In this Book

I Want to Be Once
summary
In I Want to Be Once, M. L. Liebler approaches current events with a journalistic eye and a poet's response. Part autobiographical, part commentary, the lines of Liebler's poems come hard-hitting, but not without moments of great tenderness and humanity. Ordered into three sections, I Want To Be Once provides readers with a look into the author's personal life, as well as our collective history as a nation vis-à-vis the American media. The first section, called "American Life," captures the experience of coming of age in working-class 1960s America and helps to paint the picture of Liebler's early political involvement. The poems in the second section, "American War," focus on the author's cultural work in Afghanistan for the U.S. State Department; Liebler successfully captures the sad realities and fleeting stability of everyday life in Kabul, Jalalabad, and Kandahar. In the final section, "American Psalms," the short, satirical poems muse on present-day American society, culture, and the arts. In these poems, Liebler remarks on everything from public education to public radio to Russia's feminist punk rock protest group Pussy Riot and more.The poems in I Want to Be Once are emotionally grounding but punctuated with a humor that keeps things in perspective. Readers with an interest in poetry and social commentary will be drawn to this engaging collection.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-viii
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. Part 1: American Life
  2. pp. 1-2
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  1. Underneath My American Face
  2. pp. 3-4
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  1. I Am Looking for You Now
  2. p. 5
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  1. One Ounce of Forgiveness
  2. pp. 6-7
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  1. Last Night inside My Blood
  2. p. 8
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  1. This Atlantic Language
  2. p. 9
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  1. Trembling in the Temple of Tears at the Feet of Buddha
  2. pp. 10-11
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  1. I Am the Brown Earth Buried
  2. p. 12
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  1. Last Words
  2. p. 13
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  1. Man on the Moon
  2. pp. 14-15
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  1. I Want to Be Once
  2. p. 16
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  1. Another Ah Sunflower!
  2. p. 17
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  1. Jericho Jericho
  2. pp. 18-19
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  1. My Grandmother’s Sweet Voice
  2. p. 20
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  1. Revolution
  2. p. 21
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  1. Blind
  2. p. 22
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  1. Late Autumn Fire
  2. p. 23
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  1. Proof
  2. p. 24
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  1. Taking What Isn’t Yours
  2. p. 25
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  1. Liverpool Morning
  2. p. 26
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  1. Lost in the Past, I Dream
  2. p. 27
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  1. Rereading America
  2. p. 28
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  1. In the Waiting Room
  2. p. 29
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  1. Urban Farming
  2. pp. 30-31
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  1. The Mist Spirit of Everything
  2. p. 32
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  1. Election
  2. p. 33
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  1. Sitdown Detroit 1937
  2. pp. 34-35
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  1. To the Waiting Car with Mr. Salinger, Mr. Lennon, Alice & Me
  2. p. 36
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  1. A Poem of Serious Doubt and Wonder
  2. pp. 37-38
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  1. Hope
  2. p. 39
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  1. Upon Christ’s Entry into Liverpool
  2. pp. 40-43
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  1. Across These Lawns
  2. pp. 44-45
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  1. The Quiet Apple
  2. p. 46
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  1. Part 2: American War
  2. pp. 47-48
  1. The Kandahar Blues: Dust & Poetry
  2. p. 49
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  1. Hot Heat Jalalabad
  2. p. 50
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  1. Vacant Chair
  2. p. 51
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  1. Winter Meditation
  2. p. 52
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  1. Restrepo’s Shadow
  2. pp. 53-54
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  1. Korengal Valley: Camp Restrepo
  2. p. 55
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  1. Kandahar Mission Briefing
  2. pp. 56-57
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  1. Further On Up the Dusty Afghan Road
  2. p. 58
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  1. Mostly Nothing Happens
  2. p. 59
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  1. Wind, Desert, Dust
  2. p. 60
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  1. Oh! That Anti-War Jesus Again
  2. pp. 61-62
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  1. Part 3: American Psalms
  2. pp. 63-64
  1. Which Side Are You On?
  2. p. 65
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  1. Public Radio
  2. p. 66
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  1. The Hoodie Blues
  2. p. 67
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  1. What’s All This Pussy Riot?
  2. p. 68
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  1. Tea Party Anyone?
  2. p. 69
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  1. The Working Class
  2. p. 70
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  1. American Atheists: A Fruit and Two Bugs
  2. p. 71
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  1. The Thanksgiving Dinner Blues
  2. p. 72
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  1. Teenage Lust
  2. p. 73
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  1. The Low Cost of Public Education
  2. pp. 74-75
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  1. American Hound Dog
  2. p. 76
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  1. American Beatle
  2. p. 77
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  1. American Silence
  2. p. 78
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  1. Life
  2. pp. 79-80
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 81-82
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