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David Lloyd


God how I’m sick of old men

flinging fistfuls of pocket change

with their profiles in high relief.

Sick of their megaphone mouths,

packed pogroms, frozen organs,

stuffed stadiums, nauseating mausoleums.

Sick of flag pins, blood ties, trophy watches,

palatial orgasms, private golf courses

sucking water from my eyes.

Sick of fist bumps on photoshopped chests,

truckloads of novichok,

the passing jab on Waterloo Bridge,

the drone blitz in my backyard reception.

Sick of motherlands and fatherlands.

Sick of lions’ tails swinging from cinched belts.

The aerosol breath. The rabid grandfatherliness.

The dirty hands scrubbed skinless.

The fingers mining my veins, rifling my pockets.

The pile fabric on their heads.

The self-portraits like smudged mirrors hung

in disinfected staterooms,

in deloused bedrooms of donors,

always stiff, always declaring,

always in the eye

of the nuclear hurricane.

Sick of Amazon warehouses

of bagged and labeled body parts

fed-ex’d around the globe.

Sick of filed-off fingerprints,

off-shore ghosts, botoxed brains,

sun-drenched appetites, fairytale accounts

in real banks.

Sick of mistresses gagged

and bulldozed into unmarked graves.

Sick of bleached smiles and knockoff frowns,

campaigning bellies, insect instincts.

The swarming mustaches, bespoke suits,

camouflaged incisors, embalmed lips,

bronze-aged skin, razor-edged toenails, perfumed ears.

The bodyguards at always-attention,

handcuffed to steel doors,

so washed, so desperate to take your bullet.

The desks empty as a food desert,

inlaid with jawbones of journalists.

No more crawling carpets.

No more infected blankets gifted

to the homeless. No more diamond parachutes.

No more bonesaws. No more invasive cigars.

Must I continue?

Crown jewels? Crystal flutes topped-up with tears?

Scrofulous lobby statuary? Golden escalators?

Niggling dignity? Needy jowls? Skull necklaces.

Cavernous nostrils? Legless children?

Who do you think you are?

Who do you think you are?

Give me quiet

and peace. Give me neverneverland.

I’m sick of sickness.

Sick of vanishings, lynchings, choppings.

Sick of death from a thousand bites.

Sick also of the choir and the supplicants,

locked in their stalls, their harmonized voices hoarse

from declaiming their love,

their daydreams, their needs,

their emptied pockets, their eye sockets,

their last breaths, their still-beating hearts.


In the Risk game, the goal is simple: players aim to conquer their enemies’ territories by building an army, moving their troops in, and engaging in battle. Depending on the roll of the dice, a player will either defeat the enemy or be defeated. This exciting game is filled with betrayal, alliances, and surprise attacks. On the battlefield, anything goes! (Hasbro web site)

Roll of the dice – slaughter in Ukraine.

Hordes on borders.

A continent engorged with blue, blue, blue.

Knife to the unwary underbelly.

A tide swelled by a moon swelled monstrous.

Lebensraum. Destiny manifest.

But you promised, you promised.

You lied, you lied. Strategies! Treachery!

On the last splotch, a roll for rags –

off the table to the floor, under a chair,

on hands and knees. Snake eyes!

Today, only the dice suffice,

black eyes in a porcelain pane,

divining the red, the blue, the yellow, the black,

the life, the death, the start, the finish,

never enough, never enough

of ploughshares beaten

and beaten and beaten and beaten

into swords and swords and swords

and swords.


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