Archive for March, 2011

An Of the Wall Protest By Linda Lerner

Posted in Linda Lerner with tags on March 30, 2011 by Scot

(Feb. 2003)

Decades ago, returning vet
you flung your medals at the White House,
I fling words on a page now   another war
you’d be protesting with me
if I wasn’t protesting your death.

Learned in Vietnam
to know the real enemy  the dead:
marching into jungle swamp deserts
reciting  the lord is my shepherd
the dead:  we surrender our souls to every day.

You saw with your own mind
heart’s eye   didn’t need
a politician doctor bossman
telling you how to live
breathe compromise   or  when
death had you in its chokehold…

having known Long Bînh Jail’s torture*
you wouldn’t accept a medicine man’s for
some zero quality time.

Your penis  computer animated
my coffee mornings
those last months…
see how big  alive–
and growing even bigger  and
“wanting is the hottest sweetest thing you know”**
outlasting every kind of war
all the broken promised moments we had
and couldn’t keep….

so when your daughter wrote ,
he passed away
wasn’t you, my love…a dead goodsoldierman  I saw

or ever see…
not you at all

*largest Military Stockade in Vietnam

**”love at first sound” by  Andrew Gettler

This poem was published in my collection A koan For Samsara published by Ibbetson Street Press, 2003 and has references to someone who was in Viet Nam.

Light and Dark: The Sleeping Forest by Ben Rasnic

Posted in Ben Rasnic with tags on March 30, 2011 by Scot

After work,
you fill the emptiness
with Jim Beam. Hard
whiskey to feed
the slow burn inside……………

The animals come out at night—
feel their hot breath heaving inside you,
pulsing steel curtain eyes,
prowling the dark of your mind,
the headaches that won’t go away……..
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Three Poems by F.N. Wright

Posted in F.N. Wright with tags on March 30, 2011 by Scot

THE FORGOTTEN WAR

I have never understood
our government but learned
at a very young age
not to trust it while serving
in Nam.

they do everything ass backwards
like erecting a Vietnam War Memorial
often called “The Wall”
then a Korean War Memorial
& finally
after most of the WWII vets
had died built them a monument

Congress has declared March, 30
“Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day”
all these years after those of us
who made it home alive
though in many cases with damaged bodies
& minds that bring demons at all hours
day or night

but the veterans I feel sorrow for
are those who fought in Korea
known as “The Forgotten War”
suffering almost as many casualties
in 3 years as we had in Nam in more
than 10 years

& to these brave souls
some survivors of the
“Frozen Chosin?
& “Pork Chop Hill:
I say to you,
“welcome home.
__________________

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JOHNNY by Raindog

Posted in RD Armstrong with tags on March 30, 2011 by Scot

Johnny
four days in country
bawling in pain
AK-47 shrapnel
ric-cocheting through his torso
like a steel ball
in a pachinko machine
Johnny
in a war that he
didn’t understand
Johnny with his gun
ready to kick some ass
instead
getting his ass
kicked.
Johnny
a regular at the V.A.
keeps the bits of shrapnel
they continue to remove
in a jar
with the lid screwed down
tight.
Sometimes at night
the shrapnel calls to him
pleading with him
to finish the job
that was started
years ago
in the ambush.
He sucks on the muzzle
driving his girlfriend
crazy.
He is disabled
and has learned to live in that system
has learned to live
with his disability
with his pain
with his slow death
by surrender
Johnny is already dead
laying down
waiting for some
words
and
a handful of
dirt.

Two Poems by Len Kuntz

Posted in Len Kuntz with tags on March 30, 2011 by Scot

Veteran

His brother took him to a pool hall,
bought him tequila and beer chasers,
farted out loud and
commented over the texture and vibrato of each.
His brother laughed at anything—
his own jokes,
the old geezer with a chin stuck inside his mug,
the skipping juke box saying, “You give love a bad naye-naye-naye-naye.”

This place had the classic arcade games—Pac Man and Space Invaders.
Around 2:00 am,
Stucky threw them the keys and said to close up,
as if it was something he’d done a lot of times before.

