Summer 2007 • Vol. XXIX No. 3 PoetryJuly 1, 2007 |

An Apology to the Vietnamese and Iraqis

Fog and lamplight and a sleepless night suggest a past to sit up with, in an armchair with a book and a snack. A small boat putt-putts somewhere under the cliff, passing the fennel and ferns at waterside. I have screened out, like you, the far away. For me, there's a khaki sheen over Vietnam, and a sandstorm will erase Iraq before the owl lifts its dinner by the heel. That's the way we sleep now, screening out the gunboats in the fog, listening to the owl hunt farther and farther to find his kill. Our nights are lampblack.

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Marvin Bell, retired from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, teaches for the low-residency M.F.A. program based at Pacific University in Oregon. He and his wife, Dorothy, live in Iowa City, Iowa, and Port Townsend, Washington. Vertigo: The Living Dead Man Poems appeared in 2011 and After the Fact: Scripts & Postscripts (a collaboration with Christopher Merrill) will be released in 2016.

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By Marvin Bell

Fog and lamplight and a sleepless night suggest a past to sit up with, in an armchair with a book and a snack. A small boat putt-putts somewhere under the […]

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