February 22, 2019 § Leave a comment
A year ago I sat on a folding chair in an ordinary meeting room listening to poetry. The room had a table with the usual hospitality contributions – bottles of juices and water, crackers, a tray of vegetables and hummus. Another table held books for sale and a third a display of paper made from the pulped uniforms of veterans.
The event was a reading to celebrate the launch of Sound Off: Warrior Writers NJ, a volume whose unassuming size gave little hint of the explosion of power within. Some of the poets were already friends – Vietnam veteran Jim Murphy, Iraq veterans Kevin Basl and Nate Lewis. Others were names I had known for decades but had never met. Jan Barry and W.D. Ehrhart I knew from their work in Winning Hearts and Minds: War Poems by Vietnam Veterans, published while the war was still waging. Dayl Wise, co-founder of Post-Traumatic Press, Walt Nygard, Everett Cox were names I picked up along the way and, listening to their poetry, glad of it. « Read the rest of this entry »
October 9, 2014 § 2 Comments
Mark and I have been assembling, discussing, ordering, and editing his writing about his two tours in Vietnam for a little over a year now. We have taken care of the thorniest problems, come to agreements about what to leave in and what to delete, and now it is mostly a question of me working my editing magic on the rest. « Read the rest of this entry »
August 23, 2013 § 2 Comments
Years ago when I worked for a publication of the American Indian Program at Cornell, I frequently had the responsibility of editing the transcription of an oral talk by a Native speaker for print. Listening and reading are very different cognitive processes and they are also different cultural forms. I wanted the readers of a journal published on a university campus to sense the cadences of a Native speaker for whom oral communication is primary. « Read the rest of this entry »
June 24, 2013 § 2 Comments
I hadn’t talked to Coyote in a while, not about the blog anyway. He still hung around, looking over my shoulder when I was writing in that annoying way he has and harrumphing occasionally. In a more successful ploy to get my attention, he made me a drink – passionfruit juice mixed with an aromatic and evocative rum he knew I would recognize.
“So what do you think I should do?” I asked. The heat of the day stirred memories. Upstate New York wasn’t Saigon but it was doing its best. « Read the rest of this entry »
June 1, 2012 § 2 Comments
“Does what?” Coyote asked. He was mixing a drink. I’m not sure what was in it but the bottle he was using had a faint green tinge. At least from where I was sitting.
“Keep writing all those scary stories that everybody loves so much,” I said, eyeing the bottle.
“Well, I didn’t think much of Cujo,” he said, looking through the liquor cabinet for something else.
“Oh?” I wondered why there was only one glass.
“Lacked subtlety,” he said, opening the fridge. “Do we have any limes?” « Read the rest of this entry »
May 18, 2012 § 1 Comment
“What’s the problem?” Coyote looked up from his novel. Tony Hillerman, I noticed.
I myself was reading about a murder in Savannah, Georgia, and I was keeping track.
“Well, it just seems like some people have a prejudice against them and I am pretty sure it’s not justified.” I was afraid I was picking a fight but I didn’t care. I wanted to get this straightened out.
“Listen to this, for instance,” I continued before Coyote could get a word in. “It’s a sentence in this book I’m reading. ‘This was the hole allegedly made by Danny Hansford during his rampage through the house a month before he was killed.'” « Read the rest of this entry »
April 26, 2012 § Leave a comment
Coyote kept his voice casual but he was fooling no one.
“What do you mean?” I matched his tone. No point falling into his trap by getting defensive. “I’m keeping up.”
“Keeping up … how, exactly?” He was helping me sort books. I was getting rid of a bookshelf. Spring cleaning. It had to be done. We had Loreena Mckennitt playing in the background to keep our spirits up. « Read the rest of this entry »