Just Want

Guys just want to see pretty girls;

Girls just want to be unseen;

Seen only by lovely Desire;

Guys like them young;

And say, “I like [young] … girls women?”

Women girls say, “I like bad boys”

Boys men say, “my bad”

But how bad-good or good-bad?

Guys just want to see pretty girls

Girls just want to be unseen;

Guys like them how young;

Girls like them fun;

Guys can look at your daughter;

And see what you used to look like


Girls don’t look at boys;

Women don’t look at boys either,

Or bother to smell their sneakers, socks, stockings, and what else who knows?

Guys may pause though

Even if not into girly stench-ed scented sneakers,

Because you looked like she when

You were young, and life smells only sterile.

Like we died inside formaldehyde.

Who is more beautiful?

The tensed and troubled face attached to your body that looks like mine,

Or a face that evokes and mirrors Desire at the same time?

We cannot have it Desire permanently.

She comes fast and goes slow and may never come back again,

Though her remnants lingerie-like linger, longing long after.

Even after you are gone, she will be there.

Just not with you.

Nothing to smell or hold on to, no one that is.

Guys just want to see pretty girls

Girls just want to be unseen by

Low self-esteem.

That’s why they want to be unseen,

Because they cannot be in love if they are in love with love.

But guys I know better;

They just want to look at [young] girls,

And girls just want to be seen by what they like to see.

We can choose to chase life, or

Choose to move closer to death.

There’s a sense there’s danger in both there is.

Girls just want bad boys;

Guys just want to see pretty girls,

Both just want a thrill

But to see if they are still alive

 or alone.

written by Earl Yarington @2019 all rights reserved

If it’s a thing

It’s funny if a unicorn was a thing.

A thing to touch

To feel;

It’s funny if a rainbow’s end

Was a treasure trove

To steal;

It’s funny if treasure was real;

Was there ever a pot of gold

For real?

It’s funny if people loved freely

As they do hate

For what is real;

I prefer rainbows, and fairy dust,

1-million-year old nymphs

Trapped in adolescence;

Where unicorns gleam,

Even in the midst of misty


Over, what is there to

Imagination’s lost?

To being sane,

Or is it better to be static,

Manic, hypo- or hyper-manic?

It’s funny if imagination is a thing

To eliminate my pain

For real.

written by Earl Yarington @2019 all rights reserved

Kids Are Not Meant To Be Puzzles: Tales From the Brig

Syrian girl wounded, credits Abd Doumany / AFP / Getty

[Reflections from the Brig[1]: Kids Are Not Meant to Be Puzzles]

“Is that one over there peeking out?” I say, waving to a gunner. The dirt just under the toenail smiles at me. Or is that a frown? Silly me, I think, I am looking at things the wrong side up.

These, though, are independent digits. Like reddened slugs or overfed worms. Their status miniscule, yet their usefulness has helped rule the world. Here they appear to be shitting red on the ground.

“These didn’t have a chance … yet.” I say it to the seasoned boy-gunner, whose searching for friend number 5.  Having walled off shock, he looks at it. It’s smiling at him.

“This is what’s called a tragedy, if I am getting my Shakespeare correct.” I say.

“FUBAR[2] is what we call it, Zoomie[3].” He says.

He nods decked out in cammies[4], and I think that this is what a philosopher would like if 23 and a Marine. I am too numb, and he too young to know the digits’ effect on us. It will come soon. At present, one survives with humor or acronyms.

There is one, and another. The last digit I wrestled from a feral. Pulling a John Wayne[5], the gunner shot it. I thought, then, of my cat, who’d nestle on my bed and affectionately nip at my own toes.

Maybe that feral is not a feral but the girl’s cat wanting her back? I do not say this to the gunner though. I push it in like a toe stuck in the crack of a dam. Even Marines have their limits, their heroic vulnerabilities. But I must have looked at him like Puss in Boots.

“Don’t be a Wookie[6],” said the gunner thoughtfully, “Come to think of it, that’s a promotion for you, Zoomie.”

I smile. I think he’s connecting with me.

Feet are safe. I recall driving next to an SUV. The girl on the passenger side had her feet stuck out the window. She was young, a minor, but I don’t have any idea how old. She had black stockinged feet, transparent, the kind guys like me like. I looked at them and then at her face. She looked at me looking at her and smiled, approving my approval of her. The moment is still vivid, though I , too, was young then.

