menu Arc Poetry Magazine

Topic: David Seymour

On Robert Bringhurst's "The Beauty of the Weapons"

In a pre-emptive strike at the outset of the Six Day War in June 1967, Israeli forces attacked the northern front of Egyptian Arab troops mustering in the Sinai region around the city of El-Arish. Casualties and wounded, both military and civilian, numbered in the thousands as Israeli regiments flanked and pushed back the Egyptian Arab soldiers into a retreat that, when coupled with Israel’s simultaneous airstrike, would eventually lead to their defeat.
Standard infantry issue for the Israeli army throughout the war was the Uzi SMG, a squat, boxy gun made portable by its wraparound breech and telescoping bolt. 7 1/2 lbs with a full clip, 18″ long, with an explosive muzzle velocity of 400 m/s, the Uzi can fire 600 rounds of ammunition per minute, or ten bullets per second. Consisting of a few basic stamped-metal parts the Uzi is easy to manufacture, easy to strip and clean in the most inclement field conditions, and can accumulate large amounts of sand and dirt without becoming prone to jamming.
The gun is also well-balanced, and with its magazine located in the pistol grip, the ammunition cartridges can be conveniently discharged and reloaded, even in total darkness; something the Israeli military referred to as “hand finds hand” reloading intuition. The Uzi’s sole purpose is to kill as many human beings in as efficient a manner as possible. Its design is one of utility; not a weapon that, in the vernacular of a collector or aficionado, could be described as “a real beaut”.
Or could it?

On Steven McCaffery's "Position of Sheep I"

p. Although the words “sheep” register their meaning on sight, it feels as though one does not initially _read_ this poem. There occurs, simultaneously with the acknowledgement of the words on the page as text, a visual encounter with the poem punctuated by a non-linguistic acuity of what is conveyed by the concrete image their […]