Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Jack Harvey writes

Bombing Vietnam

Good old Joe,
a hell of a pilot you were.
You was my friend,
you was a big child,
all heart, stupid as paint, sure,
but the feel in your talented fingers,
your far-seeing blue eyes;
you and that plane united to kill
every goddamned gook down there
living in that green placid land.

I thought of you,
bombing airstrips, roads,
buildings, villages, factories,
the whole place;
it sickened me and
was I ever up your
big face and down,
looking for tears,
for remorse?

I’m sorry, Joe,
best friend,
I gave you love and respect
with full conveyor belts,
encouraged you
to blow this green land
to hell and gone,
so it’s me and you,
doing a lot of death.

Now you’re dead, too,
burned to a crisp
in your crashed B-52.

He was Joe from Muncie,
a bull’s eye,
a real true soul
who didn’t think much,
an O.K. guy, a
stamper on
American roads,
and now he’s gone.
Phan Ke An, Hanoi Christmas Bombing of 1972 — lacquer, Witness Collection
 Hanoi Christmas Bombing of 1972 -- Phan Ke An

1 comment:

  1. Muncie is a small American city in Indiana, about 50 mi (80 km) northeast of Indianapolis. It was named after a clan of the Lenape tribe t hat founded the village in the 1790s. Robert Staughton Lynd and his wife Helen Merrell Lynd regarded it as a typical middle-American community and studied it extensively, leading to 2 important sociological books, "Middletown: A Study in Contemporary American Culture" (1929) and "Middletown in Transition: A Study in Cultural Conflicts" (1937). She also wrote "Shame and the Search for Identity," in which she theorized that the ones most likely to feel shame are members of minority cultures who are made to feel ‘inappropriate’ by the norms of a dominant culture.


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