Tag Archives: war

The War of the Roaches

illustration war of the roaches

The War of the Roaches

It began on May 30th.  The Aggressor made a completely unprovoked attack using a 16‑oz. spray bottle of Professional Strength Roach Killer, which took many of the Roaches by surprise and weakened their forces considerably.  However, some survived and began planning their strategy.

The next move on the part of the Aggressor  was the purchase of roach motels late Monday night (June 1st).  These were strategically placed at many crucial roach strongholds.

The roaches decided it was time for outside aid. Roaches from neighboring apartments were duly contacted and a force of millipede mercenaries was also engaged.  The battle escalated the next day with the attacker’s purchase of boric acid  This was sprinkled carefully over many major transportation routes, forcing the development of alternate modes of roach army movement.

Feeling even more intense weaponry was needed, the Aggressor purchased (on the morning of June 3rd), additional roach motels.  The insect army was getting decimated quite rapidly, and the Aggressor noticed it was composed mainly of adolescent roaches.

Just when it seemed the tide was turning in favor of the Aggressor, reinforcement battalions from the apartment building next door arrived. These were adults, hardy and strong.  It was time for the ultimate weapon. It had been threatened many times before in hopes of negotiating a peaceful settlement.

Oscar Wildecat, Secretary of Defense for the Aggressor, had pleaded with many roaches individually to give up the fight and order a cease‑crawl, but to no avail. The roaches had been known to be fanatical in their beliefs, and it was proven time and time again.  With a heavy, saddened heart, the Aggressor purchased insecticide room foggers.

The cans were solemn black with the appropriate warnings lettered in red and white. The Aggressor knew this was a last resort and tried one last time for a victory using conventional weapons. A spoonful of crunchy peanut butter was put on the kitchen counter, and around it was sprinkled a circle of boric acid. If this did not succeed, the buttons would have to be pressed — releasing the familiar mushroom‑shaped clouds of insecticide and bringing with it the awful stench of death and destruction.

The Aggressor retired for the evening and hardly slept a wink. The Secretary of Defense was up all night, trying dutifully up to the last moment to settle the conflict peacefully.  It was to no avail. The fanatical roaches spit in the Secretary’s face, and not one fell for the peanut butter.

The buttons on the Aggressor’s foggers were pressed, and the she fled the apartment. In less than an hour, the last major roach strongholds were obliterated. With tears in her eyes and a handkerchief over her nose and mouth, the Aggressor relentlessly bombarded major cities and small villages. Roadways were destroyed, and innocent civilian moths and ants also fell in the wave of carnage that swept through apartment number Seven.

Although some isolated guerrilla roaches remained, there was no hope for what was once a mighty nation. There was a minor skirmish here and there, but the tide turned, and the Aggressor conquered vast amounts of territory.

Secretary of Defense Oscar Wildecat took a hard line against the pleas of remaining survivors. Some called him cold and merciless, but he had been humiliated many times by individual roaches and perhaps his actions were understandable, even defensible.

Victory was not without cost.  Vigorous sanctions were extended to the Aggressor by the UA (United Arthropods).  Butterflies no longer engaged in free trade with her petunia plants, and bees no longer pollinated her azalea bush.  Only time could heal the psychological scars suffered by both sides in the debilitating and awful conflict.

Valuable lessons were learned by all involved, however.  The Aggressor learned the merits of preventive negotiation.  She no longer left scraps of edible organic material lying about.  That was an unwarranted and needless provocation to the UA, and led to many misunderstandings as to possession of territory.  The UA, in turn, accepted the fact that their only legal place of residence was the great Outdoors ‑‑ and in abiding by established inter‑organism rules and customs, they were able to carry on perfectly normal and unaffected lives.  The Aggressor and the UA learned to coexist peacefully.

We must hope relations between other global entities will not go to such extreme lengths. We must learn not by trial and error, but by bringing our resources together to prevent conflicts before escalation to unmanageable levels.  Hope.  That was, and still is, the key word. If all of us believe in peace strongly enough ‑‑ if we don’t lose hope ‑‑ perhaps one day the world will live in peace.  Just like the Aggressor and the UA!

(Secretary of Defense Wildecat would like to add one word.)

Meow!

