"As long as there are slaughterhouses there will be battlefields." -- Leo Tolstoy
In the old black and white movies
the aliens were heartless and cruel.
They didn’t care
about me and you,
they just wanted what they wanted
and if you got in their way, you were food.
At the table that night we laughed
relieved that it wasn’t all true
and ate every bite of beef stew.
Oh, the killing places have thick walls
and the battlefields are so far away
nothing touches us,
nothing gets in the way
of a good time…
We watch movies from the old war
and see what the fascists had done,
the camps and the cages
gas chambers and ovens
and nausea grips us, their evil appalls;
if you got in the way, you were meat
rot that just got thrown away.
And, when bullets ripped through the classroom
when innocent first-graders died
we gasped in horror at the evening news
“what is wrong with our country?”
and tore the legs off a carcass to feed.
No, nothing gets in the way,
not compassion and not common sense,
of a good time.
No, we don’t want to see
seared beaks and cramped cages,
cattle who struggle and dangle
by their legs as they’re bled;
dolphins who die drowned in blood
the screams of their young in their ears…
The holocaust of everyday:
They’re put on a track to die
Life is all horror and misery
Not a flicker of hope in their eyes
Until throats are cut and they’re bled
if they’re lucky.
The great wheel turns again
Relentlessly grinding our humanity down
We don’t want to see the cost
The stench in the air that kills us.
We should have everything that we want
fast food, cancer, diabetes
dead skin to put on our feet
a heart attack where we lie on the couch
watching death on the evening news.
Nothing gets in the way
of our good time.
No, there are no glamorous vampires.
There are monsters in many ways;
waters that flow with bacteria
wars rolling forever, like blood;
the din of agonized dying,
the laughter and cheers at the game
where a beautiful creature must die
No, there’s nothing we won’t to do
No matter how ugly and cruel,
Because nothing will get in the way
of our good time.