Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Tonight's War

Each of these
Small, sweaty soldiers,
bruised and battle-worn
All anxious and subject to deletion.

At the mercy of their boy-general
Drunk on his own idealism.
He pushes them into battle,
Untrained and unarmed.

But If they could peel themselves from the page
They would
gather their own twelve-point uprising 99 soldiers strong
All these letters, with hyphens drawn
And small period grenades.

Would launch themselves upon me
For my misdirection and brazen indiscretion
A mutiny upon me, their battle cry echoes quiet and clear
"What did you think this would take?
Ambition alone does not a poet make!"


alanah said...

ok, so this one just re-arranged my order of favoritism. its at the top of the list now.

ok, so i liked this for a LOT of reasons. first, it surprised me. i thought at first your were talking about real soldiers, which immediately caught my attention, because literature about war - especially poetry about war - is something very dear to me, and one of my favorite focuses of literature to read. then, i got to that second stanza, and i allowed myself to hope that you were possibly referencing WW1 - which is in fact my favorite era of inspiration. graves, sassoon, brittain; my absolute favorite. boy-generals and idealism and untrained soldiers: totally misled me, but in a way that doesn't bother me.
so then i got to that third stanza, and it fel into place for me, and then the fourth stanza put me right back at the beginning, and it just clicked what "Tonight's War" was really referring to, and I read it again, then counted the words and i actually cheered out loud, even though its 2:30 in the morning here, when there were actually ninety-nine of them.
you so won tonight.

Otana (aka Theophila) said...

This one just makes me smile, really, really big. It's probably my favorite so far.

Just in case of word rebellion, you could consider not supplying them with period grenades and hyphens. However, I like the periods and I like the hyphens and I like this poem, and I think you don't have to worry too much about an imminent attack.

What Alanah said about you winning last night? Completely true.