2 July 2017 22:51
skonen_blades: (Default)
It was a 100% party and I was the guest of honour.

My day had come. Twenty-seven tours of duty in the war zones of the Kuiper belt. I was a veteran of over 700 combat missions. My chronological age was 76 but with time dilation and rejuve treatments and body part replacements, my true age could be anywhere from 18 to 312.

I was one of the near-immortal soldiers in the endless war. So many years of fighting and nothing budged on the borders. If anything, we were merely a testing ground for combat medicine and weaponry.

But today was my 100% party. I was officially dead.

Over all the battles, I’d been wounded and patched up hundreds of times. Head shots, shrapnel in m organs, limbs detached, junk shredded, one time I had my face torn clean off.

Today was the day that I no longer had any original parts left on my person. I had crossed that border from human to total amalgam. I was a patchwork zombie. A soulless. I had transitioned into a new level of soldier.

There were a lot of us. I’d heard that some soldiers went a little crazy after their transitions. Like being fully replaced was too much for their minds philosophically. Am I still me? What is me? That sort of thing.

It’s hard for us to find a way to effectively commit suicide but when there’s a will, there’s a way.

I looked down at my forearms. One was a little longer than the other. Both were covered in the zigzag patches of grafts that made us look like we were stitched together out of rags. Unintentionally excellent camouflage beneath the leaf shadows in the jungle.

My eyes were different colours. My teeth were all vat grown. My insides had mostly been 3d printed. I was brand new as of waking up from the last operation.

I was eager to get back to it.

skonen_blades: (Default)
The horrendous flowerbed appeared in the silence of space. Fireweed stoccato explosions ripped across the hull of the ship in a dotted line of napalm shrubbery, blooming gushing portholes into the vacuum. It was a bouquet to the dead. Anti-matter seeds slapped the cold hull and kissed with the power of stars colliding. Fifteen hundred pirates spewed out into unforgiving cold in that first attack.

The rush of reason leaving him. He spun, intense with feral instinct, forgetting the gun on his bedside table and leapt from his bunk.

And violently met the ceiling.

The gravity core had been derailed. Now everyone he could see was dancing frenetic ballets in midair, trying to nightmare swim to a wall or a railing for purchase and direction. The teal of the alarm lights strobed through the corridor. Lightning washes blasting most biological eyes.

Blinding and useless, he thought. He closed his eyes and let his internals fire up. Schematics hopped up in flourescent pink across the back of his eyelids. He pulsed out across the spectrum. When the echo came back, he could see clearly where he needed to be.

The bridge.

The Pirate King Bigscreen was probably barking orders and trying to steer their freighter away from the onslaught. Caught post-celebration with their pants down. One half of the crew drunk and the other half sleeping it off. The problem with pirates is that they never waited to celebrate a victory because life was short. The fact that life for a pirate was short exactly because they never waited to celebrate a victory was lost on them.

Safe harbours make for better parties, or so his people had always said. He clamped his teeth together, clenched his eyes shut, and started clambering for the access tunnels while the ship writhed around him.

“Redfist! Where are you going?” someone yelled at his back. He turned, opening his eyes to get a glimpse at who was shouting at him. His interior vision was great for seeing through walls but recognizing a crew member by hot green skeleton and soupy orange heat signature was difficult unless he knew how many teeth each pirate had. The only thing he could tell from the x-rays was that the speaker had a larger-than-usual spear of cartilage sticking out from the middle of his face.

It was The Rat. His long nose stuck forward, a probing beak. His wet eyes quivered in the smoke above his weak mouth and absent chin. Aside from the bulge of his skull, it was like his head came out of his neck and decided to come to a point. It was said his nose could detect all manner of things but as far as Redfist had seen, it couldn’t detect perfume in a brothel.

“Headed to the bridge, Rat. Want to see how the King is handling this. You want to come?” he asked.

Another explosion pushed the whole world sideways. The wall leapt forward, kissing them both like the heel of a giant. After pinballing to a stop, Rat nodded, his nose conducting an invisible symphony.

Together they headed up the corridor past thinning air, lowering temperatures, fire, and thrashing figures. Soon enough, this part of the ship would be silent with air loss.

Avoid the morgue, his people also always said. Full of good advice, his people were.

skonen_blades: (hamused)
It was a beautiful night to watch the stars go out.

