George Drew

Reading a Buddy’s Badass Book

Reading a buddy’s badass book about his tour of Hell
in Vietnam, a book of poems that drive the horror home,
I find myself enjoying every poem, smiling sometimes,
hip to his poetics, his often gut-gouging metaphors,
his always straight-ahead truth telling.

After the last poem, after the covers close on his gallery
of grotesqueries, I go to bed, have bad dreams,
and recalling them in the morning when dawn light is
the washed-out gray of all those faces, I write poems,
the only atonement I have, the only deterrent.


George Drew is the author of nine poetry collections, including: Pastoral Habits: New and Selected Poems and The View from Jackass Hill, winner of the 2010 X.J. Kennedy Poetry Prize, both from Texas Review Press; Fancy’s Orphan (Tiger Bark Press); and, most recently, Drumming Armageddon (Madville Publishing). Drew also has published a chapbook, “So Many Bones: Poems of Russia.” He has a new chapbook out titled “Hog: A Delta Memoir” (Bass Clef Books) and a book of essays titled Just Like Oz (Madville Publishing).