Jose Vasquez

Among Our Machines

inspired by W.D. Ehrhardt

Among our machines
we feel invincible
crushing little brown
black, and yellow people
and sometimes white people

Among our machines
we can distance ourselves
from the killing
All we see is little
green men running across
our screens so we
shoot and cheer
when we get
those little fuckers
and reach the next level
of this video game
we call war

Among our machines
language and culture
become irrelevant
no need to talk
as long as we
can line up the cross-hairs
We drop bombs like rain
leaving scorched earth
and broken dreams

Among our machines
the mechanics of politics
rev up the engine
full throttle so we
can't even hear
ourselves think
And we don't
stop to ask questions
we just react
and kill to survive


When we think of revolutions what are the images we see?
Are they images of men bearing flags and arms charging up a hill?
Is it machine-gunned palaces and gallows and burned out villages?
Do we see uniformed demagogues or marching militias killing and burning and killing?

Or do we you see somber bald monks seated and robbed and connected?
Peaceful villages, broken weapons, happy children, no distinctions.
The revolutions I see take place in the mind
and begin with choosing peace

I Am Wounded Too

I am a soldier
who survived the fear
of facing Uncle Sam
and saying Sir! No Sir!
I won't fight for lies
forgive me wounded soldier
for not being there
to ease your pain
I'll try on this end
to bring you home now

Among Our Machines

I Am Wounded Too

Chantelle Bateman

I served in the U.S. Army and Reserves from 1992 - 2007 as a cavalry scout, combat medic, nurse, and instructor. I was honorably discharged in May 2007 as a conscientious objector. I’ve been actively opposing the wars since 2005 and learned about Warrior Writers through my work with IVAW. I helped organize the first writing workshop in NYC where I rediscovered my love of poetry. Currently, I’m completing a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology at the City University of New York (CUNY) / Graduate Center. In addition to writing I enjoy capturing the beauty of everyday moments through photography. I am the proud father of an amazing little boy and hope to make the world a better place for him.