The grass rustled softly in the wind. Small waves scudded across the pond as other families unpacked night time picnics. The clouds had been removed for the viewing so we could see the beautiful night sky in all its milky, glittering glory.

The man beside me is over 700 years old. He has two friends here that are the same age but they all look like they’re about thirty. I call him grandfather but I’m told there are a whole lot of ‘greats’ in there. He is a war hero. He is the reason we’re here. He speaks to me in ancient English. My mind translates.

“When humans discovered FTL travel, we came up on a lot of people’s radar. We had unknowingly joined a club and that club had enemies. Immediately, we were contacted and drafted into the conflict that raged across the stars.

We proved instrumental. In a strange twist of fate, our bodies were more resilient than most and our minds were able to withstand the chaotic dimensional tortures of n-space without the need for anesthetic. All the other races needed to go blind through the wormholes. Not us. We could pilot a course.

The shattering of reality outside the jumpships doesn’t squeeze the human brain. Being all meat and being stupid works to our advantage. When we see something we don’t understand outside the portholes and viewscreens, we can just shrug and go about our business. We can turn our inquisitiveness on and off. That is rare, apparently. Even automated ships can’t adjust properly in n-space.

So we were asked to pilot ships with sunkiller weapons to end the war once and for all. The good half of the galaxy depended on it, we were told.

We bent reality, folded space, and hopped in and out of the fabric of spacetime with technology customized especially for us. Zipping in and out of our dimensional plane, we supernovaed 23 suns and genocided 800 enemy races. We were successful. If there had been surviving enemies, we would be infamous.

But there weren’t.

The good guys won, kid. That’s why you’re here. And your mother and everyone on this planet and thousands of others.

Now look up.”

I looked up into the night sky.

“We jumped around an awful lot during our mission, kid. We bent a lot of light. For me, it happened a few weeks ago but those lights up there,” he motioned with his hand to one part of the sky, “Y’see, they’re 700 light years away. The light from our battle is just reaching your planet now. That’s how I’m 700 years old by your clocks. Now watch.”

My grandfather looked at an ancient chronometer on his wrist and then raised his eyes up to the sky. Everyone around us did the same.

It took an hour but I could see some of the stars up in the sky grow and fade, blooming and folding away into nothing. Constellations losing teeth and limbs.

It’s been peaceful for us humans and the other races in the coalition since the slaughter. Seven centuries of peace.

My grandfather and his fellow soldiers cheered and drank smelly liquids that came from their ship. I was told we don’t have any of what they were drinking here on our planet.

The rest of us just watched the stars go out like a reverse fireworks show, feeling sadness instead of joy.

My grandfather and his friends are laughing and crying at the same time.

skonen_blades: (hamused)
How many soldiers have died on beautiful days? In the movie, most war takes place in muddy trenches under grey European skies, oppressive Vietnam jungle heat or the oven of the Middle Eastern desert.

But I’m willing to bet plenty of battles took place under clear blue skies in the middle of nice meadows. I wonder how bizarre that would be. To fight on a patch of land that you’d much rather be having a picnic on. To shoot, stab, yell, bleed and die near a river that’s perfect for a lazy rowboat ride and a little fishing. I wonder what kind of disconnect takes place in the mind of a soldier when that happens.

If your surroundings are hellish then it all makes sense.

But what if it’s a scenic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off kind of day? One, maybe two clouds in the sky and the temperature just right for a stroll without a jacket. Nice green grass, maybe a nearby forest or small town. The Earth presenting itself like the garden of Eden. A siren song making every human animal want to maybe have a nap in the shade or chew on a long piece of grass while aimlessly letting your mind drift?

When you’re firing your guns and your friends are dying around you, is that kind of day something that makes the insanity of war get thrown into even sharper relief or does it even register to a soldier in the grip of battle?

I wonder.

skonen_blades: (blurg)
April 30/30


The four horsemen of the apocalypse were boys once. They played in the corral where they were kept. They struggled to find fairness among themselves, unaware that a world existed outside their own experience. As they grew, they were exposed to the idea that there was a world out there for the taking and that it was their job to take it.

As adults, they were War, Pestilence, Famine and Death.

