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THE VETERAN

Page 22

<< 21. Making the VA Work23. Main Thoroughfare (poem) >>

The Mutant Series

By Gregory Ross

[Printer-Friendly Version]

Mutant Attempts Communication

WAR is not a sport, there are no rules.... I want to speak such simple truths that surely it will be clear to you, but WAR is just a word to you I want you to understand that in a WAR to not get killed you come back a killer a destroyer of bone and blood and flesh I want you to understand that in a WAR to not get killed you come back with ghosts I want you to know, without knowing first hand what it is like to live inside a WAR machine, to be an android with feelings of how it has mutated me of the anger and shame of the scars to my sanity of the open wound to my humanity, but WAR is just a word to you


Mutant Attempts Communication Again

There is a man who can see DEATH has seen much DEATH he can recognize it like his neighbor has been part of a DEATH machine, has almost died knows DEATH with the familiarity of the morning paper knows DEATH does not wear a black robe but a Brooks Brothers suit knows DEATH short, tall, fat, small, young, old, male, female knows DEATH, white, brown, black, red, yellow. he knows DEATH: is made of metal and hurtles through air is made of metal and pierces flesh is made of metal but, needs flesh to kill this man knows DEATH like a brother, like himself this man knows DEATH is in us all this man knows LIFE is DEATH held precariously inside our bodies


Mutant Attempts Communication Again and Again

I'm old enough to have been a "Hippie," but, I wasn't. Oh, I grew my hair long, down to my ass long but, I never was a "Hippie." I missed the sixties counter culture event, but, yes Jimi, I was experienced; Purple Haze all in my brain and I tasted many of the other colors: Acapulco Gold, Orange Sunshine and Panama Red, but, I had to quit the experience Mr. Hendrix, behind China White.

I am old enough to have been a "Hippie" but, I wasn't. I spent the "Summer of Love" in boot camp getting my head shaved and my ass hauled. Getting trained and retrained; getting broken down and reassembled; broken down and reassembled; broken down and reassembled into a "Fighting Unit, One Each." And on Woodstock Weekend I was lobbing 2,000 pound shells all over Vietnam and Cambodia. That made it hard to be a "Hippie" but, I tried. Wore a tear drop silver Peace medallion and on my locker painted the words: "How many Vietnamese died in our Civil War?" A slogan more relevant to the inside the war, war resisters and we did exist, the inside the war, war resisters but, we couldn't be "Hippie" because we were "baby killers."

When I got out I couldn't be a "Hippie," so I became a "Freak." A long haired, bearded, amphetamine drug addled, post traumatic stress disordering "Freak." A mutant. Time, a lot of therapy and a powerful love has soothed the "Freak" and I never was a "Hippie." But I still am mutated by my experience of war and nobody told me the truth about my father's two wars and how they made him a "Freak" stuck inside a bottle. I have a son now and he knows the truth of war. He has seen the "Freak" of war and he ain't going; he ain't ever going.

So, what is the point of this rant? It ain't going to end war. But you better believe he ain't going and maybe one or two of you out there who are feeling overly patriotic won't go and maybe one or two of you won't send your as yet unborn children and maybe it really will end war. The hope keeping this mutated "Freak" doing these poetry slams.



Gregory Ross was in the Navy: Morocco, sinking of the USS Liberty and the 6 Day War [1967-68]; Vietnam: 7th fleet on the Gun Line [1969-70]. Graduate of the VA Detox and PTSD program [1980]. Acupuncturist, detox specialty, 1989 to 2011. Published an anthology, "Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace," edited by Maxine Hong Kingston. Feedback: gandgandg@yahoo.com.


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