Sunday, May 09, 2004

Review of 'Both' by Douglas Crase

Rupert was disinherited by his father over his relationship with Dwight. For his part, Dwight had slightly less than half a million dollars, enough to generate an income of about $29,000 a year. Out of this, Dwight subsidized poetry by Frank O'Hara -- and Chester Kallman, Kenneth Koch and John Ashbery.
posted at 10:26 PM

check out chris murray's tex files... old alphabetical chaucer... new blog poem... good stuff all around...
posted at 10:18 AM

Chicago Tribune: Mothers must encourage all to reject violence

by Laurie Hasbrook

May 9, 2004

Chicago -- Mother's Day 2004. My 6- and 8-year-old sons, under their father's supervision, will "surprise" me with breakfast in bed, handmade cards, lots of hugs and kisses and promises of perfect behavior and brotherly cooperation in the year to come. I'll bask in that simple joy of spending the day together as family.

I am acutely aware, though, that for mothers with sons or daughters in Iraq, this day will be one of tremendous longing and anxiety. For mothers whose children have died in Operation Iraqi Freedom or in the occupation, Mother's Day will be a day of grief and mourning, a day of loss that those of us who have not suffered the death of a child can never fully comprehend. Many Iraqi mothers also know this loss.

The cruelties of war led Julia Ward Howe to write in the original Mother's Day Proclamation of 1870: " . . . `Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.' . . . `Disarm! Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.'"

As a mother raising sons in a country whose government is using the deaths of its young people in war to extol the virtues of sacrifice, honor and devotion to family and country--as do all governments in time of war--I have never been so acutely aware that war, far from being a necessity in a terror-plagued world, is a foreign policy failure that actively contributes to terrorism.

It is a challenge, while our politicians and military leaders masterfully weave a national narrative that gives military service God's imprimatur, to say loudly and clearly that I will not raise my children to be killers. Teaching my sons the distinction between being willing to die for their beliefs as opposed to being willing to kill for them is difficult in a culture that melds the two.

As I grieve for the families who receive word that a beloved son or daughter has been killed overseas, I reaffirm my commitment this Mother's Day to help build a world in which all violence, whether it is individual or state-sponsored, is rejected.

posted at 10:10 AM


Saturday, May 08, 2004

John Ashbery just keeps getting better and better.

posted at 8:29 PM

This was not just a few bad apples.. this was a bunch of normal good apples thrown in a bad, nasty barrel.
posted at 8:18 PM

Guardian Unlimited review of The New York Poets edited by Mark Ford

Perhaps it is this idea of friendship as something inspiring, shaping and enduring that finally holds the collection together. Though each of these writers has a very distinct and compelling style, their work as a whole is frequently sustained and defined by a striking sense of companionship, and one of the main successes of Ford's anthology is that it manages so well to capture this.
posted at 7:15 PM

the link and the article just below comes via a member of an email discussion list... i print the whole thing here because it's only available for a fee online... i know this seems to make me guilty of some copyright infringement... but for now i'll claim "fair use"... cuz i believe that's what this is... and wait for a call from their lawyers...

the story is just too important... and odd to me... because i saw the film on abc weeks ago... i saw these guys get killed... through the night-vision lens it was like a scene from any number of action movies... but here it was... i saw these guys get killed... and i put it away in that drawer where all the useless stuff goes... "how horrible" i must have thought... "well that's war" i must have thought... "nothing to be done"... and i hate myself for having that reaction... this, i guess, is what someone hopes will become of any ordinary person's outrage... where is mine? how have i become so numb? "well, tom, we have to be numb or we'd just go crazy... because there's nothing any of us can do about it all... this killing is out of our control... see the bigger picture, if you will..." etc. etc. etc.

is it possible that i could be that gunner pulling that trigger to kill those guys... yes of course it is... that i wasn't is just an accident of history... how do i know this about myself? i just do... i knew back in '68 that if i abandoned myself to the system, there'd be no hope... i would have abandoned my soul... i would have followed orders... so i refused that war and reject all the others since and to come not because of some high principle or ideal but for the simple sake of my own physical, moral and spiritual survival... i knew that i would not be able to prevent myself from doing horrible things if i were ordered to do them... so i did whatever was necessary to keep me out of the situation... in the old church we used to call this "avoiding the occasions of sin"... nowadays it's called "being a pussy"... so be it... i like cats
posted at 1:17 PM

Pictures of wounded men being shot censored by TV
By Robert Fisk, Middle East Correspondent
06 May 2004

The pictures are appalling, the words devastating. As a wounded Iraqi crawls from beneath a burning truck, an American helicopter pilot tells his commander that one of three men has survived his night air attack. 'Someone wounded,'' the pilot cries. Then he received the reply: 'Hit him, hit the truck and him.'' As the helicopter's gun camera captures the scene on video, the pilot fires a 30mm gun at the wounded man, vaporising him in a second.