But as kids, they were Arguments, Sniffles, Hunger and Sleep.

skonen_blades: (dark)
April 30/30


I imagine all the children sent to the death camps must have had their toys confiscated and that the toys had their own pile. Like the piles of coats, suitcases, and shoes.

But then I also wonder if those children were allowed to keep their toys as they were herded naked into the tiled rooms with no exits. I imagine how much love and fear were transferred into those toys by small hands squeezing as hard as they could as the gas took effect.

I wonder this when I see movies like Toy Story that claim that toys come alive and have a secret life. I wonder if toys taken from such horrific wartime circumstances are toys that are revered or shunned.

Are they like unpredictable, haunted veterans with PTSD so severe that no one can stand to be around them? Or are they shining saints, blinding their fellow toys with the child’s highest need for comfort mainlined into them so purely? After all, a toy’s job is to comfort a child and to comfort a child during the terror of death should be a toy’s highest wish. A chance to do what few toys have the opportunity to do but all toys wish to.

The horrible dream job that all toys fear but at the same time hope for. A coveted position that they wish they never have to fill but, if that need arises, hope that they are able to accomplish.

A toy’s job is to allay fear. To banish the illusion of loneliness. It should be every human’s job as well but we are flawed.

I see these piles of toys in my imagination outside of the death camps. Toys being lightly covered in ash, their bright colours turning sepia, and I wonder if they are beacons of purity or testaments to our cruelty.

Or both.

skonen_blades: (hmm)
"Although you'd never know it from reading the papers or watching TV, there are between 20 and 30 separate wars going on today. Because most countries are too poor to afford luxuries like female noncombatants, many of the battle are fought by women.
However, in the world's dominant military-aggressor nation, women are barred from combat positions. The armed forces is one of the last bastions of old-fashioned gender roles in the American job market, along with Hooters and, of course, Hollywood."

What do you think? I don't even know if that's true anymore. Are women allowed into 'hot zones' in the theater of war by the American military? Or are they relegated to support?

skonen_blades: (Default)
An older piece I spruced up.


Hitler’s daughter was ruling with a penchant for experimentation.

She talked of a future where Aryans were recognized by their deeds and initiative, not by the colour of their skin or hair.

Controversial and beautiful, Hitler’s daughter was short with the same dark hair as her father.

She administered the shot that killed him in his hospital bed. Grey-haired, drooling, and given to fits at the end, it was the ministry’s decree that he be put out of his misery by his then sixteen-year-old daughter. The photograph is famous. Her chin is tucked into her chest and her straight black hair is falling over her eyes as she depresses the plunger on the syringe. The resemblance to her father in that moment in unmistakable and is belied only by a twinkle in her eye. His hand is grasping at the front of her uniform. If one squints just right, the shadow from his clawed hand coupled with his bent fingers almost form a swastika.

Chancellor Hilda.

German medicine had come far. Top in the world when it came to longevity drugs, plastic surgery and prosthetic limbs. However she banned experimentation on the poor and homeless.

“There were still discoveries to be made”, she said, “but only by using the guilty”. The subtle accusation hidden in the statement by lumping the scientists in with the subjects was not lost on the scientific community. There was no doubt about how punishment would be meted out. The scientists would end up on their own bloody tables if they dared dismiss her rules in their dark laboratories.

She said that the future lay not in compassion but neither did it lie in brutality. She said in a historic speech that, “some things, while fragile, were still valuable to the empire. Even degenerates can see the beauty in the world of our new Empire”, she said. “Let them paint.”

The conquered Europeans had intermarried and mingled with the Japanese and Russians. Half-breeds were tolerated. The resulting beauties with their Slavic cheekbones and epicanthic folds had started to supercede the outdated Aryan ideal.

The first mixed-race officer of the SS had a medal pinned to his chest last week, for instance. The young ones, no matter their race, were anxious to serve for the glorious 4th Reich Europe, citing that their inner Aryan was probably more faithful and loyal than many of the meek and tender blue-eyed ghosts of German heritage. Such inflammatory rhetoric caused controversy but also brought attention to their fearless attitudes. It would be stupid to turn down manpower determined to help the empire and this was a new age, she said.

America’s economy was failing and while it was not economical to fight them conventionally, it was in everyone’s interests to wait and see how long it would take that country to starve. Some of the political commentary in today’s newspapers were calling it a Kalter Kreig or ‘cold war’.

