Archive for March, 2011

BACK THEN by A.D. Winans

Posted in A.D. Winans with tags on March 31, 2011 by Scot

Intelligence never got much further
than downtown Saigon
or a short trip to Da Nang
most of us were in the states
doing our best to keep the world
safe from the Commie hordes
I remember one time interviewing
a young marine
a victim of the “Tet” offensive
he talked about  throwing Cong
out of helicopters after interrogations
claimed the nightmares kept him sleepless
kept seeing all those faces
in on between the walls
said a buddy of his had sent
home drugs concealed inside
body bags
but no one believed him
tiny pieces of flesh hitting
him in the face
blood between what was left
of his chewed down fingernails
and fragging a Lieutenant
kept haunting him
Intelligence said
he couldn’t be trusted
he was either a basket case
or perhaps just wanted out
of the military
so they gave him a three-day pass
just to play it safe
and made an appointment for him
to see a V.A. shrink
not surprised when
he didn’t show up
a week later
they discovered his body
down by the Beach Chalet
behind a forgotten old
WW 11 bunker
the bullet lodged in his head
no bigger than
the guilt he left behind

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The Rusty Truck says All The Vietnam Poems in the World…

Posted in Uncategorized on March 30, 2011 by Scot

TRUJILLO, ROBERT STEVEN

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on March 30, 2011 by Scot

Name: Robert Steven Trujillo
Rank/Branch: E3/US Army
Unit: Company A, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry, 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry
Division
Date of Birth: 03 August 1946
Home City of Record: Santa Fe NM
Date of Loss: 07 January 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 154047N 1081347E (BT032353)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
Refno: 0973

Other Personnel in Incident: James M. Stone (missing)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 September 1990 from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK 1998.

REMARKS:

SYNOPSIS: PFC Robert S. Trujillo, rifleman, and 1LT James M. Stone, company commander, were on a combat operation with their unit near the border of Quang Nam and Quang Tin Provinces in South Vietnam on January 7, 1968.  During a fire fight with a superior enemy force, their battalion was forced from their position and began a breakout maneuver.

Members of Trujillo’s unit saw him stand up and start to advance with the armored personnel carriers (APCs) that were attached to his unit. That was the last time he was seen, and he was not wounded at that time.

In the same action, 1LT Stone was accompanied by members of his company as they executed the breakout maneuver. While making their way down a hill with the APCs, the small group encountered automatic weapons fire and were forced to take cover. When the firing stopped, one of the men noticed that 1LT Stone had his blood-stained hands over his face. A medic checked him and stated that there were no vital signs. His body was left behind.

A search of the area was conducted on January 8 and again on January 16, but Stone’s body was not recovered, and Trujillo was never found.

I fought the Communists by Sissy Buckles

Posted in Sissy Buckles with tags on March 30, 2011 by Scot

I ran into my street friend Paul yesterday
on the Mission Beach boardwalk.
It’s not his real name
he’s come from Cambodia,
born next to the Mekong River,
Mother of Waters and Nine Dragons.
If you ask he’ll tell you “I fought the communists”
cradling a ghostly gun in his skinny brown arms
wearing snakeskin boots and a duster
he got from Catholic Charities,
like a real cowboy.

I offered to buy him a burrito
but he pointed to his mouth, shaking head no.
Living on the streets for years
teeth decayed and abscessed from neglect
so he can’t eat, his mouth a river of pain,
and a damned shame because he is a Vietnam Vet,
should be eligible for benefits.
But Paul’s not a citizen,
can hardly speak the language
although he’s been in America since Saigon fell,
medivaced to the states for treatment,
I witness a man slipped down
bureaucratic cracks.

I’ve seen him wandering the beach alleys
chattering in his mother tongue
when he’s upset, wronged, misunderstood.
Once he told me he’d like to go home
but he’s got no home to go back to anyway,
his family forced in labor
then slaughtered in the killing fields
by Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge army,
along with artists, doctors, teachers, musicians, monks,
their motto for those chosen elite –
“To keep you is no benefit. To destroy you is no loss.”
Where they still warn children
with educational posters hanging in the streets
not to play with landmines.

empty frames by DB Cox

Posted in DB Cox with tags , on March 30, 2011 by Scot

time rides a river—
memories rust
like old bullet holes
in highway signs—
sighs of relief
now that you’ve
all gone
moved along
with your hard facts
about the bags
of flag-wrapped kids
who ate red dirt
on height-numbered
killing hills
celebrated at home
with silent songs
of praise
in secret parades
down vacant
american avenues—
immortalized by artists
with no names
selling monuments
with mannequin faces
selling paintings
in empty frames

Three Poems by Pris Campbell

Posted in Pris Campbell with tags on March 30, 2011 by Scot

Dancing with the Demons

Don’t touch my back,
he would warn us,
Army green at our Navy blue
Pearl Harbor parties thrown
during that five month
reprieve from Vietnam.

I gave a man a black eye,
when he came up behind…’
his words falling between Joplin’s Cry,
and the Stone’s ‘can’t get no’.

Handsome in a worn-down Bogey sort of way,
he never smiled
never joined with our arm flailing
foot stomping, sweat pouring
flight from the tomorrows
bound to arrive.

I often wondered why he came,
made that long transit down from the hills
to watch and speak of his back.

In my maturity, it became clear.
He knew we danced with the demons, too.
_____________________
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No Smoking by Alan Catlin

Posted in Alan Catlin with tags on March 30, 2011 by Scot

I work at a half-way
place for Nam vets,

that’s half way between
here and nowhere,

old age and death maybe.

The director is one of
those pressed short and tie

gung-ho REMF.

That’s a rear echelon
mother fucker in American.

Can’t wait until
the No Smoking rule
goes into effect.

All those guys have now
is one room to puff in.

I try to tell the director,
these guys all fought
in a war,

you now what I mean?

Had cigarettes when
they were nervous
scared
relaxed
relieved
wounded

They can’t drink anymore
can’t chase no women
or run with the wolves
so they smoke.

They don’t have anything left,
that’s why they’re here.

No Smoking appeared in GPP Reader 2007