Saturday, June 30, 2007

Randall Jarrell's "The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner" Meets Moby/Another Len Sousa Mashup

Randall Jarrell's poem "The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner"--one of the canonical poems of the Second World War because of its unflinching witness of the technological horrors of that war--creates a surreal landscape that sutures the space between the mother's womb and the State.

One of the backstories of the poem is that Jarrell served as a desk jockey in the Air Force, and saw many young men fly off to their deaths. That guilt inheres in the poem, as it attempts to speak the voice of the dead.

"The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner"

From my mother's sleep I fell into the State,

And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.

Six miles from earth, loosed from the dream of life,

I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.

When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.

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