Sunday, April 20, 2014

Poem: Love Your Enemies

This piece was used as part of Kenny Cole's Parabellum gallery exhibit at the University of Maine Museum of Art. A total of nine of my poems were embedded in the installation's gouaches. Two of those poems were previously unpublished, including this one. Here's a link to see them all:

To see my many thoughts on Kenny Cole's art or Parabellum, you can search this blog, or go to

Thanks for reading!


PS: the italicized line is completely unique among the thousands of poems I've written.


Love Your Enemies

nothing hurts more
than the ache in the lack:
to ignore the blood
on shard-sprinkled streets.
or people dressed like you,
taking slugs in the crossfire,
expressions like yours,
the one in the mirror,
asking the same question:
why am i down going down why going why down going down why this?
they die near your desert boots
as you watch like murder,
wanting to have warm eyes.
to cry--and yet
also to be killed,
to be shot as you shoot.
yes. you yearn for it.
and yet you feel nothing,
not even your own sick game:
how you laugh
while exposing your head.
the only thing that hurts
is the absence of any pain,
an immunity to tears.
fear the only force that gets through,
but it comes like a lost child.

war disfigures everyone.
and when you shoot
you kill those your mother
taught you to love.
you aren’t you anymore.
you have shot so often
the trigger can’t resist,
though it knows
what you are doing is wrong.

when you have shot away
all the enemies in the mirror,
those pieces of yourself,
those neighbors
you were told to love by God,
it will be good.



  1. I was reading the Bandini Quartet only last night. In chapter 4 of the Road to Los Angeles our young hero fed up of throwing stones at a colony of crabs runs to buy an airgun and ammo. He then runs back and opens fire. And slaughters the crabs. He is now the Führer. The rest are cowards.
    He will in time grow up. Many do not.

  2. Wow, thanks for introducing me to Bandini--and such an introduction!