by Larry Kerschner



I will teach you how

to perform a war

a clean operation

to remove that alien tissue

which can no longer be controlled

we first name it cancer

we curse it for a bastard

nothing legitimate to be found

the pathologic question

must be asked and answered

will a pound of flesh be enough

shared definitions in hand

we sharpen our knives


chrome and steel

bright lights

remove any shadow

of doubts

patriotic anesthesia dulls the senses

common and other

to the loud cutting

ripping and

bleeding to come

once hidden viscera

bloody red

broken bone white

and hypoxic blue

stare out at us

unexpected collateral damage

can be dressed

with sterile white gauze

although the bloated smell

sometimes remains



we will remove our gloves and

wash our hands


1999  U.S. missiles attack former CIA training camps

in Afghanistan


  I think that the targeting of innocent civilians is the worst thing

about modern conflicts today.  And to the extent which more and more people

seem to believe it is legitimate to target innocent civilians to reach their

larger political goals, I think that’s something to be resisted at every turn.

—–President Bill Clinton, March 21, 2000


2001  U.S. forces attack Afghanistan in response

to terrorist attack


I heard it on NPR

someone said we’re at war

yeah that’s terror

here in North America

now we get a taste of it

we get to see the other side

now our children die

now we see there are no accidents

only consequence

we gag on the dust and rubble and fumes

in New York

in Washington

in Pennsylvania

in Kabul

in Baghdad

now we gag on the truth