Viagra and the Drums of War

Former Vice President Dick Cheney

Former Vice President Dick Cheney

As Iraq has been falling apart, many are wondering why the original architects of the war aren’t keeping their mouths shut. Shouldn’t they be humble and contrite over the fact that practically every one of their predictions has been wrong? But no, they loudly accuse Obama of pusillanimously pulling out American  troops and losing the country. Former Vice President Dick Cheney has all but accused the president of treason and Senator John McCain hammers him mercilessly.

Over the past few years McCain, who appears regularly on the Sunday morning talk shows, has called for invading or militarily intervening in Afghanistan, Iraq, Georgia, (to oust the Russians), Libya, Iran, Syria, the Crimea (to oust the Russians), Nigeria (to free the girls captured by terrorists), and now Iraq again. Imagine if he has been elected president!

How is one able, especially at Cheney’s and McCain’s ages (73 and 77), to remain in what appears to be a perpetual state of belligerence? If my father were alive today, I suspect he would points us to the following poem, which appears in his ZYX of Political Sex.

As a soldier in the Third Army of General Patton, whom he despised, my father worried a lot about the harm that machismo was visiting upon the world. (Check out this poem where he goes after the National Rifle Association.) In “Viagra,” he counts on the natural cycle to offset Yeats’ predicted second coming. That is, until men find new ways to stay pumped up.

Viagra

By Scott Bates

According to sleep scientists,
every man has a minimum of four to six
erections a night
during his dreams,
so why does he need Viagra?

A minimum of 1,174,944 erections a night in
the city of Milwaukee alone!
not to mention the suburbs and outlying precincts;
and in Chicago,
it staggers the imagination.

What a rising and falling of tents!
What a mustering of ammunition!
Spermatazoa of the universe arise,
you have nothing to lose but your asteroids!

But no,
the erection apocalypse is not upon us yet,
the final shoot-out is not imminently forthcoming;
the fireworks fizzle,
the dynamite dampens,
the tide retreats;
Peter Pan panics and peters out;
the sleeping spouse sighs and turns over on her stomach;
blood slips back to the edge of the world;
dawn breaks.

Dark beasts yawn and amble home to their dens;
soldiers fall asleep by the dying embers of their fires;
paleolithic night succumbs
to polluted sewer pipes
and dangling day.

And then he takes his Viagra.

Dangling day isn’t half as exciting as armed combat. But maybe Cheney and McCain don’t need viagra. Maybe war fervor has the same effect.

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  • Phil

    I love it. You father’s poetry is some of my favorite. I’ve committed a few of his Christmas ones to memory, this may be next :-)


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