explicit lyrics



Abstract Abstract

The Science of Drinking
and
the Art of War


by William Edgar Boggan

--Have you ever needed a hair of the dog?

lit up christian soldiers, high on heaven hill
see lunar visions, dream lurid dreams:
armies of fantastic vengeance
control control control themselves,
in thrall to their enemies' manoeuvres,
with immortal hate and study of revenge
seek the terrible eye for the terrible eye,
eluded by dark deviants of the strange

Today we have alcoholism and substance abuse,
which follows traumatic stress.
To and fro before the blackboard,
the trainer counts the points off on his fingers,
pens and pencils scratching as he speaks.
White sunlight catches in his spectacles
as he turns to us and pauses, then
he seems to speak
from the other side
of some broad unbridgeable abyss.

Despite what the alcoholic tells us,
we know his chronic use
leaves him more withdrawn,
less selfconfident,
and more deeply depressed,
with heightened suicidal ideation.
The dysphoria relieved by drink
results in fact
from the dependent soldier's
abstinence.
Should the opportunity present itself,
you might press your patient
with some questions.


--Have you ever felt guilty about drinking?

At the height of the firing,
finding beds in a house of joy,
we made for the wounded a house of pain
among the wary, watchful whores.

Civil twilight,
interiors with moon,
sweatstained sheets entwining bodies limned in white,
these soft ones and these men.
All women are beautiful.
All men are boys.

The Chinese colonel's boots
shone like obsidian in the dust,
and his eagles glittered when he walked:
All warfare is based on deception.
When you are here, pretend to be there;
when there, some other where.
From the very start
we plainly said
that we would always lie about the war.

Greyclad men stir up low clouds of April dust,
walking spectres, private soldiers,
rifles shouldered for the hunt —
rabbit and squirrelmeat, sometimes deer —
and gentlemen with swords sheathed
trudge home to drink forever the galling brew.
Bitter words echoing endlessly
to let the people know
that history has made mistakes.

Delirium itself
is a secondary set of symptoms,
the sign of some underlying problem
with mentation.
Treatment requires treatment
of this deeper unease.

and the dark man in his darkness
tries to tell them what he knows,
the purpose of time,
the bent note and the rhythm
of the everlasting no
but in the whitehot fever
they hear only, inside their dream,
a radio blues,
an adrenergic storm of alien emptiness


--Do comments on your drinking annoy you?

dried-out christian soldiers
see signs and wonders, dream real dreams
jitterbugging madness
crawling off the wallpaper
across their pale cold sweat
trembling down shock corridor in the electric rain
tiny terrors snakes and spiders
army ants shithouse rats creep everywhere at once
and troopers dancing dancing scream

Five percent of ethanol withdrawals
progress to jitterbugging,
which can be fatal.


--Have you ever needed to cut down?

Fierceseeing desert fathers decry false visions,
warn that what can be conceived will be created.
Murdered first, then,
by the sinister other,
the boys with Aristotle in their packs.
Next, their history itself,
a lethal dream of light.
Not because someone willed it,
but because it was going to happen.
Because the gods could not prevent it.

Meanwhile, a stately genre romance,
hallucinated every evening
to the trustinghearted earnest
who anxiously believe the plot.

We will win, and we will win, and we will win.
Then we will lose.

for there's a twist in these foreign lands,
where a new moon spies down
on simple indian unfacts:
our cowboy dies a stranger
and delirium fades forever
in the fall of sober night.


i am pat fucking tillman
goddamnit