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W.A.R.: We Are Rancor

Let us not forget a different kind of accumulation. Serious war propaganda has been ubiquitous in this country since WWI. For 200 years, we’ve had misleading monuments, slanted textbooks, nullifying newsreels, ooh-ra movies, sexual terrorism, heightened hatreds, family indoctrination, co-opted athletics, peer pressure. We ‘had limiting definitions of patriotism, business, sexuality, masculinity, femininity, personhood, pride.

War mania misshapes what is best in us.

We’ve been driven away from our deepest and most potent emotions and sensibilities.

We’ve been led in self-annihilating directions.

And, while all of that transmuted violence assaults us from the outside, it ends up twisting around and manifesting from the inside out.

We are hosts now.         War is in us.     How do we get it out?

In the streets of my town

I felt unsettled

In the trees of my town

I felt unsettled

In the alleys of my town

I felt unsettled

In doorways, walkways and breezeways

I felt unsettled

In my yard, the neighbor’s yard and the town square

I was unsettled, jittery and glower-browed

In a charming park

On an earth-colored bench

I thought only of pissing on lamp-posts

and knocking them over with piss-force

or my head

A man sang softly to himself beside me

I almost had to sock him and ran away

I went to another town

walked another street with

other birds and other people

I visited the town square looked at statues of war heroes looked at the muskets and the moustaches of death-maker so-and-so and death-maker so-and-so #WeAreRancor Click To Tweet

and socked’em right in the mouth.

My knuckle-bones exposed and

seething in crimson

on a granite step

with my hand folded over

I tore apart every voice inside myself

Until every voice outside myself

was torn apart

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Stephen Boni
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Stephen Boni

Stephen Boni is a writer of socio-political missives, children’s books and emails. Lots and lots of emails. A conflicted New Englander with an affinity for people, music and avoiding isms, he lives in Oakland, California with his wife and young daughter.
Stephen Boni
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