Veteran Scholar


My first piece of published writing was the poem, “Black Silks, Black Mud,” jotted down while on patrol in Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam in late 1968, and which would appear in the seminal anthology of Vietnam Veteran Poetry, Winning Hearts & Minds (First Casualty Press/McGraw Hill, 1972). I still have the letter in which Jan Barry, one of the volume’s editors, accepted the poem and suggested a couple of word changes. I had two poems in the companion volume which followed, Demilitarized Zones: Veterans After Vietnam (East River Anthology, 1976). Over the years I’ve continued to publish the odd poem as inspiration and opportunity have presented themselves. I think of myself as a prose writer, and as a poet in only a tangential sense. My poems tend to come in spurts, separated often by years, written in periods of transition and emotional upheaval. Unlike my prose, which I work over assiduously, my poems arrive as set pieces as if by transmission, requiring little if any revision. Published poems appear here first, then a selection of unpublished works that I feel are worthy of publication.

     Winning Hearts and Minds

     Demilitarized Zones

     It's hard to tell sometimes...

     Under Maine's Arabian sky...

     Road Kill

     War Birthed Me (or Anthem of a Baby Boomer)

     Taking Stock At 65