The Works of Bruce Lader
Differences Between Suicide Bombers and Generals
adaptable clothing stiff funeral uniforms
blends in blare TOP GUN
fast dine on heaps of steak tartare
hypnotized automatons weigh pivotal deals with
presidents and drug lords
execute instant outcomes stealthy chess-game strategies
drag on for decades
deliberately target collateral accidents result in
townspeople civilian casualties
love affairs with Death with flaming passion
serve God’s Will defend separation
of Church and State
stuck in dead-end positions escalating careers
wear floral-scented water dab on a hint of Calvin Klein
to smell good in paradise Eternity Cologne
a battle cry a battle cry
“Jihad is Holy” “Avenge the Towers”
to become shaheed for honorable causes
sacrifice children sacrifice children
Farewell to a Pair of Shoes
How will I walk without these twins
I keep mending, repeating are only shoes?
They’ve never let me down
or squealed a complaint
about the messes I’ve gotten into,
daily commuter treks, rocky wanderings,
never acknowledging way-to-go or good job, guys.
They’ve carried out their roles
so resiliently, put bounce back in exhausted steps,
balanced my modest wardrobe.
Though they look scraggly,
too scuffed for a thrift store tax write-off
or homeless shelter drop,
what a heel I’d be to throw the couple out
after such a long agreeable marriage.
No, I will resole them like tires,
stitch the threadbare seams,
give them more tune-ups of oil and polish.
Should I store them
yin/yang, wrap them securely
inside a shoebox coffined in a closet,
the way mother preserved baby-shoes?
OK, I will cast them in bronze,
their actual tint, bookends sculpted
with steps light plays upon,
friends who couldn’t dance enough,
couldn’t say goodbye.
took longer than a missile passing through an infinite
number of points to fight over the color of God.
A revelation to warmongers,
it sowed rumors in mine-fields of superstition,
paved the way for nuclear power plants on fault-lines,
promised to escalate into the ultimate secret.
The Department of Propaganda exploited it to coerce
It fast-tracked surveillance plans to map eyes and replicate
identities in the Bureau of Virtual Disappearances.
Cartels colluded commodity scams till it became
the only index of net worth.
It stole food from the starving, devoured children,
stacked their bones to commemorate military preparedness.
The threat was less terrifying than the thought
it might not exist.
Uninvited Lady Bugs
They skitter in as if every window
crevice hadn’t been weatherproofed,
dozens follow dozens like dotted
detectives searching the study
for clues in a convoluted plot.
My office is haunted by a chaotic
crowd of aphid-eaters who have trespassed
into this garden where I’m king,
they invade the perennial photos
on the walls, climb leaves and vines
of Venetian blinds.
A few besiege the flowering
bookcase and computer monitor,
mate like tiny turtles on the run
while others attack the printer,
scrawl cryptic comments over the ceiling
and occupy the light fixture,
couldn’t care less about
sidetracking my focal point,
hindering me from earning my keep.
Why don’t they hibernate
under tree-bark, look for cracks in rocks?
They secrete a sour odor, play possum
as I corral them in a container,
take them to the outside garden,
hoping they are messengers carrying wishes
that come true, ferry sound weather,
good fortune, peace.