The Homesick Patrol
72 pages, perfect bound, paper, 1995, $12.00; White Noise #3; ISBN: 1885215-15-0.
You can order this text directly from us. Make check payable to Viet Nam Generation, PO Box 13746, Tucson, AZ 85732-3746. Purchase orders are accepted from schools and libraries, and can be emailed or faxed to 520-578-9208.
"David Vancil's The Homesick Patrol is a book threaded by memory. In poem after poem--whether writing of a child's trip tot he zoo, the grim horror of Vietnam, or the 'Memoirs of an Ex-Baseball Player'--Vancil holds up the rags of the past to the light of experience, wondering 'about the mystery of loss, the loss of mystery.' In 'recomposing' the past, Vancil's speakers often don't know 'what to recall,' even want 'to pretend it hadn't happened.' But they cannot pretend, can't 'forget all names.' Indeed, it is this remembering, this honest attempt to restitch a life's fragments that most makes these accessible, humanizing poems worth our reading."
----Matthew Brennan, author of Seeing in the Dark
"David Vancil is our point-man in [the] battle for sanity. For him cholesterol and the war in Vietnam offer similar lessons about our hunger to get even, our need to explain what we were doing 'when the end came.' Above all, our need for grace when it's all done."
----Jerry Bradley, author of Simple Versions of Disaster
Born in 1946, David Vancil spent most of his growing-up years around Army bases. Vancil served two years of active duty in the Army, one year as an advisor in Viet Nam. He refused a promotion to captain, instead returning to various careers as a teacher, school vice-principal, editor and librarian. Today, Vancil, who holds a Ph.D. in English, works as a rare book librarian and continues to write poetry, fiction, and occasional critcism. Vancil is the author of an earlier volume of poetry titled The Art School Baby, and is working on a memoir titled The Sanest Man in Vietnam. His verse is disciplined and elegant, the work of a careful literary artist.