I’m really loving this book for many reasons. Not only is it helping me to understand things I never could on my own, but it’s also a beautiful collection of wonderful poetry (yes, I’m a nerd).
I really like the point that Josh Cook brought up in his discussion of the book: “Turner sees not thousands of war deaths, but one war death shared by all, American and Iraqi, soldier and civilian, endlessly iterated . . . The collection’s political statement is one of empathy; a declaration that death, regardless of nationality, ethnicity belief, or anything else, is always death.” I don’t understand how anyone could handle killing another person, enemy or not. Trying to fathom that just reminds me of when I saw my ex place his gun down on a chair to open a package in a video he shot in Iraq. I thought of how this sweet, shy, loving guy would be forced to kill. About how he had to carry that gun around all the time; how important it was to him. It was quite the reality shock. It’s very different from my dad’s hobby of collecting guns and pretending that he’s really good at hunting.
But I digress. My whole point here is that a death is a death. It doesn’t matter who or why or whatever. And I think this comes very apparent in war if you know how to see it. If you know how to read Turner’s lines: “…the incoherent screaming I’ve translated a thousand times over,/driving until I finally understand/who it is I’m supposed to kill.”
Cook, Josh. “War Comes Home: Brian Turner’s Phantom Noise.” The Millions. N.p., 20 Jul 2010. Web. 20 Mar. 2012. <http://www.themillions.com/2010/07/war-comes-home-bryan-turners-phantom-noise.html>.
Turner, Brian. Phantom Noise. 1. Farmington: Alice James Books, 2010. Print.