Remembrance Day Tuesday Poem: Here Bullet by Brian Turner


If a body is what you want,
then here is bone and gristle and flesh.
Here is the clavicle-snapped wish,
the aorta’s opened valves, the leap
thought makes at the synaptic gap.
Here is the adrenaline rush you crave,
that inexorable flight, that insane puncture
into heat and blood. And I dare you to finish
what you’ve started. Because here, Bullet,
here is where I complete the word you bring
hissing through the air, here is where I moan
the barrel’s cold esophagus, triggering
my tongue’s explosives for the rifling I have
inside of me, each twist of the round
spun deeper, because here, Bullet,
here is where the world ends, every time.

© 2005, Brian Turner
From: Here, Bullet
Publisher: Alice James Books, Farmington, ME, 2005

The collection Here Bullet chronicles Brian Turner's time as a serving soldier in the US army in Iraq.  It records the realities of war rather than philosophical musings about the rights and wrongs of armed conflict and the poem aren't sanitized for the squeamish reader. If we allow our governments to wage war and fund our armed forces to fight then we need to know what we are sending them into.

The wonderful thing about the poems in this collection is the way the poems engage with traditional Arabic poetry - its themes and forms. There are two other collections, Phantom Noise (which deals with post-traumatic stress) and My Life as a Foreign Country.

For more about Brian Turner and his poetry click here. 

The Tuesday Poets are an international group, based in New Zealand, who aim to post a poem every Tuesday and take it in turns to edit the main website.  If you'd like to see what we're all posting this week please click here to go to the Hub. 


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  2. i know Here Bullet but your post has inpsired me to buy the collection. Very relevent for our present world experience. wx


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