EVEN THOUGH THEY ALWAYS WIN

 

So, they’ve failed to take over the world –
yet, still, the Nazis somehow always prevail.

But even though they always win
(and will always win),
I won’t give up.
I will never give up.

Even now,
in the endless time-warp of our Lord, 1945/2016,
I remain, as ever, deep behind enemy lines,
playing a constant game of cat and mouse
in the Kent countryside,
knowing I can’t afford to rest
(not even when I come to rest),
pausing only briefly at the very edge of a rhubarb field
and, concealed behind the perimeter hedge
with my two-way transmitter,
relaying all that’s happened, everything I’ve seen
(activities, movements, troop concentrations)
and, in between that, listening in.

However, what’s being said –
in the endless slew of transmissions I intercept – 
is frustratingly hard to understand,
especially with the poor signal
and constant interference
(but, despite that –
and even though I’m always cursing Babel,
unable to read its garbled codes –
still I do my duty
and intercept each garbled cable).

Then, just for a moment,
something comes through clear:
“Gable’s hair is all that’s straight
and smooth about him.”
That’s code for something, definitely –
though what?

But, yes – Gable:
Of all the things to have happened
in the craziness of World War(ped) Two,
that takes some beating.
Even the most committed Krauts
must now have doubts
about their smooth-haired leader’s sanity.

Gable, Goering and Goebbels.
I have to admit, it has a ring to it,
but even so…

My handler knew how shocked I’d be to hear the news.
So, when he initially broke the story
on his breakfast show,
he first gave the warning:
“Today, don’t slick back but sit back –
cuz you’re gonna need to:
Hitler’s only gone and changed his name,
and his appearance too,
to that of the famous Hollywood film star,
Clark Gable.”

Not gonna lie, I didn’t see that coming:
Hitler turning himself into Gable –
no longer a square H,
but a well-rounded G.
I’m trying to picture him
with a pencil moustache and slicked back hair,
and I’ve been warned that when, at last,
I reach the Chancellery,
it’ll be that,rather than the bullet-hole
in the middle of his forehead,
which’ll make me stare,
stare so long and hard I’ll turn to stone,
only for victorious Soviet soldiers
to carve their initials into me.

But, in the meantime,
Gable’s been elected President of the United States.
He may be dead
but, being as it hasn’t been confirmed,
he’s out on loan.
He’s due back in Berlin in 2045.
Ich bin ein Berliner.
Even with a hole in his head,
he’ll always still be Mr President.

To think, I first met Trump
back when he was still a tramp.
I came across him in 1991,
asking for change in Victoria station,
just days after all the bins
had been taken out of every railway station in London,
in response to the IRA placing a bomb inside a bin
which went off during the rush hour,
killing one and injuring thirty-eight.

I found him on the station concourse,
stood within a ring of rust
on the ground where a bin had been.
It was like he thought
it was some kind of magic circle.
At any rate, he refused to leave its confines –
and, though soiling himself in the process,
as far as he was concerned,
I was, undoubtedly, a demon.

Well, it might behove Trump to know
that my demons have now been exorcised.
Gay conversion therapists,
in partnership
with Nordic Model advocates,
have seen to that.
Not that they invited me
to their joint victory ceremony –
but, as I stood outside the window of the grand hall,
and watched them celebrate
with a sumptuous banquet,
I couldn’t see any difference between them at all
as they toasted each other on their latest success:
Gaining control of Sodom and Gomorrah,
and agreeing to administer one zone each.

Slap bang in the middle of these two zones,
of course, is Checkpoint Charlie –
and, there, I learned something new
as I watched a movie with the other guard on duty.
Called Hannibal Barca,
the movie was all about the great Carthaginian general
outwitting the Romans.
‘Inspired by true events’, it told the story
of how Hannibal’s army was able to traverse
the impossible-to-pass mountains of the Alps,
mainly because his troops were carried on elephants
which all had incredibly long spindly stalk legs
that stretched up into the sky,
much higher even than mountain peaks –
as, of course, faithfully depicted,
centuries later, by Salvador Dali.

That was the film’s finale –
the big reveal –
that Hannibal’s stream-of-consciousness
was, alone, enough to conquer the Roman army.
Well, that was where Hannibal’s genius lay –
in his mind: Mind over matter.

However, in the end, the Romans won.
People like the Romans always do.
It may look as if they eventually lose,
but all they do is change their name,
like Hitler has.
And now –
in the time-warp of our Lord, 1945/2016 – 
he’s on the verge of victory.

But even though they always win –
and will always win –
I’ll keep on going,
constantly gathering and transmitting information,
checking for signals,
knowing I can’t afford to let myself get captured.
We’ve already lost so many good people,
who are all too often irreplaceable.

Me, I’m expendable, and always was –
or, at least, I certainly always was compared with my wife.
She was a renowned writer, a political satirist, 
and the Nazis would probably have killed her
if they could have done –
if they’d managed to get to her in time.

Before they could, however,
she blew herself up in the kitchen
while assembling various packed with meaning sentences.
The coroner ruled it suicide, but I know better.
In any event, there was nothing I could do to save her,
and now I’m on the run –
on the run as much from the memory of that,
as on the run from the Nazis,
and all they represent. 

And though they always win – 
and will always win –
if they come for me at night,
I have my wife’s books, all opened up,
on the floor of my hallway,
laid out like traps.

If they’re going to be censored,
let them be shut tight on jackboots.

 

 

 

 

Thomas McColl
Cover Art from No Bonzo


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