Monday, May 14, 2012


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These early poems of travel from the USA to India by this long time literary, spiritual and musical troubadour.

Early Poems ~ Longhouse, 2012. First edition. New and limited. A signed edition is available upon request.
$8, unsigned

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second most popular song
for our unit
third platoon of the 23rd Military Police Company
was Ten Years After's
"If You Should Love Me"
but the most popular
number one quodie song
always blaring from our hooches
was a tribute to John Fogerty
so, it wasn't the "Fortunate Son"
it was "Proud Mary"
as soon as the song finished playing
there was an added chorus
a unit leitmotif
yiant got that song
on that fuckin tape deck again
there was a fist fight
when someone said Fogerty
in real life
evaded the draft

shotgun rider two

Lonnie tells me
the prisoner run
don't mean nothing
there's beaucoup
most of them civilian detainees
just couple armed draft dodgers
--this time again
I am in the back
of the three quarter ton
but now there's a lot of prisoners
I am at the very back
on one of the benches
right arm holding rifle
the stock on thigh
and the left arm holding
on to the railing
the prisoner to my left
puts his right arm around my shoulder
to prevent me from falling off
no no can't do that
khong the duoc----khong the duoc
--I tell Bagley about it later----big mistake
I asked him
why didn't the prisoner
just push me off the truck and book
and Bagley thinks
he thinks and says you know
half these gooks are queer

95th Evac

I saw it, man
a very hurt individual
hurting, man
he's on a plastic something
on top a trolley
and they are all over him, man
the tubes of blood and fluid
whatnot and gauze
sponging up blood
some of it bubbling
and he's little
you would not think
there that much blood
and then another chopper
this time
the wounded is American
the orderlies move the enemy individual
and they don't exactly throw him
but slide him quick
plastic sheet and all
on the floor
against the wall
and this American was hurting more
bigger you know
he had more blood to lose


in country the My Lai tragedy
occurred before my time
and the lesser known Seymour Hersh story
on Ky Chanh, Quang Tin Province,
was before my time as well
but my patrol route
on Highway One
was through Ky Chanh
seeing children play with a stick and ball
with what looked like a pitcher's mound and a home plate
and then there were four bases
now I wish I had stopped
taught them something about the game
but that would mean time travel
you can't get there from now

from Check Points
(Adastra Press, 2011)

Michael Casey was the Yale Younger Poet in 1972 for Obscenities. His later books include Millrat, The Million Dollar Hole, and Permanent Party. He was born in Lowell and to this day remains in Massachusetts.

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