Corporate Career Camouflage
(on seeing a screenshot of Marine Lt. Colonel Stuart Scheller looking shocked (“shocked!”)
at lack of accountability in the upper military ranks)

The Ordnance Absorption Technicians catch bullets,
guard brigs, stand at embassy doors;
speak of “overheads,” “bulkheads,” and “decks” that civilians
call “ceilings,” and “walls,” and “floors.”

Having signed up to kill for the ones who’ve hired sailors
to dump them on some foreign shore
as the shock troops for stockholders, now they start whining
when treated like Business’s whore?

Smedley Butler compared Al Capone to the Jarheads
like him who directed vast crime,
not on districts but continents. Scale matters here,
if for dollars you’ll kill for a dime.

Punching tickets, they fuck up and move up the ladder
(or greasy pole if you prefer)
kissing up, kicking down, the Marines like the Army
And Navy and Air Force defer

to the corporate oligarchs funding their party:
(what "lifers" consider “careers”)
through the door that revolves into lobbyist fortunes,
then back into “government.” Cheers!

As the crocodile tears pour from out of the corner
of one eye, they pin on their chests
more medals and ribbons while moaning “They died
because you never met our requests.”

Peter Parkinson wrote of incompetence filling
the time set aside for the work,
so with no “time’s up” scheduled, the job never ends,
and promotions accrue to the Jerk.

Dr Gurugé said that if once you allow them
To “help” you they’ll just draw a line
arbitrarily through a dispute of the moment –
and render it adamantine.

Chairman Mao said he only required five Bombs.
Any more would just make rubble bounce.
Which suggests that the Pentagram try Chinese “thinking”
which adds up to more than an ounce.

A wrong thing you can’t do correctly (the “right” way)
but still some insist that they can,
and if only we give them more time, blood, and money
they'll come up "This Time!" with a plan.

They will! Honest Injun! They wouldn't lie to us!
(At least not too loudly or long)
Just enough so that no one sets deadlines or measures
the failures they think of as "strong."

Now we're long overdue for Demobilization;
Reduction in Force; Quittin' Time!
Number one: fire the admirals, generals -- grifters --
who've hung around way past their prime,

which for those who don't know was when nuclear weapons
made them and their kind obsolete,
only good for the slaughter of goat-herding peasants
who hand us another defeat.

So if "weakness" you wish to discuss please consider
decay and corruption galore
as the "strength" of America's five-sided sinkhole
designed to make profits from "war."

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright © 2021