They are supposed to be safe, even for a fetishist. They are seen everywhere.  Yet, if emphasized, shown off, they become the most intimate parts of us. I recall the red-faced dad scolding his beautiful daughter for having her bare feet up on a public table. I liked them; mad she took them down. I accused the dad for being embarrassed. When I was gunner-young, like the Marine, I was not so corrupted. Trauma, the eighth deployment, has taught me otherwise.

There is a humanity in them, in feet, and especially with young girls. Both are taboo yet in plain sight. I knew that the girls liked my uniform more than I. With age comes such a realization. We all like what we cannot have, so we pretend and accuse others. Like bare feet, we dress up what IED’s[7] strip away. The terror of our bodies, of death. Each pair is different, a unique history in a commonly fearful world. If I love or admire them enough, I know whose feet I am looking at.

I need more than digits. Not all match either. When together, each toe is unique, that is if they are on the same foot. One must look at the other foot to notice perfection, to get it right. Yet no pair is alike.  Some toes, when together, form an arch, while with other feet; a toe pokes above the others, almost awkward. They are the narcissistic toes. Toes, though, need arches and soles.

I find one on a roof and the other the gunner found, sunning itself near a well. Marines are multitaskers. I like them like I like feet. They can smell good or bad and are shaped differently, but you always know a Marine is a Marine, just like you always know a foot is a foot, whether barefoot, socked, or booted.  

There are others scattered about. I learn to compare them. After hours, we find and match carefully preserving them under the immense heat. Through the carnage we peer for more toes, feet, and body parts with mechanical indifference.

I think that is a head there with a colon on the side; no that foot is the wrong hue, the other worn. It must be an adult’s. If the feral was still alive, it could have that one.

No worries, the gunner found friend 5 intact, sound in body but the threat of TBI[8] after effect. He simply rose up among the ruins. After getting him in the chopper, we continued. His friend telling him to carry on.

“People are not meant to be puzzles,” the gunner says.  

“Don’t you have an acronym for that?” I blurted back, fighting against the depth of the statement.


I nod, wondering what the difference is between FUBAR and TARFU. Who thinks of these things, I wonder. Is there a Marine board of officers that debate the nuances and how each are applied?

I try to reconstruct, recalling the picture of a little girl. Her tentative face shown behind all ten toes ending just below the balls of the feet. She was sitting in a car posing for daddy. They were going to the park. The beauty of that image, the vulnerability of it was intoxicating. I think she didn’t like the picture but did not know why. Daddy did and posted it, not seeming to mind the sexual comments like, “I came a lot.” She is just a kid, I thought. Thrill knows no boundaries, pain becomes a permanent shadow.

I blurt out, “Maybe seven or eight?”

“Negative, we have eight.”

“I mean the girl, about seven or eight?”

The gunner is silent for a moment, then looks at me sincerely, “This is a different kind of Shit Storm[10], Zoomie. You can tell the age of a toe?”

“When you see enough of them, gunner, you can see the whole person,” I reflect.

The Marine observes methodically what’s in his hand, “Kids are not meant to be puzzles.”

Girls have beautiful feet, I thought. These, too, were so. There is no time for fungus, calluses, hammertoes and yellowed nails. These, though, are no longer so natural. We tag them, put them in a Ziplock, and put them in the cold. On a bad day, we wrestle the remnants of girlhood from her grieving mother, our weapons, “Lock and Load[11].”

Without thinking, words flooded out of my mouth, “I sniffed a girl’s sock once.”

The Devildog[12] hardly seemed to notice.

“I mean, a woman’s,” now sounding more stupid and perverted.

Walking in front of me, the Marine turned, equal in rank but younger in age, “SNAFU[13], PeeWee[14], we all have our poison.”

The gunner, turning back and scanning forward, “I sniffed a Doggie’s[15] ass once, not a Jarhead’s[16], too much respect for the latter, but like feet, an ass is an ass.”

He turned back, “What did it smell like Pouge[17]?”

“Nylon and sweat. The only high I ever got. They were those little black, transparent socks. You, know, like pantyhose but socks.”

“Yep, SNAFU, it is. But I guess not all feet are the same then?”

“Yes,” I agreed drawing parallels, “All asses shit and all feet walk, but they look different, some prettier than others. The high, though, is daring and intimate. It can bring the person back to life, so to speak.”

Seeming to read my mind, the gunner asked, “Why … girls?”

“Because there is a thrill in having what I cannot have. I am not someone that would hurt them, you know.”

