poetry quarterly

10th anniversary

PLAN B PRESS Issue

Lamont Steptoe


In 2003 Plan B Press reprinted Steptoe’s 1995 book dealing with his two tours of Vietnam called Uncle’s South China Sea Blue Nightmare. Here are two excerpts from the title poem.

 


from UNCLE'S SOUTH CHINA SEA BLUE NIGHTMARE

In country
large pockets
the color of banana leaves
filled with prayers
fear
damp monopoly money
running like madras shirts
large pockets
big as foxholes
stuffed with images
of family and lovers
large pockets
big enough to carry states
yet still leave room
for bullets
grenades
knives
dope
large pockets
room enough for skies
God
rockets red glare
 
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In country
the children of Americans
realize what their parents
have done
and scream
but it’s too late

Lamont Steptoe is he author of eight books of poems, including In the Kitchens of the Master, and Mad Minute. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Steptoe is a father, Vietnam veteran, and founder of Whirlwind Press. In 2005, he was awarded an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation for A Long Movie of Shadows.

 

Published in Volume 11, Number 3, Summer 2010.