An antiwar poem by Jimmy Cvetic: Square peg into a round hole or a letter to God | Last Word | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

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An antiwar poem by Jimmy Cvetic: Square peg into a round hole or a letter to God

I listened to the war stories over a beer, and then it hit me in the chest like a bullet fired from a sniper

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Pounding a square peg
into a round hole
smashing the peg
smashing
pounding the peg
pounding till it almost fits
or writing a love letter in the sand 
like an old Pat Boone song. 
That’s exactly like trying to force a poem
like sitting on the pot
unable to shit.
It’s the same thing
and Buk was right, 
Don’t Try
Going back to 1969
Bien Hoa
sitting at a card table with a soldier
from the 1st Cav,
he told me,
“We captured a gook
And he didn’t want to talk.
So, we tied him to the front of an APC and broke brush
with him till he was dead.
Broke every bone in his body
and then it didn’t matter if he talked.
We were just getting even
when they buried our soldiers up to their necks
and let the Two Step Killers bite their necks.
They put the snakes in a cage and released
taunting the snakes
taunting
and taunting
till the snake bit and killed our guys.”
I listened to the war stories
over a beer and then it hit me
in the chest like a bullet fired from a sniper.
I knew war was wrong. 
I hated the sound of madness
what the fires of hell turned us into
and there was nothing that I could do
we were no longer men. 
All wars are wrong. 
Men no longer can see
nor hear
nor feel
they can only taste the blood of anger.
I folded my cards and left the table. 
I walked away sick
and looked into the vast sky of war … wanting only God.
I wish that I could put God into the chest
of mankind
like a sniper’s bullet. 
I wish that I could make them kneel
in thanks for the gift of life.
I picked up the hammer and
pounded the square peg
and wrote a love letter in the sand to God.

Jimmy Cvetic is a poet, artist, activist and former Allegheny County police detective.


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