 

 

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War, a very short story

illustration war very short story cats and dogs illustration war very short story cat and dog backwards

The woman thought of God a hundred times a day. A thousand. An infinite number of times. Consciousness on the quantum level. And each day, she grew unhappier. More discouraged. Bleaker. Uglier. Sadder. More uncertain. In the trenches. Wanting to know for sure, and be done with it. The big picture… could anyone see it… could anyone imagine it… could she, or anyone she knew, ever have a clue to its subject… its matter. Most people seem strong until something goes wrong. Could time really heal?

Her belly grew heavy and cold, a dizzying pit of endless space. Would she ever be able to see it through to the end? Where was the end? When was it reasonable to stop trying. When was it the right time to stop trying… too hard. Where were people when you needed them. Bullets never did any body any good. The first human-killing weapons led to more, and more deadly, machinery for war… cannons and tanks and bombers. Land mines. Napalm. Nukes. Propaganda. Poison. Secrecy. It all boiled down into the same rotten thing, in the end.

Terror. The dog barked and barked and yelped and whined and barked some more. He was single-minded; his existence that moment was all about the cat, the cat behind the sofa. She refused to be ruled by terror. She growled and hissed back. She sat just outside his reach and baited him. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it backfired. Sometimes the dog came so close to her, his mouth closed in on the long, silky fluff of her tail. He bore a complex pattern of red scratches on his black and white snout. The man wanted the cat gone in the morning. What if he insisted? The man, or the cat? She preferred the cat tonight. No telling about tomorrow.

 

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Pretzels & Chocolate, a poem

jim-valvis

PRETZELS & CHOCOLATE

(rented room, cigarettes)

I am eating pretzels
and they are hard
but splinter into salty crumbs

with the merest bite
they only satisfy
part of my tongue

(rented room, cigarettes)

so I pick up the chocolate
greedy for it to melt
against my palate

sucking the firm square
feeling it mold to me
the way I imagine

my body molds to yours

(rented room, cigarettes)

retaining the character of sweetness
to complement the salt
to balance my mouth

I am eating chocolate
thinking of us
together

(rented room, cigarettes)

illustration mockingbird mimus polyglottos

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The Analysand, a short fiction

illustration analysand short fiction

The Analysand, a short fiction

“I’ll take your word for it,” she said.

She remembered long-forgotten moments; instances of innocence, of confidence, of hope. Her analyst wanted more from her than pages in her journal, more than frozen images which may… or may not… have actually happened. Four bundles of smooth, shiny, purple rope lay on the coffee table in his office, four beautifully coiled bundles, bound & tied with intricate, ceremonial knots. His eyes met hers; bright blue lamps of inquisitiveness and Inquisition.

“Where do you get that kind of rope?” she asked.

“I make it,” he said. “I dye it with Tyrian purple and condition it with organic beeswax.”

She kept her face neutral; curious. She’d had enough of fake tourist traps for a dozen lifetimes; boring main highways hadn’t ever led her to anyplace she’d want to stay in for long. And the sun rises even after the darkest night. And the sun sets after the sunniest day. Night has its own charms. Her wounds were on the inside… and his? His… would be healed by helping her heal her own. The rope laid on the table, gleaming & inscrutable. Her favorite violin, a Bergonzi, sat silent & helpless on her lap.

She’d been dead so long; she’d wanted her to speak for herself for so long. Her mother had treated her like anything but a daughter; pupil, instructor, heathen, missionary, ghost, confessor, beggar, heir, therapist, patient. So strike a pose; strike a deal; strike a match. What difference does any of it make: preserving body & soul is not good enough; nurture your body and your soul. Peace arises where all paths meet; crossroads for weary travelers. Fevers can burn you up. Water can heal. She put the violin back in its case.

“Okay,” she said. “It’s worth a try.” She stood up off the couch and took off her clothes.

Dr. Zhu tied her up gently, kissing her as he did. Yes. He started at her ankles, and bound her up like a trussed bird. And then he helped her lie down on his soft purple couch and began his work. Where you find the water of life, is home.

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How Art Thou Received? (a prayer for refugees)

How Art Thou Received? (a prayer for refugees)

Imagine: suddenly, without warning (because that is how war arrives) you are a war refugee! Simply running away from being murdered. And how are you received when you can finally stop running, when you are out of range of the guns, the bombs, the blood? No countries to take you. No one to feed you. You are a skeletal pawn in a skeletal game.

Embalmed corpses declare war on the living and fight for their “territory” against other embalmed corpses using armies of young people; embalmed corpses feeding on fresh, young blood.

