I’m sitting here writing poetry with my son rocking away in his swing, staring attentively at objects around the room, this isn’t where I thought I’d be 10 years ago. This isn’t where I envisioned myself 2 years ago. I don’t think many situations in life turnout how you envisioned them; but somehow for the most part, they always turnout better.
In combat I think most situations always turned out worse than I envisioned them, at least on my first deployment. Leading up to my second deployment I imagined everything was going to be 10X worse than I actually envisioned; I wasn’t wrong. Everything was actually as miserable as I thought it would be. I stopped taking pictures after 7 days of being on deployment in Sangin. I already knew a week into the pump I didn’t want to remember any of it.
To my original point though- I never once saw myself as a writer/Poet. Only in the spring/summer of 2017 I envisioned a new life for myself. A life that included accomplishing one goal: to publish a poetry book about Combat. I sat down and spent the time to figure out how to make my dream a reality, devoting all of my time and energy to lay the foundation for the life I wanted to lead. At the end of Summer 2017 I had completed 3 short stories, and over 150 poems for my first book (I didn’t use all of them) the next step was to get all of it edited, find a beautiful cover/rear cover for the book, and then get it published. During that summer I created an Instagram for my book, because social media is the best free marketing tool accessible to everyone. I started to promote my poetry and promote myself through the IG outlet, as well as creating flyers to mail out to all my friends all over the United States (which actually was a costly move, but i believe it truly helped promote my work).
Everything was in place, by the fall of 2017 I had found a publisher through my editor, found a beautiful photo in my Hard-drive from my first pump for the cover, and the company who created my flyers actually melded two photos together to create the rear cover. So everything was set, the book was being structured by the publisher and by the beginning of November I would be a published poet/writer. The next step for me was reading my poetry to the world, I wanted to travel and bring my words all over the U.S. so people could see that a Warrior could write poetry. With the help of some great friends I got to travel to a few universities and bring the spoken word to people who we’re foreign to Warrior poetry. I wanted people to understand that A veteran could write more than just a singular mission novel about some one time mission. I wanted people to feel how Combat felt, I wanted the reader to dissect the words I wrote and interpret them however they choose. My objective was to bring insight and perspective to combat and the war that was Operation Enduring Freedom. Me and my friends experienced something completely different than the ones who deployed to Iraq or Vietnam, I wanted our War to have a voice; and NOT a voice telling them how this one mission went- but a voice that brought combat how we experienced it into the light. Every war is different and every conflict has its traumatic/devastating events; this I know to be true.
POETRY- was my outlet, Poetry about Combat, poetry swinging a stick bleeping over footpaths, poetry about pulling triggers, poetry about blood, poetry about IEDs, poetry was how I wanted write about my experience in combat. The Art behind poetry is absolutely beautiful. Everyone gathers a different concept or idea when they read the same words, someone can read one haiku and gather one thing while someone else reads it and gathers something completely different. That’s what I love.
Warrior Poetry is something I love, there is an artistic side I wanted to expose in myself. I wanted to take that side of me and push myself as far and as hard as I could down the path of writing poetry. I haven’t stopped. It’s summer 2018 a little over 1 full year after I finished my 1st book before editing; and I’m just getting started. I am releasing my 3rd book this winter titled “The Art Of Warrior Poetry” because I truly believe the poetry that I’m writing is beautiful art. There is a process to how I began down this road, and I want to dive into that process and put it into words- but my way: into Poems. I have four chapters for #TAOWP,
1. White- for the years prior to war, the purity of life, the innocence I had, the goodness that was in my soul
2. Red- War. For the blood I saw, the red hate I learned overseas, the fierce fighting day in and day out, boiling anger everyday building as another man tries to kill you, War is red in my heart
- Black- for the black hole my soul became after combat, the Black Death we all saw and has stuck with our brains since leaving Combat, Black for solitude as we isolate ourselves returning home
And last but not definitely not least-
- Gold- gold is for coming out the other side on top, getting through the darkness to find who you are, the golden years in life after combat, coming to terms with your past and not letting it hold you down, Gold for championing your demons and becoming more than what you were in combat.
“The Art Of Warrior Poetry” is going to be my largest book to date, it will be the next level in my writing, the evolved version of my poetry. I believe that this book will be much better than whatever I’ve written before (some will disagree) but I believe that. I truly hope everyone who reads my books loves my next book- because to me it’s more than just a book, it’s a piece of art.
Anyways- Ive rambled on enough, thanks for listening and thanks for reading my stuff! Have a nice night you fucking Heathens!