Sport of Kings - Manual of Instructions, Poem by WJ Ray

The Sport of Kings

News Flash: "The Emergency Preparedness Commission intends to utilize
law enforcement personnel to maintain health and civil order in the event of a nuclear attack."

Manual of Instructions

The time is coming when you go to work
The time is coming when you get paid
In double-time but forget your address and name
They're useless as your eyeballs jerk
And hang like tears a devil made
To liquidate the debts of blindness and shame

Watch for the monsters who'll want your water
They won't want it for comradely drinking
They'll find it and dive in it
And drown you with them--a martyr
To reasonable planning and the power of thinking
The rifles are for keeping order should anyone
Want food, medicine or the truck
It'll last two days, you'll need that long
To get to Wieser or Avalon or Calgary
They'll still be human there, with luck

I won't leave, you go instead
I'll have vaporized at the flash
Always too curious I guess, listening to what
You said— "Firepower is the strongest case for defense"
As you put me in solitary
And booked a dozen others first that busy night
For well-paid County cop thugs
But forget it we're even now

And if the road's clear of six million cars
It'll be easy driving 'til your arms get weak
And your skin peels like a glove you can see right through
And your retching flesh tends to mar the trip
And you can't continue for trees and gore
And if you're shrieking from the heat and pain
You can always wish you weren't
And if breath is a rasping fire in your mouth and throat
Just cup your hands and drink the rain

For a Santa Rita guard after the Livermore anti-nuclear demonstration, June 1983

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