Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Tuesday Poem hub: the other Brian Turner

Tuesday Poem's hub poem this week is VA Hospital Confessional by Brian Turner. Many kiwis will immediately think of our very own Brian Turner, but this Brian Turner is from the US - and has been selected by Christchurch poet  and novelist Helen Lowe. 

The poem is powerful and provocative, opening like this: 

Each night is different. Each night the same.
Sometimes I pull the trigger. Sometimes I don’t.

When I pull the trigger, he often just stands there,
gesturing, as if saying, Aren’t you ashamed?

When I don’t, he douses himself
in gasoline, drowns himself in fire.

Helen Lowe says : 'In the poem I heard the note that I believe resonates in all great art and reaches out to the listener, the reader, or the viewer: that depiction of what NZ poet, Dr Glenn Colquhoun, has described as the "ache" of our human condition.  Part of that depiction may be gritty reality, another part may be compassion—both qualities that I found in Brian Turner's first collection Here, Bullet, a series of poems written during his service with the 3rd Stryker Brigade in Iraq.' 

Definitely worth a look.... and then click on the sidebar of the newly-renovated blog to meet 30 Tuesday Poets and poems by them or others they admire... Lynn Davidson, Jane Higgins, Melissa Green, they're all there. 

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