KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 8: August 2017
Haibun: 120 words

For the Deer

by John Brantingham

These men in Oppenheimer’s secret Los Alamos, these men who took side bets on whether their moment of apocalypse would set the sky to burning, these men, who for relaxation drove jeeps into the empty plains at night to hunt deer with machine guns, these men, who were mostly 25 years old, these men who could see into the nature of things all the way down to the atom, these men who wanted to call to their mothers and just talk, these men who were not allowed to tell their mothers anything about their lives, these men in their last moment of childhood, these men.

test bomb blew—
a blind woman saw
the flash 50 miles off
John Brantingham
Issue 8, August 2017

is the author of hundreds of poems, stories, and essays published in the United States and the United Kingdom in venues such as The Journal, Confrontation, Mobius, and Tears in the Fence. His work has appeared on Garrison Keillor’s daily show, The Writer’s Almanac, and has been nominated multiple times for the Pushcart Prize.

He is the author of ten books of poetry and fiction, including his latest, Dual Impressions: Poetic Conversations about Art (Silver Birch Press, 2015), as well as Let Us All Pray Now to Our Own Strange Gods (a collection of short stories published by World Parade Books, 2013), Mann of War (a crime novel published by Dark Oak Mysteries, 2013), and the poetry collections, The Green of Sunset (Moon Tide Press, 2014) and East of Los Angeles (2011).

Brantingham is a full-time professor at Mt. San Antonio College in Southern California and one of two fiction editors of The Chiron Review. He is the writer-in-residence at the dA Center for the Arts in Pomona, California, and the president of the San Gabriel Valley Literary Festival, a nonprofit that brings free classes and readings to the San Gabriel Valley. He also leads free camping and writing workshops at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

Author’s website:

Author’s blog, 30 Days Until Done, which offers daily writing prompts to create a short collection in a month

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Four prose poems by Brantingham, including A Man Stepping Into a River and Poem to the Child Who I Almost Adopted, in Serving House Journal (Issue 7, Spring 2013)

My Interview with John Brantingham by Fiona McVie in authorsinterviews (16 September 2015); includes “Burn Your Maps” and two other poems

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