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Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Reporting to the office....

I'm here. Yes, it is Wednesday but I've been under the weather.
I know I haven't posted in days and I suppose I'll have to serve a detention of the great blogger in the sky will at the very least snort at me to show his disappointment in me.

I've been wanting to mention something that is soon to be forthcoming and looks really different. Post Cards From A Summer Girl to be released soon by The Sun Rising Poetry Press

I suppose what seems so uniquely interesting about this is the medium the author uses to tell a story of a young woman who is missing; vanished with no trace, no explanation only a box of postcards and notes, dumped and spread out on the kitchen table. Postcards from a summer girl... Hence a story from a poetry book.

C. E. Laine is the author. This is her third published collection of poetry in book form. It is slated for a mid-august release and I can't wait to get my hands on a copy.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Who Let The Doggerel Out?

Oh THIS is good!

The Dropping of the F-Bomb

Yet another kind of "Shock and Awe" from the Bush/Cheney Administration reported today: Cheney Utters 'F-Word' in U.S. Senate?

Could this represent a major shift in language culture - The F word now easing into the Senate's everyday language?

But Wait!!!! Could there be fines? FCC

Ok folks... Which one of these stories is True? :)

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Sloganator - Memorial

Quite a few of us had some fun with the sloganator during it's short life span on the Bush - Cheney Reelection web site. Maybe it was all that pent-up creativity, or maybe the release of all our frustrations with something that seems so perfectly wrong.

At any rate, here is dedication to that ill-conceived devise of the Bush campaign that no doubt got more hits by those who will likely not vote for him then those who might.

Turn up your volume and click here - a fitting tribute to a President that:


1. Can keep the best poker face while for the biggest lies.
2. Has a many reasons to go to war as they need to replace the last that no longer hold water.
3. Has decided the best substitute for "tax and spend Democrats" is to "spend and charge it to our children."
4. Gave seniors a RX card the Drug companies love!
5. Writes really bad poetry to his wife.


SLOGANATOR MEMORIAL

Thursday - checkpoint

I suppose I am a bit delinquent in posting.

I have written a fair number of rather crude drafts this week of things that have some promise... One thing I've managed into a second draft form, maybe one more revision will suffice. Have to see. I have it out for some critical view... perhaps I will work more on it yet this week.

A few items of interest:

The following intelligence is something the President might have wanted to consider - here.


Self help through poetry


Poet Billy Collins - Father's Day Memories

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

An International Day of Poetry, September 11

James brought an excellent question to my attention. In Monday's Post - I cut and pasted a e-mail I received from Sam Hamill concerning International Poetry day. It did reference a Feb. 12th date in the text. I went back and looked at the e-mail which I had saved. Sure enough - February 12th was in the text - leading one to believe this was perhaps intended for Feb. 12, 2005 or worse, I posted something really old!

The heading to the e-mail referenced the September 11th date -which is when the event is being called for. This would then of course coincide with the 9-11 anniversary this year.

I have taken the liberty because of the confusion of cutting and pasting the text of Sam's June 20th remarks posted on the Poets Against The War site. They go into greater detail about Sam's personal views and provide perhaps a greater understanding to the Monday post I made of the e-mail from Sam.

I hope this helps.

Michael

[text from Sam Hamill message on the Poets Against The War site follow]
We suffocate among people who think they are absolutely right, whether in their machines or their ideas. And for all those who can live only in an atmosphere of human dialogue, the silence is the end of the world. — Albert Camus

I say we had better look our nation searchingly in the face, like a physician diagnosing some deep disease. —Walt Whitman, "Democratic Vistas"

I go in fear of those for whom belief is fervent, for whom belief is absolute. I have lived through generations of war, through the misery and slaughter of countless millions of innocent people. Almost invariably, this floodtide of bloodshed has been authored in the name of god and justice. The god of George W. Bush, Osama bin Laden, and Ariel Sharon is the same god. And yet when I turn to the holy scriptures of their respective religions, I find the same prohibition against murder, the same call for genuine compassion, for lives of non-violence.

I admit that I am not a believer. Nevertheless, I have been deeply touched by the teachings of Jesus, of Muhammed, of the great rabbis and monks and followers of these traditions who have had the courage to take to heart the practice of compassion. When I founded Poets Against the War in January, 2003, much was made of my remark that I felt a wave of nausea upon reception of an invitation to the White House the morning after reading of Mr. BushÂ’s proposed plans for a "shock and awe" attack on Iraq. In my defense I can say only that I remain baffled by anyone who is not utterly repulsed by the idea of annihilating whole cities, by the suggestion that we may somehow regain our humanity or any sense of justice through the employment of cluster bombs and smart bombs followed by waves of infantry.

