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Monday, June 05, 2006


by Robert Emmett

now all your stars are polished
and your keepsakes safely hid
among the tarnished memories
of what you say you never did
it always comes around to this
there’s only one right side
it’s not like it was hit or miss
you made the choice they died

but they’re not even human
just some politician’s pawns
we say their blood’s expendable
not like our pretty fawns'
‘cause we’re a far far cut above
and we can prove the point
so pass the ammunition
and let’s fuck up this joint

we suck the bitter poison
from the lips of our pale brothers
don’t try to sell me sanctity
of children or of mothers
when the fever’s high
and the target’s rich
it’s a call out to the willing
(nits make lice
the general said
so clean them out
from under the bed)
we can justify the killing

hey they’re just slopes
and gooks to us
raghead and haji
we kill them by the dozen
to keep their fathers free
free to follow orders
free to toe the line
but watch you don’t step over
everything you see is mine

for we are unencumbered
by conscience law or rule
who says i’m just a number
i’m a wealthy asshole’s tool
but i’m extremely proud of it
what i’m told to do or say
it’s easy being number one
when murder is ok
who can stop us
who’d even try
no one dares break rank
who-rah we grunt for honor
it’s like money in the bank
so if you’re looking for apologies
recriminations or a sign
don’t ask me those dumb questions
i won’t bother wastin’ time

but if you think the market’s cornered
on revenge jumped up with pride
then you didn’t see her cousin
how his eyes were opened wide
he saw her brains splashed on your boot
her blood upon your chest
stained by the same uniform
that dragged her out to rest
and that will be his memory
for a thousand thousand days
‘til the twinkle of your eye grows bright
yet you wander in the maze
of a nagging recollection
of some long-ago mother’s son
and the bullet that always finds a way
to the muzzle of your gun
you won’t even see it coming
you won’t recognize the sound
when he tears the life
within her flesh
all your pictures
fall unbound

this is the great awakening
to a mercenary beat
and those who tie the tidy knot
stand upon their feet
they shuffle softly to and fro
never having fought
and speak in voices pitched so low
to cover their deceit
and they say:
we only pass the orders
we do just what we’re told
don’t ask if it is right or wrong
take your place among the fold

and those who shape the mumbled word
and twist it with their jive
display their feckless clattering tongues
to convince you they’re alive
if you tune your ear to them
they’ll steal everything you give
and hope that you won’t notice
when they shit right where you live
for all their clever mimicry
is bought by a well paid shill
so they sup on meats
and finest wines
then pass the bitter pill
all is for the best they say
(for us but not for you)
and when the padded bill is paid
their throats fill up with rue
let’s not forget what we forgave
all those who turned their backs
if they give us any more trouble
their heads will fill the sacks

so another year will pass
and you will cast your lot
among the silk tie warriors
who spit and polish all the rot
it’s hard to take their puny words
and the glory that they crave
when they try to grab the credit
on a fallen soldier’s grave

Robert Emmett practices fitting words together somewhere in the woods of Michigan.