Gary Jacobson


A slithery black snake’s in my house
Shedding scaly skin of woeful complaints to grouse
Fetid memories flailing from fear of death arouse.
My corkscrewed snake eats at family allegiances
Grumbling with insidious grievances
Coiling to strike with inane contrivances
My black snake makes me horrible thoughts think…
Wild Turkey to drink.

My black snake is PTSD, you see, making me paranoid
Leaving a hole in my heart void
Bringing back toxic memories of killing I try to avoid
I struggle to maintain sanity
Doubt my humanity
Forked-tongue lies corrupt moral integrity…
I wonder why I am not yet free;
Why what has war made of me?

My black snake is war’s omnipresent manifestation
War’s demonic infestation
Traumatic with insatiable degradation
War, a defiant affront to sensibility born in gentility
A manipulative residual of war’s great blasphemy
Bringing carnage to this poor boy’s soul
Perfidious evil will on a warrior dole
Ripping ingenuous hearts and minds… evil to cajole.

My black snake is insidious PTSD buried deep in anger
Striking with venomous bite at a whim of treacherous rancor
Welling up to impact old warrior’s forever
Closeted violence burning in treasonous spite.
War planted this cataclysmic seed in long ago fight
Where I lost absurdity in the American dream
Hissing with malevolent fear borne in primal scream
Splitting forlorn air with deep despair.

My black snake resurrects my deepest fear…
Creeping with venom to my heart sear…
Physical pain of PTSD it will bring
Its forked tongue with splitting discordance sing
Decays within my soul… destroying me
Mentally, spiritually, socially, abandoning me
Maligned, depressed, this slithering beast procreated
My black snake hates everybody in bestial shadows pall
Myself most of all!