On the Cobblestones (haibun, with American sentences)
My bare feet feel the smoothness of cobblestones and I reflect how it’s been worn down by generations of the soldier’s boots; young boys to be sacrificed for some forgotten glory. I had come home alive, but still exploding shells were with me; the bloodstains of my comrades could never be washed out of my memory. The voice of our sergeant screaming just before his head blossomed in a pink explosion that looked exactly like the roses sold by young girls down by the town square, follows me at night.
My saxophone’s wailing memories of blooming orchards stained with blood.
Passing people look at my appearance, shudder and clear their conscience by shedding surplus coins. After earning enough for a cup of coffee and a croissant, I head to a small cafeteria with red and white chequered table-cloths.
In bitterness of coffee I can taste the tears of mourning widows.
My tears have stopped rolling a long time ago, but I am not ready to go home quite yet. For the moment I just linger here, on the streets we saved, me and my companions. Where I sometimes receive a smile of gratitude laced with shame. Your smile haunts me though, and in your last letter you begged me to return. But deep within I know you do not want me anymore.
Lingering on cobblestones my soles still feel the soldier’s boots resonating.
Binary — her broken bones,
encoded, loaded into sequences
of purplish vacancies.
In magnetic vortex arithmetic
building boolean combinations,
the manifolds of truth.
Ever they are multiplying
in my sterile petri-dishes,
that non-organic snot,
the virtual clouds of mental flu.
And then when obsolete — discard
the floppy betamax disaster,
or convert to fiberoptic bliss.
But who shall mend
— her broken bones?
Far from Vietnam
Our mind is set on chrome and motor oil
on gasoline and blazing sun.
The tarmac serpent licks the soil,
and counting miles our engines run,
towards a target far out west
to places where we still can breathe,
to villages not yet blessed
with homes for soldiers tombstone wreaths.
In countries far from Vietnam.