Here, Bullet

( 2 )

Overview

Adding his voice to the current debate about the US occupation of Iraq, in poems written in the tradition of such poets as Wilfred Owen, Yusef Komunyakaa (Dien Cai Dau), Bruce Weigl (Song of Napalm) and Alice James’ own Doug Anderson (The Moon Reflected Fire), Iraqi war veteran Brian Turner writes power-fully affecting poetry of witness, exceptional for its beauty, honesty, and skill. Based on Turner’s yearlong tour in Iraq as an infantry team leader, the poems offer gracefully rendered, unflinching description ...

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Overview

Adding his voice to the current debate about the US occupation of Iraq, in poems written in the tradition of such poets as Wilfred Owen, Yusef Komunyakaa (Dien Cai Dau), Bruce Weigl (Song of Napalm) and Alice James’ own Doug Anderson (The Moon Reflected Fire), Iraqi war veteran Brian Turner writes power-fully affecting poetry of witness, exceptional for its beauty, honesty, and skill. Based on Turner’s yearlong tour in Iraq as an infantry team leader, the poems offer gracefully rendered, unflinching description but, remarkably, leave the reader to draw conclusions or moral lessons. Here, Bullet is a must-read for anyone who cares about the war, regardless of political affiliation.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The verse in this book is not good, but it is, in a cultural moment that includes Cindy Sheehan, timely. Turner served seven years in the U.S. Army, including deployment to Bosnia-Herzegovina with the 10th Mountain Division, and a year spent as an infantry team leader with the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team of the 2nd Infantry Division in Iraq. He, begins, after a prefatory poem ("This is a language made of blood./ It is made of sand, and time. To be spoken, it must be earned"), with poems whose titles precisely describe their contents: the nightmarish dispersal of "The Baghdad Zoo," the infamous "Hwy 1" ("the Highway of Death"), "The Al-Harishma Weapons Market," "Body Bags," "Najaf, 1820," "Dreams from the Malaria Pills," "Katyusha Rockets," "Observation Post #798," "2000 lbs." (in one bomb)-along with medevacs, translators, civilians and much more. Turner earned an M.F.A. from the University of Oregon before joining the army. His work is straightforward and direct. It highlights the violence and death of the war in a manner little seen elsewhere. (Nov. 1) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
The challenge Iraq war veteran Turner faced in writing this first collection was how to write beautiful poetry on the grim realities of war, about which there is nothing poetic. He aims to achieve his goal through simple description; the horror and the bloodiness of the war compel him to rely extensively on documenting its events, and his poems surrender to the power of narrative at the expense of the density and allusive imagery of poetry. Throughout, Turner attempts to capture the extreme experience of war by depicting the feelings it generates: the sense of loss, hatred, humiliation, love, uncertainty, and dreamy longing for a normal life among others. Symbols from Iraqi culture, such as Quranic verses, historical figures, and Arabic words, are cleverly employed throughout to enhance the effectiveness of the verse. The poems are strongest when Turner hints at and suggests functions that are vital to poetic language: "Cranes roost atop power lines in enormous/ bowl-shaped nests of sticks and twigs/and when a sergeant shoots one from the highway/ it pauses, as if amazed that death has found it/ here, at 7 a.m. on such a beautiful morning." Recommended for large public libraries.-Sadiq Alkoriji, Tomball Coll. & Community Lib., Harris Cty., TX Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781882295555
  • Publisher: Alice James Books
  • Publication date: 11/1/2005
  • Pages: 80
  • Sales rank: 259,024
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Brian Turner earned an MFA from the University of Oregon and lived abroad in South Korea for a year before serving for seven years in the US Army. He was an infantry team leader for a year in Iraq beginning in November 2003 with the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. Prior to that, he was deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1999 with the 10th Mountain Division. His poetry has been published in Poetry Daily, The Georgia Review and other journals, and in the Voices in Wartime Anthology.

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Read an Excerpt

Here, Bullet


By Brian Turner

Alice James Books

Copyright © 2005 Brian Turner
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781882295555

Here, Bullet

If a body is what you want,
then here is bone and gristle and flesh.
Here is the clavicle-snapped wish,
the aorta’s opened valves, that leap
thought makes at the synaptic gap.
Here is the adrenaline rush you crave,
that inexorable flight, that insane puncture
into heat and blood. And I dare you to finish
what you’ve started. Because here, Bullet,
here is where I complete the word you bring
hissing through the air, here is where I moan
the barrel’s cold esophagus, triggering
my tongue’s explosives for the rifling I have
inside of me, each twist of the round
spun deeper, because here, Bullet,
here is where the world ends, every time.




Continues...

Excerpted from Here, Bullet by Brian Turner Copyright © 2005 by Brian Turner. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

A Soldier's Arabic 1
I
The Baghdad Zoo 5
Hwy 1 6
In the Leupold Scope 7
The Al Harishma Weapons Market 8
What Every Soldier Should Know 9
The Hurt Locker 11
Observation Post #71 12
Here, Bullet 13
Body Bags 14
AB Negative (The Surgeon's Poem) 15
Two Stories Down 17
Ashbah 18
Into the Elephant Grass 19
Eulogy 20
II
Kirkuk Oilfield, 1927 23
Trowel 24
Where the Telemetries End 25
Autopsy 26
Repatriation Day 27
Najaf, 1820 28
For Vultures: A Dystopia 29
16 Iraqi Policemen 30
Dreams from the Malaria Pills (Barefoot) 31
Katyusha Rockets 32
R&R 33
Dreams from the Malaria Pills (Bosch) 34
How Bright It Is 35
III
Alhazen of Basra 39
Easel 40
Observation Post #798 41
2000 lbs. 42
Dreams from the Malaria Pills (Turner) 46
Curfew 47
IV
Mihrab 51
Milh 52
Gilgamesh, in Fossil Relief 53
Tigris River Blues 54
Ferris Wheel 55
Sadiq 56
Jameel 57
Last Night's Dream 58
Cole's Guitar 59
9-Line Medevac 61
Night in Blue 64
Caravan 65
To Sand 66
Notes 69
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2012

    Great poetry

    Brian Turner has a great voice for his experiences. His word choices and imagery are powerful.

    The poetry is beautiful while tragic and emotionally pulling.

    I would recommend this to anyone who is willing to read this with an open mind, as well as stand the graphic nature of war.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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