She, herself, had a penchant for the folk music of the defeated Americas and allowed their import into the underground. American polkas and neo-jazz movements were sweeping through underground Europe. The Reich youth, like any youth, were embracing anything controversial that would anger their parents.

She is the face of The United Reich Territories. She is feared and loved.

She has charm greater than her father. She is patient.

Heil Hilda.

skonen_blades: (didyoujust)
You’d expect a physically challenged, mentally retarded child born with a life expectancy of six years to figure out a crude way of getting around. Some simple crutches, perhaps. Or maybe a box to drag oneself around in.

You wouldn’t expect that child to build robot legs that worked.

That’s how the aliens saw us. They looked on us in pity and in fascination.

They came to us from space without the benefit of ships or space suits. They floated down on rippling bio-solar panel wings of unfurling grace. They were humanoid but much taller, bilaterally symmetrical like us. They had four more senses than us and were able to breathe in fourteen different atmospheres. Those solar sail wings could extend for fifty meters when fully extended in space. They were so very thin.

They looked like us for a reason.

And we didn’t look like them because we were deformed.

In this universe, they explained, there was only one dominant form of life.


Planet Earth was seeded with that form of life but somewhere the replication got too many errors in it. A few missing pieces in the helix or a few too many where it counted. Our growth was stunted and our full potential squandered.

According to these superior versions of humans that wafted down from space, normal human beings kept every trait in the DNA that they’d gotten along the way and were supposed to flower in a second puberty around sixty years of age.

That second puberty would have us grow much taller, become psychic, kick all of our evolutionary traits into full-blown activation, and give us the ability to fly into space like a dandelion seed pushed by a gust of wind. And those wings could tesseract space. Living wormhole organs. The distances between stars made it necessary for them to have lifespans measured in thousands of years.

We felt jealous and ripped off. But also proud. These beings had no need for technology. They’d never invented radio or television. That explained the silence of space. They’d never had to invent spacecraft. They’d never had rocket technology or microwaves or chemistry or vacuum tubes. They could construct stable wormholes but they didn’t understand the math behind it.

We were a marvel to them. A doomed, stunted, tragic, tear-jerker of a marvel.

But they couldn’t read our minds. We lacked the broadcast and receiving apparatus. They learned our language in hours and communicated with us using their rarely used mouths. It was a novelty for them.

It gave us the time to mount an attack. Great minds must have thought alike because in a surprisingly effective military movement, as accidentally co-ordinated as it was spontaneous, all the countries of earth killed these super-humans.

The ones that could flee, fled. Around two-thirds. The rest of them fluttered like moths in jars, trying to get out of our buildings as our bullets tore holes in their paper bodies.

The brutality shocked them. They felt the trapped ones die in their minds. We haven’t seen them since. It’s likely that they have marked our planet as a no-go area.

Suits us fine.

However, we’ve been busy researching those bodies. Every country on Earth is in a race to see who can get the first patents. The first stable wormholes, the first space-faring wingsuits, the first immortality drugs, the first psychic warriors, the first amphibious soldiers, etc, etc.

And when the time comes, we’ll spread out amongst the stars ahead of schedule because of them. We’ll see who’s superior then.

skonen_blades: (whysure)
We were at Jason’s house partying when it happened. W3, The Rapture, Day One, whatever you call it.

I remember everyone’s phones going off. They lit up in the darkness of the party, confusing everyone like surprise Christmas lights or large blue fireflies. Everyone got the same message at the same time. Emergency Broadcast Signal, it said. It had links to instructions and details and those horrible words “safe distance”.

We turned on the television and rushed to our laptops and Jason’s computers. Trajectories were laid out, newscasters were openly crying, and the senate cam showed rows of empty seats.

Jason lived outside the city limits. We’d all brought our trucks and were going to stay over. No drinking and driving. We were responsible people. We turned off the music and went outside. In the distance, we could hear the city yelling like their team had just scored a goal in the playoffs but it didn’t stop. Smoke from the first few fires started to smudge up into the air.

What sounded like an earthquake started about a mile to the right of Jason’s house and with a clank and hiss, sixteen circles irised open in the ground. We all turned our heads towards the sound in unison.

The missiles came up out of the ground like angels in the darkness. Magnesium flares attached to huge, white pencils going up and up and up. He had no idea that there were missiles silos that close to him, Jason said. He’d heard rumours of an army base there but that had closed years ago. It must have been automated and left on standby.

