Excerpt from The Book of War

by knut
(c) 1995

Sun-Tzu Said

"In general, commanding a large number is like commanding a few. It is a question of dividing up the numbers. Fighting with a large number is like fighting with a few. It is a question of configuration and designation."

Overheard in the War Room

We can route those Chechian bastards with a dozen thousand
or so well-made Russian TANKS just ROLL 'EM ON IN
like the FUCKING STEAMROLLER CAVALRY, ok?
You get? You copy?
	Capice?
	om
	pren
	de?
YOU CAN'T GIVE UP ON ME NOW, MAN!

"...instead, says Minister of Commerce, with that
self-satisfied smirk and air of politico self-esteem,
new road plans will go inland, not coastal as the county
deemed fish-industry-supporting necessity...

...in other, local, less important news, five year old girl
found beaten to death in the snow, crushed, says witness,
'like an egg at the hands of chef extraordinare JULIA CHILDS
[[[child-chef prodigy, grinning with fat, fills up cross-country
HDTVs with roly-poly-rosy cheeks and multiple chins]]],'
by playmates one year her senior..."

Stars like flash-powder breezing by on the mind-wind,
winding up for declarations of explosion and of war;
"O how utterly vainglorious of you dear, don't you think so?"

"That's right, son! Beat 'em at their own game!"

Norwegians Gain Points on International Score Card as Even More Sensocialist than "The Rest of Us"

Entertainment, Page 14

Tripping --
							so high
so long
	so lo	(AP, Bogota<->Oslo mindlink connection)
Two months back, Colombian airplane
split into two; fifty-one people fell in uncomfortable SPIRAL OF
DEATH; splat went the noise in the rainforest where no-one was around
to hear. -- Except her, of course, nine-year-old girl shoved beyond
chassis by concerned mother seated at the edge of the hairline crack:
that pencil-thin line appearing in the body of the plane,
then growing, growing, growing into a screaming maw of windy void.
Scared shitless and wetting her pants, the mother undid the buckle
of the kid's potentially murderous seatbelt and threw her out behind her.
Ouch. The kid bounced harmlessly off coffee plant cushions. But the rest?
"Plane down, no survivors" but the miracle child. Oops.
Tripping --
My brain comes to mind. I close my eyes tight,
long lashes brushing tops of cheeks. Veins behind the lids going
purple, then red, then fading into black, I envision this brain locked up
inside my skull. Between the hemispheres, like cheeks of an ass,
goes the crack. Fists clench; nails bite palms relentlessly; blood pools neatly
under the quicks; mmm. Like the body of the airplane, I imagine my brain
set in formaldehyde nothingness, then separating, splitting, creativity
and rationale drifting apart to trip all by themselves...
Tripping, stumbling, crawling --
Like palms scratching pavement, someone
shoves a rudimentary hilt into my hand. Eyes still shut, I test the weight,
balance; probably six, seven inches long. Lids flutter open just in time
for the ultimate face-off between five of our guys and five of theirs.
Slash, slash, slash, slash. Knives swish rythmically, like a funeral march.
I drop the blade, move in for the kill. Blood pools neatly under the quicks of my nails.
Fluffy (meanwhile, back at the right hemisphere) --
I dunno. This side of the brain is yawning with boredom.
Guess I'm too well trained. I compose opera, pretend swashes of my blade-bearing
hand are conducting. Fat old Pavarotti stands on the stage bleeding. Something
tragic; I think he's just committed suicide. The chorus explodes in Hungarian
song, something darkly Hungarian, darkly humorously Hungarian, sattirical
hymns of mourning with organ loud in the background; something blunt & beautiful.
I love it. Conducting furiously, tears spring to my eyes, somehow running through
the paths of my body and coming out the ends of my nails. The audience leaps to
their feet. For a moment, I think they're all going to leap off the mezzanine,
but instead they just applaud...

When I Wake Up, I Smell The (Blood-Red) Roses Loud & Clear

"Simulated chaos is given birth from control; the illusion of fear is given birth from courage; feigned weakness is given birth from strength. Order and disorder are a question of numbers; courage and fear are a question of the strategic configuration of power; strength and weakness are a question of the deployment of forces."

So that's it! Now, silly me, you see, I thought it was a question of who had the biggest guns: the government with their phallic-symbol nipple-tipped enzyme-based chemically nuclear blast-your-head-off-and-take-the-whole-world-with-it-in-a-matter-of-nano-nano-nano-seconds "warheads" (colloquially known as none other than "missiles," "projectiles", "cocks" and "balls") vs. ... um, vs., well, me. "Yes, folks!" shouts the announcer excitedly, referee already bounced into the center of the ring with ex-con black-and-white zebra-striped shirt and pants. "Yes, folks, t h i s i s H o w a r d C o s e l l" goes the nightmare of my life: having a pock-marked broad-grinning shiny-toothed metal-plate-in-his-head-from-sustaining-injury-in-the-second-world-war (where "they" saved "us" from the Germans? Fuck that! With the English bombing our [bright, Norwegian] cities to pieces and the Americans getting lost in the hallucinatory wilderness of France which wasn't reality until you hit the front-line, we were being killed by all the sides except our own, and even them, too) narrating the battle between KNUT in the shiny green jockey shorts warming up skimpily in the right corner of the ring, between KNUT and the UNDEFEATED CHAMPION OF THE WORLD.. "Yes, that's right, folks! That's right! It's the great! the mighty! the king! the King of Kings! Yes, folks! It's...it's... ELVIS PRESLEY!!!!!!" The crowd goes nuts.

You expect these fists of mine to beat up Elvis' nuclear-powered toons? Even wearing battering words like brass-knuckled hand-lotion skin-care protection? That's like asking why Lee Harvey Oswald gave in to Mr. Ruby without a fight.


Unattributed quotes are from Sun-Tzu's Art of War, translated by Ralph D. Sawyer, Westview Press Inc., Boulder, 1994

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