Deliberate Damage

By Eugene Sigaloff
‘Light ’em up,’ says the lifelike puppet. 
‘That’s good,’ says the satisfied puppet master,
‘It looks as if it walks and talks on its own,
Using words like these,
Catchy words like these—
Disengaged to prevent regret,
Disengaged to prevent despair—
As if it actually thinks on its own;
From its platform in the sky it can aim and fire,
It can fill soft heathen bodies with burning metal,
“Lighting them up” like Christmas trees,
Flesh incandescent,
Flesh sizzling like a Sunday roast,
Blood spreading like the leaves of poinsettias,
Blood and flesh decorating the heathen streets,
It can do this so un-traumatically,
Without pain or strain,
With a virtual inner buzz,
A virtual inner glow of exhilaration;
This puppet has learned well,
This puppet is proud,
This puppet is almost human.’
And the puppet master,
Thinking he was more than a puppet,
Went to a self-congratulatory martini and lunch.
– Eugene Sigaloff contributed this poem to

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