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Monday, May 27, 2013


by Howard Winn

Image source: Wodu Media: Inspired By Design

Comrades in arms says the convention,
through thick and thin, fire and ice,
bonding in the mud or the flak filled skies,
singing arm and arm through alcoholic haze
with your buddies because Uncle Same Wants View,
to see what can we say if we walk away
over dead meat, pulpy in decay,
from those who do not make it.
None of them are authentic friends, I am afraid,
the sort from your home town, perhaps,
grown up with,
who know your past.
Party-goers, guests, visitors
to the same happening, passing through,
but friends? I guess not.
Fellow victims of the same old men
with political ambitions,
Even years later, if some connection is made,
there is discovery of disassociation,
or we talk in different languages
even when the subject matter is the same.
The schools we went to are not the same,
nor is the curriculum, official and unofficial.
We are not friends although we survive
the great accidents concurrently.
Players of pinochle or poker together,
or observers of smoke and blaze,
even the illusion of buddyhood
in the stories of common encounters,
does not create friendship.
We do leave the dead behind,
whatever the code,
even if we scoop up the detritus
of life left behind.
I speak from experience.

Most recently Howard Winn has had poems and fiction published in Dalhousie Review, Descant (Canada), Cactus Heart, Main Street Rag, Caduceus, Burning Word,  Pennsylvania Literary Journal. Southern Humanities Review, Cutting Edgz, Borderlands, and The Hiram Poetry Review. His B. A. is from Vassar College. His graduate degree in creative writing is from the Writing Program at Stanford University. His doctoral work was done at New York University and University of California San Francisco. Howard Winn was a psychiatric social worker in California and also taught there for three years. Currently, he is a State University of New York faculty member.