Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Enemy Within

"They had the uniforms, the numbers, the weaponry. And they'd push the people, and the rest of the world, into the choice: us or them. The war was already won; all we had to do was get them to react." (Roddy Doyle, A Star Called Henry)


"Fuumpf" said the mortar.
They sat in a boardroom with glass walls.
"Would yis keep yer fecken heads down!"
"If they ever find out, we are finished," he said
"Poh! Pah! Sllt!"
"I know. How long do you think we can hold on?"
"Today's numbers don't look good. Boeing is down two points."
"Did yis mine that field?"
"Yes, but not that."
"What are we shooting at? I can't see a bleedin ting!"
"What then?"
"On that 50 cal!"
"I mean, what happens when they find out? You know they will."
"Oh, you mean that."
"Ere they come lads! Ere they come!"
"How will we keep them from knowing?"
"How do we know which ones to shoot?!?"
"Clearly, it's only a matter of time."
"Fecken shoot them all!"
"Yes, but..."
"But they're only young ones!"
"But what?"


Jon said...

A nod to James Joyce, Finnegans Wake, for (poh!) (pah!).

Sorry to any of you with g-readers who got numerous copies of this post. I was trying to get the formatting right.

the walking man said...

It is an apt description of the two sides of the war Jon. They throw grenades to keep us fighting us while they try to sneak through unscathed.

Jon said...

walking man,
in the movie a bugs life, the grasshoppers are worried that once the ants find out that they have superiority in numbers that the free ride will be all over. it's a bugs life, eh?

Jimmy Bastard said...

A Star Called Henry, although fiction, was written about several people of whom really existed.

One day, maybe over a pint, I'll fill you in on some of the hidden meanings that Doyle so deliciously hid in plain view with this superb book.

Jon said...

Hi Jimmy,

I'm a bit of a student of Irish history and literature, and I know of some of the historical persons in the book -- Connolly, Pearse, 12 Apostles, M Collins, and others. I was interested to find out when I was doing some reading around this wonderful book last week that Brendan Behan's father was supposedly a member of the Apostles. But that offer for the convo and the pint will be held against you for sure... but you're buying mate!

Cheers Jimmy. Tanks for stopping by.

Harlequin said...

Jon-- delightful....
aside from the political dimension you convey in these juxtaposed conversations, what I love is the aural power.... I can almost hear this being spoken... yelled, whispered.
well done....
nice to see comments from the other renegades....

Mariana Soffer said...

Hi, really creative and original text, I liked the name, it left me thinking a lot, specially "enemy within", it always is.And the ending is good to0. Cheers

Jon said...

Thanks for your comments... and yeah... it's all renegades here!

Nice to see you back around! You're missed while on hiatus. Glad you liked the ending of this one... like words put in a blender and then turned on puree. Catch up with you again soon.

Lynn said...

Jon, hi, I haven't been here in a while. You always make me think. Loved the format of this poem.
You bring the events to life my friend. You do.

Jon said...

Hi Lynn,

Nice to see you again! Thanks for dropping by and for the compliment on the format of the poem... was good fun thinking of the last line (wasn't just mashing my hands on the keyboard)... I'll come over to your site now and visit you too...