The Poet Spiel: “Returnee” Series

Time for some more hard-hitting poems about war and American manhood from my friend The Poet Spiel, a/k/a the artist Tom W. Taylor. Watch this space for news of our collaboration on my next poetry book!

returnee: commandments 6 and 3

on his knees,
in reverse
of the sacred thou shalt commandments,
first taken to his heart as an innocent,
he killed for you
on lofty commands
drilled deep
in the immediacy
of fear and steel
and fire.

he’d come back home
and robbed you
of what he thought
he’d fought for;
and when he found himself confused,
he cleansed your colon
with his 9 mm glock.

so he fell to his knees —
like when he was a child —
to humbly wash your feet
of what he’d done;
but recognized he’d finalized
his shames
when he exclaimed
his first lord’s name
in vain.
___________________________
returnee: last words

he is so glad to be free
of those god-forsaken sandstorms.

glad to sink heels into real dirt
he’d worked
before he was called.

but he cannot know these bodies,
occupying the same address
where they all watch tv,

where he’s been pissing away big rents
from over there
for all these years.

these aliens have the same names as those
who have been shipping monthly selfies
and xmas goodies to him:
jen and tiffy, billy lou and little john.

though they have
somewhat familiar faces,
he wants nothing to do
with these strangers.

the square truth is:
he just doesn’t have to kiss
nobody’s ass
no more

he’s already said his last words
every ten breaths of his life
for the past one thousand days.

One comment on “The Poet Spiel: “Returnee” Series

  1. That’s some intense poetry of Spiel’s, Jendi. I’ll be really interested to see what you come up with together. I also think it would be interesting to read a sort of personal poetics from the two of you on this site about the collaboration when you’re done, not a formal poetics so much as a “here I worked, here Spiel worked, we both worked on this topic,” etc.

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