Friday, July 30, 2010

Writing Workshop in Brooklyn

Tonight from 4-630p there will be a writing workshop and pizza for all interested. Maurice will be leading this workshop so go and have an amazing time!!! It's at the Brooklyn Vet Center....

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Awesome opportunity to be published!!!


Roy Scranton


Do you write fiction? Did you serve in Iraq or Afghanistan?

We are Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans looking for short stories
(1500-7000 words) by other military veterans who served in Iraq and/or
Afghanistan. We seek high quality, literary fiction that touches in
some way on military or wartime experience, either downrange or back
home, for an anthology of veterans’ writing. National Book
Award-winner Colum McCann will be editing. Please send your story as a
word document or pdf to, along with a brief bio
specifying your publishing credits and military service, by August 15,
2010. We seek original stories or reprints (if you own rights).

Monday, July 19, 2010

American Soldier

A poem about what it means to be an American Soldier.

American Soldier

When I say... "I am an American Soldier"

I'm not shouting I'm better than you,

I'm whispering, I was a boy, and now

find myself a man.

When I say... "I am an American Soldier"

I don't speak only of this with pride

I'm also confessing that I stumble,

make mistakes,

And need competent leadership to

help guide me,

So I in turn,

can be a competent leader

When I say... "I am an American Soldier"

I'm not trying to be strong,

I'm professing that I am weak, and

need the strength of my peers and


to help carry me on.

When I say... "I am an American Soldier"

I'm not bragging of past successes,

I'm admitting I have failed in the past,

admitted the mistakes,

and tried to right the wrongs.

When I say... "I am an American Soldier"

I'm not claiming to be perfect,

My flaws are far too visible,

But my country needs me,

and I soldier on.

When I say... "I am an American Soldier"

I can still feel the sting of pain,

from seeing those that I care about die,

While we fight for those that we love.

I have my share of heartaches,

So I call upon the American People

To help guide our soldiers, when home.

When I say... "I am an American Soldier"

I'm not saying anything,

I'm just a simple man,

Who was called upon by his country,

to fight.

By: Michael Anthony, Author of: Mass Casualties: A Young Medic's True Story of Death, Deception, and Dishonor in Iraq. Available at your local bookstores, or online at:

(Originally inspired by a Carol Wimmer poem. )

Saturday, July 17, 2010


First, this piece would not have been made without the inspiration of a brilliant artist named Annie Vought (sorry for the rip-off). Please check out her work at her site:

I am also indebted to Drew Cameron, Drew Matott, and Chris Arendt at the Combat Paper Project:

I created this piece using what I prefer to call Service Paper since I am not a combat veteran. I used one of my old military uniforms to make the paper, then I hand-cut it using an Xacto knife.

I spent 12 years wearing a military uniform and feel that most of that time was spent learning how to kill and hate other people for reasons I am still struggling to understand. Throughout this process of dehumanization of the "enemy," I think I also learned to dehumanize myself. This piece is an attempt to begin the process of returning, not only from the place in myself that said it was OK to view others as less than human, but from the place in myself that said I was OK with doing that. Having dehumanized myself and others, I am now trying to rehumanize myself and others.

With that in mind, I chose to use the simplest expression of love I could think of and repeat it, in my own handwriting, across 12 lines on a sheet of paper. Each line represents one year of military service. I want people who view the piece to see themselves reflected in the mirror, so they will know that I am speaking directly to them, and also to have an image of themselves in front of them as they read the words, "I love you" over and over and realize that they are worthy of their own love.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Part 2 of "So much to say"

Musters of color
dark deep colors
no smiles to be seen.

It was scary,
at least to me.

Things have to get better...

from black to grey--
is next.

This is like a mini-series of well, love poems actually. But not happy, sappy poems--truth in writing from within...hope you all can pull from an experience and write a small collection of the type--chap book could be an awesome project for any writer!!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

So much to say........

To you right now.
One of these days, we shave--
an evil fat clown watches...
and hearts are sad.

Walking, walking, questioning how
people seem so interested,

By what this place has to
offer. Laughter has a lot of heavy
footed that, brings a whole new hour
will allow for nothing correct--fun and free.

Never knowing just how much on the nights
you always get the most sleep.
Freedom, justice for all.

Thought coming here might need to borrow
time to just sit...
and one to say it all.

Monday, July 12, 2010

ARV Proposed Title

The Chicago Warrior Writers are participating at a local 2-day conference in early fall: Art in Response to Violence. The proposal for the conference is completed except for a title. The proposed title will be the "theme" of the collection and all the work (written word, photos, paintings, and any other installation) will be focused on this theme/title.

So far, Pete has proposed "Coming Home".

We'd like to get a few more suggestions and then choose one. If you don't have a suggestion but would like to second Pete's, respond with that too. We will be finalizing this by midnight tonight and I will submit the proposal first thing tomorrow morning.

Any folks not in the area that would still like to contribute, please contact Pete--(I'm sure he won't mind :)Then we will be on the road to creating an inspiring installation of Art in Response to Violence--and that will be a rewarding journey!

Semper Fidelis.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


I wrote this about (an actual experience) how we can sometimes pull each other out of a rut just by being there. I think it's about brother/sisterhood and is appropriate since many of us are connecting in Austin this weekend. Those of us who couldn't make it miss you!


We step off the train in our most
Convincing we’re-doing-just-fine disguise with
The cinder-block feet of men whose spirits are
Heavy under the artificiality of
Our swagger and the damp light and
The same greasy grit of guilt and shame
That covers the subway walls

Lost in our heads on parallel staircases
The corners of our eyes issue challenges to
Our legs as we race skyward
Away from such a thick black dust
We return for a moment, our
Chests out and craned necks,
Laughing into the sunshine of our youth

Friday, July 9, 2010


Hey all you writers and non-writers can take a little time to remember who is at the convention and support them! We should give shout-outs everyday, all of us--once a day. LOL Yea! And blog more......peace

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Since my last post I have missed the William Joiner Workshop and also the IVAW convention. BUT I am back and strong. I'm armed to get you all blogging more please!! Especially blog us stuff from the convention or something like that. We can chat anout it here and such!!!

dark, deep colors
no smiles
to be seen.

Scary, at least to me.
"This has got to get bettter....."

From black to gray, green is next........