We Coup, Bro?: An Ode to General Mark Milley, With Duty and Squalor

There’s a man in an leather chair, jacket unbuttoned, in a shadow

bearding onto past midnight,

5 o’clock and the last call for punching out – all the work-a-day seems years ago

Now he sits, almost self-assured, in the midst of a harried mess;

Sipping a glass of something steadying and resolving, to write down the memory

of all the journalists and TV camera newsfolks, who breach personal space,

to broach loaded fickle questions, personally – insinuating –

how could a person be so self-righteous, while generally he stares into vacuous eyes,

and recites like safety measures, controlled de-escalations that the training

for such rote onslaughts and collisions, to preserve face, have conserved

as they march closer and closer,

attempts and barrages, want, and getting, -into his

It was the celebration of the Nation’s independence just last weekend,

and I picture how a General might stroll through his old neighborhood,

As I walk my streets, by my childhood home, where my neighbors shoot off bottlerockets

(though fireworks are outlawed) and I stare down the cop cars as they rush off and bid

myself think of what it must be like to be the type of man to

graduate Princeton with a one-hundred-eighty-five page thesis on

 “A Critical Analysis of Revolutionary Guerrilla Organization in Theory and Practice”

now a Joint-Chief-of-Staff

the scent of gunpowder in my nose,

I damn the Man, but god damn Man,

I have some sense for true things…

Some men, I must report

Remember their hard times, whoever was in charge of the outfit and who ran opposition

–and carry memory like mettle

Others are more uniform, and simply bury such things

What makes hard men, can make shallow, like grave efforts turn rotten

And as conscience makes cowards

Corrupts even a King.

But a King’s death, met on valor,

Deserves twice the unmask’d idol,

Cold Lead could have won,

Guillotines could have stopped the steel glower,

If I just could have couped up

You meddlesome kids.

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