Transportation Distance to a camel is but one form of memory like the weight of aviaries dead lakes cities without roads—. Distance to the mule is work; for the horse it’s a kind of detachment. Bulls use distance to careen and lash. For a gun it is an instant; for the spider, crude conversion. To a tree, it’s a system of thought approaching language— (Chapter 3, Section III)
Reconnaissance and Security to uncover an enemy in the field set the field on fire follow the sound the rapture follow false maps cities over- run by feral dogs keep the exit close but keep your rifle closer (Chapter 6, Section VII)
From the Author: “Transportation” and “Reconnaisance and Security” are both from a larger erasure project, which uses The U.S. Marine Corps Small Wars Manual as its source.
Chris Santiago is the author of Tula, selected by A. Van Jordan as the winner of the 2016 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry and published by Milkweed Editions. He’s received fellowships from the McKnight Foundation, Kundiman, and the Mellon Foundation/American Council of Learned Societies, and was a finalist for the 2017 Minnesota Book Award. He teaches creative writing and Asian American literature at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.