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Nobody Gets Off the Bus:
The Viet Nam Generation Big Book

Volume 5 Number 1-4
March 1994




Texts made available by the Sixties Project, are generally copyrighted by the Author or by Viet Nam Generation, Inc., all rights reserved. These texts may be used, printed, and archived in accordance with the Fair Use provisions of U.S. Copyright law. These texts may not be archived, printed, or redistributed in any form for a fee, without the consent of the copyright holder. This notice must accompany any redistribution of the text. A few of the texts we publish are in the public domain. For information on a specific text, contact Kalí Tal. The Sixties Project, sponsored by Viet Nam Generation Inc. and the Institute of Advanced Technology in the Humanities at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, is dedicated to using electronic resources to provide routes of collaboration and make available primary and secondary sources for researchers, students, teachers, writers and librarians interested in the 1960s.



Poetry by Jane Teresa Tassi


burr burn
bomb balm
in the mouth
of the moon

Goddamnedvietnam Like Götterdämmerung

Racing eating roses
through lime trees
ceaseless sadnesses
and chinese trees--

I've come to a pond
of young animal. He is
fur and syrup and bullet--

A bomb. Sh, rush. Flute delicate
and warm; has eaten lunch the
size of a swan from the shoulders--

Embalm him with ineffables impalpables
snow, stones
Take him to the mountain bottom.
Leave him for food for the moon.


We have these
winter light
Face translucent
lotus leaf.
There's a
quaver in
each picture
and I wonder
that he
stood there
for such

I try to
sleep but the
moon is the
window like
a flashbulb
or a root
pulled out
white by
a child.
There is
still a
zero in me
because of
what happened
to you.

The Deathwright

he created hells with six little steel spits
from a stupid blackblue

--touch here--
and all the boy blood
all duck whizzing autumns
skies of 'range red starry
and the heather-meadow-pudding bellying
--end here--

Ever Hitler

There cantilevered on a bough of time
a man who simmers murder stares the air.
A blau and bruise and brown, resembling wine
compose the breath of night, shake down a hair
of stars, then tail-yank evening from its lair.
He sits rippleless; uliginous he thrills
to gaze at, brainstopt all the gory hills

of interlocking dead: couples, kid, a girl,
that moment in a gentle, thriving dream
stopped blank as jolts of blood would cause a curl
to seep around a knife's quick tip and gleam
then cull a sleeping infant from his mien--
This done, the years contrive to seem to change.
Yet Goths, Pol Pot, Nero, a cave, a plain.

Interview with the Quail Hunter

LeRoy gave me eight cleaned quail
in a block of pinkish ice--and

told the story, square, paragraphic
of how with shot you fish birds
from their swing of sky:

"The land you find them on is rough.
Chaparral, sage, low mesquite,
cholla cactus, prickly pear.

Morning and night red air.

Chollas jump. Sticks afire.

You'd never shoot a bird on the ground.
Some do of course, and shoot from trucks
and drink and shoot.

You spy quail first by hearing them.
They group in the bush and together
make a Captain Queeg-steel-balls sound.

The solitariness. You are talking with
the walking; talking to yourself along
with the pace and blend of weather and

maybe seeing a snake and the weight
of the gun. There's also the smell
of shotgun after it's fired,

the chunky shells and their specific
heft. That clash and shing
sound when you load.

But this is what happens:
a roar up murmur when the covey flies
out of the ground cover. Hit one,

puff of feathers and it

sails down scudding into rocks or
brush making a dying flutter for
ten or fifteen seconds.

Occasionally there's a head shot.

I've seen it only two, three times.

It occurs every 500 or 1,000 kills.

The quail is hit and zips straight up,
higher than its flight in lifetime.
You do not believe your seeing

and the death goes on at such a height.
Then there's a lead drop to nothing.
No activity on the earth.

That's exactly what happens.
Exactly how you feel--"

Jane Teresa Tassi's poetry has been published in Rolling Stone "as well as other journals and rags/mags here there."

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