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Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Hardy Boys Go Nowhere

III

The brothers reclined on beach chairs overlooking the lake on the mansion’s fourth floor. “It’s about time we took a rest,” mused Joe. “For the last year it seems as though we’ve had a new adventure on our hands nearly every hour!” The Hardy lad was not exaggerating. After the agreeable outcome of their first case, The Tower Treasure, the boys proceeded to solve infinite mysteries. Their latest caper, The Headhunter’s Surprise, had led them from Mongolia to Mars to Easter Island where they tracked down a collection of priceless snapdragons which had been smuggled away and stored inside the monolithic heads of that landmass. The Headhunter’s Surprise is on bookshelves everywhere, from Grosset and Dunlap.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Evo 2

Tis in the silent isthmus-hour of time, where light and darkness have alternate birth.

Everything is receding from everything else and there is no center.

Rock and ice particles swirling around the young sun collide and merge.

Dense iron sinks out of magma oceans to form a metallic core.

One heavy collision flings away the Earth’s crust, part of which ends up in orbit around the planet: the Moon is born.


Amino acids gradually come together into increasingly complex molecules.

A many-chambered shell resembling the ammonite unwinds.

Large trees stretch out their arms across the stream, and the steep, earthy banks are clothed with ferns and zingiberaceous plants.

All is stiff, formal, bright, and green, monotonously green.


Attracted by the pieces of offal and clotted blood which float from a carcass, many large fishes keep darting about, fighting for the dainty morsels.

Laurasia is in two parts, these being separated by the Tethys Ocean, which widens to the east.

The Sea, like the snow-cloud with its flakes, in a calm is always letting fall on its bed showers of microscopic shells, and all pelagic life adds to the showers.

A herd of four-legged Proceratops drifts ponderously in the shadows of the dune fields.

The shining coral reflects shafts of light in every direction.

The glaciers so grandly displayed are of every form, some crawling through gorge and valley like monster glittering serpents.


Now, more than ever, everything new and beautiful seems to arrive already haunted by its own demise.





--for loren eisley and boards of Canada

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sources

1. Father Tabb, “Sympathy”
2. Martin Rees, ed. Universe, “Expanding Space” DK, London, 2005 (42)
3. Tim Appenzeller, “Earth in the Beginning” http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/space/solar-system/early-earth.html
4. John Valley, “A Cool Early Earth?”
5. Evolutionary Timeline, http://www.worldhistory-poster.com/en/screenshots/science-evolution/early_evolution.gif/view
6. http://www.fossils-facts-and-finds.com/archaean.html
7. Samuel St. John, Elements of Geology
8. Alfred Russell Wallace, The Malay Archipelago, Ch. 5
9. . Loren Eiseley, The Immense Journey, p. 68
10. Eugene Andre, A Naturalist in the Guianas
11. Building Planet Earth, Peter Cattermole
12. Matthew Fontaine Maury
13. Michael Novacek, Dinosaurs of the Flaming Cliffs, Anchor, New York, 1996
14. Urashima Taro, Japanese tale
15. John Muir, Travels in Alaska, p. 52
16. Caroline Evans, Fashion at the Edge

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Museum

The seated female figure on the right is classic,
unmistakable Rubens, a voluptuous body of very
white flesh and a magnificent face. The total
effect is perfection, an ideal combination of real-
istic details and abstract forms. Her ice-blue eyes
glance at me furtively from the two apertures
in her gold encrusted fire-opal face, united by one
faultless line with a straight nose finely chiseled
as a cameo. Resembling the love-child of a Burmese
princess and a hammerhead shark, she is somehow
astonishingly beautiful. Over and over when she sleeps
the butterfly's imprisoned in her dreams; for there she was
fashioned who turns the key to open the supreme love. It is
unlikely that we ever will know what the artist meant to convey.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Sources

