Brian Turner is the author of two poetry collections, Phantom Noise (2010) and Here, Bullet (2005) which won the 2005 Beatrice Hawley Award, the New York Times "Editor's Choice" selection, the 2006 Pen Center USA "Best in the West" award, and the 2007 Poets Prize, among others. Turner served seven years in the US Army, including one year as an infantry team leader in Iraq with the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. Prior to that, he was deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1999-2000 with the 10th Mountain Division. Turner's poetry has appeared in Poetry Daily, The Georgia Review, and other journals, and in the Voices in Wartime Anthology published in conjunction with the feature-length documentary film of the same name. Turner was also featured in Operation Homecoming, a unique documentary that explores the firsthand accounts of American servicemen and women through their own words. He earned an MFA from the University of Oregon and has lived abroad in South Korea. In 2009, Turner was selected as one of 50 United States Artists Fellows.
Tomorrow is made of shrapnel
and blood. There will come a time
when the trigger calls you out quickly
to the streets. And as you leave the barrel,
I can't promise you won't kill the man
who has waited all his life for the answer
to this moment, but if you lean to the right,
if you lean back and look as hard as you can
for that mountain you came from, sunlight
warming the pines, clouds approaching
from the north with a gift of silence,
if you do this you might just graze
the man's temple, so close you might hear
his name, the humming of blood
over bone, the many voices
within, the years to come.
— "A Lullaby for Bullets," from Phantom Noise © 2010, from Alice James Books
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