lamont b. steptoe | seven poems


Vietnam poets and writers are the niggahs of American Literature
Always bringing up forbidden topics
Ideas and images that make people weep or get angry
The cyberspace of Vietnam won’t go away
The machinegunned the blown apart bodies of youth, truth and beauty
Keep screaming keep moaning refusing to die
The blood refuses silence wails like ambulances and fire engines
Enroute to civilizations largest conflagration
Silence these bards
Let us go on with our lives
Our mistakes
Our mistakes


Fat Dominican cigar between my lips
Gift of a friend
Almost mid-July
More than a thousand thousand July’s ago
I lived in a country called Vietnam
Youth was the booze in my blood
I didn’t dream of growing old
Only of going home in one piece
I dreamed my way through that war
I’m still dreaming and when I awake
I’ll dream some more…


Maybe I’ll go back into the woods
Like some of us Vietnam vets have done
Reject the rules of civilization
Unclothe myself
Like a wilderness Baptist
Burning the uniforms of the world
Honey and berries
My daily bread


We sit in a circle
Bonded by a nightmare
Sharing pieces of our puzzled lives
We are not alone
There are ghosts


I leave the gatherings of aging vets
Weeping with wounds
A nightmare is killing me
Week by week


Was the long pass
In the final seconds of the game
The last instant of childhood
With the dead as witnesses
Thirty years later
It is still something to tell
Those moments of hell


The bully of history
Will snatch the silver spoons of empire
From the mouths of its well heeled children
The road beneath our feet is suddenly embers
All songs are screams

Lamont B. Steptoe

is a poet / photographer / publisher born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is author of eight books of poetry including In the Kitchens of the Master, Mad Minute, Uncle’s South Sea China Blue Nightmare, Cat Fish and Neckbone Jazz, Dusty Road, Common Salt and Trinkets and Beads. Steptoe is a father, Vietnam veteran, and founder of Whirlwind Press.

from BIG HAMMER No. 14

Welcome to Big Hammer #14

for whom who keeps a record:

Don Catena covers, 43, 90 Angela Mark 1, 14, 16, 18 Michael Shores 2, 106 Richard Kostelanetz 3, 68 Lyn Lifshin 5, 42 David S. Pointer 6 Ingrid Swanberg 7 Peter Money 8, 11 Janice Blue 9-10 Ed Galing 11,78-79 Dave Roskos 12, 65, 114 Robert Head 13, 15, 17, 18 Jim Cohn 19 Kell Robertson 20, 21 Ann Menebroker 21, 105 Tom Kryss 22, 23 Russell Salamon 24 Kit Knight 25, 26 Arthur Winfield Knight 27 Alan Catlin 28 John Bennett 28-31 David Elsey 31 Ken Greenley 32, 62/63 B. Z. Niditch 33, 41 Steve Dalachinsky 34, 98 Dennis Saleh 35-38 AlexB. aka Panther Moon 39 Tom Page 39 Chris Ide 40 Anthony George 41, 42, 113 Lew Black 42 Ray Brown 44 – 46 K. S. Hardy 46 Beth Bonus 47, 48 Candy Kaucher 47, 83/84 Melissa Fadul 49/50 Jen Dunford 51 Terry L. Persun 52 Boni Joi 53/54 Joe Weil 55/56 Tom Pulhamus 57/58 CarlAlessi 59-61 BradKohler 63, 77 TomObrzut 64/65 Steve Ausherman 66 Kevin Sweeney 67 M. Kettner 68 Todd Moore 69-71 John Lunar Richey 72 Kelley K. Vance 73/74 Guy R. Beining 75/76 Marc Olmsted 77 A.D. Winans 79 Ben Smith 80 Charles Rammelkamp 81 Nathan Whiting 81 Patrick Fealey 82/83 Gene Bloom 85 – 89 Normal 89Abel Debritto 91-96 William Wantling 96 Mark Weber 97 George Held 99 Lorinc Szabo translated by George Held & Katherine Mayer 100 Janos Lackfi translated by Paul Sohar 101 Donald Lev 102 Jeffrey Cyphers Wright 103 Tony Gruenewald 104John Berbrich 105 Justin Rogers 107-110 Lamont B. Steptoe 111/112

special thanks to Brother George for half-toning the photos & fixing the sink | iniquity press/vendetta books are edited & built by dave roskos at po box 527 point pleasant nj 08742 | | copyrite 2011. all rites belong to contributors. ISSN-1043-1268 – 114 pages.


Much more on Dave Roskos and Iniquity Press & Vendetta Books can be found by clicking here…

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