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  • By southernbaroqueatyahoodotcom
    May 25, 2016
    There is a lot of speculative books about the horrors of war going around, "Bastards Had the Whole Hill Mined" is not one of those. This is the real thing. As real and blood and guts. Speculations and abstractions are shredded away from the poetry as readily as meat from bone. It's a hard read, but a worthwhile read, to put our faces down in the Hell of it so that we might never want to see it again. As Robert E. Lee once said, "It is good that war should be so terrible, lest we should grow too fond of it. Thank you, Mr. Albanese, for making us hate it at least just a little bit more than we already did.
  • By Madeline Moore
    Sep 1, 2015
    BASTARDS HAD THE WHOLE HILL MINED BASTARDS HAD THE WHOLE HILL MINED is not an easy read. It should be, given how plain the language is, but the subject matter and the poet’s voice make it a very rough ride. Not as rough, of course, as fighting in the Vietnam War, which is what this collection is about. As for the poet’s voice, it is that of a raconteur with a powerful flair for vernacular. To quickly become fluent in Albanese is time well spent. From FIFTY YEARS AGO gun oil, fish sauce, blood, creosote, “l’odeur de la papaya verte” Asia of the jungle, Asia of the mountains, Asia of the sea such a long time ago, yesterday to me Bursts of black anger or hilarity share the page with lamentations, like this line from what is I think my favorite poem in the collection, POSTED: weeping wondering calling on the dusty bones to remember me and our times From THROW BACK THURSDAY two grizzled 40some year ole Master Sargent s Maddy n me not 40 between us in years but armed to the teeth In verdant... More > green and black and white, we are unsettled into foreign territory, with Dominic Albanese as our guide. Not that he paints himself as a hero. From MADDY AND ME: (I was young, scared, over my head) Virgil Gray…n…some other Old timers would allow me slack as long as when the shit hit I fired back but it’s clear that there are other soldiers, particularly Maddy, who are his personal heroes and that those who survived carried some seriously scary demons home to the USA. So, in the final poem, MAYDAY, when I read this simple line: I am glad to be here it makes me want to weep with relief. This volume of poetry is a hard-won grace, fifty years in the making. The relevance of the book is not limited to Veterans, although BASTARDS matters to a lot of them. It is ultimately the tale of a big, terrified kid and his best pal, miraculously surviving a stupid bloodbath only to discover that the stupid bloodbath sloshes in their boots with every step they take. from POSTED into the tropic magic, into the terror laughing, burp guns, grease guns, grenade launchers, large bore pistols rucksacks full of dried fish and rice, wearing car-tire sandals acting like real soldiers, only playin war Poor Monk. There’s a hell of a heart beating inside that big, scared lug and lucky for us, it is the heart of a fine poet. BASTARDS HAD THE WHOLE HILL MINED by Dominic Albanese published by Seb Doubinsky,Les Editions du Zaporogue< Less
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Product Details

Edition
first
Publisher
Les Editions du Zaporogue
Published
May 18, 2015
Language
English
Pages
77
Binding
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
Weight
0.36 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
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