I don't read war poetry
because I was in a war.
I can't imagine reading war poetry
after you've been in a war.
I write war poetry sometimes
because I was in a war
so I don't have to do any research.
I just think back to the helicopter on fire
and then I write a line like
The helicopter was on fire
and then in class they tell me
that I have to describe the fire
and I start to do it,
saying what bodies look like melting
and then they tell me to stop
and so I stop.
Ron Riekki's books include And Here: 100 Years of Upper Peninsula Writing, 1917-2017 (Michigan State University Press), Here: Women Writing on Michigan's Upper Peninsula (2016 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal Great Lakes Best Regional Fiction), The Way North: Collected Upper Peninsula New Works (2014 Michigan Notable Book awarded by the Library of Michigan), and U.P.: a novel (Ghost Road Press). He has books upcoming with Hoot 'n' Waddle, Main Street Rag, McFarland, Michigan State University Press, and Wayne State University Press.