Kings of the Green Jelly Moon
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The title “Kings of the Green Jelly Moon” is reflective of the innocence of childhood. Back when children believed the moon to be made of green cheese. An innocence confronted by the reality of Nam. Vietnam cast a long shadow, this CD is our effort to place our emotions on view so hopefully others can gain some peace. We are not trying to justify Vietnam, a war that some believe we should never have been involved in.
Available from: www.kimoproductions.com, and cdbaby at http://cdbaby.com/cd/gjkm , as well as from the authors.
This collection of poetry creates an American memory that brilliantly narrates where Vietnam veterans come from, who they are, and where they are going. It is poetry par excellence read by the poets themselves.
Poetry gets a bad rap from those who prefer critical thinking, factual evidence, or scientific proof. They say poets do not extend our knowledge of man or nature, they only reveal individual feelings and emotions. In short, poets do not create knowledge worth having. This criticism is based on the assumption that the poetic process is faulty and deceptive, for it doesn’t have accepted standards of measurement other than the subjective. But is this true and fair? Don’t poets in fact measure the full limits of our understanding? Don’t they teach us our limits as humans by testing the limits of our language to show us our capacities to understand the human condition? And, is there a human condition more misunderstood or immeasurable than war? The poet’s words are neither arbitrary nor objective, neither subjective nor eidetic. They are the standards of man’s confrontation with non-human realities, affirming a human presence caught within the inexplicable realities of war. They are the ultimate expressions of individual accountability and are much closer to uncovering the roots of war by reflecting on what it means to be a human being in war. There is a beautiful connection between the individual experience and the shared experience of war that, despite the limitations of the personal expression, reveals an overriding brotherhood that goes without saying in these poems. This togetherness is something Vietnam veterans will readily understand and appreciate. It is a togetherness that transcends the touching verse or favorite poem. The catchy title reflects this togetherness nicely. Kings of the Green Jelly Moon reflects on “the innocence of childhood” as well as the names of the poets, i.e., King, Greenwald, Jellerson, ‘Moon’ Mullins. They should be commended for their efforts at a time when fewer people read poems (or buy books or go to poetry readings) than ever before (Poetry.org). This is an exceptional compilation of poetry that should be acquired by every American library as a testament to the memory of the Vietnam War.
Reviewed by: Richard Barone (2010)