“Tom-Tom” Long Toms Marine Corps Prayer

Long-Toms drum in the darkness of the desert air,
their thunder rolling through the darkness
far to the rear:
Boom-ba-da-boom-ba-da-boom! Boom! Boom!

And there’s a soft swishing in the air
far above me in the night sky sprinkled with flowers
of evening stars.
In the night sky high above the shells are aloft.
I pray for no short rounds.
They softly swish over me.
like fifty-five gallon drums
tumbling through the sky.
Messengers of death and destruction
invisible to the eye:

And again I pray:
No short rounds.

The rocks surround me in the hard comfort,
their forms indistinct
as the shells swish from behind me,
my rifle crowds my chest.
I peer downrange through the darkness where stars glitter and shine
as the night sky above me glitters and glows
with a darkness of its own,
and stars sternly stare down.

No short rounds, I pray, looking down the valley in the further darkness there at the end,
until the valley erupts in silent flame and a fiery commotion.

Flares go up: starshells parachute back down,
their swinging lanterns glowing, lighting up desert for miles around.

The shells have arrived.
The thunder shakes my ears
and the ground under my thighs.

No short rounds.

I breath a sigh of relief, ears still cocked for that sound,
that swish-swish in the night
of a short round.

There are none.

155 long tom

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Filed under Marine, Military Life, Poetry, The Lost Journals, True Stories

It’s Good To Have a Multiple Personality. :D

thinker-with-men-women-2jpgOfficially this is from April 2011, written, apparently, by a couple alters: ’13’, Matthew, and perhaps “21”.  I just happened to stumble across this today – of did “I”??  Why look now in those old archives I’ve got stashed in various locations on “The Web”.  That’s one of the questions and mysteries of dissociative identity disorder, especially the “multiple personality” kind that DID people can face on a daily: “Who did this?” – and then trying to puzzle out why . . . which I’m still doing. 

And now on with “13’s” story . . .


“You shouldn’t wish your parents dead.”  That thought crosses my mind every time ‘I’ (or ‘we’) think about them.  But the fact is, part of me still rages at them (trapped in the teenagehood); part of ‘me’ is still scared of them (after all, mom tried to kill me more than once, and my dad used us for his experiments).  And both of them (my parents, that is) are probably technically insane, though my father hides his sadism under a charismatic coat of smiles and religion.  He’ll lie quite blatantly to your face, while my mom stays in a constant state of opposition within herself, her thoughts, her mind . . .

“They are driving me crazy, I tell ya!  Crazy!” goes a voice in my head.  Teenager again.

Too late, dude.  We’re already there.

and yes, it would be a lot easier if they were dead.

Just today my mom came over bitchin’: “He’s getting stronger.”  Two sentences later she criticizes : “All he does is lay around.”  (She’s talking about my dad, who is in his late 70’s.)  Then she says: “I don’t want him getting stronger.  If he gets stronger the VA (old soldier’s home) won’t take him.”  A paragraph later: “He NEVER exercises.  He’s just getting weaker all the time.”  Then: “He’s applying for physical therapy (at the VA) and I’m going to have to take him.”

I finally “lit” into her.

“Mom – what is it you want?  Have you heard what you said?  Which way do you want it? You just said you wish he was stronger, then you say you don’t want him stronger.”

“I just wish he was dead,” she says bitterly.

That’s my parents for you.  I get sick of them.  I WTF (wish to F***) they had stayed up North 800 miles away.

My mom is going to show up tomorrow to pick me up in her car.  HE has a doctor’s appointment and she’s going to show up 2 hours early for a 20 minute drive.  And I’m not even there for that.

I’m going to park the car.  That’s all.  She’s going to drop herself and him off at the entrance so she can take him in while I park the car.  And she’s going to be an hour and a half early because she says it takes so long to find a parking spot and walk from the parking lot to the entrance (about fifteen minutes in reality, if it gets really bad).  So we’re going to be sitting there for two hours – and this is the VA, so they’ll be another hour and a half calling him – and then thirty minutes or so . . .

and if she insists on driving home, I’m gonna lose my mind . . . again, perhaps. (Having multiple ‘minds’ or personalities, I assume ‘one’ can lose their mind while the others all hang on for the ride . . . wouldn’t be the first time some host went out of control – which is why it’s useful having a multiple personality: I can get lost, enraged (no doubt!) – while ‘another’ part hangs on and directs something . . .

I can be quite civil if I have to.  Or (more typically) more honest than I should . . . (gets me into trouble all the time: ~ “13”.)

I had to give my mom her gun back. She was threatening to waste money on another one if I don’t.

I’m kinda disappointed with that.  I wish she’d go ahead and shoot him in the head.

