wailed on my couch today. watched "hearts & minds" and lost both in the process. vietnam war documentary hollowed me out like dirt holes for graves, i tumbled on the floor trying to reach for my grandfather's ghost. imagine yourself a north vietnamese soldier, fighting for the ideal of a free country free from us imperialism, you lose a leg but your side wins the war. the next day you look around and you see coca cola and exxon all over your country. what did you fight for? this is a country that fought to be decolonized only to be recolonized again. was the war a crime or a mistake? or a mistake that we didn't win? or a crime that we didn't win? what was this about?
i'm looking for my reflection in the television set, trying to catch a glimpse of something i would recognize, did my grandfather run through these streets, is that him, climbing into a grave to be with his wife, or that woman holding the hand of the soldier calling her "mama-san," could she have been my mother?
this sky that is falling on us, is it a downpour of black b-54 bombers, the landings of helicopters full of camera men and photographers, or is it a fog of familiar faces - ghosts we used to know as father - never rising, never falling, just drifting two feet above our heads like a blue halo of clouds.
cheer up, like plastic limbs we'll soon have plastic hearts and minds.