When one looks through the pictures of the trenches
and the unending, it would seem, fire stream
it is understandable that they would leave.
Ask anyone in the burn ward if they’d prefer
a time out or a long slow heal that is not guaranteed
to be free from monstrous scarring- well, you tell me.
A passable face and manageable mobility: basic.
And who could argue with you after the trenches;
never mind the projections on tent walls and sheets,
billowing by rockets nearby. Conditions
which seem to come from people who are not of One.
Never mind looking up.
In any case, the battlefield really did look like it would scab
over the whole body of land on this planet.
After the volcano, life with no cafés or coziness.
Enter the new mesmeric uses of screens. Yikes
The vile feelings, the exodus, re-enter veterans: Down they came,
from their air ships to walk among us animals.
That they were more capable since deciding to settle their animal-
that we really didn’t want to settle-
this point was conflict and still is.
They were keeping the extinct
while we were goggled by mold; throwing our voices
into mold and jostling moss
and talking about the glow at the bottom of the so-called
ocean we’d only seen pictures of
which I now understand are lights from the heights
of their towns. And that mold is their refuse.
Refuse discussion is taboo, Taboo.
Unless you are stranded under a carriage in enemy territory
and must remind yourself to drink urine or die.
Yes, it was difficult to understand the noble fighters:
those who will not react with emotion
but take immediate action. Because they see what is screen
and we see everything as back-up for our Importance.
What about me? Well, raised by wolves.
In Wolfland there are always exciting conflicts
under the alpha and lady alpha,
vying for the glossy furred mate and later
ululations to the moon, Alice! To the moon, Flintstone.
We are soothed by memories of television through windows.
Their promise of drastic food and large apartments
which are soft, miraculous like walking through mattresses;
or swallowed in nine places of correspondence:
the bed, the refrigerator, the water closet, basin, the toilet,
the zone before the square show: t.v.!
the floor when you lie on it, the ceiling when you climb
to touch it and the window, any window.
One wonders how it happens: the expansion
of comfortable useless stuff: phoniness
or foam: fire retardants.
I worried my uses would change from food finder
to pill setter or who knows what?
I never knew the famous password
to the apartment party wine box. I don’t go out anymore.
I wake up early, wake up when hungry.
You wake up all the time until you learn how to eat in your sleep.
So back to the actual advancers with their lances
who stepped back in when I was having my own little
bruxist moment of implosion.
I was used to more theatre and approval
for theatre. I’d honed my responses
to avoid pain and some don’t but I loved
to be surprised by light flashes in their eyes.
That was decoy preseason to ensnare.
They really don’t give light much, no.
We graded low. Being properly in front of them
cannot be done. They do not throw their etiquette
notes to you across the table
or maybe they do but you are under the table.
(‘Idiot wolf, don’t you eat that!)
Babbling, call me brook. A river Nut.
I’ll go on about homeostatic functions and science fictions
and supposes regarding the rosary or other beads and old heads.
Talking wolves are novel on beer
bubbles pumping me up
which is medium alive and then I calm
down. Revise. 15 minutes of after shock.
Resentfully I return to work. My work!
which is to be a giver or to take.
Where do I go?
I am in naturalism.
Neither boy nor wife
but nice sometimes
I’m a mover with my mouth. I am nervous Rex.
I go to court if I’m jesting. The costume is itchy,
the etiquette extremely challenging.
God help you if you laugh at the wrong time. At anything!
Things which might have nothing to do with them directly.
Like a movie before you found out about movies.
The movie where Danny Kaye is saying what dirty minds they all have.
He’s Walter Mitty and he’s so surprised that they would think he’d
be up to anything coarse, anything below board at all.
They’d been many days together and were mainly in his fantasy.
Or maybe he was flying a plane. High court thrives on strain.
When you learn how to take it, you get promoted again.
The look on his face
I was relating too. It seemed extremely real:
Primordial even: the movie actor not the veteran character.