Academic journal article Chicago Review

Mainstreaming

Academic journal article Chicago Review

Mainstreaming

Article excerpt

Fort Jackson in the twilight and the coal smoke Oddly looks like San Francisco, Tank Hill Being Nob Hill and the mess hall steps I sit on any hill that overlooks. Un-Californian in the extreme, E Company goes smartly by, then G. Night training in the field, presumably, And odds are it's their final. In two weeks The training cycle ends. I have a scale Of orders cut that goes from one to ten: Korea's minus eight; Presidio Is ten. "And here the Moron Legion comes." Above me and behind, Mess Sergeant Fay; And who refers-his slur is literalTo Able Company, whose Draft Boards have, In manic zeal to put down Minus Eight, Inducted borderline retardees. Not To mince words, Able drools a lot. "Nine weeks Of Basic," says the Sergeant, "and they still Can't mitre sheets." A bit self satisfied, In broken step they march the asphalt streets

As if they crossed a frail suspension bridge. I have no way of knowing, but I see A Turk Street of the future: vile fatigues, And leather strapped on in the strangest spots. A look that later age will know as stoned. It is their cadre whom I notice most; As if they each one had a shoeshine boy, A valet, a private barber. And a sylph Who wipes their lips with Kleenex if they drool.

"If they discharge them then they have to pay. Hospital, pensions. So experiment. It's monkey see and hope that monkey does. Two thirds of 'them', one third of 'us'. Of course, If they fuck up then we are punished too. Ten weeks, and none of us has had a pass. Don't ask me what my sex life may become." My confidant is Connor Kennington, With whom I went to high school. We've an hour Or so of freedom, in the Service Club. The Tank Hill Service Club. The Nashville Sound Is occupation army in our own. "I'm in the ranks to spite my family.

I write them that I shower with idiots, And they write back `But are they White or Black?"' "That Field First Sergeant's not an idiot." "Ed Crowley? Yes he is. He had it made And threw it over. He was acey-deucey With the Provost Marshall."

"AC-DC, Connor. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.