We all stood on the porch and saw the missiles arc into the sky and away into the night, joining other stars making their way to different destinations, pulling faint spiderweb contrails across the dark night.

The fact that there were missiles close to Jason’s house probably meant that area was a target, Ryan said. His dad was in the army over in Afghanistan. That made us all realize that we wouldn’t live on after this in some sort of post-apocalyptic Mad Max world.

A few people went to their cars and drove away to the city to find their families or away into the prairies where they thought they could outrun the radiation.

Most of us stayed at Jason’s. We all tried calling our parents and loved ones. Some of us got through. I didn’t. Then weak EMP waves from other impacts must have started washing through because the phones and the lights went out.

We sat there in the darkness. A few couples went to have sex until the end came. The rest of us stayed there in the living room near the big window.

There it was. Carrie saw it first. A falling star. Coming straight for us.

skonen_blades: (dark)
Every veteran, to me, is a mad hatter.

I see their crazy eyes and their attempts at tea parties in a civilization they broke themselves protecting but no longer understand. Their humour can be brutal and it does not make sense to me. They’ve been driven insane by the weight of nightmares. They don’t get better.

If the world goes to hell around them, they will not change their behavior. It will be like the chaos in the real world will finally be mirroring the chaos they keep inside. They over-react. They protect with extreme prejudice. They cry when they see something beautiful because they have the worst experiences possible to use for comparison.

Standing right beside me, they live in an entirely different world.

They have been warped and dented by the forces of the battlefield. Sculpted by the tools of war. They know how transient the good times are and how valuable friends are. They have insulated themselves to the possibility that anyone close to them could explode into fragments at any moment even though the time for that insulation is long past.

They drink. They sleep. Or they never sleep. Or prefer stronger methods that drinking. Or they find God.

Our society says ‘you can’t just go around killing people’ while a voice deep inside of us, a worrying voice, a dark voice from way before law says ‘sure you can’. The veterans among us speak that language fluently and hear it even when they don’t want to. They hear the drums of war even during peace time.

They are maniacal and chuckle at jokes that only they can hear, that we wouldn’t want to. However, it's not them that are out of place. It is me. If I was on the field of battle with them, their behavior would make much more sense to me while I would merely scream and cry. I’d put my fellow soldiers in danger. I’d fail and then I’d die. Or if I didn’t, I’d become a veteran.

Every veteran, to me, is a mad hatter.

skonen_blades: (gahyuk)
This haunted heart is wrapped in a white sheet, turning it into a Canadian flag of bloodstained surrender.

On these love-torn fields of cuddling where shards of attraction fly painful and deadly from land-mine admissions of affection, it’s the fireworks that shine on our upturned crying faces. Tripwires explode unrequited lust through our bones while friend’s hearts open and close as often as a commanding officer’s wallet in a whorehouse. These machine guns that tear our origami hearts into snowflakes are operated by smiling babies with sunglasses and blood on their lips. They eat heart jerky dipped in gunpowder and then have no need for sleep.

My heart is gushing all over my sleeve and I’ll never get the stains out.

skonen_blades: (dark)
I took some boots off of a dead enemy soldier. I've walked well over a mile in these boots and I still hate him and his kind.

I wear a coat that's too big for me. I took it off of an old man lying still and cold by the side of the road. The coat is full of bullet holes and it's stiff in places from dried blood. The flies and crows stay close to me. Either they're too stupid to know that I'm not dead or maybe they know something I don't. Maybe they sense that the path I'm on is coming to an end soon.

They played games with us before they killed us. Little lotteries, promises of survival if we followed the rules, if we all gathered in the town square, if we had our papers in order, if we separated ourselves into groups based on sex and age, playing our hope like they were musicians. It's amazing what we fell for, what we believed. Especially when the evidence that we were doomed was right there in their glittering eyes. Every order came through their megaphones tainted with barely-contained laughter. This was fun for them.

They ate all of our food, they drank all of our beer, they slept with all of our pretty women and then they killed us.

We were only the latest village. I had escaped the slaughter in my town a week earlier. I was out in the woods when I heard the crackle of gunfire. I ran.

I got to this village two days ago.

