• Onderdonkey •

Experimental Poems about the Texas Revolution by CEE

Onderdonkey: Poems of the Texas Revolution and Battle of the Alamo

“Studded with nails, knives, teeth, and claws, Onderdonkey juxtaposes scenes from the Alamo with scenes from more modern times, while politicians bleat and war machines clank in the background.”
—John Berbrich,
editor of Barbaric Yawp

“I think I’m a man you never knew, nor ever, ever will
Who never saw the bullet coming
Even though I’d seen it clear, there, in the air
Hovering, for thirteen days.”

The Texas Revolution is the last untouched bastard child of American folklore, not yet beaten to death with presentism by those who whitewash this nation’s ghosts and annex them as heroes, just as we once annexed our 28th state. A handful of soldiers—alive at midnight, dead at dawn—stood together for a cause as certain as the outcome had to be. The truth was in the math. Hundreds holding back thousands. But that rabble of soldiers haunts us with questions even still, questions that get mired by the romanticism of revisionist history until their truth is lost to legend.

“I have only ever seen Death in full, on the faces of strangers.
I can tell you, it is a stone thing.
Literally, a hard, empty thing.”

CEE is not afraid of the truth. This collection of poems about the Texas Revolution and the Battle of the Alamo is in-your-face, unapologetic, sharp, witty, poignant, and necessary. These pieces bring tales and legends of the old clashing against the sleek, shiny propaganda machine of the new; and they reject presentism with teeth and nails bared. This is not for the faint of heart, not for those who worship heroes, not for those who whitewash history and are afraid to let it stand as it did, without waving a banner over its dead body.

So, Happy Alamo Day, soldiers! Because to mark the 177th anniversary of the Siege of the Alamo, Alternating Current presents this fiery perfectbound paperback collection of poems about the Texas Revolution, those boys from Tennessee, the New Orleans Greys, and, of course, Santa Anna his big bad self, set to the tune of the ol’ El Degüello bugles slitting your throat. Enjoy you some Revolution, Tejas-style!

This collection also contains full-color illustrations of the Texas Centennial in blinding juxtaposition to the stark, truthful, blunt words.

Perfectbound Trade Paperback $15.99

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Praise for Onderdonkey

Onderdonkey is a Texas- (or should we say Tejas-) sized boot up your ass, an unblinking look at the world we live in and the world we humans have lived through. This is not a mirror held up to society to show our flaws, but a big damn magnifying glass held up to the sun in a desperate attempt to burn those imperfections away. This book may be the definition of no-holds-barred.”
—Jeff Fleming,
author of The Bones of Saints Under Glass and Shades of Green

“The prose and poetry of CEE is studded with nails, knives, teeth, and claws. In his latest, Onderdonkey, the poetry juxtaposes scenes from the Alamo with scenes from more modern times, while politicians bleat and war machines clank in the background. As always, CEE’s overriding plea is for humans to step forward and to think as individuals in what appears to be an endless struggle against the grinding gears of the faceless, ubiquitous, sociopolitical machine.”
—John Berbrich,
editor of Barbaric Yawp and author of The Big Whole Thing, and Mullet

“The pieces in Onderdonkey are full of deep-lived societal insight from Mexico City to the digital landscape behind the screen you’re looking at. CEE’s poems love the dead with sidelong humor, just as all the best writers must learn to, in our multiple death-defying time.”
—Zack Kopp,
author of Sorehead and Fire Diner

About Onderdonkey

• Poems, Prose, Full-Color Illustrations, Photographs: Texas Revolution and Battle of the Alamo
• Published by Alternating Current Press
• 8.25” x 6” Perfectbound Trade Paperback
• White Paper, 78 Pages
• Also Available in PDF Digital Format
• Print ISBN-13: 978-0615784489
• Print ISBN-10: 0615784488
• Digital ASIN: TK
• Digital eISBN: TK
• First Edition: March 6, 2013
Permalink | Short URL: tinyurl.com/onderdonkey

• Available at University at Buffalo Special Collections Library; Buffalo, New York


Images for public use for Onderdonkey

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Sneak Peek at Onderdonkey (Scroll inside box if blank.)

About author CEE

CEE is a failed short story writer, failed novelist, and failed playwright. In the early 2000s, he developed Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, forcing him, by 2007, to fall back to the shorthand of poetry. Over 600 of his poems have since seen or will see some form of media. He has been printed in such diverse publications as bear creek haiku, Jerry Jazz Musician, Children, Churches and Daddies, Tales of the Talisman, The Storyteller, Barbaric Yawp, The Iconoclast, Poiesis Review, and Dreams and Nightmares. His poem, “It’s An Old Story,” received a Pushcart Prize nomination in 2009. He is the author of 17 chapbooks, including 12 times 12 equals Gross, Und ihr Habt Doch Gesiegt (You Have Finally Won), I Am Not Sydney Carton, tomB Baby (with Hot Robert Toddy), and Gunther, and he has been included in the international mailers of Marymark Press.

Notes from the Author

Onderdonkey was birthed in my elementary school’s library, when I first saw depicted and read the history of the sacrifice made at The Alamo. In a sober tome of history, I saw Davy Crockett, rearing, lion, before Death, backed by grimfaced men who steeled for the same. There was something gigantic about what I read and the painting I saw. Something so human, it touched even Me. Finality, as personal choice. I chose, as boy and man, to kindle a flame and not be repelled.

Onderdonkey, my book of the Texas Revolution, is me giving back, which is unusual for me. It is my dirge to 180+ souls, a travail sung for ideas, ideals, and identity, the keys of which are lost to us, for all we know is cold storage of “The Machine.” By me, it’s an arcade machine. It cheats. And it lies. It tells us Man is the same yesterday, today, and forever—but, if you’ve known or talked with anyone who marched against Hitler, you know that we sleep under cuddly-warm blankies today, because some turned out pockets and gave up the lot.

I’m a creature of the 80s; I’ve made that, throughout my work, abundantly clear. Those years, as those of WW2 or The Alamo, are thought of, today, in stereo-terms, and we are taught to dismiss the stereo. We create straw men out of all reality, then torch them, one by one. This cannot succeed, for we exist, here, atop the ashes. As ancient Troy was once daily reality.

Death, even beautifully arrived at and with an Academy Award behind it, only ever removes. It takes away. “Making a good death,” doesn’t make Death any good at all, but for those who create ways to remember. My poems offered in Onderdonkey, tell you that for those martyred, Death is hard, and it is empty. In its wake, we who remain, must decide what we’ve been given.

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