Jack Moser entered the Navy in 1958. He served as an intelligence officer in the Vietnam War, and holds a doctorate in psychology.
A few of the poems in Who Cares? I Do: Poems (Fithian Press, 128 pp., $14, paper) deal with the Vietnam War: “Kill Everything That Moves, ” “My Queen of Vietnam, ” and “The Phu Qui Island Chorus.” Lots of the poems deal with God and Ireland. I’ll quote from “Kill Everything That Moves” to provide a sense of the book.
It is thirty-eight years since the Vietnam War ended.
The sordid stories of American atrocities
Are just starting to raise their bloody heads.
We now know that U.S. military forces
Killed millions of innocent civilians in cold blood
We were all so obsessed with the “body count”
That everyone we killed was the enemy
From the one-month old baby
To the ninety-year-old man planting rice,
The orders were clear, “Kill everything that moves”
That meant everything:
Americans “killing millions of innocent civilians in cold blood”? This is not the war that I knew in Vietnam—and it is nothing close to the truth. Even books that claim that Americans committed unending atrocities in the Vietnam War, such as Nick Turse’s deeply flawed Kill Everything That Moves (2013), don’t come close to contending that we killed millions of innocents in cold blood.
This book of poetry is not for me, but perhaps it might be for you.