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Category Archives: Essays from the MP

Excerpt, Essay 3, Ceremonies

(An essay about the life’s ceremonies, planned and accidental.) As a low-ranking airman, [during exercises] I was usually placed on night-time bomb build-up detail, assembling the practice bombs similar to the bombs that in real war we would hang off our fighters and drop on the Enemy. I liked war games, and I adored bomb […]

Excerpt, Essay 2, Falling In

(An essay about learning military lingo.) “You don’t wanna be an airman no more, get yerselves promoted to SERGEANT!” shouted Sergeant Strale. On reflection, this was practical, even empowering advice. Only in the last ten years had the armed forces lifted the ceiling on women in the military (formerly limited to two percent of the […]

Excerpt, Essay 1, Journey

(An essay about joining the military, and moving on in life.) In 1983, New York City had one of those eye-blink springs where one day you are holding earmuffs against your frozen skull, teeth chattering as you pray for the M101 bus to arrive, and the next you are digging musty sundresses out of the […]

Excerpt, Introduction, Departments of Defense

Starting tomorrow, while I’m busy with a household move, I’m presenting excerpts–some several pages long, some very brief–from the thirteen essays in the thesis I submitted this summer for my MFA (I’m using the magic of scheduled publishing to make these fragments appear while I am otherwise occupied). Here’s an excerpt from the Introduction to […]