April 19, 2016

Fear and Loathing in Iraq

Fear and Loathing in Iraq

...see if I can remember
hold on..

Act One:

We gotta address
the silence,
taking us out.

It’s an honor
to mediate
the psychology
of death.

To witness
an
atrocity
is a
life sentence
of
suicidal thinking.

To atone,
live,
die
or share.

Act Two:

Boom!

Driving under
the hump of night,
streaking red lights
across the sky.

Rocket plum-trails
flung,
strings of clouds
illuminated by flights
of fire.

Over the oval
periscope
night vision screen,
white interior
tan armored can.

Ordnance ringing
shock waves
and
reason escape
toward
my steel embrace.

Make a living
they said,
a button and bomb
war
you say.

Not by my witness.

On the
ragged edges
of thought deception.
With
canyons
of memories
gone.

Over 24,000 dead.
In a
three day
glory orgy
massacre.

An angry
long-range rocket
glare.
Depleted uranium rounds
beware.

Act Two, Scene Two:

Public relations
Downplayed
the ground war.
Oral history
Against
the
idiot box
repeaters.
Sling back
my pain;
hung, slung and sprung
for you.

With a twisted retort
they say,
“...you know,
smart bombs
bursting in air...”
On soldiers
without a chance,
eating bags
of rotten tomatoes
and not enough rice,
or ammo
for a fight.

100 hour ground war,
Infantry
pointing tanks
to kill.
A Saudi oil storm
and the
oligarchy
holds our hands.

Keep it in the ground,
or genocide the world.

Act Three, Take Two:

172 hours
straight,
to witness
a three-day
massacre.

We
were out of range,
They
were not.
On the edge
of insanity.

Little green men
running around
on fire
in my periscope.

Part Two, Scene Three:

Infantry
guiding our tanks
into place
to fire upon
tomato eaters.

Best path
for a contingent
of
Apache's and Warthogs
strafing,
pinning them down.

Apaches out front
raining hellfire
And a
50 cal machine gun
Hammering
little green stick men
into the ground.

Part..:

I cannot fucking remember
until waking dreams
and nightmares.
Scanning sectors
and
best kill boxes.

So many
lost
to the edge.
An alternative reality
next to you.

A Lost Scene;

Where I was
when you asked,
"...you okay?"

“Yeah...I'm okay.”

Another gurgling
conversation
I'm missing.
They don't want
To hear
why
cluster bombs
are bad.

Private Dumbass
and I were walking
through burned out
hulls.
Got my section covered
when he says,
"Hey, look over here!"

With his leg
cocked back
attacking my eye.
I grabbed him
slamming him
in my sector.

A
shiny can
with
Eight spider legs
sprawling out.

Cool!

I'd wanna kick it too,
if I were two.
He thanked me
after I said,
"You almost got us
both killed!"

Epilogue:

I am a container
of that which splintered
singularly,
forcing the aperture
through which
I find my reality.

We tell a soldier or veteran
of war
Welcome Home
Because
the battle
never leaves us,
as we return
from conflict
every day of our lives.

My shit
still tries
to kill me,
my war
1991.

Scott A. Lee © 2016

#veteransuicide  #22aDay  #MoreLike55aDay  #RaiseAREDflag

6 comments:

  1. A great poem that takes deep risks, that comes as close to bringing people who have never experienced it as is possible. At the risk of sounding overly positive, it can get better. The first thing you have to look at is that the world you lived in became the world that was normal for you. Then you have to accept that being home is not wonderful, it is a world that is painful and scary. And healing sucks, because you feel worse before you feel better. And that's the point. YOU CAN HEAL. No, the memories will never leave. But they will become outnumbered by the good memories in your life. Pain yells loudly. Joy is quiet. But even if you can't find them now, you contain far more happy memories than pain. This I do know.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the kind words Maggie. I wanted to bring a close up perspective, glad that came across. I am working on healing. Come back and check out the other posts here on PASP.

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  2. A troop, 1/1 CAV, 1st AD, Ansbach Germany
    "Little green men running around on fire in my periscope"
    That sentence really shook me up. I have never been able to let that one go.
    I remember it so clearly but Sometimes I wonder if it was real or not, knowing dam well that it was.
    Thanks, Scouts Out!!!

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    Replies
    1. I can't forget it either and at the time it did seem unreal. Welcome home brother.

      Delete
  3. A troop, 1/1 Cav, 1st AD, Ansbach Germany
    "Little green men running around on fire in my periscope"
    That line really shook me up.
    It's something that I've never put behind me.
    I remember it so clearly but sometimes I wonder if it really happened, knowing dam well it did.
    Thanks, Scouts Out!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. i'm a mom of a friend of a wife of a ptsd veteran battling cps for 6 kids in 3 separate foster families-with dad being kicked out of home after delivering newborn (#7)cuz he sold his blood for gas money and had 'diluted'drug test automatically considered dirty. i thought this was a nightmare...but i see clearly now its a continuing nightmare...and getting help could 'disqualify' him for fatherhood...thank you for your service and openness. God bless you

    ReplyDelete

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