1 and 2. Stefano Zuffi, Baroque Painting. Barron’s: Hauppauge, 1999, p. 316.
3. Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged. Signet: New York, 1996.
4. Thomas Bulfinch, “Cupid and Psyche.”
5. Adriana, “Antonella and the Idols,” posted 3/8/07.
http://vh1blog.vh1.com/2007/03/antonella_the_i_1.html
6. Robin. http://www.reelingreviews.com/freedomland.htm
7. Jean de Berg, The Image. Grove Press: New York, 1966, p. 84.
8. Pablo Neruda, "Body of a Woman." W.S. Merwin, tr.
9. Dora Levy Mossanen, Courtesan. Simon & Schuster: New York, 2005, pg. 169.
10. Anna Harriette Leonowens, Romance of the Harem, ch. 9.
11. http://pluto.huji.ac.il/~msred/novel.htm (defunct) and
Veena Reddy, http://www.fast-women.com/athletes/interviews/2005/veenareddy.html
12. Sir Walter Scott, Guy Mannering.
13. Antonin Artaud, Heliogabalus. Creation: Washington, D.C., 2003, p. 38, Alexis Lykiard, tr., and
adaptation of Cornell Woolrich, "Death in the Yoshiwara," Night and Fear. Carroll & Graf: New York, 2004, p. 117.
14. Pete Lyons, The Complete Book of Lamborghini. Beekman House: New York, 1988, pg. 148.
15. Jerry Oltion, The Getaway Special. Tom Doherty Associates: New York, 2001, p. 309.
16. Artaud, Heliogabalus, p. 32.

The Hardy Boys Go Nowhere

II.

It was the only night all year that rain fell. It was the same night children went looking for butterscotch, caramel, licorice and mints, but found only a pot full of lobster tails curled up like armadillos under the lace wallpaper next to the picture frames. “What strange treats,” Joe remarked. Frank explained that lobsters are fertile only three hours a year, but Joe, who had always imagined that lace was the product of a great black spider, dreamt himself asleep in a web of eight hungry arms.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Itinerary for Mark Ruffalo

Sometimes it is necessary to jump
the turnstiles and make for the shuttle before the afterburners
reach a safe temperature. Here’s the deal:
You go years and don’t think of love.
The castles and intimate monuments
Of youth moulder, administered by
The sad truth that sometimes
Seeing is the only way to remembering.
What is elastic fissures. The new girl- will she pan out?
People are on your side, Mark Ruffalo.
“Belief is not only for the believers”-
something you learned. Something
you told to a friend, over clay oven bread, in tin foil,
in a cold spring, just before closing time,
in somebody’s hometown.

--Anders Sh. Mandersson

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Three Years Around

Busted flat in Baton Rouge and the why keeps slipping through my mind like mercury.

Je ne sais plus parler.

I used to be so ambitious—ambitious to achieve something beyond the normal.
I was living in the mirror as in a sea, secret and senseless and selfish like the shellfish. I hid under the bed when it thundered and fled in terror from the sight of Etna's flames. I shut myself in with my soul and the shapes came eddying forth.

One day the forest blossoming in front of my door became charged with aggressiveness and tried to annihilate me by throwing unusually large numbers of jaguars on my trail.

Je ne sais plus parler.

I saw everything at once and wondered

What is the point of learning that another realm exists beyond ocean?

The Child-King became an anarchist. I was against everything, systematically and on principle. (Once I took a whale and weighed it, and then sent my friends what I reckoned to be its weight in fish.) I became a wild and savage creature who lived among the tombs and wandered naked through the countryside,

sallied forth into the public streets and rushed through all the arcades like a maniac. My wife said, “You must try to be more human with everyone and not fly into a rage so quickly, nor speak so loudly that even the neighbors can hear.”

Je ne sais plus parler.
Ah, the power to speak well is taken as the surest index of a sound understanding,
but for me it is as complicated as trying to drink water with a fork instead of a cup.

Intellectual giants—the ladies of Rutgers and San Francisco—kept saying Speak, then. Speak! But I froze.

I began to breakfast in the library, to which the dingy volumes on the open shelves always gave rather a gloomy air.

(Who can help wondering, concerning the modern multitude of books, where all these companions of his reading hours will be buried when they died?)

