Lima Oscar Victor Echo

Lima Oscar Victor Echo

A Poem by Louis McNab

An experiment on sentence structuring, word combinations and poetic rythm.


Do you remember when we were young, tumbling through the reeds down by that eternal waterside? Do you remember how you fell into the water, rolling like a brick without wings, falling through the insurmountable flowers and how we fell into the butterfly that collapsed beside you with a deafening whisper? In that night, oh so tender with it’s fingers touching our tainted spirits, had we not discovered all the secrets of the void? What was it that drove you to madness, the sound of your feeble lungs struggling in the impenetrable static of the radio on the countertop or the tender caress of alcohol on your prepubescent moustache? Frailty and confidence are the poisons of mankind, is what you said, as we tumbled through the rocks like flowers without lovers. Surrealism and pain were the lessons that you taught us when we were too hurt to even utter a click of remorse.

And yet, I waved goodbye as you ran up the steps to the thing that should have never flown, our hats waving in the ether of a million Sunday afternoons. With poison and bourbon you wrote the sorrow onto the bodies of your broken families, the moons piling up much like the pebbles we threw into the river back in the flame of our early days, back when you needed not a defibrillator nor a rubber tube to keep you ticking. The engine spun away, propeller blades throwing remorse into the wind. Finally, you were happy, your frail lungs strong enough not to only whisper remorse, but to scream of regret at the walls we had erected around us. As you ascended into the sunset, we descended into the earth where we stood morosely and watched the Berlin Wall collapse into rubble.

Somewhere around four PM that Sunday, I had heard the blast, the echo and the plead. Gone and dead you were, sinking into the dirt, your hands clawing at the worms, beckoning for light and yet receiving the void to have and hold, for the rest of your days, for time itself to unravel. Vanishing like the electricity during the civil war you were, a fading memory, the whisper of the wingless butterfly now an ejaculation of pain. Blood spurted forth from your charred corpse, the audience standing for applause in the face of such filth, our faces eroded from all the tears we had shed following your fatal defiance of nature. Your wife, porcelain face shattering like plates at lunch, her expression unchanged in the face of the moon landing that we had watched some hours after they buried you in a mass grave of the unnamed.

The beginning of the Second World War drawing near, I stood at the headstone that you scratched in protest, silent weeping disappearing into the afternoon haze. And yes, I did check my calendar, and yes, it was Sunday, as it had always been with you. Pouring bourbon and steel over the earth that had taken you in like a mother, I smiled, your wife now nothing but shattered dust. Outside, the guns drew near, shattering the sun, boiling the sky, burning the clouds, a red Cessna stitching the gaping wounds shut. Several bricks tumbled past us, the wings on their backs just barely flapping as they rolled towards the river of our youth, the river whose name now comes back to me. It was the river Death and the reeds were called Defiance, the pebbles we threw into the river you ripped out of your arms just like the IV’s that night before you left, leaving us laughing in the hallway with glass in our feet. Just before you walked out to tumble down into the reeds, you whispered four words to me.

Lima Oscar Victor Echo

© 2013 Louis McNab

Author's Note

Louis McNab
There's a basic anti-war message involved. The piece does not raise any questions nor present any answers. I simply wanted to see how well I could spin and weave the language. What I am interested in, if you're planning to review this, that is, is the language, sentencing and word order rather than anything relating to the "plot".

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Added on May 24, 2013
Last Updated on May 24, 2013
Tags: prose poetry, prose poem, experimental, rhythm, sentencing, anti-war, memories


Louis McNab
Louis McNab


I'm a 17 year old prog rocker, soon-to-be college student (hopefully) and chain smoker who writes anything at all, really. Q: Can I use some of your *anything at all ever* A: Sure, I don't real.. more..