Midnight Cargo mixes journalistic observations, sorrowful musings, and surreal dark humor as readers glimpse the Iraq War through the mind’s eye of a veteran attempting to find meaning through darkness and confusion. These loosely interlinked stories and poems together create a hybrid narrative of collective memory, covering multiple perspectives: US soldiers, veterans, citizens of Iraq, protestors, even an unmanned drone. Published by Illuminated Press in a hardback, handbound, numbered edition of 250. One hundred five pages, with illustrations. $25
Praise for Midnight Cargo:
"Kevin Basl’s poetry and short stories take you to Iraq and back—stirring up soul-churning thoughts, like those that haunt soldiers and sometimes, abruptly, through Kevin’s creative craft, humanize veterans of the War on Terrorism, their adversaries and civilians caught in the crossfire."
-Jan Barry, award-winning journalist, poet, and co-editor of Winning Hearts & Minds: War Poems by Vietnam Veterans
"As participant, witness, and interpreter, Kevin occupies the liminal space where cultures and intentions clash, things go wrong, nothing can be done, and the mundane meets the grotesque. He notices details and shapes them into words. He fills his stories with foreshadowings, some of which he leaves unresolved so that they echo in the reader's mind. What happened to the young men we now care about in "Occupations"? We want to know, we won't find out, and the tension of not knowing makes us feel the missed opportunities, unresolved misunderstandings, and helpless tragedy. Kevin's stories and poems resonate because they concern deeply human experience."
-Susan Dixon, co-author of Seeking Quan Am: A Dual Memoir of War and Vietnam
(Read the full review in The Veteran.)
© 2023 by Kevin Basl