I was taken in by a family who told me to pretend to be their son. They told me that I would be safe with them. It was a large family. The invading officer in charge came into the room the next morning and asked me if I was part of the family. I nodded. He told me to tell him the names of everyone in the room.

Like I said, it was a big family. He shot the ones whose names I couldn't remember. About half.

I was the only one with blue eyes in the room. The officer knew I was lying. He thought it would be amusing to let me go after that.

Outside, I saw someone get kicked to death. I never thought I'd see that. I couldn't pinpoint the moment of death. It was almost like the body settled into the rhythm of the boots until it became apparent that the person was no longer a person. So much more shocking and fascinating to me than the sudden death of a bullet.

It was then that I realized how numb I was to death. Seeing someone die that brutally was no more than a swell in the music to me. Something I noticed, nothing I felt. I knew that I was no longer here. I'd become a ghost.

When I was six, I saw firefighters on a summer's day putting out a house fire in my town. The firefighter holding the hose leaned forward against the pressure of the water coming out of the nozzle. The sky was blue. The house was burning merrily.

Yesterday, I saw a soldier burn down the church with most of the town trapped inside. It was raining and he used a flamethrower. He leaned against the pressure of the napalm coming out of the nozzle just like that firefighter did when I was six. It was like I was watching the opposite of that childhood memory.

Today, today is a beautiful day. I'm walking through a field, wearing dead men's clothes. I smell the pollen in the wind and the faint tang of ashes. I'm smiling.

I'll never live again.

skonen_blades: (notdrunk)
I remember the war.

I hid in the forest for three weeks with everyone else that had managed to escape. It rained every day in that forest. I remember the sound of the rain hitting the leaves. The sound muted everything else, day and night. We had no tents. Fires would only give our position away. I felt like a sponge filling up with wetness. I was drowning on dry land from the water absorbed through my flesh. I felt like my skin was becoming too big for my body, like a child wearing his father’s suit. I never thought I’d be dry again. I remember feeling that very clearly. I will never be dry.

I was twelve years old. No one else in my family survived that first invasion. I stayed with the forest refugees. None of us knew what to do. There was talk of forming an army. That kind of talk was usually met with blank stares. We’d seen the enemy’s weapons. How could we fight what we didn’t even understand?

This is why my people have a sadness that runs deep. We are not quick to laugh. We know how bad things can get. This is the second war. The first one happened before my parents were born. I’m sure that in the future, generations later, my people’s genes will still remember. We have an acceptance of the worst that borders on masochism.

There, in the rain, I remembered stories and learned how to stay alive. I ate wet leaves.

I remembered tales of villages that lived near the death camps. I remember hearing that even though it rained ashes on those villages for two years, no one said anything. They ignored it and kept on with their lives, not daring to question where the ash was coming from.

I remembered tales of trucks coming through the small towns to recruit soldiers. All the boys and men would run into the trucks, eager to fight. The trucks would leave. In this way, half of the country was emptied of males. They all died, enemy fire tearing them to shreds.

They came for us, there in the forest, on the night of the third week.

A few bold people had gone out to steal food from a nearby warehouse. The enemy let us steal from them and then followed us back to our camp. We were stupid.

The machines came quietly out of the early morning fog, floating above the ground. They glistened with dew.

The dawn lit up with fire and the crackle of those energy weapons. I awakened to the screaming of my people. I was reminded of a rock concert my father had taken me to. That screaming of thousands of throats joined in one chorus. I got to my feet and ran through the darkness. Strobe light muzzle flashes showed me the way. Each flash was a photograph of carnage burned into my retinas.

The utter chaos of war enveloped me. I ran through the forest, trees and people exploding around my flailing body. I lost all concept of self or time. When I stopped running, there was silence around me except for the rain. There were no more screams behind me. There were no more sounds of war. I didn’t think I was being pursued.

I crouched, my tears joining the water running down my face. I have never known despair like I did at that moment.

skonen_blades: (dead)
In honour of remembrance day. Andrea Gibson is a powerful voice. There have been so many poems written about war and its effect on the soldiers, the horrors of the battlefield, and the insufferable tragedy of the pointless deaths that wars can generate. I wouldn't even be able to try my hand at it, having never experienced it. I think I'm too old now to qualify if there was a draft. I think of conscription taking away entire generations of young men and I have no idea how a nation could survive such a thing. I like this poem because it covers a lot of bases about the Iraq war in particular but also war in general.

skonen_blades: (notdrunk)
Things that are broken have sharp edges.