Before long, I felt as though my mind, saturated with literature and art, was refusing to absorb anything further from them. The soil on my skin turned into sprinkles of gold dust. The people proclaimed me some kind of god. I saw everything at once, and wondered

Why I should linger long to live in this disease of fantasy?

Poison I had my thoughts much upon, but knew not where to get any.

(Much the most pathetic thought about books is that excellence will not save them.)

I spent the following three days in the basest debauchery.

Je ne sais plus parler.

And now I return home not as a conqueror, but as a discredited prophet, content to lead the life of a marginal man.

Last year is buried in a casket and the casket doesn’t need to be opened up for any DNA tests.

Recently, I hooked up with a mail-order company in an attempt to become a millionaire hair tonic salesman. I thought of traveling the country to deliver motivational speeches, a theater of make-believe.
To some perhaps my name is odious.

I am not what I wanted to be but I guess I am OK. I’m not so bad.

Je ne sais plus parler.



----------------------------------------------------------------------

Sources

1. Kris Kristofferson, “Me and Bobby McGee.”
And
Andrew Thomson, Emergency Sex, Miramax Books, New York, 2004
2. Arthur Rimbaud, Morning p. 53, Bertrand Mathieu tr.

1. Friend of Lee Harvey Oswald, quoted on Peter Jennings Reporting: The Kennedy Assassination—Beyond Conspiracy.
2. Breyten Breytenbach, from On the Noble Art of Walking in No Man's Land, 3. Will Durant, Caesar and Christ
4. ?
5. Section 26 - Raag Tukhaari - Part 002
and
Pierre Clastres, Chronicle of the Guyaki Indians, Zone Books, New York, 2000, Paul Auster, tr.6. Rimbaud, ibid

1.Original
and
Marcus Manilius, qu. by Jean Heidmann, Cosmic Odyssey, Cambridge U. Press, Cambridge, 1986, Simon Mitten, tr.
2. Salvador Dali, The Secret Life of Salvador Dali, p. 116
3. . Aelius Lampridius, Augustan History, The Dedalus Book of Roman Decadence: Emperors of Debauchery, Dedalus, 1994, pgs. 201, Brian and Adrian Murdoch trs.
4. Rimbaud, ibid

1. Isocrates, Nicocles or the Cyprians
2 and 3. Original
4. Alexander Dyce, The Reminiscences of Alexander Dyce, Ohio State University Press, 1972, p. 46.
5. Woodrow Wilson, “How Books Become Immortal,” The Atlantic Monthly, September 1891.
6. Joris-Karl Huysmans, Against Nature, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1998, p. 62
7 and 8. Function Options,” http://www.brown.edu/Courses/FR0133/Fairytale_Generator/func.html
9. Original
and
Hyder Edward Rollins ed., The Paradise of Dainty Devices, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1927, p. 46.
10. Woodrow Wilson, “How Books Become Immortal,” The Atlantic Monthly, September 1891.
11. Daniel Defoe, Captain Singleton, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pg 9.12. Octave Mirbeau, The Torture Garden, Re/Search Publications, San Francisco, 1989, Alvah Bessie tr., p 29.13. Rimbaud, ibid

1. Enid Starkie, Arthur Rimbaud, New Directions, 1961
And
Howard Gardner, Creating Minds, Basic Books, 1993, p. 2342. Brian Dawkins, qu. by Michael Silver, Sports Illustrated, 9/4/06, p. 162.
3. Barry Williams, Growing Up Brady, Harper, New York, 1991.p. 270

4. Blumenthal, Will the Real Colin Powell Please Stand Up?
http://www.salon.com/opinion/blumenthal/2007/08/09/iraq_powell/
5. Marlowe—The Jew of Malta

6. Sammy Sosa
7. Rimbaud, ibid

The Hardy Boys Go Nowhere

I.

At the end of a hallway The Devastation of the Serengeti was performed. Through the doorway fluttered winds of meat and dust. The brothers hid behind a mound of skulls as broken zebras stumbled in their exits and Mr. Egmont’s Indian wife shouted encores from beneath the umbrella tree. “So then it is true. We can’t stay teens forever, can we, Frank?” asked Joe. “Well, let’s not be too hasty,” Frank replied. “If someone wanted us to age, Dad would have warned us, don’t you think?”