The gunner grinned. “Even though you’re a Zoomie, I won’t tell. I didn’t smell a Doggie’s ass, though. I like belly buttons but try and focus on tits to make me feel normal. I get the girl thing, PeeWee, little chicks.”

We moved toward the beach, spotting someone buried in the sand. Only the head was shown.

The gunner turned to me, “Now regardless, Zoomie, this is a perfect example of a new kind of Shit Storm. Who gets to find out?”

I pulled a coin out of my pocket, a child’s toy I found on my last deployment, and said, “Heads or Tails?” I won or lost, depending on how one sees the world.

As we approached the person, the age and gender became more apparent.

“That appears to be a women-child” the gunner said,” That’s the worst. Sorry Pouge, given your predilections.”

There was no blood. IEDs are weird that way, one moment we trudge through liquid bodies and blood, the next is a perfectly enact human being or body part that rises above mounds of human grief and anger.

The face is pretty, as little girls’ faces are, and the eyes are open, large and sad. I gently grab the dark wavy hair, hold my breath and pull upward.

A blood-curdling screech came from somewhere, a scream that sent both of us back to boot camp. I fell back on my ass, dropping the hair. The Marine almost pulled another John Wayne. Getting my senses, “I yelled, “Don’t Fire! Hold your fucking fire!”

The gunner froze. The head’s face was trembling, tears running down the cheeks.

“She’s buried!” Without further instruction, the gunner covered me and called for assistance. I dug and dug thinking what to say to a traumatized girl?

I knew Arabic as much as a smartphone, but I repeated the words, “Aman, mamun, hob” as I dug. The girl was trembling, but the warmth of the sand may save her. As we pulled her out, the gunner pointed, below.

“Her fucking feet. They are gone.”

Otherwise, the girl was as intact as if she dropped from the sky. I could tell the gunner was startled. I’ve seen many dead kids, but not the living dead. I put her in my arms, all eight years of her, and ran toward the approaching buzz of the chopper. I looked down to see if she was still conscious. She peered through me toward heaven. I repeated, in panting breaths, “Aman, mamun, hob.”

It then came to me suddenly. “Devildog,” I yelled, her feet! We have them tagged in the Ziplocs.” Get them to the Medics.”

I knew they were hers.

In the two minutes I held her, she felt like my own. I pushed her toward the medic and motioned that we have more of her in a bag. The Marine, handed over the cooler. The girl’s hands clutched to my body and would not let go. The medics put us in the chopper.

I saluted the Marine below and would never see him again.

Walking toward me, stumbling on what makes us conquer the world, was Ayda with those big eyes. I held an American flag. It was The Long Walk[18] toward me. I tried to stop from crying but could not. She was crying, too. As she got near, I gave her the flag and told the translator that this was from Sgt. Brian Forthwinger’s family. He was the Marine that helped me save her life and put her body back together. Sgt. Forthwinger was severely wounded by an IED a few months ago and penned this letter just before he passed:

Dear Ayda,

When carrying you to the chopper, my friend, the Zoomie, with his poor knowledge of Arabic (to be expected from Zoomies) kept telling you, “safe, secure, and love.” We have an acronym for secure, because, for service members, security is everything: we lock up, close, take care of, and finish up for the day. We don’t have an acronym for safe because there is nothing safe about our mission. To be safe is to put others in harm’s way. We can make things secure. Making things safe is what a puddle jumper[19] would do (I love you guys, really). I think I am dying, and will not see you, but you make me feel secure in dying, in knowing I played a part in saving you when having to kill others. You are not an enemy but a friend. Life may be TARFU but security makes them SNAFU. We don’t have an acronym for love, but in the Marines, love is something that is understood. The love of country, freedom, family, and God, or Allah, as you say. For this Devildog, the acronym for love is you, Ayda. You are indeed “one who returns.”

With Love,

Sgt. Brain Forthwinger,


[1] Military Prison

[2] Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition or Repair.

[3] What the Marines jokingly call a member of the Air Force

[4] Camouflage

[5] As noted in USMC Hangout, any brave or bold act that is done in the movies but not done according to USMC (military) protocol.

[6] A term used for a female Marine

[7] Improvised Explosive Devices

[8] Traumatic Brain Injury does not always show all symptoms immediately.

[9] Things are really fouled up

[10] Usually means combat or a violent occurrence

[11] Loading your weapon

[12] Another name for Marine

[13] Situation Normal but Fucked Up

[14] A reference to a popular childhood character who was played by a man that was caught masturbating in an adult theater.

