Saturday, 16 June 2007

American Sniper - Part Two

6.

I fell asleep
I can't do that
went dreaming of ten years back
five months back
one week back
I fell asleep
I can't do that
gotta stay sharp on
my rooftop in Fallujah
but the go-go pills aren't working
not like they used to
the meth is better, sharper
but our supply went up
when the ammo dump got hit
last month

radio crackles, a sweep and clear
coming through
I look over the edge of the rooftop
and watch the front end of another unit
enter the block
the doors get kicked in
the angry men get hooded
the women only get slapped
when they won't shut the fuck up
or when they start grabbing
who knows what the fuck they're all
saying

we hit them with the sound truck
we hit them with our light shows
the holograms that look like
ghosts
running through their streets
but they never want to leave
"get the fuck out of here!"
you can scream in their faces
but they stay
like their souls are glued to the floors
of their homes
sometimes the special units let loose
the dogs that were mixed with pigs
in some labs
so the stories go
fucking nightmares in the living daylight
slobbering up your stairs
they'll eat your liver
if you let them bite through your flesh
"Get the fuck out of here!"
but the hajis don't want to go
so we have to go in
we always have to go in

7.

on my rooftop in Fallujah
sometimes they call to me
in weird English, bad accents
stuff they've learned off satellite TV
they call to me to come down
to give up
they don't want to kill me
they say
you're all alone and no-one's coming
to get you out
they say
we'll slit your throat until we see your
spine
they say
none of it bothers me
I did three days in a shipping container
with a soundtrack of babies screaming
and dogs getting tortured
and calfs in a slaughterhouse
screaming while they watched
their cow mothers get gutted
alive
sounds of misery and terror
I can block out human voices
their threats mean nothing to me

but then I hear her voice
a woman's voice
A New Yorkish accent
like a babe from Sex And The City
she calls to me
fuckit, she sounds hot
"I lived in New York City for twelve years"
she says
"I'm an American, just like you"
oh fuck
"I came back here to be with my family
when I knew the war was going to begin"
I don't want to hear her voice
but I need to
it's the only familiar thing here
this alien world
this video game world
the game the recruiter gave me taught
me how to target
how to track
how to choose a body part to blow
away
the game had Iraqis chanting, singing
but I never heard no hot-sounding
New York chicks
in that game
calling to me

"I know you're scared, I'm scared
too"
she says
but she sounds strong
defiant
"I know you don't want to kill me
and my family and my friends
we are your friends
we understand they made you come here
we both have the same enemy
don't we?"
shutupshutupshutthefuckup
"if you come down and you come to my door"
she says
"then we must let you enter our home and
you must eat with us
even if you are our enemy"
the food they cook
always smells good
better than what we get
"you can come and eat with us"
she says
"you will be our guest
and we will look after you
"this is the way it has been
for as long as my people have lived"
and I can smell the food
and it smells good, it smells
warm
"please come down and eat with us"
I want to but I can't
"we have soup, you can eat then
sleep, no-one else has to know"
sleep, I've forgotten what that is
real sleep
when you don't wake up every
twenty minutes with a jolt
when another five mortars
fall into the Green Zone
"come down and eat with us, please?
we forgive you"
she says
"can you hear me?
yes, I can
"we forgive you"


8.

they told us
in the first training week
over and over
the old man with the dead eyes
he said it again and again
"Saddam did 9/11
he bombed America with our own planes"
Saddam, Osama
Osama, Saddam
Saddama, Oddam
they got together
they made 9/11 happen
that's what they told us
they showed us some movie that
explained it all
Saddam did 9/11
that's why we came here
to get Saddam, get rid of that fuck
for what he did to us
"we fight them in Iraq
so we don't have to fight them at home"
Saddam did 9/11
so we do Saddam
and every fucker like him
justice out of a double-barrel

But when I got here
nobody else believed that shit
about 9/11
that Saddam and Osama were
parking their cars in the same garage
someone said, they laughed and they said
"They got your head all filled up with their
lies
you sorry fuck"


9.