British and most European television stations censored the tape off the air last night on the grounds that the pictures were too terrible to show. But deliberately shooting a wounded man is a war crime under the Geneva Conventions and this extraordinary film of US air crews in action over Iraq is likely to create yet another international outcry.

American and British personnel have been trying for weeks to persuade Western television stations to show the video of the attack. Despite the efforts of reports in Baghdad and New York, most television controllers preferred to hide the evidence from viewers. Only Canal Plus in France, ABC television in the United States and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation have so far had the courage to show the shocking footage. UK military personnel in the Gulf region have confirmed that the tape is genuine.

The camera, mounted beside the 30mm cannon of a US Apache helicopter on patrol over central Iraq on 1 December, first picks up movement on a country road, apparently several hundred metres from an American military checkpoint. A lorry and a smaller vehicle, probably a pick-up, come into view and a man - apparently unaware of the hovering helicopter - is seen moving to a field on the left of the screen. He is carrying what seems to be a tube with a covering; it may be a rocket-propelled grenade. One of two helicopter pilots is heard to say: "Big truck over here. He's having a little pow-wow." The driver of the pick-up looks around, reaches into the vehicle, takes out the tube-shaped object and runs from the road into the field. He drops the object and returns to the truck. The pilot then radios: "I got a guy running, throwing a weapon." Another pilot, or a ground controller, instructs him: "Engage - smoke him."

At this point, a tractor arrives close to where the man from the lorry dropped the object in the field. One of the Iraqis approaches the tractor driver. The Apache pilot opens fire with his 30mm cannon, killing first the Iraqi in the field and then the tractor driver. The camera registers the bullets hitting the first man. All that is left is a smudge on the ground.

The pilot then turns his attention to the large truck, opens fire and waits to see if he has hit the last of the three men. The third man is then seen crawling, obviously badly wounded, from his cover beneath the blazing truck. The pilot reports: "Wait. Someone wounded by the truck." An officer replies: "Hit him. Hit the truck and him."

The video tape shows that the incident took four minutes, during which the two helicopter pilots - whose names are listed as Nager and Alioto - expended 300 high-velocity cannon rounds at their targets. The tape shows that the first 15 rounds missed the men. One of the pilots says: "Fuck, switching to range auto." The tape then documents the firing of four bursts of 20 rounds each at the three men.

The pictures, apparently taken through thermal-imaging cameras, leave no doubt that the pilot knew his third victim was wounded and crawling along the ground - and that whoever gave him the order to hit him also knew this.

Coming only days after the appalling photographs of Iraqis being tortured and humiliated by US troops at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad, the new pictures can only further inflame Arab opinion throughout the Middle East. It is common Israeli practice to kill wounded enemies from the air; a devastating helicopter assault by Israel on a Hizbollah training camp in Lebanon 10 years ago was accompanied by a series of attacks in which pilots sought out wounded guerrillas as they hid behind rocks in the Bekaa Valley and then fired at them.

The film, while it shows men acting in an apparently suspicious manner, does not prove they were handling weapons. The occupation authorities in Baghdad chose to keep the incident secret when it occurred in December. Watching the video images, it is easy to understand why.

posted at 12:51 PM

suzannagig jig

to call the actions
in Iraq

those of Saddam and his henchmen
or now  of we "liberators"

defames animals

amen to that, sister...
posted at 9:28 AM

"Silence is the language that God speaks; everything else is just a bad translation." Fr. Thomas Keating
posted at 9:05 AM


Friday, May 07, 2004

current events send me back to elaine scarry's the body in pain:

For the torturers, the sheer and simple fact of human agony is made invisible, and the moral fact of inflicting that agony is made neutral by the feigned urgency and significance of the question. For the prisoner, the sheer, simple, overwhelming fact of his agony will make neutral and invisible the significance of any question as well as the significance of the world to which the question refers. Intense pain is world-destroying.


The room, both in its structure and its content, is converted into a weapon, deconverted, undone. Made to participate in the annihilation of the prisoners, made to demonstrate that everything is a weapon, the objects themselves, and with them the fact of civilization, are annihilated: there is no wall, no window, no door, no bathtub, no refrigerator, no chair, no bed.
posted at 8:31 PM

new journal entry... but it's mostly just a rehash of all the cat stuff here...

been listening to speakerboxxx/the love below... reminds me of... my age...

also listening to lots of low... lucinda williams... a bit of morrissey...
posted at 8:18 PM

