“Be regular and orderly in your life, like a good bourgeois, so that you may be violent and original in your work.”
When I was about eleven or so my mother and I began playing word jumbles together in the evening, and though she was only schooled through sixth grade, she almost always won. Since I can remember I have been enchanted by the sounds of words and people’s voices. Most of all, I like to catch the sound of the voice at moments when the words are spoken by whim or chance, at random, spoken in moments of want, protest or surprise. I think this is where authenticity can be found.
“All this —
was for you, old woman.
I wanted to write a poem
that you would understand.
For what good is it to me
if you can’t understand it?”
— William Carlos Williams
“Imaginary gardens with real toads in them”
— Marianne Moore’s Definition of Poetry
“All our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike — and yet it is the most precious thing we have.
— Albert Einstein
“I taught a Vietnam War class at a community college for many years. I would use this book as one of my texts. I highly recommend it to poetry readers, to veterans who wish a refreshing and different take on the tour of a grunt — and especially to teachers looking for something special with which to challenge their students.
— David Willson, Books in Review II, The VVA Veteran, February, 2014
“Death watches him from eyes of the angry ghosts of the Vietnam War, and so these pages are filled with a terrible beauty that draws its power from ever-present danger…this book remembers the dismembered of that long war so we won’t forget.”
— Tony Barnstone, Tongue of War: From Pearl Harbor to Nagasaki, November, 2013