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Two vinyl toys on the verge of nuclear war. Pt. 1

I. Captain Kim, Elixir of Truth


Check adrenals: Pain low. Adrenaline high. Full egg retinue. Captain Kim is available.

Her father was Radical Communist. Her heart is atomic clock. No beauty no anxiety.

She was overwarm fetus in malfunctioning womb. She recovered. She angry now.

Paces like zoobound polar bear approaching enlightenment through monotony.

Comes with purple dolphin and crystal baseball.

Her brain is handcrafted exotic plastic! (Fish knife and revolver not included.)

Her vinyl was recalled by major Chinese manufacturer but she ok with it really.

She is sunrise from gumball at sea, enemy of Big Tobacco. Foreign object to domestic disaster.

She is warmth of tsunami. She is mother of thirty. Icons don’t last neither do iconoclasts.

She kicks her legs like Roger Craig on famous touchdown run!

Favorite artist: Exxon/Mobil.

OMG she smells like new Barbies.

Exactamudos, deadly cocktails, scent of glass cleaner, Turn-ons include

biocandy, bonejarring infrared debate rooms, fully adjustable omnivores,

10-car pileup with extra cheese.

She was deposed from power from 1986-1991.

Has world’s largest collection of crystal butter knives, priceless tanzanite specimens.

Traces lineage back to Megatherium.

She will walk all over your constitutional rights and tell you Take Care Out There after the interrogation.

Designed with amphibious functionality in mind. The Elixir of Truth.

Don’t let yourself admit impediments to the pursuit of her whatever, man.
She has pictures of you watching her.

She crushes you easy.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Evo 1

The living world is both the soil in which we are rooted and the rich humus into which our results ultimately return, whether as nutrients or as poisons.

The plotting is labyrinthine, the pace almost slow.

In the midst of a roaring, upheaving ocean of fire there is a fountain of lava of dazzling brilliancy.

The warm and equable climate fills the ocean with soft, calcareous ooze destined to become chalk.

So high is the temperature of this boiling sea that no aquatic beings inhabit its waters.
Then monera originate in the waves by spontaneous generation.

Imagine a shady cove where increasingly concentrated mixtures of organic molecules accumulate and react, protected by a rocky ledge from the sun’s radiation.

Plateaus, soon after they are uplifted, begin to be dissected by numerous streams.

By the Oridovician our ancestors are jawless armored fish moving slowly by tail propulsion.


Events accumulate through time—a cephalopod washes up on a gray Silurian beach, no plants, little oxygen.

Amidst the din of rushing waters, the noise from the stones, as they rattle one over the other.

Plants and animals soon arrive, showering down as aerial plankton, or blown ashore by storms.


From the bosom of the still soft clay rise gigantic palm trees, poisonous spurge, and acanthus coiling about cacti.

About the shores great multitudes of Crabs are everywhere to be found, belonging both to the land and the sea.

In some parts tiger beetles run or fly with great swiftness.

The huge iguanadon appears in the woods, and the ichthyosaur in the waves, while the pterodactyl flits through umbrageous groves of tree-ferns.

Sometimes comets wander into our solar system, out from the vast darkness beyond Pluto.

Suddenly mastodons occupy all continents.
Stability is not an end result; it is a state that nature is forever falling into.

The Himalayas still are rising.





armatur111@verizon.net for bibliography

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Miles to Heaven

wherever I flew a precambrian chamber orchestra—molten screeches, erupting pyramids—

music split like a virus and cried like a critic “what’s with this excess?” they loved me i hated it

the questions cobras coiled to project the hiss like sad-ass executive pickpockets asking for another hit

the lightning’s path was all i saw, jagged ways of moving out into utterness

out into utterness, hiding in elevators afraid the moon would kick me to the streets again

where food and light and conversation go illegal and you smile like you like it get over it

legs emaciated to bamboo-bones half sand-dragon breathing bromeliads of fire-blood blew on the morning mirror

