The Military Industrial Complex’s CPAs Never Sleep


The Military Industrial Complex’s CPAs Never Sleep

We so seldom bury people at sea
in weighted shrouds,
preferring instead sealed
containers or ashes
mixed with concrete.

Little girls skip
down the street,
giggling, unaware of their
value on the open
market. Dollars, oil.
Weapons. All fungible.

On the forgotten shelf,
the avocado’s flesh
blackens inside
its withering armor.
How is too much
never enough?

Targets based on
possibilities, innuendo,
cost-benefit analysis:
three men and a camel,
wedding parties,
hospitals, homes.

When morning comes,
they’re still awake,
collating damage, counting
opportunities, massaging
sums, ignoring cost,
harvesting their dead fruit.




57 thoughts on “The Military Industrial Complex’s CPAs Never Sleep

  1. “Little girls skip down the street, giggling, unaware of their value on the open market…”

    god that line just kills my heart. It reminds me of a moment in Hanoi as I was walking down a super crowded Old Quarter street in the evening. Boiling hot and humid, but the evening sun painted everything with a wonderful burnt umber and crimson glow. Everything happens on sidewalks there, so it was nearly impossible to walk through the crowds of people sitting at little sidewalk or street tables without basically walking in and among cars and motorcycles… a wild happy jumble of food, conversation, and honking. Weaving in and out of this chaos were little kids: playing, laughing, and chasing each other in and out of the street! Really young kids easily navigating the various dangers of omni-directional traffic – almost unconsciously… lambs playing among metal jaguars.

    I remember a particular bunch of little girls running around giggling in all of this… and just stood there watching them yelling and laughing in Vietnamese. The pure joy and total lack of knowledge of the things that you write about in this poem…little laughing girls… laughing and skipping as I wandered away knowing what awaits them in the world… moral weltschmerz washing over me…the melancholy… one can smile and weep at the same time…もののあはれ…

    Powerful stuff, Okaji Sensei!!!


    Liked by 4 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.