For those of us who loathe war and bullies with the same intensity.
By V.B. Price
Snake brain, slaughterer,
it’s you who thought to make
napalm stick under water,
You who flew the nightmare planes
into the nightmare buildings, who budgeted
plastic land mines for blowing off feet.
It’s you, not Strangelove the inventor.
Bodies are troughs for you.
So why are you loved by The Lover,
Aphrodite? Are giants all cuddly
when caught on their La-Z-Boy sofas,
their teeth in a cup,
wearing their scuff-about slippers?
What’s with it,
this loving of dangerous men?
Does she just adore Your
reflex, true abandon?
It’s hypocritical to blame you.
Each of us might need you
if some brutal bastard’s gone berserk
and all we can do
is go for his eyeballs
and balls, and fight to the end
with no end but his.
Mostly, though, we need to keep culture on,
zipped up, Athena combing our hair
and telling us exactly
how to cream You, bowl You over
with elegant force,
You for whom
are a pheromone.
The Spartans knew.
No hecatombs of oxen for You;
only a human barbecue would do.
Everyone hates you
until they need you.
Then they pray when you’re through
they won’t hear your teeth on their bones.
You’re all about
we may win
with your gorging,
but your shit won’t come out of our souls.
We stink with You, shamed,
for all tasks but one
and pieces of us — indecipherable
that’s all you’ve ever done.