November 29-December 5, 2010: R S Carlson and Austin McCarron

R S Carlson
QuangTri71@aol.com 

 

Bio (auto)

R S Carlson, a professor of English at Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, CA, served with the US Army in Quang Tri Province, Viet Nam 1970-1971 In recent years, he has made several trips to China and Southeast Asia with aid agencies, and has led intensive English workshops for Chinese teachers of English in Guangdong and Xinjiang provinces His poetry has appeared in Poetry/LA; Northwest Review; The Texas Review; Birmingham Poetry Review; Poet Lore; The Cape Rock; The Hollins Critic; The Nebraska Review; The Hawai’i Review; Phase and Cycle; The Lucid Stone; Lynx Eye; Viet Nam Generation; Sunstone; The Panhandler, Limestone Circle, The Listening Eye, Praesidium, The Chaffin Journal,  Slant, Illya’s Honey, International Poetry Review, Poem, Borderlands, the Air Force Academy’s War, Literature and the Arts, and other literary magazines

The following work is Copyright © 2010, and owned by R S Carlson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


 

Footnote and Detail

After the headlines
became smudges on yellowed newsprint
lining an apple carton of knickknacks
on a back shelf of the garage
waiting for the yard sale
that never happens

and the film clips
faded into archives
his children would have to research
even to find the names
of bases and cities long since
cannonaded into the mulch of history,

he found The Book It detailed the last campaign
the other side carried across the line
a few months after
home soil gave him
life out of uniform
Back then, of course, when
lines of possession across the halfworld
burned TV footage south on newsmaps,
he wondered but there were diapers to change
and books crying for close reading
Now The Book told .the troop strengths, the units assaulting,
.the units defending,
.the commanders’ and advisors’ radio calls,
.the advances, surrenders, retreats .reinforcements and regroupings

the metrics of hardware —
.M16, AK47, 60 mm, 81 mm, and 82 mm mortar,
.M79 grenade launcher, M60 machine gun,
.51 caliber and 12.7 mm machine gun .B40 rocket, 122 mm rocket,
.105 mm howitzer, 130 mm T-54 tank

He drifted from the facts back to
the voices in the old bunker
out on the hill .Hey Bro, extend!
.Ashmore did, and for his MOS
.he got 8 thou!

.Look — ya sign,
.ya bank 5, maybe 10 thou,
.ya get an extra R&R
.ya do another six months
.and soon as ya step off the bird stateside,
.you are FREE, man, OUT!

His son yanks the mower
to growl across the front lawn In the kitchen, his daughters argue
over who washes dishes He counts six months — October to March —
on his fingers
In his hands,
Chapter Two stories the old hilltop .The advisor to allied marines
.ready to move his unit off the hill
.powdering around them
.under 130 mm shellfire,

.low crawls from command post
.to the old unit’s bunker
.to pull the intercept team:
.he finds
.a crater of wreckage
.in flames

.and that paragraph
has a footnote At page bottom swim acronyms
for Killed-in-Action and
Body-Not-Recovered
and two names.

FIRST PUBLISHED in the Air Force Academy’s War, Literature and the Arts 10.1 (Spring/Summer 1998):104-106

 

_______________________________

Austin McCarron


 

mccarron.ahc@live.co.uk

Bio (auto)

I am from New Zealand, but based in London, where I have been living for many years My work has appeared in many small press magazines in the U.K , and recently, Van Gogh’s Ear in Paris.

The following work is Copyright © 2010, and owned by Austin McCarron and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

 

 

The Magus of Inner London 

I read the first volume
of polluted air,
bound in beautiful white books
I sound empty and terrified In
each hall the picture of a ghost I meditate
on a sack of dead animals I heal
passionate crimes
I find poems with great wounds
and stories of immense suffering I walk on leaves
I wake rivers Human riches I spend with magic
until my spirit is gold I see through
the blindest consciousness blood
to warm Over collapsed
bridges the water is silent with art.