Let’s go catch shrapnel from army-green piñatas. We’ll take our Teflon butterfly nets out into the war-torn fields and catch stray bullets. We will laugh and play amid the dotted-line tracer rounds lighting up the busy night. Let’s bring home friendly fire and teach it to cuddle.

Smoking pizza-slice metal will keep our hands warm. Let’s puddle jump in no man’s land. We’ll tap dance on the land mines and wear grenade-pin earrings. We’ll be war children. Let’s turn attrition into attraction. Let’s tire out these birthday suits until they become fatigues.

We’ll jump laughing through the fantails of dirt thrown up by exploding shells like we’re little kids leaping through sprinklers on summer lawns. Let’s rouge our cheeks with gunpowder and ash. Let the staccato thudding of the machine guns be a drum beat bassline to our love song.

We’ll play hide and heat-seek. We’ll play minefield hopscotch. We’ll play bulletproof freeze tag. We’ll play badminton with bombs. Our hearts are grenades and we have seconds left. Let’s laugh and shimmy.

All is love in faring war. Let it rain.

skonen_blades: (gasface)
I had a notion of war orphans being owned by the state and experimented on to become super heroes but that maybe a few of them became WAY more powerful than the scientists had predicted. So now they're in dark prisons with crazy security FAR under the Earth waiting to escape. But it occured to me as a poem. See what you think.


Mom played the harp, Dad played the gun.
He was a soldier, I was their son.
Mom left for Heaven. Dad left for hell.
He fought in the war, and he fought well.

Now I’m an orphan, one amongst few
Kept from the world, stuck here with you
The orphans of war, kept by the state
Kept from the papers, behind a gate.

They work on us here. They give us names.
My name is Cobalt. Your name is Flames.
We, too, are soldiers, I read your mind
I’m in the next room, hoping to find

A way out of here. A door. A hole.
A crack they forgot. I am a mole.
You burn the planet. I’ll kill the brain.
Together we’ll be. We’ll rule the rain.

Monarchs of new Earth. One king and queen.
Eaters of planets. Reigning obscene.
For now, though we wait. Here in the dark.
I am the petrol. You are the spark.

skonen_blades: (notdrunk)
His soul is a bootprint.

He feels the tug of war like it’s mating season. Gunfire is applause. To him, jeans and a t-shirt are camouflage. Bullets undo the stitches on the scarecrow people that don’t frighten him as they come apart. The crows come. Bullets that whiz close to him are laughed at. The ones that nick his flesh are admonished like they’re naughty pets that he can’t help but love despite their precocious ways. His cologne is gun oil.

It isn’t sport or glory. It isn’t a bad childhood. It isn’t the dehumanizing process of the training barracks. It isn’t the need to belong. It isn’t the lost soul diving into the order of the command process because water makes more sense to a fish than suffocating air.

Eyes are dinner plates and he’s angry. Children’s heads line up like pool balls and it’s his turn to break. Towns become Ikea furniture disassembled by gods of fire.

The time machine in his fist shudders villages back to the stone age and makes grown-ups into babies before shoving them back to that place were they existed before they were born.

Time is a clock attached to a bomb. Mine. Keys belong in grenades. He triggers memories, knife and easy. He has a barrel of fun. He has a full clip of retorts. Bullet-point proposals echo forth. His responses are automatic. He sees the future through a sight. Darkness falls before his night vision. He’s a gas.

His 20 is the LZ. He looks at his 12 and stays aware of his 6, throwing flame in a game of catch. It’s a barbeque and the main course is Enemy.

There’s a foot locker of never-opened medals at the bottom edge of the bed hasn’t slept in for years. It’s full. The brass doesn’t even bother sending out the hardcopies anymore.

He’s a rumour the size of Belgrade making homes in towns that become famous shortly before they become craters.

There is no fear in his laugh. Perhaps the scariest thing about him is his rationality.

C’est le Vietnam. C’est l’armour. Que cera serrated.
Soldier of Scorchin’. Mercy Nary. Assassinner.

He has a deck of cards rolled up under one tight shoulder sleeve and a pack of cigarettes under the other. Both have skulls and crossbones on them. He has time for neither.

