Huckleberry Minh: A Walk
Glen Alyn's fine poems range in mood
from celebration of the sensory joys of living to outrage at man's
atrocities of war and apathy, Fresh, striking phrasings and images
gleam in his language, whether the poem's main setting be East Texas,
Vietnam, the Mississippi River, or the poet's observant, creative
mind. At times hilarious and witty, at times mordantly ironic, the
voice of Glen Alyn in this book is clear, direct, engaging, and,
above all, honest.
Thomas Whitbread, poet, author
of Four Infinitives and Whomp & Moonshiver
In this myth of innocence lost and reclaimed,
Glen Alyn reaches deeply into his own consciousness and the consciousness
of the race. Written with grace and honesty.
Albert Huffstickler, Poet
Laureate of Hyde Park, Austin, Texas
The American Male Dream has every Odysseus
a manful, misunderstood boy; sic
Ishmael, Huckleberry Finn, Holden Caulfield and Bill Clinton. If Homer was
a blind singer from Chios in the Aegean, Glen Alyn is a kind singer from Killeen,
Texas who came home from the ravages of Viet Nam with no bands togreet him.
In this extraordinarily compelling and inventive little masterpiece of poetical
epic and healing, Huck is still on the lam. Alyn keeps the tale taut and dramatic
even as he walks it through the dreamland that was his hamburgered and Baptized
America, his retreat and exploration of the Indian bends in the ghost river
of Twain and Huck's ole Mississip, and the nightmare that was Viet Nam. Nam
he approached as Queequeg-turned Mance Lipscomb, fashioning his coffin to serve
as a guitar case until what was left of him would need it. In the Central Highlands
below Banana Mountain, tents exploded like olive drab birthday balloons. Like
Ernie Pyle, Alyn keeps his battle reports as brief and explosive as hand grenades.
Somehow, he survived, only to face something almost worse: Coming home. In
the writing of this, Huckleberry Minh has healed himself, and perhaps in time
a whole generation of Americans. And for good reason. So much of his odyssey
as Huckleberry Glen is as compact and quenching to the thirst for good sensibility
as is a canteen of sweet water on a stroll with Christ and Buddha.
Billy Porterfield, novelist & journalist,
Wimberley, Texas, author of Diddy Waw
Diddy & lots more
From Glen Alyn's "Buddha"
on top of his desk
under his ass
Requisitions and casualty reports
with forms and files
Top sergeants staring
theyd ever seen
behaved like this
the Major didnt care
who was embarrassed
In place of dog tags
hung on dogtag chain
slipped out of uniform
Hung in mid-air
As Major Arnold
leaned slightly forward
in Korean meditation
He had his orders
He cared for his men
He cared for his boys...