CONSEQUENCE AWP Panel - Watch the video!
On March 8 CONSEQUENCE put together a panel at the AWP, What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About War. Writers Bob Shacochis, Sioban Fallon, Laura Harrington, Cat Parnell and CONSEQUENCE Editor George Kovach spoke on the issue of writing about war. When writers address the subject of war they face tough choices about what material to include and how to give voice to the unspeakable. The writer’s job, then, is to examine what drives nations into war and terrorism and to focus on atrocities that are ignored or under-reported. This panel will discuss the roles that research, experience and reportage play. It will ask how the choice of genre impacts the topic of war, and what literature can achieve that journalism cannot.
Excerpts from the Current Issue
Interview with a Gun
A story by
After taking a turn with the pistol [Editor's note: The gun referred to is an FN Five-seven, the gun used in the Fort Hood massacre], my competitive shooter friend turned serious. She told me she hadn’t fired anything that well designed for fast, accurate firing since she sold her custommade competition pistol. Her custom gun was designed to push back in the hand instead of up when fired, so its barrel would drop quickly back onto a target. The Five-seven combined similar recoil with a significantly lower explosive blast per round. The upshot was chillingly simple: even a beginner could fire it accurately and keep shooting without tiring.
“I’m no fan of gun control, but that gun has no defensive purpose,” my friend told me, “no purpose at all other than killing people.”
Military Sexual Trauma - Profile of David Mair, A Survivor
On the first Monday of May 2012, David Mair’s flight from Redding, California landed in Washington DC. The next day he would address a summit on Military Sexual Trauma (MST) and tell an audience something he had kept a secret for nearly fifty years— that as an eighteen-year-old airman, he’d been raped by a superior officer.
A story by
It is the sixth of eight weeks at basic training and you are standing chest-deep in a foxhole on the M-16 firing range. You have placed the rifle on the sandbag, as instructed, ejection port side up, and are under no circumstances to touch the weapon until told to do so. You take all instructions from the firing-range tower, the tin voice crackling from the speaker with the loose wire. You dare not make one move—left, right, back or otherwise—unless given explicit permission. Otherwise, the wrath of the drill sergeants will come thwapping down on the crown of your helmet in the form of a metal rod similar in size and heft to a martinet’s riding crop. The drills stalk the line of foxholes looking for the weak and disobedient whom they can smite with the holy fury of The Rod. Two groups ago, your battle buddy Kidner came wobbling off the line saying his head was still ringing like a bell. You’re prone to migraines so you are determined not to let yourself get thwapped.
Solve for X
A poem by
“George Bush doesn’t care about black people,”—Kanye West
Egyptian pharaohs did not care for Hebrew slaves.
Elizabeth I burned many Catholics.
Victoria did not care about Hindus, Bengalis, Burmese, Irish, Jamaicans, etc.
Puritans did not care about Indians though Pilgrims did, gobbling and speechifying with them and offering legal deed to their land though the land was theirs and often snookered from them for a few iron pots.
Stalin did not care for the Ukrainian family wedged without boots, coat, bread, spoon, sewing machine, kettle, or lamp in a boxcar steaming to Siberia’s ration of mud.
Remembering Denise and People's Park
A poem by
Denise, in that remote era when
it was a tribal custom for friends
and sometimes even strangers
to kiss each other on the mouth
each of us became entranced
by Peoples’ Park
Excerpts from the Previous Issue
The Education of the Terrorist Osman Aziz
A chapter excerpt from
How old do you have to be to be a terrorist? Someone whose very existence makes the devlet—the state—fear for its own survival. Is fourteen old enough? Twelve? Six? What about six months? The answer is yes, even babies are terrorists, if the devlet, in its obligation to preserve the nation, determines the existence of a baby is a threat to security and stability, if not today then certainly tomorrow. How does the devlet make this determination? Is it a reasoned process, or a caprice of the moment, a paranoid and arbitrary whim? How many mistakes are made? How many mistakes can the devlet afford? I don’t know the answer, he said. Perhaps we should ask the Kurds or the Armenians.