sudden invertebrate sound-out-of-nowhere spun by the cherries and planets for eyes

icthyosaur on trombone, aftershock drums, slave ship on bass, birds follow the course

with the sherbert-pink wings of the dead, blood-diamond-trade-galore dripping from their wrists,

took me through jungle and carnival down to bacteria, split visions, cell motion—

into the mouth of an overgrown seraphim and under the chassis of a broken Lamborghini

with the doe-eyed stupor of Liberty on my motherfucking face the coke was pure evil

i told the flood to save its power in the clouds, huge heat-blowing kisses off the mouth of the Amazon

and the waves made love to the sound of me

i said you got to stay with me always but it left and returned and left and returned

my storm was gone my children failures our smiles meant different things

and the walls white as mushroom clouds, conquistadors with pity in their eyes

all dressed up in blue-hot wings, all the way to cathedrals made of flames

fuck you and I made my seamless departure

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Still

for the Dutch, and Outerbridge



Roast beaver white truffle and rotting atlas

Hydrangea and chocolate cake with recorder

Topaz with pharaoh and daguerreotype

Pineapple and lobster with lingerie and celluloid

Watermelon coriander basil and green ice

Artichokes coffee beans and eggs; sandstone and rainwater

Banana split with pink sapphires Donald Duck bust and vibrator

Crystal vase and Easter eggs with cell phone apple and toy boat

Detergent and pork with antifreeze

Celestial male with untitled oil and geode

Fancy vagina with microchips and 24 karat sunset

Split coconut with cardamom pods and orchid petals

Motherwell and robin’s egg with i-beam and interstates

Tam Tam

Glaciers like midnight sleep their way slowly through the valley of awakening—
unbeing ozone afternoons I threw all hope away—
flags in colors loud as the dictator’s bullhorn.
The future is hungry for what we are lacking it will never receive;
determined useful on the face of extra time I find still consuming me:
chrysanthemums and fireworks, soft collisions, the airport of butterflies.
Reduced to the tourism of my own life as an exotic hollow.
In the middle of things change takes me in another direction.
Enough blame to go around divides the guilt we can live with—
nobody knows who killed who killed who.
Now a new day is shining too bright to be healthy or real,
but it moves me like I’ve never been moved like this;
afraid how the fading emerges and fades and the emergent will fall
sick of the sarcasm criticizing the song,
hypersilent as millions watching around the world,
eyes wide as powerless eyes.

Oil rises again from unprecedented depths.
Now a new day is dawning, colder than a stomach full of wine.

Where are you taking me do I even need to know?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Conference Calls

White walls White walls
The blank walls where everything’s possible nothing is likely.
The white walls of Insuperable Tedium—
majestic in the immense lack of promise
erotic in the lack of imagination
distracting in their desire to meld
beginning and end like the clock stuck at noon
on the white walls white walls
unchanging as the voice of instructional films
somnolent in its effort to interest us
in something else
continual as the ringing of telephones
flat as the plaster and concrete
and loved like the fifteen-day work week.
White walls White walls
today I found my hands colliding.
Today I wondered
What am I applauding?
White walls White walls
When does the color come?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Wire Reports

--for Godfrey Reggio and John Donne

6 a.m.
 
I was standing on the first tee at the KGA Golf Club in downtown Bangalore, in southern India, when my playing partner pointed at two shiny glass-and-steel buildings off in the distance, just behind the first green.


On a giant video screen, Nature imagery, manipulated in slow motion, double exposure or time lapse, juxtaposed with footage of humans' devastating environmental impact on the planet. A storm system was sitting out over the ocean. Myanmar’s social welfare minister said most of the town of Bogalay had been washed away, killing more than 10,000 people. 

The world was going to hell, there was no stability in sight and the global economy was roaring its approval.


9 a.m.
 
Before long, I had gained a sense of society's plasticity, fostering an illusion that I could destroy and remake the social order at will.


On a giant video screen, people were dancing in a cesspool around rings of fire engulfing the remains of corporate profiteers. “These are unbelievable periods of volatility, it's pretty stressful," said one corporate bond trader in Frankfurt. “There’s a black cloud of doom that seems to hang over the entire cast,” said an actress who worked on the film.

