the war machine don't want me

i am

--am i?--

yeah, i think i am


drunk drunk drunk

and signing myself up for

selective service so i

will be able to access my financial

aid and not have to cough up

almost $2,000 for one term

that me and my bank account

just really do not have, ya know?


and that little dropdown menu

well it doesn’t offer the option of:

“i am being forced to sign up for this

so i can afford college”

because i guess that sounds less

appealing than my being recruited

during lunch while i watched my fellow

(cis) male students dislocate their shoulders

doing pull ups so the older boys in uniform

would be proud of them and

maybe even give them a

nice little lanyard


because after over $100 to get

the right name and gender marker

on my id and $60 to get a new

birth certificate

i’m male enough for the government

to want to make into cannon fodder

but i’m still not male enough to

use the men’s room without the

threat of being verbally harassed

or physically assaulted


and that just makes me so angry

because here’s “bone-spurs donnie”

a known draft dodger of

at least 5 times who had the money

to pay off any doctor he wanted

trying his hardest to ban trans

people from enlisting

to fight in a war backed by a country

that wants them dead


yet that little M on my id

that i paid so much for

makes me eligible to be blown

to bits or come back to

a country that doesn’t want me anymore

with my brains scrambled from

shell shock and ptsd


because this country is willing

to pretty much force-feed young men

into the bottomless belly of the

war machine


always stoking the fires of the

military industrial complex with

money and unscarred flesh

and so much lies

and so much fear mongering


and i am just so tired

of having to fill in that

little bubble with my ballpoint

pen and a click of the mouse

pledging what could easily be the

rest of my life to being

riddled with bullets

miles away from home


just so i can grab that

financial aid

that perpetual carrot being dangled

in front of my oh so

transgender and queer nose

so i can afford an education

and not become another statistic


another person that the

united states of amerikkka

has failed


  • Johnny Lawless

    A couple more reads and I'll get back to ya. I must spend time with my clone, mentally ill son. T.M.I.!

  • Johnny Lawless


    First and foremost, I am pissed that people don't take the time to read your work. I believe it to be quite relevant and always informative concerning what you have to go through being trans.

    This one is quite a rant of frustration for good reasons. The fact that our government gives educational benefits to people who enlist is sickening (correct me if I'm wrong). The fact of volunteering your life to the "war machine" for benefits is just fucking wrong. I really hope it is true that they don't want you. They certainly never wanted my crazy ass!

    Finally I must correct you, it is not "amerikka", it is amerikkka!


    • queer-with-a-pen

      It is always so flattering that you read my work, and enjoy it enough to leave comments! (I added the extra “k”. Thank you for noticing that!)

      I’ve got a few other people that comment from time to time, on here and the other social media sites I post my work on.

      I don’t know if it’s an educational benefit so much as it’s: “if you, the male student, do not sign up for selective service, then you can’t have financial aid and can suck an egg.” I’ve started drinking while filling out the form, which I doubt is healthy, but it’s the only time I imbibe as a coping mechanism. And college is expensive.

      The chances of there being another draft are incredibly slim, and I’m trans, queer, and mentally ill, so the army really really doesn’t want me. I also really really don’t want the army, so it’s a win/win. The double standard of Trump trying to ban trans people from enlisting, while I still have to sign up for selective service, continues to aggravate me. Enough so that I wrote an angry poem about it.

    • Johnny Lawless

      James Dean the coolest of the cool, got out of the draft by stating he was a homosexual. He was actually bi., making him even cooler to me.

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