagining a school bus running into a wall of spikes
    Happy with himself, he lifts the combination to his mouth

    This goes on for a while
    And for the life of me I had no idea why I was seeing it
    A man eating like there's no tomorrow

  11. Fortunado
    Freedom was great and all, but then there was the pressure. The responsibility of being able to do or say whatever I wanted, started to crush me after a while. I mean, I could do anything. I should be changing the world, creating great things, helping people, and yet I found myself paralyzed, unable to do any of these things. I felt smothered by the clear sky, by the fresh air. Plus it was dangerous. I was open to attack on all sides. So I built a cage around myself, one with no door, no escape hatch. I instantly felt a great weight lift from my shoulders, felt myself finally able to flap my arms and fly. As soon as I left the ground, though, I banged into something. Someone had erected some sort of fence around me. I fluttered against the bars, trying desperately to get out, cursing those who had constructed this prison. Eventually I got tired and sat on my perch and sulked. As time went on I got used to being incarcerated, in fact forgot all about what it was like to be free. In fact, I felt intimidated by how much uninhibited movement I had within the cage. Within the bars, I could do or say whatever I wanted. I started to feel the old familiar anxiety again. So I walled myself up in a corner of the cage, creating a space around me that was so small I could barely move. This was better, I felt safe and secure, and I leaped up and threw my arms out in joy, but when I did I banged my head and smashed my fingers. Someone had erected some sort of barricade around me, hardly larger than my body. It was all I could do to just stand in place. I screamed in rage at my invisible oppressors, and was soon so busy hurling death threats at the bastards who had built this wall that I neglected to notice that I still held the dripping trowel in my hands.

  12. Somewhere, on the African continent, beside a lion
    is a lamb. To the zoologist, this is a great mystery.

    Instinctively, and by virtue of years of training,
    the lion is required to have eaten the lamb by now.

    Obligatory is the acknowledgment of the lion’s nature.
    For reasons unknown, the lamb feels safe next to

    the lion. This creates mass confusion and distress
    among the pride. Given the historical victimization of

    lambs by lions, unprecedented are the lamb’s actions.

    And, as the day lingers the pride’s discontent with the

    lion’s complacency grows. Moody and testy is the brood.

    The hunger pangs cloud their judgment and discernment,

    intensifying their budding instincts as carnivores. Their
    roaring stir the docile lion and the lamb. The pride

    takes to encircling them. Centuries of primal instincts are

    at play. Heightening the pride’s desire to attack is fear.

    The lamb is afraid. Suddenly, the lamb’s female protector
    trots away, and a ferocious attack ensues; for the pride

    does that which comes natural, they consume flesh: the

    strong first, then the young, and finally, the old.

    To understand this poem the reader must accept the fact

    a lion is a lion, and a lamb is a lamb. Such is the nature of


  13. @Poetry Is Life: you say "shooooot (did I miss one? Too lazy to count) everyone", yet your handle is "Poetry is LIFE". Am I to assume you're just condoning flesh wounds, perhaps to inflict just enough pain to remind us that we're alive? If so, thank you. I could use a reminder sometimes.

    As for everyone else: I enjoyed the back-and-forth, wish I'd had time this weekend to go a couple more rounds. Especially good to see some old faces return.

    Also, enjoyed Humanist's late entry last week; looks like you made up for your tardiness this week. Good job.

    Feeling too Christmassy to bother with points. Everyone gets 5, wrapped in a bow and shoved in your stocking. Merry fucking Kwanzakkuhmas everybody! Don't forget to check out the eclipse, unless you're in cloudy goddam Portland that is.

  14. I agree with rToady. After all the poetry and prose posted, a weak little retort from Poetry Is Life doesn't cut it. This is CombatWords. Sounds like Poetry Is Life needs to get the same kind of swift kick I got that first time I came with weak stuff. It took me a while to comeback right. I think Poetry Is Life has got things twisted, these writers can get at you--quickly. So I suggest Poetry Is Life rethink whether or not Poetry Is Life really wants to commit, cause CombatWords rejects misfits.

  15. I didn't think that was an insult. My posts this week were horrible. -10 for each one because they were: Uninteresting. Embarrassing footage of someone trying too hard. (trying too hard to be cool and not working at all to improve their skill or learning to shore up their weaknesses)

  16. Actually, my pieces were pretty weak as well, so don't feel bad. I wanted to do something more like an essay, but in the meantime I forgot how much I suck at essays. Oh well. Can't be a genius every week, I guess.