You are herecontent / Tour of Duty

Tour of Duty

Tour of Duty
By Gary Corseri

He wants a new language!
Ratta-tat-tat! Ratta-tat-tat!
The old one’s full of homonyms
That sound too much like war:

"Military-industrial"; "Humvee";
"Bombs bursting in air";
"Predator”; “duty ... honor ... country. ..."

BAM! Ker-pling! Ka-boom! BAM!

Even "pride," even "love"--
Drafted into service.
Every word has a medal
Stapled on its buttocks.
Every word's a hero
In an honor-guard casket
With a flag drooling over.

Tat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat. ...
S p l a t !

Armor-piercing bullets say,
"Accept the world as it is!"
The shock and awe of their logic
Like cancer in children's dreams.

Boom boom boom boom boom boom boom. ...

Guns talk to guns--
A crimson tete-a-tete.
Nothing succeeds like excess.
Under the din of mourning--
Litigious sirens wail.

Snap! Crackle! Pop!

There is no light except for
Laser-guided missiles ... and ... possibly


Enhanced night-vision goggles.


Gary Corseri has posted/published his work at After Downing Street, The New York Times, Village Voice, Redbook, Georgia Review, and hundreds of other venues. His books (which may be ordered at Borders, etc.,) include the novels, A Fine Excess and Holy Grail, Holy Grail, and the anthology, Manifestations (edited). Contact:


Support This Site


Get free books and gear when you become a supporter.



Speaking Truth to Empire


Families United


Ray McGovern


Financial supporters of this site can choose to be listed here.



Find the perfect Purple Bridesmaid Dresses for your bridesmaids from




Ca-Dress Long Prom Dresses Canada
Ca Dress Long Prom Dresses on

Buy Books

Get Gear

The log-in box below is only for bloggers. Nobody else will be able to log in because we have not figured out how to stop voluminous spam ruining the site. If you would like us to have the resources to figure that out please donate. If you would like to receive occasional emails please sign up. If you would like to be a blogger here please send your resume.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.