P O E T S ON THE LINE
a continuing anthology
Founded by Andrew Gettler & Linda Lerner
NO. 9 & 10 T H E M I L L E N N I U M I S S U E
Edited by Linda Lerner
VICTOR H. BAUSCH
What They Wanted
was my soul, my body, my mind.
Instead what they got
was a declaration
to wage war on the war.
In the Nam,
during my relationship
between the manipulated
and the manipulator,
I was nothing more
than U.S.Grade A American meat
used for some bureaucrat's political gain.
Now over thirty years later
in this war of no fronts,
an MIA in my own country,
I sleep lightly,
keep a knife nearby on the night stand,
continue to go on night patrols
look for an alternative revenge.
VICTOR H. BAUSCH
Frank calls today, says The Buzzard
checked out from a drug overdose.
I ask if Tony, Wild Bill, Rameriz,
Odom, and Nichols know. That's all
that's left of us now. We congratulate
each other for surviving The Nam, so far.
Who would have guessed Sutton would die
of AIDS two years ago while directing
a production of STRANGE SNOW?
Who would have guessed Max would drink
himself to death, survive three marriages,
have two children born without a brain,
one born with web feet, lose more jobs
than a company downsizing in the middle
of the night? Who would have believed
Nate Longley would be killed in a freak accident,
a beam giving way on a high rise 55 stories up?
Turner was predictable. When he held up
that branch of Bank of America and was obliterated
by the swat team, we weren't too surprised.
Yeah, Frank says, Life's a goddamn S & D mission.
You come back from getting your ass kicked
in an ambush and years later you still dwell
on the things that were significant then,
how you would have done the mission differently.
Now thirty years later, after normalization,
you go back to Vietnam on company business,
help establish a capitalistic base in what once was
a communist stronghold. Frank, I ask,
What the hell was that war all about?
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