Factory Run 4 (11-15-2016): 10 Works


Factory Run 4
Freely associated spoken words:
Fruit, Insect, Bird, Resource, Habitat, Wildlife


• Participants
• Freely Associated Words
• Poem
• Syllable Count


Choose a haiku/poem and provide a creative analysis/interpretation by first using the mouse to “Copy” the work, then “Click” the “Reply” link immediately following this post, and “Paste” the work into the Reply/Comment box.



10 Works:


Participants: Ryan, Kristiane, Jessica

Freely associated words:



Emu (bird?)





Poem (Syllable count: 6, 6, 11) (23):

Kiwi birds and emus:

They can’t recycle home

Or find a caterpillar in the flower



Kiwi birds and emus are inferior.

No, joking. I don’t know.

Home is hard to find.




Participants: Kristiane, Jessica, Paul

Freely associated words:








Poem (Syllable count: 5, 6, 2, 3, 6, 3, 3) (28):

An advertisement:

Live feather repellant

You think:

I read this

For my sanctuary

Full of bowls

Of feathers.



This poem means that

There is something

Going on that I don’t

Know about.




Participants: Jessica, Paul, Kaleb

Freely associated words:








Poem (Syllable count: 5, 4, 6, 3, 3, 3, 6) (30):


 – by Vegetable

Six flying animals




Six flying animals



A Jessica – amidst six flying animals, return to

Earth to find her name, then takes off again.

It’s a story of rebirth and identity.




Participants: Paul, Kaleb, Eric

Freely associated words:








Poem (Syllable count: 4, 5, 3) (12):

Bird-fruit resource.

Insect habitat.




I don’t think the rules were followed. We be breakin’

da rulez. Birds eat insects? Makes me think of figs.

Like the bugs that lay eggs in figs?




Participants: Kaleb, Eric, Sarah

Freely associated words:








Poem (Syllable count: 4, 3) (7):

Why, happy log?

Mine bled, bug!



A log is talking to a bug. + vice versa.

The bug asks “why” to the happy log

The log answers “mine bled”




Participants: Eric, Sarah, Emily

Freely associated words:








Poem (Syllable count: 3, 4, 4) (11):

green tiger

apple avis

mosquito home



A fruit salad attracts insects




Participants: Sarah, Emily, J’Lyn

Freely associated words:








Poem (Syllable count: 2, 6, 6) (14):

Soap eyes

Fox water migration

For gem



The poem means balance btun. The most fragile husks of

phrases, “soap eyes,” the blindness of justice, “for gem,” the trajectory

toward an artifact of beauty, and the weight of climate,

animal, the elements, change.




Participants: Emily, J’Lyn, Travis

Freely associated words:








Poem (Syllable count: 20, 11) (31):

In the center of the crossroads, there is a blue bug that bears on its carapace

All that is tangible, this humanity.



This is about me, Travis (which means “at”

the crossroads) sitting in a room

like a naked, exoskeleton bug.

Real shit. Humanity.




Participants: J’Lyn, Travis, Ryan

Freely associated words:








Poem (Syllable count: 5, 5, 3) (13):

Amazon parrots

Apple-blue golden




These Amazon parrots are very colorful and nearly extinct.




Participants: Travis, Ryan, Kristiane

Freely associated words:








Poem (Syllable count: 5, 5, 8, 6, 10, 4) (38):

The tree on the fringe

has sprouted from shit

like the lotus blooming from mud

it repels repellents

this story is wrapped in a neat package

called Buddhism



Buddhism does

not care when

you grow, but

how you use

your space.



Choose a haiku/poem and provide a creative analysis/interpretation by first using the mouse to “Copy” the work, then “Click” the “Reply” link immediately following this post, and “Paste” the work into the Reply/Comment box.



Notes and Quotes – If I Die in a Combat Zone (1973), Tim O’Brien

– Notes and Quotes –


Tim O’Brien (1946-present)

If I Die in a Combat Zone (1973)


“‘Snipers yesterday, snipers today. What’s the difference?’” (1)

“‘Not me, sir. I been shot at too much today, no more luck left in me,’ Chip said.” (5)

“. . . some men think the war is proper and others don’t and most don’t care. Is that the stuff for a morality lesson, even for a theme?” (23)

Starlight scope (28)

Ezra Pound: pro patria, non dulce, non est décor (36)

“Tempers flare, ebb into despair.” (38)

“His tiny head goes rigid. His hands fidget.” (38)

“‘If I die in a combat zone . . .” (41)

“ag-ile, mo-bile, hos-tile” (43)

