July 7, 2016

Three poems by Dan Jacoby: "Fort Holabird," "tay ninh 1970," and "national anthem"

Dan Jacoby is a graduate of St. Louis University, Chicago State University, and Governors State University. He lives both in Beecher and Hagaman, Illinois. He has been published in many magazine, including Anchor and Plume(Kindred), Arkansas Review, Belle Rev Review, Bombay Gin, and Indiana Voice Journal. He received the "Western Writers Spur Award" from Cowboy Poetry Press-Unbridled 2015. He is a former principal, teacher, coach, and former counterintelligence agent and green beret. He was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2015. He is currently looking for a publisher for a collection of poetry.




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Fort Holabird


Wind apparent tonight
slams into the barrack’s windows
like a night blind bird
tunneling its’ way through
this old war hooch
carrying with it spirits
dead alien shores past
maybe a dream of a minion mind

On the wall a reflection
a shadow of a night passing
through a mad conscience
chased too soon by
the call of a bugle
the start of day
old before its’ time
and the end of a life
full of innocence




tay ninh 1970

when a round hits a body
there is almost always a thud
a cracking and a man cries out
sometimes there is no sound

bullets whir
tumbling along the earth
just as dangerous
shatter a foot

off to the right
a scream
cry for corpsman
frantic voices working miracles
shark toothed helicopter
lays down fire in support
keeping them off us
while we can gather ourselves

it picks up
sounds of ricochets
whining like banshees
they come for us

no one runs
no place to go
we fight with what we have
they are shocked by our resistance

the line of them
it wavers and comes again
only to stop
and disappear like mist

white smoke set out
choppers coming for wounded
chest wounds first
dust off to a table, no waiting

filled that chopper
took 12 units
floor full of life
hair awash in his own blood

it has been a while
since this frequented
not as often now
I heard he made it

never told anyone
kept inside till
it just came out
like an old spent round





national anthem

turned them down
he did
asked him to masquerade
as a war hero

daily he fights alienation
from his former self
his ghost past makes
a misfit at home

disengaged public
finds war wildly popular
at sporting events somehow
finding themselves undeserving of the effort

with every bar sung
mind is reopened
every pat on the back makes
you want to burn everything down

history distorts war
authors work well
to find plot and meaning
sorting out the fragmentation

there is not enough room
for what is brought home
and no one seems to know
what he is being thanked for

(first published October 22, 2014, Vol.29 in Clockwise Cat)


~Dan Jacoby

 

3 comments:

  1. AnonymousJuly 19, 2016

    Dear Dan,

    Painful poems -- maybe because they're too real. Lost a brother in Vietnam. The last stanza of your poem "national anthem" is especially powerful -- and memorable:

    "there is not enough room
    for what is brought home
    and no one seems to know
    what he is being thanked for"

    Blessings,

    Cindy (Bousquet Harris)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Robyn BouillonJuly 19, 2016

    Raw and powerful poems, Dan... though I never experienced it your poems made me feel some small measure of the horror and haunting the men on the frontlines experience ... no peace during or after, but hopefully the memories grow dimmer with time.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dear Dan,
    Thank you for sharing your moving poems. My uncle and father served during Vietnam and I appreciate the way you speak to the experiences that happened there. Thank you.
    Megan

    ReplyDelete

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