Listen, I’m not sure about how I feel about most aspects of the Military-Industrial Complex, or whether war is ever ok, or any of that.
But there’s one part I am sure of:
If you ask someone to put their life on the line for their country, and you tell them that you will take care of them for doing it, then you should TAKE CARE OF THEM. You pay them enough to care for their families. You make sure they can work again when they’re done with their service.
The way we treat our soldiers, especially our lower ranking enlisted service people, and their families, is appalling. The way we treat our veterans might be worse.
It never occurred to me until today that a soldier’s family might not have enough to eat because they fall into the crack between being eligible for food stamps and having enough money to actually pay for food without them.
Like, I knew that was a problem for lots of people. And I knew that there are lots of problems with the military (sexual assault is a huge one, for instance). But that hunger could be a problem for military families? Never even crossed my mind.
Thanks, Social Work readings! Fuck you, Defense Department, get your goddamn priorities in order.
I have just watched a man
hand roasting nori, sheets
of dried seaweed
over a small grill that he set
between his knees
a film of this man,
speaking to the interviewer
while his hand slapped the seaweed just so on the grill
each movement practiced
and truly masterful
and I did not doubt for a second
that it would be better than the nori I have eaten
different in some subtle totality
once I drew one hundred and thirty-four straight lines
in one sitting, at just the precise place in the page
to give the notebook a more perfect ruling
and when I had done it
I felt wonderful
can every craft be mastered?
can humans be understood in the way
that sushi can be?
I think perhaps.
everything is different. There are variations to be understood
adapted to, realized, highlighted or emphasized,
grappled with and loved
in every occupation or pursuit
some require greater attention to detail
some demand more flexibility –
it’s something to hope for
Oh my god did you know
that spring is actually
going to come someday?
And after that, guess what!
You might wonder why I am mentioning all this,
it being February and
a week after a blizzard and
emphatically not spring.
Today, I looked out my window at 4:00 pm and it was NOT DARK.
it was not even getting dark.
It didn’t even look like about to be getting dark.
And then, do you know what?
I looked out my window again at 4:28, and friends
it was still not dark.
Now it’s 5:24, and it is getting dark. There is a long gloaming.
If there were leaves on the trees, the view from this window could be 9:00 pm in June.
Of course, there are not any leaves on the trees.
But today was the first thrill of looking out the window,
fully expecting to see darkness
and the reflections of my lamplight looking back,
and seeing instead the continuation of light.
My mother says “a little more each day.”
I guess I had not really noticed before.
But she tends to be right. About this most of all.
(In three months or so.)