Wayne Karlin: The Lotus Eaters
And so he returned to Ithaca:
walked naked from the sea
and saw his shadow
fall on the white marble
Peter Makuck: A Shot in the Dark￼
Gino Vendetti was nursing a sweaty bottle of Bud. Four ceiling fans along the bar spread the cigarette smoke and a faint odor of beer. Always a few guys from the old high school gang were here. Most had something going. Not Gino. It had been almost two years since Viet Nam…
James Dubinsky: Veterans turned poets can help bridge divides
Today, there are approximately 20.17 million veterans – 7 percent of the U.S. population. That’s more than 20 million stories, along with the stories of their loved ones. Sometimes poetry is the most effective way to capture both the ambiguity and the story.
W.D. Ehrhart: Afghanistan | Vietnam Redux
The real tragedy in all this is that the United States of America invaded yet another foreign country, imagining that we could bend it to our will and create a “Mini-Me” version of ourselves, and then spent twenty years, trillions of dollars, and thousands of lives ignoring what was obvious from the very outset.
Michael Simms: American Ash (text and video)
Old warriors rarely
say anything about
people they killed or
horrors they saw
Barrett Swanson: The Soldier and the Soil
Their prose often stood head and shoulders above the standard freshman drivel, exhibiting a certain rigor of thought and depth of feeling that perhaps comes from having witnessed whole anthologies of trauma—entire villages razed by fire, wide-eyed children draped in gore, wives screaming beside mutilated husbands.
W. D. Ehrhart: Paul Fussell — A Remembrance
While Fussell wrote on a wide variety of subjects over his long life—ranging from Augustan humanism, Samuel Johnson, and Kingsley Amis to the 2nd Amendment, the Indianapolis 500, and travel in between-the-wars Europe—war, the irony of war, the suffering and lunacy and permanent damage of war, the unfairness of war, lay at the heart of his writing and of his being.
Michael Simms: The end of civilization as we know it
I want to apologize for walking in
When the dog was licking
Your bald head as you lay
On the couch drinking rum
Straight from the bottle…