“Socrates, it has been told, was a brave soldier.” (44)

“Smiling and saying no sir, my real problem is one of conscience and philosophy and intellect and emotion and fear and physical hurt and a desire to live chastened by a desire to be good, and also, underneath, a desire to prove myself a hero, I explained, in the broadest terms, what troubled me.” (53)

“‘Hell, do you think he sat in his monastery and thought it all out? He believed.’
‘Is that supposed to be an analogy?’ I asked. ‘Is Vietnam another Christian crusade?’” (56)

“Maybe the hippies are right, maybe no war is really fought for God.” (56)

“That’s the problem, you gotta knock the military to get a book published.” (59)

“I walked into a sorority house and rang a button.” (63)

“I hid behind a metal shed they kept the beer in.” (71)

“‘you never hear the shot that gets you’” (76)

“He carried a shotgun . . .” (77)

The ear (79)

“He asked if there were questions, but the squad leaders were all experienced, and no one said anything.” (82)

“I remembered a dream . . .” “I was in prison.” (84)

Paros (90)

“I hoped the man was not named Li.” (94)

“Take care. For it is not a fantasy . . .” (101)

Pinkville (112)

“A hand grenade . . .” (114)

“Scraps of our friends were dropped in plastic body bags.” (116)

“‘It’s an absurd combination of certainty and uncertainty . . .” (121)

Step Lightly: Bouncing Betty (ol’ step and a half), M-14 antipersonnel mine (toe-popper), booby-trapped grenade, directional-fragmentation mine, corrosive-action-car-killer

“Some guys are just numb to death.” (131)

“If [Hemingway] was obsessed with the notion of courage, that was a fault.” (134)

“‘Shit, man, the trick of being in the Nam is gettin’ out of the Nam.’” (135)

Death was taboo. Fear was taboo. (136)

“So, when the time in my life came to replace fictional heroes with real ones, the candidates were sparse, and it was to be the captain or no one.” (138)

“Troy was besieged for the sake of a pretty woman.” (139)
“Vietnam was under siege in pursuit of a pretty, tantalizing, promiscuous, particularly American brand of government and style. And most of Alpha Company would have preferred a likable whore to self-determination.” (140)

“Grace under pressure is not courage.
Or the other cliché: a coward dies a thousand deaths but a brave man only once.” (141)

Lagoon: “Certain blood for uncertain reasons. No lagoon monster ever terrorized like this.” (161)

“The best route to a rear job, the only reliable way, is to bury your nose gently up an officer’s ass.” (165)

“Horace’s old do-or-die aphorism–‘Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori’– was just an epithet for the insane.” (168)

“The Chieu Hoi said: ‘You are here for only one year. I’ve been in war for many billion years. Many billion years to go.’” (180)

“‘Guts,’ he would mutter. ‘This army really needs guts. GI Joe’s turned into a pansy. O’Brien, you show me a soldier with guts, and you can have this job.’” (183-4)
“‘You got guts, O’Brien, shit, I knew it anyhow.’” (194)
“‘All it takes is guts–right, O’Brien?’” (195)

“It’s impossible to go home barefoot.” (199)






They carried the sign of the free.
They signaled with it.
They warmed with it.
They tourniqueted it.

They held pots with it.
They collected edibles with it.
They blocked the sun with it.

They slung it as first aid.
They slung it as David deathed Goliath.
They swung it at staff’s end.

They moved cordage with it.
They made washcloths of it.
They made sweatbands of it.

It was a hobo pack.
It was hotspot padding.
It cleaned firearms.
It oiled them.
It wiped them.

They marked trails with it.
They made dishrags of it.

It was a napkin.
It was an eye patch and blindfold.

It was a prewater filter on coffee colored mornings.
It cleaned spex, goggles, glasses, field glasses, binoculars, face shields, wind shields, hoods, grills, and fenders.

They made earmuffs of it.
They bound stones with it and tossed lines through the arbor.
They made dust masks of it to filter breath or conceal identity.
They wet it and wore it in hot weather.

They sneezed into it.
They received a silent “Bless You” or “Gesundheit” or “Salud” or other expressions for giving purpose to a square of cloth as it shielded against superstition.

That . . . that’s about it . . .

