The Rules of the Game Have Changed

Amatul Hannan

Faces of children safely inside
playing DOOM the popular blood feast-
blank faces not one half as fearful
as Grandfather in the Battle of the Bulge

On an Apocalyptic landscape he shook and trembled
by his own account
cried out and gripped his fellow Ragmen

as blood ran down

and piss ran down

and vomit

and bile

and tears ran down

and froze in the butcher shop pit around his boots-
not even winter boots, thin as ice crust
socks worn through to shoe leather

Grandfather prayed to live
Whilst dreaming perhaps of innocent children
and babyseed he wished to share with sweet Louise from Hingham,
or Susan from New York,
or Betty Grable
or any woman in-between!
just to


to survive this frozen fox hole front
would be his prize - his greatest score.

Faces of children - safely alive - locked inside
playing DOOM the popular blood feast
Internalizing the shifty brow
of a huge Marine, hair cropped, gun high
who never trembles as he painlessly bleeds



unless you master the sprites of Hell and slaughter the BOSS.

"There's always a BOSS in a game like this"
the children cheerfully inform me
"And if you kill him its almost won!"

When will a president see that they know the secrets-
(we should have sent _them_ to Baghdad boys!)

These kids know only the new rules of the game
(we never tell them of the old ones)
and grow up accustomed to fighting via computerized proxy
in underground bunkers.

Yeah, we could use these kids, these children of DOOM
someday when our former allies, enemies all,
once again build bunkers in layers like poisoned cake

b l o w n a w a y.

Copyright © VideoPoet Digital Artist and Webweaver Amatul H. Hannan all rights reserved

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