Since the end of World War II, the United States has bombed some forty-two countries, and with each devastating bomb, the American people have been told that our government has taken such action in the name of decency and democracy and justice. "God," we are told again and again, "is on our side." And yet the Pope beseeched this administration not to attack Iraq. Clergy from around the world begged for patience from this administration, begged for genuine dialogue with this administration, an administration that has publicly announced its religious convictions, its absolute fervor and absolute belief. Their pleas were met first with a resounding silence, and then with missiles and bombs and bloodshed that has now entered its second year with no end in sight.

Mr. Bush and his co-conspirators may call themselves Christians, but they violate almost every tenet of Christian conduct. They practice neither love nor compassion. They try to "justify" torture. That they murder and lie and are hypocrites is established fact. That they and their corporate co-conspirators profit on a grand scale (both politically and economically) from the gross human misery and bloodshed they author is also beyond question. Nor can we doubt for even a minute that their ultimate plan is to dominate and exploit the whole world under the blueprint of their Project for the New American Century. Among the worst of their co-conspirators we must include a thoroughly cowed and "embedded" body of American journalists for whom truth is a relative and sometime thing, for whom the merest veneer of patriotism is a greater force that healthy skepticism and devotion to truth and, ultimately, humanitas. The American media are owned and operated by corporations who profit from this and every war.

Mr. Bush, Mr. Sharon, Mr. Arafat and Mr. bin Laden share a religious fervor and certitude that trivializes the innocent lives of those they annihilate in the name of justice. They are brothers in evil certainty that authors gross violence. Their only response to terror is to elevate levels of terror. Each has chosen vengeance and the horrors of human slaughter over the forces of decency and dialogue. "Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord."

"Blesséd are the peacemakers." I was taught that in the original Hebrew, the commandment reads, "Thou shalt not murder." I’m told that the true Christian and Muslim and Jew alike are taught, "Love thy enemy as thyself." Or as a brother. If we murder every murderer, there will be no one left.

I believe there are vital lessons to be learned from poetry, indeed that poetry can be a path to enlightenment. I think often during these war-torn days of the great courage it took for poets like Kenneth Rexroth, Stanley Kunitz, Robert Lowell, William Stafford, and William Everson to reject the politics of annihilation during World War II (during which I was born), and to choose imprisonment or nonviolent service over obedience to the mere appearance of patriotism. The true American patriot is one who defends the Constitution against the likes of Mr. Bush, Mr. Ashcroft, Mr. Rumsfeld, Mr. Cheney and their ilk, one who understands exactly why the first of our guaranteed rights is the right to speak out. That right and all others come with responsibilities every poet should understand.

We all live our lives by those few well-chosen words we stand by. I draw inspiration from the courage of Albert Camus as he spoke against war in the very midst of World War II, as well as against capital punishment. I think of the courage of Gandhi, the courage of Martin Luther King. And when Mr. Bush decries leaked photographs of the flag-draped coffins of AmericaÂ’s young men and women being returned from the front, I draw inspiration from the heart-rending courage of the mother of Emmett Till, a young man savagely beaten to death by white racists long ago in Mississippi. She demanded that his coffin be left open at his funeral, his shattered, ravaged body on full display "because," she said, "I want people to understand exactly what transpired here."

We poets have been attacked for the stance we have taken. We have been attacked for speaking out. We have been accused of being unpatriotic because we do not believe that compounding murder is the best possible response to murder. It grieves us to see our nationÂ’s (or any nationÂ’s) children turned into killers before they have had the opportunity to study war and its vicious and inevitable consequences.

Every war produces a My Lai, an Abu Ghraib. And we are treated to speeches justifying torture. But it is not merely the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or the war between Israelis and Palestinians that motivates me now. These, I believe, are only symptoms of the devastating disease, the malady that causes a nationÂ’s government to treat the suffering and annihilation of human beings as a trifling on the road to power and profit. As long as we permit our government to be rented out to the highest bidders, democracy and peace will remain mere ideals. We make the world safe for global capitalism at the expense of our own well-being.

I believe we can do better. I believe Poets Against the War stands for a great deal more than just poets opposing another illegal and immoral war. I believe every poetÂ’s struggle to come to a truth through a few fortunately chosen words is good medicine, and I believe that doubting and questioning are the very foundation of any patriotism that rises above mere nationalism.