 
All around could be felt the disintegration of being that comes with the night. The static became audibly more noticeable than the music.


10 a.m.
 
Young Ukrainian models in flimsy lingerie sprayed champagne at a boisterous crowd of young Lebanese at a swanky beach resort south of Beirut. The United Nations warned of a looming catastrophe with disease rife among the hungry, exhausted population.

 

I can tell you without hesitation that the winds of change are sweeping across the continent of Africa,” said a government official who requested anonymity. “It’s good for the state, which has been concerned that there hasn’t been enough rain this season,” said one governor’s aide. 

The storm system, four times the size of Texas, resembled a hurricane, with spiral water-ice clouds and an eye. It lashed ancient Mayan ruins and headed for the modern oil installations of the Yucatan Peninsula.


2 p.m.

It became clear that the government was in trouble. I began to transmit digital images and text via my satellite phone. I told my accountant "Every gear in the system is grinding against the popular will, subverting the democratic mojo that we tell the rest of the world bleeds from our veins.” 




A small crowd cheered outside a stadium dazzlingly created in polygons with every event preceded by sweeping camera angles, and replays shown live on a giant video screen. At a quick glance, I thought I saw myself on a magazine cover. Fossilized into the screen, the terraced images of breast and buttock had ceased to carry any meaning.


I feel like a millionaire,” said one prizewinner showing a huge set of emeralds and diamonds, “but I never realized it would be so heavy.” Antelopes suffering from summer’s savage heat raced with parched throats toward the distant sky. Al-Jazeera television also showed it at that time, saying it was exclusive.


5 p.m.
 
All the rules created license to go to far greater extremes than had ever been allowed before. Every spigot was open and every indulgence slopped out for our gleeful wallowing. “Be collected. No more amazement,” I whispered, but the storm system continued to inch closer and closer.


Poll numbers started plummeting because of the violence, because of the missteps and trouble and challenges. The storm system was blamed for some six deaths in the Philippines as it crossed the island. Dozens of reporters fled or abandoned their work due to a climate of fear. Colors pulsed, the music pounded and images of majesty and beauty swirled across the screen at a whirlwind pace. An old woman said “Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.” 

11 p.m.
 
The descent beckons as the ascent beckoned. The yachts moored in the Bay of Naples and the lagoon at Bora Bora sail under the flags of the same admiralty that posts squadrons off the shore of Nantucket and the Costa Brava

Looking up I saw myself on a giant video screen. 


In the grotesque, grinning photographs I clearly seemed to believe that what I was doing was routine and approved. The shadows of clouds were moving darkly along the unlit landscape. 

The world was going to hell, there was no stability in sight and the global economy was roaring its approval on a giant video screen. 

I returned to my hotel at midnight only to be told to leave again as waters were rising.




-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sources

1. Thomas Friedman, The World is Flat, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, New York, 2005.
1. Generic and allmovie.com. Koyaanisqatsi
2. Generic
3. Unknown, Myanmar cyclone official toll: 22,464, UPI, http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Top_News/2008/05/06/myanmar_cyclone_official_toll_22464/1873/
4. Naomi Klein, “Disaster Capitalism,” Harper’s,

1. Alfred McCoy, A Question of Torture, Metropolitan Books, New York, 2006, p 84.
2.“Greedtock ’99: Why we Rioted” http://www.geocities.com/fallenempire2000/lastword/woodstock.html
3. qu. by Jeremy Gaunt, Credit casualties mount global stocks tumble, Wed Aug 1, 2007, http://www.reuters.com/article/hotStocksNews/idUSSP1689520070801
4. http://www.poltergeistiii.com/more.html
5. Witold Gombrowicz, Pornografia, Alastair Hamilton, tr., p. 48.
6. Rob Williams, techgage.com/article/altec_lansing_ahp612_wireless_headphones

