Fringe Benefits

Occupying armies
swaggered, pillaged, raped,
traditional fruits
of victory.
Wine, women, loot
consoled the troops
with abundant diversion
unavailable at home
to lower class enlisted men
usually despised ignored
by fragrant society,
except when requisitioned
to give blood, body
in service of their masters.

Thwarted by the new warfare
kept in restraint
in a conquered country
that had no bars,
pleasure houses,
just roadside bombs, ambushes,
effendi death chuckling
at futile state building
in a hostile land
having infidel invaders,
refusing to offer
comfort and joy.

• “Fringe Benefits” is from Blunt Force, Gary’s unpublished collection that delves into many issues and concerns of our times.

Gary Beck spent his life as a theater director/playwright. He has had 21 poetry books, 7 novels, 3 short story collections and 1 book of essays published. Gary’s original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off-Broadway in New York City, where he resides. Read other articles by Gary.