[15] Member of the United States Army

[16] Marine

[17] Anything other than infantry, used here as a general term for a military guy that is not a Marine.

[18] Often, a service member walks toward a detected IED alone, in armor, known as The Long Walk. See Brian Castner’s book The Long Walk.

[19] Teasing term used on members of the Coast Guard

written by Earl Yarington @2019 all rights reserved

Please Dispose of White Trash Properly

Hey, I was once white trash,

Always stricken for some cash;

Didn’t bathe or comb my matts;

Because I was told I was a stupid jackass.

So I dropped out of school, you see;

No junior or senior prom for me;

No loving teen girls,

When I should’ve loved teen girls;

Failure was my destiny,

It was ordained in me,

By me having no cash,

And too few bucks made me white trash.

So I got a black-belt,

Can break a neck with my hands, you see,

And a paper that said GED,

And had 20 jobs; I quit them all, you see.

But I went to ca, ca, ca, ca, c-o-o-mu-u-nnity college,

The same that my mommy and daddy did, you see,

And got me a degree.

My brother said to me, I wish you failed, you see,

Because then you would not leave mommy, daddy, or me.

I keep using “you see” because forgive me,

I am only white trash,

Don’t be being mean to me.

So I got the BS of it all, did a couple master’s ya’ll;

So good that I got into IUP, a nice big third-tier PhD.

Now, now I am Dr. White Trash, you see.

Not good enough for Ivy League, and

Too uppity for all of thee;

Peed on from the top, and screwed over from the bottom.

And I kinda understand a former slave, you see,

A man that taught himself to read,

With a bit of help from a white elite.

No matter what I achieve, I’m a piece of white trash, you see,

Even after going to the Ivy League, and I did shore well, Mee, Maw (though I never really had a grandma);

It’s that way with white trash


No matter how much I know and how much I give, no matter what I write or do,

Gosh, golly, I got a Fulbright and teach at the community college, too.

But the only place for trash like me is a bin that spells “TRRASH”, you see.

Because the number of zeros determines white trash’s destiny.

At least in America, I am f[the following has been censored by the Online Safety Family and Community Committee;

Please make your community beautiful, put TRASH in its proper place]


written by Earl Yarington @2019 all rights reserved

Coming Fast or Slow

I thought he’d come for me, uh huh,

Come fast you see

But Ebola too slow,

and that may be good, uh huh

No Ebola

No blast of vomit kissing my virgin eyeball, oh yuk

No lost chunks on my door knob tempting sticky fingers, you see

and flickering tongues, uh nah,

It’s the wrong hole for me, but any hole he likes, you see

I like the darkness in Ebola, his affection on me

The bad-boy fatality where water comes out like it comes in

He like depression, you see,

The pain is in the cure

True and simple

Death need not be complicated, uh huh

But living is


 you see after he

that bastard always hard

so hard on thee

No worries, there are other lovers lining up for me

I am hard to get you see, and they hardly ever hard on me.

Changas came for me

such a boy was he

but a good Latin kisser, you see.

Past lovers’ stomachs permanently in knots,

for life, they say

but not me,

so silly to be with he

and, yeah, there was Ziki, or Zika sorry

He not for me but had me scared though

Not any more for my barren soul, uh nah

Not hiding out in any testes I know, you see.

But I have a confession, uh huh

A regular undress’in, you see

I love chikungunya, uh huh

She’s so sweet on the tongue, oh yeah,

Makes me want to dance to chi-kun-gun-ya, yeah!

Come with her slow or with her fast

No matter if it feels fast and free with a hint of deadly in thee

Such a pretty dancer is she

A deadly-like and alluring bite

not a bad boy but a nasty she, you see

that one can wake up from.

I was heartbroken then, you see,

and had this fling with Dengue,

but he be with nearly 400,000, 000 in a year,

and no longer with me

I feel shitty

but am free now, uh huh

No lover to contaminate my bloodstream, you see

but maybe that influenza,

whose sometimes a girl and sometimes a boy

Doesn’t matter if it be a she or he when it feels fast and free with a hint of deadly in thee

more deadly the longer you dance with him,

or is it her?

I’ve got the chills now, you see.

Gonna lie down with me and my fantasy, uh huh

They come for us

be it fast or be it slow

We all have these lovers, you see

so no worries now

go to sleep

and I

or he

or she

will come

and kiss thee …

written by Earl Yarington @2019 all rights reserved

A Once Good Man Lost

I was walking

Out for the first time

Since then

Since, I don’t know when

Feeling naked

Hearing “cho mo”*

Over and

Over again.