1. Yara Bayoumy, Beach frolics eclipse politics in war weary Lebanon, http://www.reuters.com/article/inDepthNews/idUSL2155053720070821
2. . Sahal Abdulle, “Somali Government, Insurgents Battle,” 4/24/07 http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSL2457955920070424
3. Kenneth Kaunda, qu. By DeWayne Wickham, “Winds of change are sweeping across Africa,” USA Today, 10/27/2003, http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/columnist/wickham/2003-10-27-wickham_x.htm
and
Larry Jagan, Intrigue and illness in Myanmar's junta
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_Asia/JB26Ae01.html
4. Marisa Lagos, John Koopman, More Rain and Snow on Way, http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/01/25/MNC3UL6IL.DTL
5. Henry Fountain, Observatory, http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B06E1DF1231F936A15756C0A96F958260
6. Associated Press, Category 5 Hurricane Dean Slams Mexico, 8/21/2007

1. Dr. Ellis, http://allafrica.com/stories/200801180076.html
2. Generic and Farhad Manjoo, “Your Presidential Candidate: Hot or Not?” http://www.salon.com/books/review/2008/02/12/gaming_vote/
3. http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=7752
4. Mad Bull, “Dis ones for the ladeez” http://www.madbull4.net/weblog/archives/2004_01.html
5. . J.G. Ballard, The atrocity exhibition
6. Adapted from Khin Nyein Aye Than, A Night Sparkling with Jewels and Candlelight. http://www.myanmar.gov.mm/myanmartimes/no260/MyanmarTimes13-260/t013.htm
7. Kalidasa, “Rtusamharam,” The Complete Works of Kalidasa, Chandra Rajan tr. Sahitya Akademi, p. 79
8. Associated Press, “Iraqis seek source of taunts, hanging video,” Baltimore Sun, 1/3/07, 8A

1. Philip Gourevitch, U.S. News and World Report, in an interview with Alex Kingsbury, 6/9/08
2. Thomas Frank. Why Misgovernment Was No Accident in Bush’s Washington, http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080818/frank2
3. Shakespeare, The Tempest
4. Adapted from www.stormchaoswx.com/wordpress/?p=311.
5. Ed Henry, CNN Sunday Morning, May 21, 2006.
6. http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hurricanes/archives/2006/h2006_Prapiroon.html
7. http://www.siliconeer.com/past_issues/2007/siliconeer_september_2007.html
8. Peter M. Bracke, “Across the Universe,” http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/1263/across%20the%20universe.html
9. Adapted from a Nightline interview w/ anonymous hurricane survivor

1.William Carlos Williams
2. Lewis Lapham, Estate Sale, Harper’s May 2008
3. Generic
4. Andrew Sullivan “The Horrors really are your America, Mr. Bush” http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,29449-2209636,00.html
5. Greg Holt, “Sitting Bull Falls,” http://www.southernnewmexico.com/articles/29/1/Sitting-Bull-Falls---Shadows-of-Clouds-across-the-Desert/Page1.html
6. www.unicef.org/india/wes_492.htm

120 Days of Enron

i.

I was sodomizing my accountant on a high school football field when Sade showed up,
bloated like a tick, face blacker than a tree trunk in the March haze. A sable braid uncoiled like a python down his back—unslung as my mistress’ thorns abandoned
her whip-tattered blouse now blowing from the field goal post. “Come,” he said.
“The governor’s been forced to fellate a hundred thousand microphones.” I think he smiled
and broke his cheekbones doing so.

ii.

Ten thousand blondes from USC now tremor in mystery as the palm trees of L.A. deflect the moon’s sole light. San Diego es en fuego, I heard one of my colleagues say,
which meant the night had withered immigrants, sifted artists through a dungeon of unemployment and Marlboro Lights, sweating with killers they loved! How hot the HVAC people must have got
trying to make up our megawatts! Heat strokes maybe, who gasped their last as doctors cursed, through surgical masks, the hospital, powerless and wild; all at the moment I blew their life savings on paintings by Kinkade and a yacht I named The Christ Child! To bloodsuckers! To public calamities! There’s no statue we can’t mold back into clay with a smooth enough hand.
And fuck it if there is. I don’t really give a fuck

if the stars leave fingerprints that point to me at midnight. Do you see any child occlude the path to where our centaur fucks his foals? Clinton—that letch—thought he could make us stop.
(Careful asshole!
That pelt you’re sitting on is the last ocelot!
)
I guess not every man’s a tyrant when he fornicates,
but once men of god taste our unicorn, a trillion dollars a pound,
our finest vintage from the gulf is sure to wash their questions down. Anyway, you can sue the fucking government. Let the smoke and locusts blow.

i.

