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Colin D. Halloran’s poems are full of images, some beautiful and full of hope, some tragic and full of despair – all true to life – and each poem will refresh your memories of where our wars have taken us so far, both abroad and at home. American Etiquette is a precious book, cadenced and vibrant with feeling. The words leap off the pages, and because of their incredible sensory detail, each poem will make you cry and rejoice at the same time.
~Qais Akbar Omar, author of A Fort of Nine Towers
Colin Halloran’s American Etiquette is an extraordinarily rich collection. These poems are politically engaged, vulnerably intimate, and deeply humane. I hope they will be read widely. ~Kevin Powers, author of The Yellow Birds
They told us not to talk politics
so we pack our frustrations
in pipe bombs
and send them across the aisle.
They told us not to talk religion
so we load our questions
into twenty round magazines and fire
them at those we do not understand.
They told us not to talk about race
so we shut ourselves off
we fail to connect, until round by round
we unload our anger in supermarkets.
We model this example we were told
so when two high school boys disagree
they reach for weapons, not words
until one is in jail and one in the ground.
We do not talk
and our silence
“The beauty of Afghanistan is a harsh, extreme beauty. The landscape made me feel small, and for me that begets self-reflection and contemplation.”
Poet, Veteran, Photographer, Teacher, Speaker, Editor, Essayist.
Colin D. Halloran wears many hats, but brings the same passion and commitment to all of his endeavors.