The many faces and voices of poetry in the world connect us all to one great family. The uses of our art are countless, but the political remains one of our responsibilities. Poetry is one of a thousand paths to a more enlightened life. I want to know what poetry was in the lives of the prisoners tortured at Abu Ghraib, what poetry is in the lives of their torturers. What poetry is in the life of a man who slits the throat of another to make a political advertisement? Are there verses Mr. Rumsfeld and Mr. Ashcroft know by heart?

Yes, Mrs. Bush, and yes, Mr. Gioia, poetry is political. Being a citizen of the world is political. ThatÂ’s one of several obvious reasons why we believe poetry really does matter.

We ask the poets of the world to join us in making an international day of poetry on September 11. We ask you to think not only of the innocent victims of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, but also of the innocent victims in the U.S.-sponsored over-throwing of the Allende government in Chile and of the lives lost in the Attica prison riots, also events that happened on a September 11th in their respective years.

-- Sam Hamill
June 20, 2004

Monday, June 21, 2004

Subliminals

  1. Abundance:: plenty
  2. Casino:: gamble
  3. Shell:: oil
  4. Overpriced:: gas
  5. Cancellation:: appointment
  6. Eternal:: life
  7. Lyrics:: poetic
  8. Faith:: belief
  9. Because:: why
  10. Wimp:: lightweight - ie. George W.


Message From Sam Hamill & Poets Against The War

February 12 is the first anniversary of the White House Symposium on Poetry that prompted us to form Poets Against the War. It is therefore altogether fitting that we should celebrate that date with poetry readings across the United States (and indeed around the world) once again.

We are asking poets everywhere to join with us to note that date and to include poems by Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson and Langston Hughes in public readings and discussions. These were the poets the White House attempted to co-opt for their symposium, which we successfully brought to a close.

We think it entirely appropriate that wherever possible these readings be held in our libraries to acknowledge the thousands upon thousands of loyal librarians who have refused to comply with the unAmerican aspects of the Patriot Act that would turn librarians into de facto agents of Homeland Security and infringe upon every citizen's right to read in private.

Please contact your local public library, or college or university library, and initiate an afternoon or evening of poetry and political straight talk to counter the lies, deceptions, and unAmerican activities of this administration. We ask each of you to consider what Whitman, Dickinson
or Hughes might have said in response to the Patriot Act, to the proposed Patriot Act II, and to this administration's cynical efforts to spread fear and intimidation and to silence its detractors.

We look forward to hearing from you, and we hope you will join us in designing an effective 2004 campaign to regain our Constitutional rights and re-establish a democratic government in these United States.

-- Sam Hamill and the Board of Poets Against the War

Vote Early And Often For Your All-Star Baseball Teams

Thanks scoreboard for the help withe this task here

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Sunday

Lots of writing yesterday.... rewrites mostly.

Northland Writers group meets this afternoon.

Had yummy waffles for breakfast - courtesy of my daughter Shannon.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Saturday afternoon

Worked on some writing today, did some blogshare transactions. Teetering just below a $billion in my portfolio (yes I'm hooked).

Need to run some errands in a few and then settle in for some reading.

Oh - a poem I did on a Poetry bash at Poetry.com was on of the finalists this week. They do parings of 4 each with 64 poets - each time advancing the top two from the four group paring till they are down to four.

I'm hung up one something I've been writing this week and I need to step back from it. I hate when I need to do that...

Oh, BTW - George Bush sucks as a President. I just had to say that today. I feel better. No safer, but better. :)

Friday, June 18, 2004

Friday... sigh

This weekend is needed. I am glad that Friday is here, yet I can only hope that the weekend is a good one. Relaxing, yet productive. I need to clear myself of a lot of emotion and garbage.

Write ~ Read ~ Write ~ Read. Then Write some more!!!

I need to stretch my legs and get some exercise as well.

Am I starting to sound needy?

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Orwell's 1984 & Bush Ideology

I stumbled upon a most interesting comparison between Bush ideology and the Orwellian premise of 1984. Take a look at Verne Mcdonald's piece here.


