In his second collection of mashed-up poetry and prose, Mr If launches an uncompromising assault on the War on Terror through a confessional account of his affair with Marilyn, the wife of his friend Nettles, a soldier serving in Afghanistan. Crude, intelligent, shocking and at times very funny, Violence is the Answer is Philistine Press's most controversial ebook to date.
When I wrote my first collection, Entertainment, I didn’t feel the need to change the names of the people I was writing about. I have no intention of revealing my real name, so there’s no reason why any of my friends will discover that I’ve betrayed them. To be honest, I quite like the idea of getting caught – of my friends reading Entertainment and reeling back in horror and the secrets I’ve disclosed. But, as I say, it’s highly unlikely my friends will inadvertently stumble across the Philistine Press website, and even if they do, the poems in Entertainment are just poems, and could have been written by anyone.
In this, my second collection of mashed-up prose and verse, I’ve made the decision to change names in order to protect the identity of the two friends to whom this collection is dedicated.
The first friend I will call Marilyn. We are lovers, and I am learning to love her.
The second friend is usually known by his surname, which I’m going to pretend is Nettles. He is Marilyn’s husband, and an old friend of mine from school. As I write these words, Nettles is serving for the British armed forces in Afghanistan, and needs to come home before he gets killed for no reason.
Iraq is not a conquest.
The ‘Stan is not a conquest.
Marilyn is not a conquest either.
Please don’t let her be that.
Whatever my feelings,
She is more than a notch on a bedpost.
She will never be comparable to some military victory,
Not least of all because our affair, if you want to call it that,
Has been a failure.
Iraq is a failure.
The ‘Stan is a failure.
I don’t want Marilyn to be a failure too.
Please let her be more than that.
I promise you, Nettles, I am trying to make it more than that,
In each of our misjudged meetings,
I am trying to make this mean something.
Are you doing the same out there,
Wherever it is you are?
Do you dwell on your reasons for being there
As much as I do?
I don’t like what the army are doing in Iraq.
I don’t like what the army are doing in Afghanistan.
But somehow I can’t bring myself to hate it.
Hatred is a bad thing.
I like Marilyn. Really I do.
I like the way she dances to her own private groove when she’s pleased about
I like the way she reads trashy magazines and watches crap on the TV,
Indulging in her guilty pleasures like a connoisseur.
I like the way her crows feet compliment her face,
I like her bleached blond hair with the black roots.
I like the perfection of the wonky smile.
But somehow I can’t bring myself to love her.
And believe me, I’ve tried.