War & Peace


The trade of war is over, there are no more battles,

but simple murder is still in.

The No God, Time, creeps his way,

universe after universe, like a great snapping turtle

opening its mouth wagging its tongue

to look like a worm or leech

so deceived hungry fish, every living thing

swims in to feed. Quarks long for dark holes,

atoms butter up molecules, protons do unto neutrons

what they would have neutrons do unto them.

The trade of war has been over so long,

the meaning of war in the O.E.D. is now “nonsense.”

In the Russian Efron Encyclopedia,

war, voina, means “dog shit”;

in the Littré, guerre is “a verse form, obsolete”;

in Germany, Krieg has become “a whipped-cream pastry”;

Sea of Words, the Chinese dictionary,

has war, zhan zheng, as “making love in public,”

while war in Arabic and Hebrew, with the same

Semitic throat, harb and milchamah, is defined

as “anything our distant grandfathers ate

we no longer find tempting—like the eyes of sheep.”

And lions eat grass.

Stanley Moss at the New Yorker


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