I wonít say Iím an artist.
Twenty years since I left the army,
and Iím still a brute.
A quiet, trilingual, slippery brute
nondescript in faded gray.
Donít believe this tripe
about butchersí hands and
those epics sung, of gents with guns
in leather shoes and silken suitsó
chess games played under Tuscan sunsó
or these doe-eyed myths of humane regret.
Blood and ashes are never cleansed with tears
(but bribery does the trickó
or else, ammonia, in a pinch.)
Iíve trodden Russians underfoot,
buried them in congealing snow
ónever looked back.
Itís just a job by numbers, and Iím a clown,
with a name of numbers,
juggling with pulse and breath.