What’s A Hero?

The lighted cries of homecoming and well,

Flesh crusted, cake with a million yard stares,

Epics written on the back of men,

Not old enough to dream. What’s a Hero?

What is it for me that I should see?

Old medals that rusts, and a gut that purges,

The drunken youth that fuel the absurdity…

That Parades could drown out the massive strain,

We’ve come home to a war of our own,

Man vs Man, Ideas vs Ideas,

Dogma vs Domga…what’s a hero?

In search of military Veteran writers and artists

I’m looking for Veterans who write poems/short stories to include in the hardcover version of War Poems. Works should range from gripping experiences overseas to the realities of returning home. Artists are welcomed.

If interested contact me below

You Said

You said you’d wait for him,
And wait for him you did.
Until the man you waited for cease to live.
He came back with the same eyes that won your soul,
But those eyes held no soul.
And you wonder if he’ll look at you the same as he did before,
If he was the same man who told you you were beautiful the year before,
Beneath a night sky,
Fuming with passion and abandoned,
Embraced in a farewell entrapped by a kiss that would nourish the dry spell.
You danced in a bar filled with breaking hearts,
Before a morning of tearful departs.
You listed all the things he liked,
His favorite sports team,
His car magazines,
The way his scent lingered on pillow cases.
A tribute to the man you knew before
Tremblings and temptations,
Defaced promise and youth.
A year of sacrifice has become unglued,
By rogue expectations and delegations that bury the truth,
That you can’t love what you can’t refuse.
And time is a leaving train,
Fixed on a destination,
Not deterred by our own lateness,
As we run to catch steaming metal,
And medal in contemptment,
Won by a dream derailed from the clutches of commitment.
But you said,
You said.

Call of Duty

We will not be written in books,
As names,
But numbers.
We will fade into the dust of time,
Our sweat dried from the escaping cracks
Of ground.
And we will carry whatever remnants
We have left,
In the coffers,
Brazen with smiles behind broken lives.
We hide in the early hours of the night,
Our faces enamoured with killing objects
on digial screens.
Yelling into a microphone “fuck you dude!”
Bitter between championed teams.
Mountain Dew fuels aggression and suppression of innocence stolen.
Chips are crisp with salt and plucked from fingers that pulled triggers.
Memories blare like trumpets inside lucid dreams,
And a drink soothes the nerves of a dream deterred,
Or so we heard.

We pray that light will shine,
Maybe for a few precious moments our minds drift off into a bliss of calm and contentment.
If we are mindful maybe our resentments will transform into forgiveness.
And addiction doesn’t run rampant,
Unchained in a field riddled with avoidance,
Transported to console the suffering.

Still in the lonely hours we needle every thread that quilts us to a time,
Where heroes dined on succulent dishes of mission.
Now we are confined to living our former lives through pictures,
Depicting a time where life and death were a line shorter than this sentence.

Volatile by Brenton Lee

Sometimes I dont know how I make it day to day. It seems as though I am in a state of perpetual cognitive dissonance with only the briefest periods of respite. My few and infrequent sanctuaries of seeming normalcy only exascerbate the situation… I let them fool me just long enough to get comfortable, and then I am forced back into what I am starting to feel is my destiny. Dont get me wrong, the terrible things I have experienced didnt make me me. I always was. It isnt the storm that makes the ocean dangerous.

I stare at my reflection in the mirror everyday. The person I see makes my eyes burn, green webbed into a halo of golden brown, she said. The color of Thunderstorms and decay, she said. I dont recognize the face which stares back, warped and distorted in the shard of glass hanging from my wall. Somedays burning with an undying, unquenchable rage directed upon itself. Some days somber and solemn with dull, dead eyes. Occasionally I catch a glimpse of the person I once believed I was, buried under layers of unadressed issues and trauma, rising to the surface and desparetely grasping for air only to be pulled under again immediately.

We paint our insides black as the shadows ‘hind our flesh
And make all that we lack, the part of life that we forget

I am not sure if there is anything pure left inside of me. Am I nothing more than a jaded, bitter unapologetic asshole incapable of rising above my shortcomings? More often than not I find myself turning a blind eye to them or blatantly lying to myself, unconvincingly. Sometimes I feel the urge to destroy everything good in my life, its a sadistic self sabotage brought on by the fact that feeling good is so foreign. I react to love and happiness in my life like the immune system reacts to a foreign body or disease, relentlessly attack it until nothing remains. Tall, dark, desparetely unstable and charming, a recipe for tragedy.

Sometimes I feel like I’m close but I never get there,
Does it mean I’m a ghost if I’m still here?

In the end my self destructive tendencies win out. I have no outlet here, no escape and no sanctuary. My best friend was scattered over five square meters of Afghanistan and there was not a damn thing I could do to help him, no way for me to pay him back for keeping me sane over the last eight months. Nothing to do but succumb to the destructive demon inside of me and let him wreak havoc.
I dont want pity. I dont want understanding. I dont want advice. I dont want a second chance. I want everyone that I have ever wronged, everyone that I have ever hurt to confront me and let loose, bring me back to where I am most comfortable.

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