“war, American style”
Sounds like something off a menu
“Sweet and sour chicken, Cantonese style”
American-style shock and awe
Served with a hearts-and-minds parfait
Childhoods, finely chopped
In a crude oil dressing
Suffering à la carte.
Lately I’ve been giving a lot of interviews on my new book A Farewell To Mars. It’s a semi-autobiographical confession of how I moved from being an enthusiastic supporter of war American style to proclaiming the peaceable kingdom of Christ.
That phrase “war American style” just hit me right between the eyes… I remembered Roger McGough’s poem, “US Flies in Hamburgers”, which came to life in a similar way: he saw a those words as a newspaper headline, meaning that America had air-dropped in hamburgers to its troops as a morale boost; but he read it differently:
The secret is out
I’ll tell you no lies
they’ve stopped using beef
in favour of flies
My reaction to “war, American style” was similar. I know it’s not particularly subtle; I’m not particularly proud of “crude oil”, but then sometimes, poetry needs to be as subtle as a cluster-bomb.
Image credit: http://pixabay.com/en/terror-usa-war-america-bombs-flag-155754/