The War Reporter Paul Watson in a Coffee Shop in Aleppo

by Dan O'Brien

Every revolution has a problem
with power. Submitting Afghanistan
as an example: jihadis will come
with strings attached. Beheadings and stonings
and young girls raped in the name of marriage
—the works! Surely you have not risen up
against millennia of tyranny
only to pimp your kids for these psychos
instead? A young man rises. Your country
did nothing. Pointing, crying. I wonder
if he could hit me. Have I betrayed him
personally? Trying to smooth things over,
an old man interjects: We do not love
jihadis. But the more our people die
the more we learn to love.

DAN O’BRIEN’s third collection of poetry, New Life, will be published by CB Editions in London in 2015. His second collection, _Scarsdale, was published by CB Editions in 2014, and in the US by Measure Press in 2015. War Reporter, his debut collection, was published in 2013 by CB Editions, and by Hanging Loose Press in the US. War Reporter received the 2013 Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize and was shortlisted for the 2013 Forward Foundation’s Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection, both in the UK. O’Brien’s poems have appeared internationally in journals, magazines, and newspapers including 32 Poems, 5 AM, 10Tal, Ambit, Bare Fiction, Birmingham Poetry Review, Cold Mountain Review, and Crab Orchard Review.