He studied the homemade tattoos on his brother’s forearms.
Everything was short, choppy and to the point,
no word or ink mark wasting time on being clever:
Nam
R.I.P.
JayDed
Old Glory Hole
The little gray bug men
marched across the screen in neat rows.
His brother shot them down with his finger beating the sweaty red button.
He killed as many as he could.
He seemed happy.
_______________________

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Poetry of D.B. Cox

Posted in DB Cox with tags on March 28, 2011 by Scot

the home

–for Miss Davis, my cottage mother at Connie Maxwell Children’s Home

time passes
like a breeze
grazing the tops
of un-barbered heads
disconnected kids
no longer able
to believe in humans
not knowing how
to believe in gods
we worked
we played
we stayed busy to forget
we no longer questioned
or expected
we learned that “silence”
was a response—
at night
we lay in army-surplus beds
& sang softly to ourselves
lullabies
composed of resignation
_____

on sunday mornings
we’d march to church—
the preacher
would tell us
how much jesus loved
the little children
& he’d sing this tune
that’s still engraved
in my mind

“jesus loves me
this i know
for the bible
tells me so…”

sometimes—after church
my grandfather
would drive down
in his hudson
& take me for a ride
i’d sit next to him
listen to songs
on the radio
& admire that old fedora
he always wore—
i wondered why
there were no songs
about my grandfather
i wondered
what kind of car
jesus drove
_____

six-years old
& i knew fighting—
rage always ready
waiting like a rock
in my pocket
half-clad gladiator
caught inside
an impromptu
circle of laughter
glaring at my opponent
calculating the sum
gathered in his eyes
focused
slow-breathing
deaf to any sounds
that might distract
from the task at hand
reptilian brain
devising tactics
of pain—
a need to move
forward & back
at the same time
watching
for that first fist
to arc toward the face
world reduced
to a primal point
strange lessons
more real
than golden rules
that could not hold—
while some kids
filled hollow characters
in dime-store coloring books
we painted each other
by the numbers
_____

these days
i still dream
of running away—
slipping
into highway night
headed for home
going back
to look for any leftover sadness
in that hopeless place
empty box of bad times
decaying landscape
where echoes linger—
faint outlines
of old battles
that will remain unfinished

my mother
voices in her head
drip
drip
dripping
like a broken faucet
louder & louder
until she ran for the door
like the house was on fire
i cannot recall
her face anymore
no photo smiles
frozen in place
her voice gray
like something gone

my father
sleeping alone
behind closed doors
lost in drunken dreams—
an imagined world of order
where everything
was still in its place—
outlaw time
is on the run
i cannot hold him
in my brain
features forever fading
i strain my ears
to hear a ghost
whispering to himself

********************************

madly backwards

sirens sing
junkies to sleep
on the stairway
of the sunset hotel
old hopes fade
& dance away
madly backwards

rain reclaims
worn tire tracks
of piss-yellow cabs
pointed cross town
by gypsy hacks
insomniacs
from new york
new jersey
new delhi
chasing american dreams
down empty streets

red—white & blue illusions
slipping
into the darkness
of rearview mirrors
lost in the shadows
of sacred skyscrapers
that sigh & bend
in the wind

old myths fade
& dance away
madly backwards

VIETNAM BOB by F.N. Wright

Posted in F.N. Wright with tags on March 23, 2011 by Scot

(for richie)

he did two tours
in Vietnam
like so many
he brought home
the nightmares
those sluts
the horrors of war
like so many before him
& those to follow
he died too young.

…and jam hands/abby young started it off with vegan boys…

Posted in Abigail Young, VIDEOS on March 22, 2011 by Scot

Bitchez Brew III– Rusting in the Truck featuring ML Heath

Posted in ML Heath, VIDEOS with tags on March 22, 2011 by Scot

Rusty Truck Celebration in San Francisco

Posted in Scot Young, VIDEOS with tags on March 22, 2011 by Scot