Sunday, November 11, 2007

For Veterans Day

A poem by Marvin Bell first published in 1965 in Poetry, and a poem by Brian Turner (who was born in 1967), from his 2005 Here Bullet:

Things We Dreamt We Died For
by Marvin Bell

Flags of all sorts.
The literary life.
Each time we dreamt we’d done
the gentlemanly thing,
covering our causes
in closets full of bones
to remove ourselves forever
from dearest possibilities,
the old weapons re-injured us,
the old armies conscripted us,
and we gave in to getting even,
a little less like us
if a lot less like others.
Many, thus, gained fame
in the way of great plunderers,
retiring to the university
to cultivate grand plunder-gardens
in the service of literature,
the young and no more wars.
Their continuing tributes
make them our greatest saviors,
whose many fortunes are followed
by the many who have not one.


Is the world safer? No. It's not safer in Iraq.
--Hans Blix

An Iraqi northern brown bear mauled a man
on a streetcorner, dragging him down an alley
as shocked onlookers cried for it to stop.
There were tanks rolling their heavy tracks
past the museum and up to the Ministry of Oil.
One gunner watched a lion chase down a horse.
Eaten down to their skeletons, the giraffes
looked prehistoric, unreal, their necks
too fragile, too graceful for the 21st Century.
Dalmatian pelicans and marbled teals
flew over, frightened by the rotorwash
of blackhawk helicopters touching down.
One baboon even escaped from the city limits.
It was found wandering in the desert, confused
by the wind and the sand of the barchan dunes.

--Brian Turner


This story is so bizarre. Watch out for those "foxy knoxy" creative writing honors students from UW. Especially if you are in Italy.

Sitting in a prison cell with an English-Italian dictionary by her side, Amanda Knox writes down her latest version of what happened on the night her flatmate, Meredith Kercher, was murdered.

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