“The Art of War” by Al Rocheleau

When all trees fall
instead of one
do they make noise
if, when it’s done
it’s deafened as it stunned
the village
and villagers
in dell before it?


And what of the usual
raff, the pillagers
(elected of hell),
the Visigoth, Eulan, Arab,
and American,
one in rushes by a Mekong
flat, replete with lorries
and rat-a-tat, the little, late plumes
or, predictable
as Dakota dawns


the counting cold, then heat
of the very


No answers. The
questions are wrong.


One figures, figures
then forgets philosophy
for the simple sings
of good war-songs, the sex of hate
as all the meatmen, we, in silkslings, pulled
and always hither milled
by one good clapping hand,


arbiter and profligate,
the us and it, so
ever stupid still
lies still


and strong.







Al Rocheleau‘s work has appeared in publications in the US and abroad, including Confrontation, Evansville Review, Illuminations, Studio One, Van Gogh’s Ear, Iodine Poetry Journal, and Poetry Salzburg Review. He is the recipient of the Thomas Burnett Swann Poetry Prize, and author of the manual On Writing Poetry. His Twelve Chairs Poetry Course, accredited by the Florida State Poets Association, includes scholarships for high school students.