by Ken Poyner
Everyone knew how the Meritones wage war. In their opposing masses they gather a few furlongs apart and--like two lone piano top spiders on opposite sides of a metronome--hurl their songs at each other, each new canticle more violent and ragged than the last, each round more shockingly different from the one formed and cast from the other side. Quickly, what was an oration of similarities becomes a maelstrom of disharmonies, a clash of individual notes, a tearing of melody upon anti-melody.
Their conflicts can last for days. Little by little, common soldiers are worn away – either able to abide the striking sound of their enemy's songs no longer; or pulled into fatal exhaustion by the work of collecting and thrusting skyward their own harmonies.
So, when the Meritones declared war upon us, we hardly replied. They did not understand war the way we understand it. Sing what you want, we thought. Flail us with your music. We do not understand the language, we cannot uncalibre the melodies. We opined: you take it into your twelve-chambered hearts to dislike us, and threaten us with song. Do what you can.