Robot.

He said that he remembered everything,

the mass of Terra-firma disappearing,

how quickly he failed to fully recognize,

the shores of home under darkening skies,

he said he went yonder and fought for his life,

and the lives of his people and his people’s allies,

he said he never knew what happened to them,

he came home to a family who had disowned him,

people that he loved looked down on where he’d been,

that was his first lesson as a returning veteran,

His heart seems to have always revolved around one thing,

he always had the goal of growing up to be a Marine,

he learned to do things early on that grown men still can’t do,

and he used those skills in the pits of Hell as he rolled through,

it’s no wonder he went back again to the same chaotic war,

the structured life of ‘do or die’ made sense just like before,

the structured life of Semper Fi was back where he’d been hit,

he saw no point in staying where his needs where never met,

I begged and cried when he said goodbye for the second time,

certain that his injuries had somehow warped his mind,

but he knew what he wanted so there was no argument,

one more time, after this time, did he volunteer deployment,

the military made a robot of my childhood sweetheart,

he’d go back even now, somehow, and it breaks my fucking heart.

Unnameable.

So…I’ve written here and there about my lifelong friend and very first boyfriend: The “Jar-head”; the first non-fatherly or brotherly love of my existence; a true soldier, three times deployed; a big-boy sniper wound survivor; Career Tank-Gunner; completely fucking  incorrigible; the veteran Marine. He’s been around lately because I offer some kind of familiar notion, no matter how vague and distant, to his strangely foreign-esque state of mind; he’s been home for a little over a year now (by “home”, I mean that he is back living where we grew up together in the valley, I mean that he is not at war in the desert somewhere in constant danger of being killed), and has just started to come out of his apartment without a medical reason within the past month or so. It was obvious to me right away that he is permanently changed in very deeply painful ways for him; knowing him for so many years and sharing “special” things with like the awkward virginity thing and all that just doesn’t feel real because he is so different than the “him” that I grew up with now, and rightfully. I tried getting him to open up and talk about shit, whatever it is, and he tried; but it seems he is too freshly traumatized to even form the event/s into any kind of translatable concept through words or even emotions at this point. I don’t push him, I know better than that.

I told him,

“That’s okay dude, you can come hang out and roll joints with me if you feel bad and need to be around someone or whatever…”

He commenced to spending strings of afternoons in eerie silence across the room with his back semi-turned to me and the TV off, which was kinda when I the empath awoke and I began to feel really awful for him. He’s not the emotional kinda guy by nature, shit, he grew up to be a Marine, that says it all. I always feel safe and always have in his presence, he has that way about him. He is very logical, practical, and decisive; he is tough and stuffs his emotions, that’s his way; he somehow survived a sniper round to the neck; he is imposing in size and has a sharp streak of machismo in his blood (again he’s a Marine, so there it is)…so, when he broke down a few days ago and cried like he had just run over his own puppy, it was profound and heart-wrenching. I was totally overcome by his sadness and loss and grief; it was one of the very few times I couldn’t keep myself from crying for someone else’ sake, in spite of my best efforts. It’s so fucked up that they don’t make some kind of counseling or support system available for these guys when they come home, damn them to Hell.

First Boyfriend.

Maybe someday it will all, indeed,

come to reconcile with my dark reality,

they’ll fill in the gaps til it seems complete,

they’ll sugar the facts with the dishonesty,

~

This is what’s left of your treasured U.S.M.C.,

you’ve been told to hold for the simplest of things,

they don’t care enough to remember your first name,

or how you fair alone out here: a veteran Marine,

~

it breaks my heart to know you can’t get into therapy,

there will be some issue with your healthcare policy,

they don’t care that you can’t hear against a constant ring,

deep inside both ears from the years of your tank-gun firing,

~

so now, you’re home and you feel sad and alone indefinitely,

and your buddies are silently going through it similarly,

you’ve built a wall up higher than I could’ve possibly conceived,

the word ‘deployment’ still haunts me with my worst memories.

~

Hangman’s Blood.

