(hell) TBI/TMI (villain) for Tim O’Brien and Lee Mirecki Ten people died in the military, at least the one I was in—the Navy; with my training, they taught me to carry gurneys, didn’t teach us how to bury the dead, because that would have been crazy. Ten people died in the military. The last, helicopter crash, a starry night. Search & Rescue. The sea all wavy. With my training, they taught me to carry tourniquets, always, taught to be very cautious, and how to cry like a baby. Ten people died in the military. I’ve never had kids, didn’t get married. Maybe one day I will. Doubtful. Maybe. With my training, they taught me to carry doubt. My life has been disciplinary; that’s the one thing I know that they gave me. Ten people died in the military. With my training, they taught me to carry . . .
My Hometown is a Mine, Nothing Else, Just a Hole in “It’s child’s play, this dead end” --John N. Morris, “Boxtrap” your head. Just a fever. In your head. Just a lack of justice. And the fathers are in bed, twelve-hour shifts that are thirteen, and they shower but the shower doesn’t take off soot that’s so deep in their skulls that you’d have to kill the mine to free their skin from ashes that embed in the teeth and the tunnels that they tunnel are graves for the future and our house shakes every noon when the dynamite booms and our ceilings are lightninged with violence where the train tracks so near like to listen and hear our soft arguments at need for peace and attention and family-time, but the mine owns the world and our world, it’s the mine, so we learn to live without fathers.
Ron Riekki’s books include My Ancestors are Reindeer Herders and I Am Melting in Extinction (Apprentice House Press), Posttraumatic (Hoot ‘n’ Waddle), and U.P. (Ghost Road Press). Riekki co-edited Undocumented (Michigan State University Press) and The Many Lives of The Evil Dead (McFarland), and edited The Many Lives of It (McFarland), And Here (MSU Press), Here (MSU Press, Independent Publisher Book Award), and The Way North (Wayne State University Press, Michigan Notable Book).