Jason Arment


In country, SOP was ignore everything.

How the radio jammers hundreds of hertz

split the heads of Marines

with a throbbing ache


or the way dust storms

caused sickness so severe

the Corps airlifted patients

to Sweden's neutrality



veterans line the streets

& methadone clinics

seemingly invisible to the public


Back home,

even if we'd

have it otherwise

—ignore everything.


Every Marine a Rifleman

Jason Arment


A well aimed shot

is worth ten

wild ones,

not so with people


Although bullets

& people

are sometimes similar

& made for each other


People can disobey

follow their own way,

a bullet is nothing more

than an empty vessel


Jarhead is a telling euphemism

along with dum-dum round

misfire, hangfire,

& blanks


Jarheads are bullet-catchers

as well as gunslingers,

a moth to flame Mobius strip

that hasn't stopped since 1775


Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, War-guided

Jason Arment


Civilians don't know anything

about missiles, so no surprise

when ISIS started using TOWs

no one cared


An Egyptian destroyer

trolling the Red Sea

broadsided by a

small sun


Made me think of when

I swam in the same waters

with the Israeli Defense Force

where Eilat meets the waves


the memory made remote

by the video of

rocket flare

& blinding impact


When I was in Iraq

the only people with TOWs

were: the U.S. &

allied forces



the situation has changed

from RPGs to TOW missiles,

& ISIS on the rise.


Marine Blues

Jason Arment

The blues

if it were darker

but not bruise black

more like blood on the asphalt


& not the musicians

playing their hearts

out every night

more fevered dream, fetid sweat


The feeling

when all is lost

& not just for a second,

but forever


The crumbling

of rotted wood


or callow hearts


Like coming down

off a drug, or

laying out a gun

& writing a note


Mostly the last one

but a little of all of them

because my blues, brother

will drag you from sunlight


The Absence of Dreams

Jason Arment

I miss dreaming

until I skip the meds

& wake up

sweat soaked screaming


In one night-terror

I'll never forget

the squad & I reunited

to patrol stateside streets


We ran into a kid

I used to teach math

at an inner-city

middle school


I maced & beat the 6th grader,

not out of malice, but compulsion.

No idea if

he survived

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