In there

Out here


There’s a list

You Looking?

Them exposed

I looking

I clicking

Walking quickly

Rapid breathing

Hear it?

It’s “cho mo”

Or is it

“no more”

Who is he?

Or is it me?

I think

There’s one!

A distraction

Dance recital?


My life

Flashes in

Front of me

Walking quickly

From her

From my past

From the looks


Yet another

And another

And another

And another.

They are terrifying iridescence

In seeing them

a crime in only seeing.

I need no registry.

A beautiful

Poison that

Kills when

Eyes only

Fall upon them

Five of them

In one mile

When all I did

Was clicked.

It’s life.

It’s a life.

On a cute little


I take a taxi home

Where there were

Once my kids

Once my love

Once someone 

Loved me.

Once on

a screen

I clicked.

Once I had a home

A job

A father

A Mother

A Family


Two floors


A family moved


The police informed me

With a warrant

Of course.

Lips quivering

Around the cold


Hands trembling

I click it.

The comments

Below the

Scattered constants and vowels of me

Of what was more than

Anyone cares

To see

Was me.

It read,
“Thank heaven!
Let’s pray

More will follow.”

A once good man lost.

*Child Molester

written by Earl Yarington @2019 all rights reserved

A Beautiful Dancer Magnified

What is it like to be a beautiful dancer

Of ballet, of jazz, of modern dance

The traditional tutus and gowns the midriff and scantily-liberated playfulness of

Dance shorts booty shorts and gymnastics leotards

Lace, bobby socks, stockings and stocking-less-ness

And dance shoes, boots or bare feet

The celebration but visual dissection of the body, tightly clothed, barely clothed

Translucent in its femininity and grace but ever present in the instant

Wonderfully natural in free movement and tauntingly fluid

In being unnatural-classical?

The pointed toes, developed calves, but the lovely long legs,

Kicking out legacy after legacy

The feet in the air, toe-tips holding the body

As if boneless but still standing

Strong, taut stomachs glaring with sweat

The pumping pelvis, swaying hips and the booty popping

Never stopping but hardly once only to smile in blazing lights,

 The heat of being viewed under visual amplification

And through the makeup and the tears of perfection

I see her then in the “preamble” the still pose in the beginning before the dancing

She is statue like, glares at the audience with a surety, with a classical confidence this time

And she holds out her hand so much so that one often misses that she does not have one.

Yet, she’s the premier ballerina, center on stage, under the magnifying glass

I am moved with I-cannot-help-it tears

This is what it means to be a girl on “being-seen steroids”

But she handles it with handless arm outstretched

In a beautifully vulnerable but tough as steel moment

 While her parent seems doubtful, unsure, and protective

Whisking the girl away after, a blur of peach-colored nylon

A glimpse of a blushed face and double eyeliner

An act of being tentatively unseen-seen 

She was there, she was classic-classical but intriguing

Boldly confident within the confines of adolescent uncertainty,

But with a poise of a mature women

Where we peer at her, magnify her, and assess

If she’s good or not, cute or not, pretty or not,

Fat or not, skinny or not, or noticed or not

written by Earl Yarington, @2019 all rights reserved (also published under “yogiortner”).

Canine Mindfulness

If I were a canine only,

I could live by olfactory

And smell my way to mindfulness.

I could sniff any crotch I like,

And bite anyone’s ass in spite.

I could slobber all over your beautiful face

And dry hump anyone in your private little space.

I could lick my privates in public,

then thrash your pretty toes

and go out and urinate, even in a school zone.

I can bark when I like,

Without disturbing the peace,

And you would always take me for walks,

Never being too busy for me.

I can devour that sweet pussy,

Cat, but no blame in that

Because old dogs will always be just like that.

So, if I were a canine,

I could live the American Dream

Without making a damn thing,

 And no matter what shape or color,

I would never be called a “stupid motherfucker.”

I can caress drunken homophobic balls,

And only you would be accused

 Of having gay sex with a dog.

It would be no matter to me

Because we love dogs unconditionally,

So when I imagine a pretty girl holding me,

Even when I bite,

I’m in the mood for canine mindfulness;

Just wanting something impulsively nice.

written by Earl Yarington @2019, all rights reserved. Also published under pen name yogiortner.