Also of interest:
Poetry a diversion for attorney.... here

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Reality

"In an age of synthetic images and synthetic emotions, the chances of an accidental encounter with reality are remote indeed." -Serge Daney


Happened upon it once; I thought,
but not certain for its' being
I auctioned it off to the high bidder
(likely a fool) taking my chance
at another spin. Besides,

my pockets were full of icons
and one can never be certain when
you'll have to lighten the load
as there are many artifacts left

along life's traveled paths.
The ruts wide and deep from
the burden others felt. In
their abandon did they discard

reality? Was theirs the "Real McCoy"?
Plastic bottles, Coke cans, CD disks, and
AOL Frisbees clutter my path. Once I saw
an Eight Track-something-or-other and wondered,

What's up with that? Preacher can you tell me
is this sinful? Should I feel guilt or sorrow
or both? Can you hear my confession and is
my emotion genuine? How about your absolution?

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Thomas Randolph (1605-1635) Born This Date

On Sixe Cambridge Lasses Bathinge Themselfes by Queenes Colledge on the 25th of June at Night and Espied by a Scholer


When bashfull daylight now was gone
And night, that hides a blush, came on.
Sixe Pretty Nymphes to wash away
The sweatinge of a Summers daye...



June 15th marks the birthday of this 17th century English poet -

Monday, June 14, 2004

Give Me Some Everyday Religion

"Dearest dealer,
I with my royal straight flush,
love you so for your wild card,
that untamable, eternal, gut-driven ha-ha
and lucky love." - Anne Sexton


So esoteric, you
accommodate me at times,
without foundation.

That I should roll snake-eyes
or pick a winning number
with no grounds and not a “thank you”
for my part to be the blest bastard. But then,

to be trumped by every stop-light
or fathom a turn of hard-luck so
lethal, I squirm in the puddles of
self-pity and moan of the great
injustice of this world like I understand
it all so well. Ha!

Deal me in… I say.
Let me play with the big boys.
Let me smoke my luck and drink my advantage
like my supply of chips at the bank is unending.
Are you looking over my shoulder God?

Subliminals

You say... I think -

  1. Colorblind:: dogs
  2. Shallow:: Bush
  3. Erotica:: a different Bush
  4. Figment:: imagination
  5. Eviction:: homeless
  6. Composed:: at ease
  7. Chill:: out
  8. Girl:: chick
  9. California:: dream'n
  10. Bond:: link


Thursday, June 10, 2004

Thursday Notables

I recommend reading the following op ed piece Defining Torture as well as check out the NPR link concerning Ashcroft on the torture memos.

A view on the recent issues before the California Supreme Court concerning when poetry constitutes a dangerous threat.


Alliteration - Strong and alive in America.

Monday, June 07, 2004

The Unknown

A shadow falls across my path.
Hesitant future pauses.
A deer frozen in headlights,
Leaving the veins ice cold;
And the ground rumbles
To locomotion on ribs of steel
Across life.


[written this morning]

Monday Morning

Yesterday, spent the afternoon at my son's. My aunt is visiting. I passed on writers group to spend time with them. My family is awesome. Sometimes I cannot understand how it is that I fit with them.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Always On The Chin

Pressing the issue as you so often do,
I fall flat. Spilt milk to mop up whenever
Someone gets around to the more mundane

Of life. I can’t, I can’t! Again, the obvious
But you sound the alarm and rush to muster
All forces behind your assault but others stand

To watch. A movie, a play… did you write
The script? How marvelous the ending
If it would just end but seems to go on

Like an LP that is scratched. Over and over
Monotonous melody- I want to throw up
And one day, I promise. The curtain will fall.

it IS Friday - finally!

Pain and Adversity - no stranger.... Thanks to Jilly for the discovery of this Charles Burkowski related link.

Thanks Michaela for the BUSH QUIZ Check out her civics lesson.

In defense Of Aubergine by James will be published in a chapbook - for which he is feeling quite chuffed.

iPod Poetry Express Thyself!

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Phony Baloney

A little Rembrandt on your teeth for the
false smile you leave behind for the children
and you're out the door on your way to
do a little racial profiling
at the country club this weekend and
your neighbor asks who lazy Mexicans find
for domestic help but you have no answer yourself
because you are thinking about the new family
down the street who you have convinced yourself
you don't hate because of their color
but you despise the color of their crimes
like they personally are responsible for every criminal
act in the universe or at least your neighborhood
since it is mostly your own little world
you are wrapped up in



Subliminals

  1. Lover:: Hot
  2. Ridiculous:: Absurd
  3. Oscar:: Fish
  4. Tennis:: Ball
  5. Account Balance::
  6. Hickey:: Spider bite
  7. License:: Drivers
  8. Breathmints:: Peppermint
  9. TexMex:: Slop
  10. Stepmother:: Evil