David Rose here; one of three authors sponsored by the Recon Sniper Foundation to go out and deliver the first of what we hope to be many tours. Verses and Curses is a few things; a book-reading, a book-signing, meet-n-greet, and one of the very few current opportunities for veterans of all stripes and generations to share their written work, published or unpublished, in an environment one would expect from our rough demographic, but also an artful one.
…… Typing in a rolling RV is hard, made all the harder in the “this is America” pothole-infested town of Hartford, Connecticut. Trying here—and it’s best just not to look outside, I’m thinking. In route to Haverhill, three writers, one videographer, and one tattoo artist turned hype-man (who, for reasons that still remain unexplained, took over last night’s closing remarks) have a moment to reflect on our opening night at Emmett O’lunney’s in Manhattan.
Allowing for the fashionably late, our 6pm start time morphed into something more like 630. At 555, Leo Jenkins and I were mulling over how exactly to present to such a skeleton of a crowd. I had to order a drink at 556. However, seemingly all at once, at 620-something most seats held asses and close to three dozen people were waiting to see if they’d wasted a perfectly good evening.
The cheers that would follow, we are confident to say, makes one inclined to believe the crowd left happy. With a round-robin structure that allowed for guest readers to come up and join in the throwdown, an hour of poetry and prose put in our ears the loves and hates of someone who’s experienced the war culture has with their society, their deployments, their support structure (or lack thereof), and themselves. Notable guest readers were Jack Murphy from SOFREP, who read from his upcoming memoir, as well as Special Forces career-man, Jim West. A generation older than the other readers, in some ways West stole the show. With his son Frank in the crowd, West read an extended free-verse poem that hit on too much for any one blog to ever cover in a way that would do it the justice it deserves.
West is a stunning example of what we here in the Verses and Curses RV are hoping to see a lot more of: someone who knows they’ve been holding onto a piece that the others will benefit from hearing—that, and have a drink with us.
Next on the docket is Battle Grounds Coffee in Haverhill, Massachusetts. As the bona fide former Recondo on this tour, it’s exciting to learn a handful of 0321s are supposed to be coming to this event.
If you are in the area, hope to see you too.
Be on here again soon.