Poetics and Poetry Discussion


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Laughing@ You Laughing@ You Female, 52, United States (11/16/2013 5:50:00 AM)

I love having this time off from school....I'd not had the time for poetry for several years. It's good to be back....and I'll be here visiting for a while....I love the work I'm reading, and I am glad that I can share it with others. As Angie said, Read, don't read, snipe, enjoy, allow yourself to become enraged, comment don't comment, ad infinitum.

War Voyeurs


By Juan Felipe Herrera

for Clara Fraser

I do not understand why men make war.


Is it because artillery is the most stoic example
of what flesh can become?
Is it because the military plan is the final map
drawn by the wisest hunter?
Is it because the neutron ray is the invincible finger
no one will disobey?


or


Is it because the flood of blood is the proper penance
workers must pay for failing tribute at the prescribed
hour?


I do not understand why men make war.


Is it because when death is multiple and expanding, there
among the odd assemblages, arbitrary and unnamed, there
among the shrivelled mountains, distorted and hollow, there
among the liquid farms and cities, cold and sallow, there
among the splintered bones of children, women, men and cattle
there and only there, the eerie head of power is being born?


Is it because submission is the only gesture to be rehearsed,
to be dressed, to be modeled, to be cast, to be chosen
in the one and only one drama to be staged in the theater of
this world, where everyone must act with the backbone humbled
with the mascara of bondage, with the lipstick of slaves under
the light of gentle assassination with applause piercing the ground
forever?


or


Is it because war is the secret room of all things to be kept
sealed and contained, to be conquered and renamed woman
enclosed by an empire of walls, vaults, hinges and locks with
the hot key that men and only men must possess for an eternal
evening to visit and contemplate, to snap open a favorite window
and gaze at the calibrated murder as lovers of beauty?

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