Bastards had the whole hill mined
eBook (PDF), 77 Pages
In this collection, Dominic Albanese recalls the hell of Vietnam in poignant, vivid and sometimes humorous pieces. A patchwork of pain and lucidity, these poems are a vibrant hymn to peace and a condemnation of human greed and stupidity.
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Mar 22, 2016Chilling and beautiful
Feb 20, 2016Dominic Albanese was there, in Vietnam in ’64 and ’65, and in his extraordinary collection of poems, Bastards Had the Whole Hill Mined, he has given us the fruits of half a century of rumination on what the fuck that meant, given us the smell of the Asian jungle and the depth of the Asian green, the songs that saved his life and the pain of the lives that nothing could save. The book is most immediately a salute to “the bravest most selfless guys ever,” the comrades who shared the reality of the journey into hell for reasons that dimmed into senselessness, and a raging against the stuff “that only makes you sick, “the death sellers and the war mongers,” and “the profit made from the blood of good men.” And we feel Albanese’s love and rage, as if it is in our own blood now. But the book is more than that, for those with ears to hear. These are quiet poems, poems without the drumbeat of the “the rah rah sis boom bah,” poems purged of the ra ra bullshit and “beer hall bravado,” the lies... More > of those who’ve stolen war’s truths for party stories and pep talks. These are “poems [that] chase that noise away,” skirting the silence of what truly cannot be said, and so, they are finally, poetry with a deep prayer bleeding through, a true prayer born of silence and grief, the blood stained ground and the 55-gallon drum filled with tears, a prayer approaching T. S. Eliot’s “condition of complete simplicity, costing not less than everything.” And Albanese shows us that cost, unflinchingly, as he shows us the hard-won simplicity, the fruits of true prayer, true hope, true forgiveness. Because the beloved dead of every battlefield, from Shiloh to An Loc to the streets of LA, are never gone, and the poet has a mission of his own, talking to the dead “in a voice I never use in public/weeping wondering calling on the dusty bones/ to remember me and our times”. And “each day now is a sacred treasure, to be kept goin,/kept singin, alive all over with a headful of memory a heart full of poems/As the dead rest, my job is to keep them here/alongside me,’writin down all the lived up days.” “if you were not there/this is drivel,” Albanese writes: “if you were/your dreams are my dreams”. It is the gift of this extraordinary poetry, written in the blood of memory on the living page of a grieving survivor’s heart, that Dominic Albanese takes us there with him, and makes his dreams our dreams. “I will/tell the tale/So Help Me God,” he says. And by God, he has told it truly.< Less
Aug 17, 2015I laugh now..I cried like a baby then n all those tough guys in the movies can kiss my shit stained ass... I cried like a baby too..raw and honest..horror and that touch of humour we all need to survive when death is a whisper away. An amazing piece of work that will stay with me always.
Jun 27, 2015I've never been to war. Dominic takes you there. Frontlines. I hope I never have to experience what is in his head, ever. Because what lurks in the mind of this brilliant poet spills out like cold blood onto a bright white surface. You'll be soaked in it. He holds nothing back. You feel all the wounds, see all the warts and scars. A life lived after such intense combat is something everyone should hear about, something we all can learn from, can thank our lucky freakin' stars it was them who had their bodies cracked open and filled with nightmares and not us. To remain true is to know the sacrifice, the value of a human life. The voice of Dominic Albanese is a rusted conduit that allows us all to truly understand how damn lucky we all are.
There are no reviews for previous versions of this product
- Les Editions du Zaporogue (Standard Copyright License)
- May 18, 2015
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