I know something is very wrong, somewhere. It must be addressed, and addressed properly. Our prayer, our incantation, our spell to heal, must be more powerfully crafted, more distilled, more essential, than was the horrid spell we are trying to break: a tradition of might over right, strong but wrong, a spell of ignorance which has caused so much harm, and is trying to do more… powered by the love of power, the love of control over people.

The scarred parts of the heart can be replenished; the broken parts, glued; the weak parts, strengthened; the fear assuaged, the pain relieved. But the desire to change, to truly alchemize oneself, spin that straw into gold… the gold of the sun… the silver of the stars… the red planet… the North Star… primal navigation by looking not at the ground, but by looking up, to the sky… that kind of desire doesn’t visit often.

If you want to know where you are going, be sure your map is accurate, or at least doesn’t kill you. Migrating birds know this. Power & Liberation. Slave & free. Joy & Suffering. High & low.

Craving slaves, some are trying to roll us back to serfdom, only they can use our own science & technology to rape us! Serfdom: tied by birth to land. You are a pawn, a source of income; in thrall to your Lord and Master. Freeing serfs is always a struggle. Brute force arm-wrestles the human race, and brute force often pins people to the mat, but… you cannot keep people down for long. The oppressed will continue to spring up and defend their inalienable human rights. All people are created equal: including our ancestors, who existed long before the self-anointed first “private property” owners. Human beings are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, yes? The earth cannot belong to any one of us. Period. We own this planet. All of us.

 

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Why I Hate You, a poem

illustration why i hate you

Why I Hate You

You know why I hate you?  You’re a weak vine, needing to be propped up, needing more comfort than a baby.  You imagine bugs, crawling up the walls, down your hair.  Their wings whir in the night like soft sobs.

I hate you because you’re ugly — a slob, a slut, a sucker.  Because you saw your mother passed out on the carpet in front of the television, one too many times, but you didn’t kill her the way she wanted to be killed.  You didn’t help when she needed you.  Because you let yourself be unimportant for so many years and did nothing to help yourself until it was too late, until you’d already lost the war.  Peace came on unfavorable terms, the enemy couldn’t be placated.

I hate you because you’re afraid of the dark.  When you’re with a man, you lean on the solidity of his body, the real beat of his heart, you listen to his rhythmic breathing, and you’re not afraid anymore, but you start to get antsy.  His body sounds so much stronger than yours.  They don’t cry the way you do.  Does that mean they don’t feel?  Why do they want to be with the likes of you?  You don’t have the slightest idea what you want from them.  Late at night is the worst.  The stars unfold ahead of you, and you can’t find your way to the future, stupid bitch.

That’s when I hate you the most.  You’re utterly without honor.  You imagine your ex-husband, fat and happy in his bed, eating candy.  He doesn’t suffer like you do, he has already forgotten why he married you in the first place.  He is perfect.  He is way above you in the cosmos, he is light, reason.  Your life is insignificant, ignorant and small, and won’t leave a shadow.

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president barack obama is being quoted out of context by the radical fringe right, and I’M SICK & FUCKING TIRED OF THIS SHIT

illustration president obama

the full text of president obama’s speech in which he advocates FOR democracy, not AGAINST it. a paragraph is being circulated, ENTIRELY OUT OF CONTEXT, to defame him. I WON’T STAND FOR THIS SHIT.

“And it was here in Europe, through centuries of struggle, through war and enlightenment, repression and revolution, that a particular set of ideals began to emerge, the belief that through conscience and free will, each of us has the right to live as we choose, the belief that power is derived from the consent of the governed and that laws and institutions should be established to protect that understanding.

And those ideas eventually inspired a band of colonialists across an ocean, and they wrote them into the founding documents that still guide America today, including the simple truth that all men, and women, are created equal.

But those ideals have also been tested, here in Europe and around the world. Those ideals have often been threatened by an older, more traditional view of power. This alternative vision argues that ordinary men and women are too small-minded to govern their own affairs, that order and progress can only come when individuals surrender their rights to an all-powerful sovereign. Often this alternative vision roots itself in the notion that by virtue of race or faith or ethnicity, some are inherently superior to others and that individual identity must be defined by us versus them, or that national greatness must flow not by what people stand for, but what they are against.

In so many ways, the history of Europe in the 20th century represented the ongoing clash of these two sets of ideas, both within nations and among nations. The advance of industry and technology outpaced our ability to resolve our differences peacefully. And even — even among the most civilized of societies on the surface, we saw a descent into barbarism.”

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