The Art of Tetman Callis

Some of the stories and poems may be inappropriate for persons under 16

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Entries Tagged as 'John Ketwig'

On the national seal

May 12th, 2017 · No Comments

“Vietnam harbored a variety of exotic animals, and they were often attracted by our perimeter lights. I once watched an anteater collect dinner for nearly an hour. Bats swooped at us; their sonar seemed to be attracted by the telephones. And there were the reptiles, especially the ‘fuck-you’ lizard. Science calls him the gecko, after […]

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Tags: John Ketwig · The Vietnam War

Uncivil war

May 10th, 2017 · No Comments

“One of our men was killed when he approached a forlorn dog that had a satchel charge cleverly sewn into its belly. (A stupid mistake. Dogs were eaten in Vietnam. Cats were a delicacy. Pets did not exist, and the unusual in The Nam was usually deadly.) More common, and perhaps the most heartbreaking memory […]

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Tags: John Ketwig · The Vietnam War

Careful where you put that

May 9th, 2017 · No Comments

“Like everything in The Nam, even lovemaking could be deadly. One member of our company, affectionately referred to as ‘Champ,’ contracted gonorrhea seventeen times in twelve months. A legendary superstrain, the ‘black syph,’ was supposedly incurable. Fearful of introducing this horror to Hometown, U.S.A., the army supposedly sent ‘black syph’ victims to Okinawa (Camp Crotch-rot) […]

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Tags: John Ketwig · The Vietnam War

You put your money down and you take your chances

May 8th, 2017 · No Comments

“The barber was too young for military service, but he was a fine barber. He shaved you with little tin razors that looked like toys, and carefully shaped your eyebrows and shaved the insides of your ears. After each shave or haircut, he urged you to lean forward and ‘popped’ your vertebrae into place one […]

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Tags: John Ketwig · The Vietnam War

You’re next

May 7th, 2017 · No Comments

“It was a world of exhaustion, heat, mud, mildew, rot, and few pleasures. You peed into a large tube fashioned from the metal shipping canisters that had brought artillery rounds from The World. You ate powdered eggs and powdered potatoes and drank powdered milk. The water tasted like medicine, and the Kool-Aid tasted like fruit-flavored […]

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Tags: John Ketwig · The Vietnam War

They run and hide their heads

May 6th, 2017 · No Comments

“It rained every day, starting about nine in the morning and pouring in translucent gray sheets until about midnight. The rain in The Nam was as different from the rain in the United States as anything we would encounter in this strange land. The drops were as large as marbles and driven with enough force […]

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Tags: John Ketwig · The Vietnam War

The hour of the rough beast is come

May 5th, 2017 · No Comments

“It was a strange time in American history, a time when many seemingly unrelated events were combining to shake the very foundations of our most cherished institutions. It was a time of the Beatles and sub-orbital flights, of civil rights marches in the deep South, and black-and-white TV. After the simple satisfaction of the fifties […]

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Tags: John Ketwig · Politics & Law · The Vietnam War