Poets Archive: Michael Casey

payback, they say …

Added on February 5, 2016

det ‘j’, phú bài’ việt nam, 1964 in the mist and fog wet chill of phú bài’s monsoon winter tropic cold, the crachin shrouds wet, relentless, thick stifling dark graveyard nights as great grey rats and black, orange-toothed rattus vietnam, creep silent, spectral stealthy inside moldy, rain sagged tents and onto, into racks to share  Continue Reading »

tropic lightning củ chi base

Added on February 5, 2016

ankle deep in the mud of a malarial peanut farm scraped from ancient jungle now rome plowed clear, agent oranged, poisoned, defoliated deep, the division troops, the 11-bravos, ‘grunts’ are tented in fetid favelas of rotting surplus canvas from korea, world war two, (now blue hazed in mary jane) to endure beyond combat the heat,  Continue Reading »

frag racing

Added on February 5, 2016

october 1963 tự do street, sàigòn old waiters at l’imperial sprint from the open air cafe, racing a pursuing billow of hot shrapnel steel, smoke and fire from mr. charlie’s tossed grenade, in the cartoonish fashion of wile e. coyote, and barefoot, their plastic flip-flops left behind after the evening’s close call, their memories fresh  Continue Reading »

mindfulness

Added on February 5, 2016

xuân lộc, việt nam 1969 at the orphanage beneath the rubber trees the monks cook rice for hungry children in huge flat pans, eighty kilos per meal, three times a day softly, absent reproof or bitterness, they whisper that just as fragrant rice multiplies in volume as it cooks over the open flame so, too,  Continue Reading »

jack at the wall, ’99

Added on February 5, 2016

in memory edward ‘jack’ waer 1936 – 2010 ‘crazy jack’, c.j., brother jack’s going to the wall today that black memorial vietnam wall the one just off the mall in lincoln’s shadow down there in d.c. once upon a long, long time ago at barely sixteen years young fresh from the war zone of newark’s  Continue Reading »

mandala

Added on February 5, 2016

so tell me, will you, you’ve been there, to war, i mean, that war, your war i think, i know you know the score i want your help to understand this conundrum, unsolved puzzle how it is god selects his side, his team, and how he picks the ones who get to say ‘god’s on  Continue Reading »

North of Tam Ky, 1967

Added on July 16, 2015

You were dead when I got there, managed to drag yourself almost to the treeline across the sandy open place they planned to kill us in, You can read the whole poem on the VQR Magazine website W.D. Ehrhart says of this poem: The final poem in the opening sequence, “North of Tam Ky, 1967,”  Continue Reading »

Erebus

Added on July 16, 2015

You have the dream again: monsoon season, jungle, a muddy village road; you are naked, stumbling along a paddy dike across an open field toward the village where C. W. killed all the pigs but once into the trees there is only thickening jungle, canopy hung with smoldering flares. You can read the whole poem  Continue Reading »

Judgment

Added on July 16, 2015

Near Hoi Anh, 1967 Pinned down two hours in a Buddhist graveyard by two barefoot snipers who will not die no matter how many mortars we walk their way. You can read the whole poem on the VQR Magazine website

Mamasan

Added on July 16, 2015

We ride on tanks over the new rice, break down the dikes so the dirty water runs in with the clear. You can read the whole poem on the VQR Magazine website

Bamboo Bridge

Added on July 16, 2015

We cross the bridge, quietly. The bathing girl does not see us till we’ve stopped and gaped like fools. You can read the rest of the poem on the Poetry Centre at Smith College‘s website

Two Boys

Added on July 16, 2015

They take the new machine gun out of its wrap in pieces, the flat black barrel, the other parts, delicate in their oil, plastic stock like a toy until snapped onto the rest You can read the rest of the poem on the San Diego Reader website but please note that this site does have  Continue Reading »

Night Ambush

Added on July 16, 2015

We are still, lips swollen with mosquito bites. A treeline opens out onto paddies quartered by dikes, a moon in each, You can read the rest of the poem on the 20th Century Protest Poetry blog

A Downed Black Pilot Learns How to Fly

Added on July 16, 2015

“Now that the war is over, we’ll have to go back to killing each other. You can read the rest of the poem on the Vietnam Veterans Against the War Anti-Imperialist website ‘The end of the war is, for Coleman, problematic for the black soldier (regardless of any empowerment accorded them in the war context).  Continue Reading »

I don’t suppose I’ll ever forget

Added on July 16, 2015

the guy in the Vet Center who’d started dreaming about those hootches he used to crawl into in the dark and cut throats and the visits he gets when the President passes through town and the “mystery” babies people’s old ladies kept having and the divorce papers they’d get after she’d moved, sold the house,  Continue Reading »