wounds of civil war

Is there ever a winner when we fight within ourselves?  Do we just learn to honor hate as a way to find a silver lining?  How do we pretend to smile when all that remains is a skull?  "The Mentionable Place" by Sam Desmond gives us an account of internal battles while Dan Kollmer's artwork shines a light on our macabre celebrations.  

 Dan Kollmer

Dan Kollmer

          THE MENTIONABLE PLACE

by Sam Desmond

I’ve fought the enemy on every front,

     only to strangle myself in victory

For what laurels did I have to grace

     my ravaged mind?

But the numbness of a potent foe

Each day I surrendered to a potion,

     mixed by an alchemist whose

     lust was governed by the

     line below 

When I looked outside my windows,

     my soul saw only bars,

     my voice heard only by my

     spiraling consciousness

 All tactics in a civil war

     I didn’t declare

But one I hoped to survive

I bleed each day from wounds that left no scar

Words are no longer the weaponry

     I once thought I had

This battle has damned my speech

     through my damned thoughts

The enemy twisted my propaganda

     and I fell for my own prophecies

Awakening to a nightmare thought to be shut out,

     but instead went to bed with

Infecting what little honor I had left

There were no battle hymns,

     only ballads for the departed
My hero could not stay by my side

The fires would claim his

     spirit, had he tried

Each march into the dawn

     brought only a realization that

     there was no end,

Only more footsteps to fall