“It would kill two birds with one stone,” my wife’s pointed out to me. (yes, I know: possessive noun – it isn’t used on context, it should be pointed out.  Nagging mind: grammar police of my own. :/ )

My brother meanwhile lives in ___________ about 250 miles away . . . and can’t see why I keep “having trouble with them” and tells me how to manage things as he’s greedily rubbing his hands together, telling me how much I’m gonna make – should they die – and that they “owe” me.

No they don’t.  And I wish I didn’t owe them a thing. Sometimes my life even.

“You two shouldn’t have ever gotten married,” I tell them.

“Then you wouldn’t be here!” they are quick to point out.  I shrug and tell them the truth: to me it wouldn’t make any difference.  They seem disappointed to hear that.  I guess I can’t just substantiate their argument for me being alive – or their continued existence, either!

Funny thing, too.  My dad’s charade has broke once and twice and a neighbor caught him . . . it shook her up and made her shake her head.

“I’ve never seen such spiteful & hateful looks in all my life,” she said when I was talking to her.  She was shocked by the man.  She found it even more disturbing when I told her: out of the two, my dad is the good one.  My mom is five times worse.

And they are friends.  She didn’t know that.

The family keeps the cover on tight.  I don’t.  Sometimes the steam kettle blows up.  Sometimes it doesn’t.

But it’s hissing right now – all at the seams.  I am tiredly and once again giving up (participating in their game that is) while having to be in it up to my head sometimes . . .


It’s good to have a multiple personality, cuz’ I can get along just fine.




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Filed under 13, DID, Matthew, True Stories


“I don’t believe in injustice!!!!” the protestor cried.
So I punched him in the face.
I think he’s got it.

Injustice comes in several ways.

“I don’t believe in abortion no more,” she said
as her young daughter squatted
in her feces filled underwear on the doorstep
looking at me hungrily
with a hidden hunger in her eyes.

“I don’t want to go in there!,” the old man grunted and shouted
as they hauled him off to the car.
His drool was dribbling down his pants leg,
the car smelled like vomit
that was not his very own.

(Soon it came to smell like him. Or perhaps it was the other way around.)

Injustice, anyone?

Jackbooted thugs knock at my door uninvited,
however I invite them in –
ignoring Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s advice:
“When the wolf knocks on the door the smart rabbit runs!”

I guess I’m not so smart though.
They take me while I’m standing paralyzed by
the injustice of it all
right in my living room.

The frightened rabbit stands alone
only to be herded into a cage full of them.
Run, rabbits run,
from the Injustice of it all.

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I sit in the courtyard watching them.  It is square, concrete all around, the pad under my butt.

Grit everywhere.  Sand.  Small pebbles like irregular irises.

Sun beats down. It’s so hot and I’m thirsty but there’s nothing to drink.  I am stuck here, in this roomless cell with its roofless walls, a prisoner of my own making.

I have misbehaved again

and shuffle to the courtyard

head down, eyes narrowed against the strong sunlight streaming into my darkness

as I shuffle out into the courtyard

and sit down.

Counting ants.

Watching them.

Look at them scuttle, run around.

I pick up a small stone – a boulder to him.

and I throw it.

It bounces around, missing him.

I pick up another and throw it again.  Then a handful.

Bombs falling down

in the ant playground

while I sit watching them.



– This is from my childhood, when I’d get so bored and there was nothing to do.  I don’t know where the courtyard came from, but we were there. Sitting there in the hot sun.  Voices in the distance tell me I am not alone, but there is no one elsewhere that I can detect . . .
I was held prisoner sometimes
in that courtyard in my mind
and ants were the only entertainment I had;
that, and the blazing sun.

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The Bad Guys

If it wasn’t for the bad guys,
there wouldn’t be any good at all.
Just a humdrum life of existence.
Remember that the next time you see
a bad guy fall.

If it wasn’t for the bad guys
there’d be no reason to run.
There’d never be any heroes
that bad guys make of someone.

Bad makes evil, or so they say.
Some suspect genetics, no –
environment they say.
Mean people make mean people
it doesn’t matter which way.
But many learn kindness
when they get burned and betrayed.

So the next time you see a bad man thank him
for the lesson he imparts to you
for without the bad guys
there wouldn’t be bad or good.

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Did you ever wonder . . .

c1995 ~ Matthew

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Filed under art

Hot Fire

Friends come, friends go,
summer’s warm, winter’s cold.
In your heart where the winter’s warm
fires are burning hot
you find yourself standing under a starry sky at night
in the empty snow in an empty field, head up
looking at a million hot pinpricks and wondering:

if one of those pinpricks is looking down at you.

love’s desire.
from friendly fire
which takes place
behind enemy lines.

Madness I Am, for
friendly fire is not
if you’re in their aim
and you’ve gotten shot
by love’s betrayal of desire.

burning hot
like the bullet wounds
of my heart’s desire.
I want not
but the betrayal of the soul is the heart’s desire,
and betrayal of both sets the mind afire
with thoughts of what you want
but cannot have.

Peace be with you.

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Filed under Matthew, Poetry