He sat, legs out-stretched;
his drink, known as Hangman’s Blood…
he wore exhaustion…

“I’m a Jar-head, Babycakes…”
blue diamond eyes, a match strikes;
“Of course I still smoke…”

sports bright twinkly stars,
eyes: adorned by shrapnel scars…
lives for deployment…

he carries no clue;
beyond decorative brass…
of how deeply he is adored…

A career Sand-Tank Gunner;
my first Love, look at you now…
I still see so much fire in you.

Hangman’s Blood.

He sat, legs out-stretched;
his drink, known as Hangman’s Blood…
he wore exhaustion…

“I’m a Jarhead, Babe…”
blue diamond eyes, a match strikes;
“Of course I still smoke…”

sports bright twinkly stars,
eyes: adorned by shrapnel scars…
lives for deployment…

he carries no clue;
beyond decorative brass…
that he is adored…

A career Tank-Gun;
my first Love, look at you now…
I see fire in you.

VETERAN’S DAY REPOST: The Wise of The Skies

My Papa (age 20). Already a pilot headed to War...

My Papa (age 20). Already a pilot headed to War…

 

It seems as though my very genetic sequencing was created on a battlefield somewhere back in time.
On the one hand (my father’s side, and the side of the family in which I was exposed to daily), my Old School Yankee blood hammers a foothold of ingenuity and aggression embedded in my very DNA. My Danish Emigrant family is littered with highly decorated American War Heroes in each and every generation that I know of, including my daughter’s generation. This side of my heritage historically and willingly puts up a well-organized and strategic fight for the glories it claims, no doubt. This side of my family tree is dwarfed in numbers by my mother’s side; and unfortunately, I believe that is because I have lost too many relatives, both distant and close, to warfare.
My Papa (my Dad’s father, who was my Partner in Crime until the day he died about a decade ago) doubled as my daycare provider since I can remember. This was a guy who was, indeed, a War Hero of at least two major wars in world history, a pilot (and it takes a certain kind for this), a Rosicrucian, a Mason, a self-taught Ancient Egyptologist (because he was compelled to explore alchemy, physics, astronomy, astrology, medicinal tincturing and ancient mysticism since his youth), but most notably and memorably for me: he was a magically wise soul. He was a genuine human being. He was one of my favorite people to hang out with for the entirety of my young life, even when I was a shithead teenager with a pierced face and old English block lettering Tattoos that said distasteful things – he never got boring or became too demanding of my time; my time was something that I always had more than enough for him.
I can write this, because he is dead and I am grown now;
During my teen years, he once rendezvoused with me at my car on the side of a dirt road during the wee hours of the morning (during a period in my life when I was swirling around life’s drain amidst teen angst, the shock and trauma of my Dad’s very sudden death, and in turn – the absolute demolition of my family unit as I had always before, and never again – known it; and was out of control in behavior and illegal activities) to offload armfuls of (totally illegal and extremely questionable in his perception) firearms with a stiff lip and stoic expression on his face the entire time. He drove away with at least ten felonies in his hatchback Celica without saying a fucking word to me about it.
I could never tell anyone about it growing up – couldn’t brag about it to my friends or brothers – because the fact that he never said anything taught me the lesson I’m sure he was shooting for: shame in grace, wrong against right, and dedication to those we love. I held it in for about five years before finally breaking one day over a Scrabble match and blurting out something like, “Papa, you know I’d NEVER ask you to do anything bad for me again EVER, right?…”
My Papa and I have the exact, same mischievously set eyes; upon meeting his gaze, I was always instantly triggered to smile, laugh, or giggle. This time though, when his eyes met mine, they spoke volumes of the disapproval and disappointment that he had been holding in all that time. Also quite noticeably though, was a weight that seemed to lift from his frame almost tangibly…and it came straight into my heart and has been with me ever since that moment.

For Veteran’s Day, I bow my head to any and all who have served my country in my place for whatever reasons.

This gratefulness that I feel runs deeply through the tangling roots of dead soldiers grown from my own family tree, and any other tree on Yankee/ Native soil. It most certainly takes someone with heart to be a soldier; thank you to all of the Veterans out there who may happen to read this post. Seriously…THANK YOU.