Bruce Parker was born in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1943. He grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he started writing stories at 13 and poems at 16. He earned a BA in History at the University of Maryland Far East Division, Okinawa, Japan, and an MA in Secondary Education with a concentration on Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages at the University of New Mexico. Through 13 years in the Navy and 23 as a civilian, he worked as a translator of Thai, Mandarin Chinese, Urdu, Punjabi, and Turkish into English. He has also taught English as a second language and worked as a technical editor for a defense contractor.
His poems have appeared in Common Ground Review, Aries, Eutomia, and Terratory Journal, and are forthcoming in Quarterday Review in September and SPANK THE CARP in October. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife, poet and artist Diane Corson, where they convene a workshop group called Ars Poetica twice a month. He is at work on two chapbooks and embarking on a translation of the works of Pakistani poet Zeeshan Sahil.
What is is about munitions that sets the heart aflutter,
the impossible appeal of all those guns and butter,
the arabesque of shredded flesh, limbs all torn asunder,
peals of laughter as the skies unload the rolling thunder
as if cells of tissue resurrect like pixels recombined
to fabricate from mangled bones bunker busters of the mind?
Me and My Big Olds
I had to bring a very sick wife home, after
He was dressed in jeans, denim jacket,
blue ball cap
she was unable to remember her address
at two A.M.
she smoked cigarettes down to her fingertips unaware
he wandered at night, dressed for church on a Tuesday
in my ’59 Oldsmobile the size of an aircraft carrier
ferry her back from Parkersburg, West Virginia.
His kin didn’t mind him
her folks came once to see her in hospital
I was blinded by oncoming headlights
she died unattended he was
dead before he hit the ground.
Snow covered the shoulders her kidneys were failing
two attorneys stopped and noted the time
that’s the last thing you expect
at two A.M. nine P.M. the caller from the hospital said
cop said as he measured the
pneumonia, mucus plug
The Buddha atop a hill
raises one slim hand:
here, and no further,
will you live without love.