Craig Erick Chaffin

Rookie [C.E. Chaffin] (10/17/54 / Ventura, CA)

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Craig Erick Chaffin was born in Ventura, CA, in 1954, a second-generation California native. Excluding high school, where he spent his senior year in Germany as an AFS Scholar, his first award came at 17, placing in the Writer’s Digest Poetry Contest. At Goldenwest College he co-founded the literary journal, Carrion, for which he later assumed editorial duties for poetry. Matriculating to UCLA,... more »

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Best Poem of Craig Erick Chaffin

At The Vietnam Memorial

At the Vietnam War Memorial

Black granite stretches its harsh, tapering wings
up to pedestrian-level grass
but sucks me down, here, at the intersection of names.
I forgive, I must, though I wish something
could heal this wound in the earth.

Behold, all theorists, the price of theory:
extreme unction by napalm and blood,
vets shipped home whole or in pieces:
The VA grants prostheses
but not minds free of horror.

In jungles tumescent, through villages
of straw, by the Mekong where catfish
sleep in mud-heaven, we tramped, ...

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