Constipation and Your Cat
posted at 4:15 PM

the cat... doesn't much like canned food.. and i can't blame her... the stuff stinks... but i'm not quite sure how to do it... how much? when? i put a little dolop in her dish and she lets it sit... or i come back and she has eaten a little... smooshed the rest around in the dish... maybe it's just the getting used to... once she realizes that this muck is all she gets... she'll adjust... maybe
posted at 12:10 PM

where else but in blogville (see the links in million poems) would i ever find myself seated next to Bob Mould? where else? strange... what a wonderful world...
posted at 10:26 AM


Thursday, May 06, 2004

today is BIG TEST day... the ap literature exam was given this morning... so we'll see... i had two guys in class period b... one in period d... and here i am in period f... with one... listening to lucinda williams' world without tears which just came in the mail... listening to the loud teacher talk in the lounge across the hall... wondering about the cat...

the cat... i picked her up during lunch... the vet is putting her on canned w/d... she's been eating the dry... i've also got to cajole her into eating this here Laxatone (jam-packed full of all kinds of tasty petroleum by-products)... and...

they shaved her butt... she was once an elegant beast.. beautiful from all angles... but now you'd only care to meet her head-on... my funny little baboon-butt cat... they say it'll grow back... but in which lifetime?
posted at 12:59 PM

The Memory Hole
posted at 10:06 AM


Wednesday, May 05, 2004


so... it was a constipated cat... who was so completely out of sorts these past few days... there's the x-ray... seems a cat can hold a lot of poop... old cats more often than younguns... but not without some serious discomfort...

the vet calls to report a successful enema... she's overnight at his place... to be retrieved tomorrow...

so... thanks to the universe for the occasionally benign outcome...
posted at 7:26 PM

Daryl Cagle's Professional Cartoonists Index!
posted at 12:07 PM

ach... cat to the vet this afternoon... hasn't eaten or pooped in two days... has no energy for anything... cries when i try to pick her up... hides behind the dresser or under the bed... the book says this might be a hairball obstruction... ach...
posted at 11:14 AM


Tuesday, May 04, 2004

this... the recent weekly quote from the john gardner list

John Gardner... from an
interview with Heide Ziegler, 1978:

"Definitions of happiness are always pretty largely unconscious, unfortunately. Philosophy comes along when it's needed to justify what everybody is doing already or else to figure out what's wrong. Existentialism was around for a long time, but it was only when the French underground was living an impossible life in which the odds were overwhelmingly against it that suddenly existentialism became a pervasive philosophy. Because existentialism tells you a wonderful lie--which is that you can do something today that violates all history; that you can reverse your own momentum; that your own past has nothing to do with what you decide to do today or tomorrow; you can change it all. Or the history of the world has nothing to do with what tomorrow gives the world. That's a wonderful theory--if you are a French existentialist in the underground, where because of history's momentum--the odds--you haven't got a chance. If you believe, you die happy. But it's a lousy theory except in that situation. Well, all the philosophies that we have developed have developed out of real-life situations. Plato comes after the events which bring him about; he's a necessary response."
posted at 8:01 PM

reading Paul Celan with the worldlit seniors...

the original goes like this:

Die Nachzustotternde welt,
bei der ich zu Gast
gewesen sein werde, ein Name,
herabgeschwitzt von der Mauer,
an der eine Wunde hochleckt.

felstiner translates:

World to be stuttered after
in which I will have been
a guest, a name
sweated down from the wall
where a wound licks up high.

hamburger translates:

World to be stuttered by heart
in which
I shall have been a guest, a name
sweated down from the wall
a wound licks up.

i have no german... so am stuck with the two seriously divergent translations...
posted at 3:07 PM


Monday, May 03, 2004

Reading the Future: Irish writers in conversation with Mike Murphy
posted at 8:05 PM

Waiting for Godot -- Act 1

Use your intelligence, can't you?
Vladimir uses his intelligence.

posted at 3:27 PM

... because it reminds a teacher of his own shortcomings... because it didn't have to be this way...
posted at 1:56 PM

how much really bad poetry can a person be expected to write... to read... ? (a cry from the depths)
posted at 1:53 PM

I hate writing so-called
poetry. I hate the
phoney pretentiousness, the
self-conscious aspiration
of the writer to become
part of history, the
oohs and ahs- the prizes,
awards, the readings.
I probably like only the
clean, crisp books themselves,
not even the words, just
the useless objects- the
lack of pragmatic usefulness.

me too... sorta... and this mood extends to other areas... for me... religion...poets against poetry... brothers against religion... go figger... probably comes down to a quest for some kind of integrity... authenticity... seen as lacking in so many public manifestations
posted at 11:32 AM

it's a frosted morning... still full of birdnoise... and two young deer who think we might be friends... one tries to follow us... i ask dom if i can keep it... he is not amused... we are kind of quiet this morning... not that there's anything wrong with that... what is that bird?
posted at 8:07 AM


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