Who knew war would be the time of neologisms, 

so linguistically fertile.

(Specify which war. You’re in Australia.)

On Russian TV the topdog propagandist coins ‘to macron’, 

meaning to call endlessly.

He, in turn, is known as a ‘propagandon’:

from ‘gondon’: Russian, vulgar, for ‘condom’.

 

Everywhere else: Ruscism. 

This word’s not going.

 

Buchafication.

Mariupolisation.

Twenty years earlier the 

siege of Sarajevo gave us ‘urbicide’.

 

Of note too is the virtuoso swearing done at present.

Some of the sweary war tweets (truth to power) are sold as NFTs. 

 

In Russia people have been arrested for these words on a piece of paper: ‘children’.

 

In the latest chapter of gallows humour 

(jokes blossom too in this war)

mothers implore their Russian soldier sons 

to bring greater diligence 

to the looting of Ukrainian households. 

This war has increased the mobility of washing machines

across borders; as an aside,

it’s always mothers egging the genociders on right?

 

The new letter in the Russian alphabet 

dwarfing tanks and buildings

is the last letter of the English alphabet. 

 

(The link you’re about to make to your Australian university is in poor taste.)

 

I think about what Toni Morrison called

the ‘narcotic narcissism’ of a dead language.

About the degradation of language in peacetime,

assuming this here now is peace.


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