1. you have to be at war.
2. if no war exists, convince someone to hold a gun and point.
3. if in state of absolute
tell the gun to fire.
4. building the weapon requires constant distraction.
5. the best generals understand
can be manufactured
6. tell every person
hasn’t tickled a trigger
about that feeling.
7. count on feelings overtaking logic
in times of challenge.
8. answer every question about
with proclamation of necessity.
9. if constituents are still unconvinced,
submit fallacious history
in place of reality
10. when the weapon is finished,
it doesn’t matter where it points,
you already think you have permission.
Michael Prihoda lives in central Indiana. He is the founding editor of After the Pause, an experimental literary magazine and small press. His work has received nominations for the Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net Anthology and he is the author of nine poetry collections, most recently Out of the Sky (Hester Glock, 2019).