Sunday, September 23, 2007

Michael Casey: A Bummer

We were going single file
Through his rice paddies
And the farmer
Started hitting the lead track
With a rake
He wouldn't stop
The TC went to talk to him
And the farmer
Tried to hit him too
So the tracks went sideways
Side by side
Through the guy's fields
Instead of single file
Hard On, Proud Mary
Bummer, Wallace, Rosemary's Baby
The Rutgers Road Runner
Go Get Em - Done Got Em
Went side by side
Through the fields
If you have a farm in Vietnam
And a house in hell
Sell the farm
And go home

Michael Casey (born 1947 in Lowell, Massachusetts) is an Armenian-American poet.
His first collection, Obscenities, was chosen by Stanley Kunitz (former Poet Laureate of the U.S.) for the Yale Series of Younger Poets. Other collections include Millrat (Adastra Press), The Million Dollar Hole (Orchises Press), Raiding a Whorehouse (Adastra), Permanent Party (March Street Press), Cindi's Fur Coat (The Chuckwagon), and The Bopper (Kendra Steiner Editions).
After working as a kettleman in a textile mill dye house in nearby Lawrence, we went to war in Vietnam.

Obscenities is often considered the first significant book of American poetry to come out of the Vietnam War. It has sold over 100,000 copies. One of the more memorable stanzas from Obscenities is from the poem A Bummer
His writing has appeared in America, Ararat, College English, The Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Rolling Stone and Student Lawyer. He is the author of Obscenities, Yale University press, 1972.

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