up here on my rooftop
in Fallujah
watching the dawn
so beautiful
never seen anything so beautiful
like soft fire in slow motion
I wait and I sit and I think
not about things I want to think about
things just come into my head
my dad singing bits of old
Bruce Springsteen songs
then just one line
over and over
"is a dream a lie if it don't come true
or is it something worse?"
he used to hum-mumble that line a lot
before he killed himself
like a mantra
maybe like a prayer

my dad drove an armoured bulldozer
in the First Gulf War
he was there for work as an engineer
but he drove that dozer better
than the guys trained to do it
he used that bulldozer to push huge walls
of sand
into trenches filled with men and boys
Iraqi Republican Guard
they volunteered so their daughters
wouldn't get raped
my dad pushed the sand over them
he said they hugged each other down there
in those trenches
he said most of them looked like
little boys
"they didn't know what the fuck
was happening to them"
he told me
but I only thought about the way he described
the sound of the bullets dinging off the dozer blade
he buried hundreds of men and boys
in those trenches
his friends buried thousands more
they were alive when the sand was pushed
over them
but not for long
and then dad and his crew, they
smoothed the sands of that desert
they didn't leave a trace
there were no bodies left to see
when they were done
they were the enemy
"I buried them alive"
he said one night
he was drunk
he woke me long after midnight
to tell me what he did, back then
I was 12
"I looked back as we drove away,"
he said, his voice shivering
but that night was warm
he shivered and said
"where there had been thousands of men
in trenches, ready to defend their country
when I looked back I saw nothing but sands
they were gone, the desert swallowed them
they became a part of it forever"
Then dad said
"Maybe they were never there
maybe they never existed"
then he died


10.

I sit on my rooftop
my rifle ready
watching the stars
eating my MRE
smelling the warm food smells
from down below
amongst the smell of the dead
eating this shit and
waiting for my orders
when I was training, back home
they made me wait two days and
two nights on the parade ground
before they told me
what to do next

I sit and I wait
and I think
I think about what my President said to me
to us
to the world
the stuff he gave us to arm our souls
the words that will carry us through this War
and back home again
his words, I can memorised them
soul armor

he said
"Liberty and Freedom are God's gift
to every man and woman
who lives in this world"
I saw a Marine back at base
on Monday before I came here
to this rooftop in Fallujah
I saw a Marine loading his M-16 full of
armor piercing bullets and grenades
he called the bullets "Liberty"
he called the grenades "Freedom"
we distribute these gifts from God
we are holy Santas armed
to the fucking teeth

My President said
"Killers kill"
he said
"they kill because they hate freedom"
I'm a killer
I'm a good killer
but I kill to give Freedom
I think
I kill to spread Liberty
I think
"we are doing God's work"
my President said
does my President want me to kill these people?
Yes
Does God want me to kill these people?
I don't know
"We do not know God's plan"
then what am I doing here?
"but we know His ways are right and just"
if I'm doing God's work
even if we don't know His plan
then all those I kill must be part of the plan
His plan
for a Better World
so my ways are right and just
who doesn't want to live in a
betterworld?

my radio crackles
I get my new order
"Zip any haj you want,
make some chaos"
the rules of engagement say no
but the orders say yes
I look through the sights of my rifle
choose an enemy non-combatant
in the street down below
don't this fucker know about the curfew?
a smooth squeeze and
this old guy's head peels open
blood arcs in a thin shower
scarlet rain
he staggers in a circle
arms reaching for where
the rest of his head used to be
I cancel him at the knees
'Hell's Bells' echoes in from blocks away
the soundtrack of this man's death
"we're coming for you"
we're already here

11.

the orders keep coming
I keep following the orders
that's what we do
that's why they train us
the way they do
we follow the orders we're given
and that's all

the ones who come to look at what you've done
eyes like saucer, lips quivering
are easier to take out if you make a big mess
they just stand there
shocked and awed
a single shot
the crack and phfump of flesh impact
another and another
the blooms of blood in slow motion
and then the onlookers are
part of the show as well
it gets surreal
it's okay
they've all got guns
on them or at home
the more you kill
the more come out
to see who you've killed
"don't leave any wounded"
they all die,
quick and fast
the rules of engagement changed
on the wounded
months ago
or maybe years ago
that's what they told me
I do what I'm told

the screaming, raging haji fucks
still don't know where I am


Go Here For Part Three Of 'American Sniper'