Category: Politics

Monday Miscellany

Let’s see. What to tell first. Okay, the good people at LUCIPO selected and posted some of their short favorite poems, which can be seen at the LUCIPO Blog today. I enjoy this listerv very much. Poets are flocking to it as we speak. The tone is casual and friendly, and you can post on…

Read more Monday Miscellany

How To Survive a Hurricane

Prepare? Fix the levees? Evacuate? Barbara Lee ponders: “The slow response to the needs of the people in the areas hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina is inexcusable. We had several days advance notice that the Hurricane was coming, but where was the preparedness? Why weren’t the hospitals, schools, and seniors evacuated immediately? Is this is…

Read more How To Survive a Hurricane

The Darkness Surrounds Us

After a day spent dozing & using up the remaining tissue, I am now listening to Kathleen Edwards recent cd, “Back to Me,” in an effort to avoid the tv & CNN’s “Breaking News” that will surely bring more devastating updates about Texas evacuees and breached New Orleans levees. I can barely stand it. Allergies…

Read more The Darkness Surrounds Us

Old & New Tragedies

The view posted here of the Williamsburg Bridge and the twin towers is just about what I saw to my left everyday as I headed to take the subway to work in Manhattan. On 9/11, I was late and woke up to the news that the first tower had been hit. My friends and I…

Read more Old & New Tragedies

Halliburton in the House!

Will the money that so many believe they are donating to victims of Hurricane Katrina actually land in said vicitims hands? It seems to me that the rebuilding of New Orleans might refer to the clean up & construction of new buildings on some prime real estate — and not to the sustanence of refugees…

Read more Halliburton in the House!

See, Hear, Reject Some Offers

Apparently, we’ve been refusing offers of help. I thought Condoleeza Rice’s response to offers of help seemed fairly off-putting. I saw her in a t.v. interview say something along the lines of ,”Well, we’ll see how many countries follow through on their promises.” Mind you, I’m remembering this from a snippet on PBS.org last night,…

Read more See, Hear, Reject Some Offers

Accountability?

You could help Cindy Sheehan try to get President Bush to meet with her and explain the death of her son, Casey Sheehan by emailing a demand note to the White House or by calling Mr. Bush. Ms. Sheehan would like the president to explain why her son had to die — face-to-face. Somehow, I…

Read more Accountability?

The Next Atlantis

Home to the French Quarter, Bourbon Street, Mardi Gras, & JazzFest, a city rich with tradition, art, and culture, now drowned. How does one write about losing an entire city? The number dead is impossible to count. Rescuers cannot even begin collecting bodies as they float past. New Orleans is being evacuated. Many have lost…

Read more The Next Atlantis

Since I Hail from Georgia

I opted to write a poem related to a delegate, Cynthia McKinney, from my home state for the Personnages Obscurs site. They will post a poem a day that includes the name of a delegate – starting today. When the bill to bar women from serving in direct ground combat roles came up for vote…

Read more Since I Hail from Georgia

Redemption?

Kanye West’s songs generally explore the tension of wanting to acquire the American ideal via material signifiers and the price of that image (consider “Diamonds from Sierra Lyone”) to celebrating his ability to be successful. Even after he gets the goods required to “succeed,” he’s still at odds with a history that haunts “what’s inside.”…

Read more Redemption?

Here Be Dragons

A photo of James Baldwin graces the cover of Poets & Writers this month. Coincidentally enough, I was just revisiting his book of essays that I read as an undergrad, The Price of the Ticket. What an excellent book & man. Here’s an excerpt from an essay, “Here Be Dragons,” that seems fitting for today:…

Read more Here Be Dragons

I Think I Need Shocks

This is the “Definition Essay” example I usually pass out to my ENG101 students. It’s from OWL, I believe, and is a fairly decent student sample. American Patriots: Soldiers, Citizens, Voters The United States is presently at war in Iraq and Afghanistan where American troops are fighting and dying. At home, cars and homes display…

Read more I Think I Need Shocks

Reading the Politics in Pound’s Poetry

Excerpts from “Pounding Fascism (Appropriating Ideologies — Mystification, Aestheticization, and Authority in Pound’s Poetic Practice)” as found in A POETICS by Charles Bernstein.“… For Pound’s fascism is all too easily censured, as by slap on hand, while the fascist ideas that infect his poetry and poetics seep unnamed into the orthodox cultural theory and criticism…

Read more Reading the Politics in Pound’s Poetry

How To Frame Politics?

It’s a sad, sad state of affairs for the American people when we have to boil our presidential election down to questions of race and gender. And yet, we’ve arrived: Are Americans more racist or sexist? We have to wonder aloud, so that we send the most able opponent up against the Great White Hope,…

Read more How To Frame Politics?

In Case We Forgot …

The U.S. entered Iraq with bombs ablaze on March 18, 2003 — nearly five years ago. Many Iraqi citizens, living their lives much like we do, were killed in the middle of the night, and for months to come. Until that night, America was at peace with Iraq, and neither country had attacked the other.…

Read more In Case We Forgot …

Benjamin on Baudelaire

 From the “INTRODUCTION” By Michael W. Jennings — THE WRITER OF MODERN LIFE: ESSAYS ON CHARLES BAUDELAIRE by Walter Benjamin: Yes the ragpicker is also a figure for Baudelaire, for the poet who draws on the detritus of the society through which he moves, seizing that which seems useful in part because society has found…

Read more Benjamin on Baudelaire

Who Thought of That?

  ** “The tooth-in-eye technique, pioneered in Italy 40 years ago …” [Blind teen to have parts of tooth, jaw inserted in eye] ** “The procedure used on McNichol involved his son Robert, 23, donating a tooth, its root and part of the jaw.” [Blind Irishman sees with the aid of son’s tooth in his…

Read more Who Thought of That?

The Nail on the Head

~~~ Speaking of heads and being right on, Katha Pollitt responds to the recent Washington Post article by Charlotte Allen in her own article, “Dumb and Dumber: An Essay and Its Editors — The question is not why Charlotte Allen wrote her silly piece–it’s why The Post published it.” Why do people still buy into…

Read more The Nail on the Head

How To Help

From PEN American Center World-renowned writers from China and North America marked International Human Rights Day by launching We Are Ready for Freedom of Expression, a campaign that challenges the Chinese government to release all the writers and journalists it is holding in prisons before the August 8, 2008 opening of the Olympic Games. Noted…

Read more How To Help

Happy Fifth Anniversary!

Homework Questions 1. Please remind me — why are we in Iraq again? 2. The 9/11 terrorists came from what country? 3. Is the war in Iraq, and possibly Iran if McCain gets elected, related to the current crisis of the U.S. dollar? These are just a few questions I’ll ask my students today to…

Read more Happy Fifth Anniversary!

Poetry, Politics, & the Planet

Jay Silverheels, best known for his role as Tonto in “The Lone Ranger,” was also a boxer and lacrosse player and even held a position on Canada’s National Lacrosse Team. He also founded the Indian Actors Workshop in Echo Park, California, which no longer seems to exist. The number of Native American actors seems quite…

Read more Poetry, Politics, & the Planet