Socialism, Soldiers, and God

by G.T.

Today’s text poetry went to three men who have strong beliefs in something. Well, at least two of them do.

My plan was to send these three poems to these three people at noon today. However, I didn’t wake up until four o’clock this afternoon, despite setting a barrage of alarms, and as those alarms rang and rang and rang, my semi-conscious dream state was interwoven with reality, and while sort of awake and very disoriented, I had convinced myself that I was co-writing a book about film with a Brazilian distant relative. Has this ever happened to you? Enough about tangents.

Benjamin C. (779) – Ben is a friend of mine that I met last year. We hang out occasionally, usually when he invites me to labor rallies and fundraisers throughout the Chicagoland area. That said, Ben is an aspiring union organizer, and is involved with Warehouse Workers for Justice. If you regularly read my blog, you may have read my post, “Pool Sharks”, which was a WWJ fundraiser that I attended in August. I’m down for the cause whenever he calls me and says, “Let’s go run up on some fat cats who are exploiting their workers.”, but I’m no José Martí. Until now. At 4:19pm.

“We march into New Habana
in our olive fatigues.
Under a sky of
red and yellow stars,
the blue collars unite,
tired of the
unripened fruits
of their labor.”

Ooh! I was impressed that I had written that out of the blue, in only a few minutes.

4:19pm, Ben: “I love that. Where did you read that?”

As a writer, you know you’re good when someone reads your writing and asks, “Where did you read that?”

4:21pm, Me: “I just wrote that for you.”

4:22pm, Ben: “Nice thats on my fbook tomorrow”

4:23pm, Me: “I’m glad that you like it, Ben. Happy belated birthday. To you, from me.”

4:24pm, Ben: “Thanks comrade”

Personally, I consider that piece my best poem so far in this project. I’m just warming up. Oh, but this next one…

Bernard M. (956) – Bernard was a former architecture major at IIT, and former acquaintance. He was obsessed with joining the army, and I recall him once comparing his combat ethic in the video game, Halo, to what his combat ethic would be in actual combat. You know, the kind of combat where humans are shooting at you. With bullets. Not aliens with lasers…actual living, breathing humans…trying to kill you. He said something along the lines of, “Man, I would jump in front of any of my fellow soldiers and take a bullet for them…I’d be the first guy out there ready to kick fuckin’ ass, or die trying.”
As far as I know, he’s still a student at IIT. Maybe he joined Army ROTC. It would be a step. I haven’t spoken to Bernard in ages, and I doubt this is even his number anymore, but I thought that a militaristic poem about current affairs would be appropriate. At 4:32pm.

“Red and blue ties salute
and we walk.
Leaving the field of the
silent Imam’s spires
from where the
artillery smoke rose,
he looked back
and saw fire.
We left.”

Again, I was quite impressed that I pulled that out of my ass in a matter of minutes. Unfortunately, I haven’t received a response.

Bill J. (815) – Bill was something of a mentor to me during my Senior year of high school. I was in the thick of a major fit of depression (not that anything has changed since), and we used to meet up for coffee and chat. We both have had considerable sorrow in our past, and Bill, being a devout Methodist, is very involved with his church. I’m not religious, however, I considered it a great display of understanding that we could both discuss life from two different perspectives. I feel that his peace of mind can be felt in the pews of a church. I wrote Bill a poem that suggested such an experience. At 4:37pm.

“There was solace in His
light and how He shined
through stained glass
windows. There was hope
as you saw Him in the
darkest, bleakest
of days. His light.”

I hope that Bill found this poem to be comforting, or just a nice gesture. I haven’t received a response from him, either.

I can’t help it if some people choose not to respond. I’m sure that Bernard no longer has my number, and he may have changed his. Imagine that, some person with a (956) area code, wherever the fuck that is, just got a poem that alludes to politicians, and soldiers walking away from a war torn land. I don’t want to force a response from somebody who isn’t aware of my number, because that will only lead to volatile replies. I’m trying to reconnect with people, and if these numbers are wrong, then connect with someone new. Now if they call me a weirdo, like yesterday, I’ll leave that asshole alone. Simply put. And maybe if whoever that (956) happens to be doesn’t care to respond, it’s best to leave that person to their own business. Regardless, I’m enjoying this little social experiment that I have going. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s barrage, and everyday thereafter.