This is not a book. He is real.

skonen_blades: (no)
The past tense of reading is read.
And this book is dripping.

I read between the lines carved into the flesh of humanity. The name of God tattoed with hot metal into the bodies of people that had nothing to do with the conflict in the first place.

It’s embarrassing, really.

I’m all for a way of life that calls for peace and tolerance. I just don’t see it happening when the word Lord is evoked.

We’re all innocent bystanders.

There is a man in the white house that believes in the Rapture. I’m not sure how to measure the fear that that statement causes in me. It writhes through my gut, hot and bright.

I feel like wearing a T-Shirt that says “The Bad Guys Won” but I know that all I'd be doing is reveling in pessimism. Things can be done to change where we’re headed. Stuff is being done to change where we’re headed.

Faith and Belief are the abstracts that make humanity so much more than walking meat while at the same time, giving us our greatest faults.

Today, I’m proud to be human. Scratch that, I’m happy to be alive. Perhaps it’s the same thing but I don’t think so.

Bible, bible, burning bright, tell me in the deep, dark night,
If I am wrong and you are right, why am I so filled with fright?

The Falwells, the Bakkers, the television charlatans spreading an ignorance and a hatred that I’m sure many Christians themselves must shake their heads over, the same way I’m sure many Muslims shake their head at what’s happening to the reputation of their religion every time they hear of another suicide bombing in the name of Allah.

I went to Sunday school as a child.

I am not a Christian.

I am friends with Christians whose company I enjoy greatly.

It’s a complex issue.

A lot of beliefs, knowledge and questions have to evaporate if one is to attempt to boil life down.

skonen_blades: (appreciate)
This shift in the way things were named by the management was what really pissed Frank off.

Frank’s full name was Franchild Shinemount Iffens. He was a decorated field general. He’d earned his medals and his scars on the battlefields of Jerrytown, Hansfield, MoorShire and Cockswain’s Jut years ago before Victory Day had been declared.

Not like the virtual medals being handed out in today’s unified world. Now, the strictly hypothetical battles were fought on computer and the winners were sent their medals in the mail with online ceremonies being held in situ-cam so that no one need leave their houses.

Oh, we the conquerors. It made Frank sick. To the victor went the spoils. That was true. The subjugated foes were dead or slaves. Those that wanted to join were accepted after a drawn-out acceptance process.

The world was united. The hunger for battle that still existed was fed only by the computer sims.

Peace reigned and it made Frank want to puke.

He was down in a mech-making facility overseeing the refit process. The huge bipedal machines were being retooled now for construction instead of war. The missle-bays and armament housings were unbolted and stacked in corners. They were stripped of their military green or beige and repainted a bright yellow with black stripes.

Frank’s huge moustache twitched.

The thing that bothered him the most was the renaming.

Right now, he was looking at a Pomma Politica ‘Fisherman’ Class Whorebringer being bleached and setup for repaint. She had giant, round shoulder casings and a flared waist-chassis for a wider turning radius. Must have been forty years old if she was a day. The marks of the last firefight she was in were still evident. She stood there, naked without her offensive weaponry and defensive shielding.

She was ready.

He felt like he was watching a friend die.

The yellow paint sprayers started up with a hiss and twenty minutes later, the glorious war machine was standing, looking bright and new with her identity erased. Soon, she’d be outfitted with grapples, welders, up-to-date construction programming and safety harnesses.

The identification tags came down and with a burst of black molecular bonding paint through the stencils, the Pamma Politica ‘Fisherman’ Class Whorebringer became a brand new DB-765.


Frank’s eyes glittered. He’d been overseeing this for months. Once or twice, he’d even recognized machines that he’d used or fought against. Gorgeous graffiti, paintings, sunsets, winking women, kill notches, all of them stripped, bleached and repainted.

And given a number.

There were collectors of these things. Collectors that were rich beyond the grasp of a field general like Frank. Frank wished, sometimes, that he could buy one or two and have them set up in his back yard like those collectors did.

Pipe dream. Never happen.

Instead Frank idly wondered. He daydreamed of being called into a room after his job here was done. He dreamed of being stripped, painted and tattooed.

He dreamed of his passport and ID tags being changed from Franchild Shinemount Iffens to DB765.



skonen_blades: (Default)

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