They could have worn it nude . . .
. . . in the nude . . . like . . .
Loincloths . . .
. . . but they carried comfort in nudity and a needless




Inspired by:




“The Things They Carried vs Forrest Gump”:



“30 Uses for a Bandana”:




Reflections…The Things They Carried


Reflections . . . on Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried:

The perceptions posted on other participants’ blogs served as great inspiration for reply posting. With comparisons of The Things They Carried to the likes of Forrest Gump and The Hobbit, the influence of one work is put in conversation with other works. Written works “talk” to each other through the reader’s perception and interpretation of the texts. The reader makes connections through reminders of previous experiences. This was demonstrated in the poem/post Shrimp (2012).

A comment was made of the connection of The Things They Carried with Forrest Gump. This served as a reminder of Bubba’s monologue of the numerous ways shrimp may be prepared. The dialog was edited to represent “they” from The Things They Carried, but, instead of shrimping as a prosperous business after returning from war, “they” “shrimped” (interpreted to mean “warring”) as an obligation to carry out their duty. By this interpretation, Forrest, Bubba, and Lt. Dan had been “shrimping” long before the end of the war.

The juxtaposition of “preparing shrimp” as food with the massacring of Vietnamese opposition means to portray the imbalance between those involved. The United States as an industrialized nation “cooked” Vietnam as a lesser industrialized nation, or “shrimp” eaten by a “whale,” or “shark,” or other such larger predatory animal symbolism.

The last stanza of “Shrimp” drew a few comments that asked for elaboration and served as wonderful criticism of the stanza’s possible meanings, and a chance for the author to defend the stanza’s inclusion. Without the last stanza, the poem would otherwise be Bubba’s monologue rewritten. The last stanza punctuates Bubba’s conclusion, “That . . . that’s about it.” The “they” narrator from the “Shrimp” poem interrupts the conclusion with another possible use for “shrimp” “they” could attempt if only they understood the potential detriment of “shrimping” on the region.

As well, the “boxing” of anything entails limitations to “it,” a shrimp supply, chocolates in a “box,” one’s open-mindedness, one’s imagination, one’s enemies, etc. By “boxing” life and “shrimping” others, the poem means to portray the tyranny of predominate cultures’ negatively assumed authority over “subordinate” cultures.

In summary, the “Shrimp” poem was a great success for its driving the imagination and commentary of the author and others. The texts seem to “talk” to each other through the readers’ interpretations, the analyses, and subsequent commentary produced by others. The communication and interaction between authors illustrates the ways in which people make connections through texts and experiences.





Foot and Thumb


Foot and Thumb

Notes on Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried:

One may note the powerful symbolism in the stories such as a rabbit’s foot, and a thumb removed from a Vietnamese corpse. Superstition and the spoils of war . . . the heavy weight of trying to survive, animal parts as good luck charms, and human body parts as trophies as proof of power over the enemy, the things they carried sometimes came as a desecration of human life.

Perhaps one of the more gruesome scenes comes in the story “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong,” as Mary Anne Bell is revealed to be wearing a necklace of human tongues, and a game has been made of “reassembling” dismembered deceased Vietnamese.

They were all at war with the war, starting from the muck up. The poverty of the enemy becomes the value, the trophy, the ownership, the “win” where there may otherwise be only confusion of purpose, lost in a jungle, trying to comprehend the moral, to listen, or trying not to listen at all.




(Inspired by: http://clagunas.edublogs.org/2012/03/27/the-things-they-carried-post-one/)



Sequence: The Flashbacks They Recalled/Carried


Sequence: The Flashbacks They Recalled/Carried

Notes on Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried:

The suggestion may be made that the novel humanizes the soldiers. They carried innocence and experience. They carried the good of their humanity in conflict with the evil of their ways required to survive. O’Brien humanizes the soldiers with their obsessions to return home to friends and family, but also shows them as boys filling the roles of soldiers, and yet monsters with distorted perceptions and values for life.

For example, Azar straps Ted Lavender’s puppy to an explosive device, Lee Strunk bashes his own nose to even the score for bashing Dave Jensen’s nose, and Rat Kiley gruesomely slays a baby water buffalo as well as shooting himself in the foot to get sent home.

Another example of humanization and monster-ization is the story “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong” which details the transformation of Mary Anne Bell from a sweet and innocent simpleton to a deadly and savage combatant, losing/forgoing her innocence to the jungle and the spirit of war and/or the land, Vietnam.

The sequence of events are out of order. They carried sequence of events muddled with reflections. O’Brien carries those reflections like a torch to light fire to those who hear the stories, and understand the moral. Perhaps O’Brien writes the sequence of events out of order as a literary device to convey how a soldier’s post-war recollections may come in waves of thought, or flashbacks as they may be called/carried.



(Inspired by: http://jgschmidt.edublogs.org/2012/03/21/text-connections-the-things-they-carried/)