Adrienne Veronese

Rainier and His Chaos Demons

My brother and I agree

our father returned from

that frozen reservoir in Korea

with deities attached to him,

but not just any kind of deity.

What followed the lieutenant home

was the kind of deity that thrives on chaos,

on division and terror and bloodshed.

For lack of a better term for it, we agreed to call it

chaos demon, the demon of war.


Although in retrospect it seems

overkill that we would find ourselves

battling Korean war demons in childhood,

since similar demons had already

saturated the Pacific Northwest soil

with the spoils of the Puget Sound Wars

a century before either of us was born.


Chaos demons thrived where countless thousands

whose tribe had no word for war died at the hands of tools

programmed to serve the greedy colonists taking everything,

from the fertile land to the name of the mountain once called Tahoma,

renamed Rainier after the admiral and his chaos demons.


Which makes it hard to say whether

the demon in the wall who tried to

take my brother to that place of no return

was Korean, or native to the Enumclaw Plateau.

It would only matter if there’s a distinction between them

other than the obvious, which was that it thrived on chaos

and devouring the innocence of children.


It thrived on families torn apart,

on the perversions of faith that lead to

sexual abuse, indoctrination into

false narratives, and all things

that go unspoken but need

to be held up to the light and studied

for the kernel of truth they contain.


It is those truths the chaos demons

do not want us to discover, their

greatest fear being the formation

of a cohesive picture of the chaos

in which they thrive.


Cohesion is kryptonite to chaos.


Which is why there has never been

an explanation for why I never heard

the innocent laughter of my little brother

after the chaos demon of war promised

I would never hear it again.


Nor does it explain the manufacturing of demons

those resource capitalists are so fond of.

Manufacturing chaos demons in the Halls of Congress,

with the help of chaos demons in the Senate prayer breakfasts

with their chaos demons promoting war in the

badly translated new international versions of badly translated missives

from entities promoting the chaos of war in their name.


Crusades and Inquisitions One and Two Point Oh

Wars of Roses and wars of bread and circuses,

ratings wars, drug wars and culture wars

are all how we feed them

and yet knowing this has never helped me

bring my brother back from that place

the chaos demon took him

when we were too young

to know how to manage an evil

none of us have ever been taught

how to manage,

since the chaos demons

have made sure we never learn.


Because knowledge is power

and the chaos demons of war

don’t want us to have the power it takes

to use the kryptonite we are all born with

to smother them with cohesion.


For Gregor


© Adrienne Veronese






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