Our War Poem with Love

Pip Muggins September 26 2001

At the emasculation:
In smooth leather chairs, 
smelling of power and 
at rectangular dark polished desks 

feeling fluid squared and easy

walls covered with appropriate beauty

floors invisibly well cleaned,

in every board room of every corporation and 

bank in every corner that edges the spiral of history and the circular globe, everywhere,

feeling pinprick fears of the verge of war,

the officers sit in filial duty to their stockholder, the market, 

rub Mount Blank pens, the instruments of all that may be 


and wonder,

at their singular crossroads

What shall be the best mounting-point 

to pluck the most return for 


in the name of my family, 

in the name of my company,

in the name of the nation,

for my race, 

as so impaled

are they that the impalers appear

as others

Pulled by the darkness of the
shadows’ light, the social worker trembled 

and looked for a better retirement plan as the 

clients had vanished 

some time ago, what did happen to them

there were so many, breeding

and the construction worker scrutinized his union card
to make sure that no one else could get it, 
while the auto worker on every Camaro line hoped he 

could soon

build tanks, 

the union president looked to his industry and 
his craft and his time off the
metronome real job

and doing solidarity with

dues, the spray of 



liquidated creativity

and the good old rank and file,

and became a patriot, for his industry, for his craft,

for his nation, and his race

away from the tedium, 

away from the horror, 

away from the line, 

in the creativity of captivity

for his family and children, the inheritance

The Judge and the Prosecutor,the Renowned Defense Team
Blind Justice compensated
stood puzzled over the unshakeable witness

unflappable, undeterred

as each scratched for beginnings

to discover negations

forgetting that the perfect witness, 

so crisply certain,

never saw the event and never was near

but was well-prepped and perfectly clear

The ballplayer and pit boss shuddered as 

against the odds of good fortune

as the crack of the bat, the spin of the wheel, 

the glance at the rube, 

sucker gaping 

at an odd moment seemed 


the steelworker Japan looked in alarm at the
steelworker USA, where the gaze 

reoccurred, as each labored in mortal fear of the 

hot product

that worked them

The professor, detached, 
mind and body, would not be distracted

and worked on the book to frame the career

that stood above the moment, which each notion chases,

felt the quake and went stiff, yet unaltered

eye froze, ear deaf, 

then back to the droll

but missed the deadline

for mind outside body is a temple of fear,

The teacher knew at once
what is true: habit; 

and forgot in truth wonder,

marched with the kiddies,

once born lie-spotters,

row upon row

to nation and answers

past the processes 

the questions

that cause some to know

The spy buried deep

analyzed the foe

could predict every maneuver

and the indulgences far below

sex, money, drugs, greed, hubris,

the weak openings 

that make traitors grow,

but the spy soon learned the great peril

was not the evil

he knew so well

but in his center, his runner, holder of the leash

who might

would must send a spy, unwitting,

to horrors untold

The elected official swore once again

Loyalty to constituents and nation and 

legal-formal with all the right arrangements

if not informal evidence 

of procreation

and stood in fevered applause when the opposition

leader announced the Grand Strategy 

and then returned to the office to 

burn that midnight oil, the dark handout

that gave him life and vision

as the face on money

planning to step up when a tactic crashed

Every Officer reviewed every soldier

mindful cunning of war

We cannot tell you where you will go 

but when you get there you will be surrounded by 

Hostiles; You must take care of your Buddies or

you will die,

the last war cry;

the soldier peered deep into the

barrel of his gun

compass lost

nowhere to run

The Officer joined his Confederates

to build high walls around their 


The traditional Big Unfathomable

the head of the alter

Incarnate drape-gold, 

robed in the surplus 

of the real rupture 

of what is known 

and what is not yet, 

methodically punctual to bestow

two dollars to the same homeless man everyday,

saw the parishioners parade bedazzled in good order,

agape at the local torture symbol,

saw the collection in dues for their faith

in what must not be penetrated

and felt the holy warmth of being on the

wrong payroll

He called down the wrath

and lovingly swore with devotion, 

not vengeance, a sure win

one way or the other, as his way

above all

The patriot patriarch

head–of-table maestro

with boxed love

gathered the blood very near

if all still beneath

and whispered assurance

but added

don’t touch that

The radical winced at the robe of gold

and condemned the False Unfathomable

exposed the union hack

recoiled at the greedy casino dealer

ricocheted against the spy

denounced the drone teacher,

the impotent Dad,

wretched at the machine, the market, 

and the horrors of dull work for the Empire

that made all one—or two, 

as dazed as a worshiper he screamed opposition

to yesterday

for his world as well

and in it he lived

was made in his mind,

forgot his fingers

that might turn the page

to see the

love of the slave

While the oilworker

un-raping soil, water, fossils, all of love 

science and knowledge meeting the history of nature with his fellows’ 

Acts: Four and more, Four for one or all? 

The painters and drummers

saw madness afoot

in sound and light

inched and pounded into the gaps

of one from the other,

all at all to


others, sure enough, sent money

and planned the War Tour

And in every nation in less tidy homes

where mothers and fathers and grandma and granpa


work to eat 

the ghettoized citizens peer out to

the boarders

where mirrors cloud the view

and glittering the eyes of those

who struggle with noise 

and cannot own time, 

or buy better looks


send their children to drudge relentlessly, in schools and in plants, 

in homes where the musk of desire

meets the demands of the day

those mothers wonder,

shall my child, that of me beyond me,

that of me that is us, 

shall this one be one, or may we be we

in the name of our nation, in the name of our race

read beneath

that embalmed desire

that stenching veil

over the must-smell of the


within the beauty of the flag

in the color of the race

Yet the pencils moms held

to keep track of need

that hold they must to grasp the day, 

those products of nature and minds 

monotony shrouding solidarity

those pencils they trace,

the root out, 

that love and those pencils, 

the little products of misery,

And nature of life, 

That and coupled loins 

worked relentlessly 


Beyond incense

and market

a post-singular swarm 


of wise minds, from work-

knowledge- love

rising up toward the after-here

but surely here

the as yet unseen 

from commitment to need

that none could have known