Friday, July 1, 2011

Combatwords for July 1, 2011: Independence

Combatwords for July 1, 2011: Independence

If I was rich, I'd be stalked by the hungry suits, craving my signature. I would ride the taxi—no—a limo to a fortress of glass and the worm of hunger would slide through my telephone receiver; my monitor.

If I had a bunker with a million barrels of oil and a hydroponic farm glazed in a ten horsepower halo of lights, I could grow my food and finally, be alone. It would be a coffin; a place free of aspiration. A pyramid where I would bury myself and wait for the afterlife. The bombs would detonate. I'd hear it on the radio. My friends would be on the radio. When they bored me enough, I would switch it off and inject myself with my homegrown fruit of the poppy.

If I could contain every metabolic process inside my bulk, I'd never piss again. Never move again. I would be a statue of boredom. I could plant myself where pigeons congregate and I could be their septic scepter: a statue of shit.

Combat Expiration: 12am PST, 7/4/2011

Critique Expiration: 12am PST, 7/6/2011

Bonuses/Penalties: +2 if posted by 8pm PST 7/1/2011; +1 if posted by 1am PST, 7/2/2011; -1 if posted by 6am 7/4/2011; -2 if posted by 12pm 7/4/2011

The Rules:

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    when the teachers repeats lessons
    unlearned, time and anguish
    reveal flaws unto them
    and the mold will break
    it will not hold the pupil
    in it's former shape

    Masters will grow
    in perpetual ignorance
    nourishment of the free

  2. Autonomous

    I’ll call it love
    because this one
    stayed ’til morning.

    She must not have
    had a place to sleep;
    need and loneliness
    often end up
    drunk and naked
    in a strange bed.

    When they finally leave
    I always try to tell myself
    that I am a lucky man;
    no woman to nag me
    and spend my money.

    is what the lonely
    tattoo on the back of their necks
    to make it seem like a choice.

    I don’t really remember
    what it is like to be part of a “we”
    that lasts longer
    than the inevitable hangover.

    I suppose some truths
    are much less
    than others.


  3. Render Safe Procedure

    You thumbed the head of the lighter, introducing it
    to fuse after fuse that stuck out like stingers
    from the butts of the paper bumblebees,
    pinched by the wing then released
    to corkscrew madly, buzzing into the night.
    We’d spend weeks plucking them from the gravel
    which the city refused or couldn’t afford to repave,
    no matter how many times we called to complain.

    But tonight, we couldn’t see where they landed,
    couldn’t even see where we stepped, the streetlights
    were all shot out, and your heel teetered
    on the lip of a gaping pothole just as you thrust
    the cardboard baton of a Roman candle
    high over your scalp like Lady Liberty wielding
    her cold, green torch. Your whoop of triumph
    turned to surprise as you toppled backwards, just as
    –piff! Piff! Piff!- the bundles of lit gunpowder
    shot from the mouth of the barrel, flying not skyward
    but directly towards your own front porch.

    And you, who pay your taxes just like everyone else,
    you who are just as chained to this fool’s bargain
    as the rest of us, you cried out at the explosions,
    though there was little damage aside from some
    black ash on the yellow siding,
    the singed straw of the welcome mat.

    Deciding this was a sign we should lay down our arms,
    we then strolled tipsily through the dinky nearby park
    where an aging fat couple sat on beach chairs
    beside a plastic cooler full of more impressive July 4th ordnance.
    Every few minutes they’d sigh and wearily rise
    to set another one off, reluctantly, as if performing
    a loathsome but necessary chore, an obligation.
    Like they were tired of the noise, merely going through the motions.

    As the starbursts and streamers whistled and boomed above,
    I thought of Bradley, recently come back from Baghdad,
    having finished his third tour of duty and returned
    taciturn as ever. When badgered, he’d mutter
    a few vague anecdotes about guarding alleged insurgents
    in a converted Green Zone warehouse.
    An IED leaves a hell of a pothole, but he escaped
    from the burning desert unscathed. We swivel our heads

    at a screech from a couple rolling around
    on a blanket: her spine has just connected
    with a hidden stone. The two old-timers
    look bored by all the racket.
    Is this what it comes down to, in the end;
    apathy in the midst of these explosions?
    The thrill and horror dulled by the sheer
    persistence of all this drudgery?
    Does boredom then remain our greatest enemy?

    Tired of slapping our arm to squash the mosquitoes,
    we head back, careful to skirt the tines of burnt sparklers,
    the charred cardboard shells of dead incendiaries.
    In front of the house, we once again trip
    on those same invisible holes in the road,
    skinning our knees, too tired to cry out
    in the dark, too tired to laugh at our clumsiness.
    Those sudden flashes of light so rapidly spent:
    no sooner do they fade, then we forget.