Picture by John Rodriquez

Café Sessrúmnir

everyone knows about Valhalla:
the eternal time-share
for weary warriors gone
berserk with roidal rage
and Monster drinks.

not all appreciate, at first,
the monastic joys found elsewhere,
in this twilight hall of clockwork meals,
reflective belts,
and indoor plumbing.

but Mother Freyja claims
half the dead,
and there are many seats
here in her playground
behind the wire.

besides, why await Ragnarök
with kettlebells and grunts,
when you can work
your pickup lines
in this Fobbit coffee shop?

In 2010, Randy Brown prepared for deployment to Eastern Afghanistan as a member of the Iowa National Guard’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry ‘Red Bull’ Division. Instead, a paperwork snafu caused his retirement. He went to Afghanistan anyway, embedding with the unit as a civilian journalist in May-June 2011.

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