The cluster bomb salesman


A manufacturer’s rep at a cluster bomb show
explains on camera how these weapons are designed
to avoid civilian targets and focus only on military ones
seen from thousands of feet above.

He looks into the camera’s eye
and says in all seriousness,
like a man delivering a sermon
that “these weapons are very effective
and are available to anyone with cash

and the proper credentials,” as if the
transaction is the kind of behavior
that ordinary, sensible people engage in
every day. Canisters filled with violence

are marketed like the latest model toaster,
very effective in providing toast, and without
the cleanup older models required.
They do provide toast … in a way.

What does this say about us as a society,
as men and women that we can explain such
weapons so blandly, as if they are nothing?
What does it say about our future as a species,

about the winsomeness of hope in a small child’s
eyes? The wail of a mother and a father?
What does it say about you and about me?

About gwpj

Originally from Seattle, I now live in Sapporo, Japan, where I write, explore this city, read widely, and ask questions about things that i see as important. I'm also an author, with three novels published ("The Old Man and The Monkey", "Grandfather and The Raven", and "Bear: a story about a boy and his unusual dog"). For more information about my writing, drop by my website, at
This entry was posted in Commentary, poem, Sellng, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The cluster bomb salesman

  1. robert okaji says:

    What does this say, indeed!

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