A halogen full moon left a rainbow in the jet fuel as we left, heads high as the stealth fighter blows
through castle gates of the cumulonimbus, our finest dominatrix.
But it was on private planes we toasted as the governor went down into the sewer. I landed home in time to undress my daughter on a bearskin rug. Sade watched us from the sofa, made small talk about revolution—
then snuck up behind me and turned me so my asshole gaped! I shouted:

“You can’t do this to me. What is this, some fucking third world country?”
“No, no,” he said.
“It’s simple choreography.”

Union of the State

I can’t pretend I’m a small man
to those who would apologize
for earthquakes if it happened.
Big wheels keep on turning but
mad scrambles often end the same as well-planned plans.
How many roundups began as stampedes?
Each day something new wrong swamps me
like I or you could know how deep this step or that—
even the CIA just guesses sometimes. Let me reparaphrase that.
If you show me 30 shades of black and ask
which one’s jet, it’s a designer, not a man you want.
Only the Lord has vision that precise
and He’s mysterious.
On reverses of your weather page each day,
amid the threats in editorials
some genius reasons insights
that await a reasoned world. See how they tempt you
with knowing things that hurt to know
but no matter how hard you understand it
it doesn’t make sense? These facts create a thirst
you can never get enough of, turn you inside out,
then leave you with the spins.
So I am going beyond the box, clearing the brush,
leaving no fuel for the fires by mulching it,
because those who don’t know history are immune to it,
think big-like, charging all manner of mire, unafraid to assume
the gators won’t get us this time.
We have to outbrain them like that.
If missing arms slip through your hands
point out the world is one brute safer than before,
and if that fails, then liberation is a noble chore
even if it must be spread with a sortie. Or maybe a
gentler hand to a merer tyranny.
I appreciate that this seems contradictory
but freedom is a hungry animal sometimes than others.
And at the end of this mission I’ll be planting the seeds of a fire
that will engulf those who lack that fire—
fighting for neighbors, doing good for Man,
bevisioning nations out of the blue.
See, that’s how you run a company. I mean democracy
is hard work; keeping people equally unhappy
takes leadership skills, management principles
and leadership—the brain to trust that those who failed
will do a heck of a job some day. See,
I am someone others are against because I am for something
and that is why I stand for what matters. It’s the opposite of bad
to take things as they come.
One false step is better than standing still,
afraid there’s no move true enough
to only wound the hand that hurts you.
It’s a war. Expect a mess.
But you conquer the devil by making fire a virtue.
There’s light at the end of the train
and we’re gonna scale that train.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Powell

One morning one summit and a nominal peace
was reached under date trees and morning heat,
men with perfect teeth and men without,
three hundred bright flags sulking like tears.
You learn to bake slowly on royal clay courts,
praising a war you tried to avoid—
call it the beginning of a childhood dream—
because the future needs more optimists prepared to lie
than resignations signed by those
afraid of being labeled hypocrites.
But jumping one rock for another
in a flood you tried to dam
still will muddy you.
So you find the best positions slip away,
even if your footing is secure.
Since you know how vision blurs before a brawl
you will rein in a slow consideration of the facts,
aware that it’s been tempered with everyone’s worst fears
to prop a truth already chosen by their clocks.
To keep the world from thinking
it’s the kingdom of our corporate knights,
devising plans to slay the golden dragons alone
you must refresh old friendships,
risking applause if you succeed,
or absolution for your efforts if you fail.
Either way you can be framed an opportunist—
speculating on the world’s opinion—
by hawks who don’t know why
a man with nothing more to gain
hinges their invasion on permission from the powerless.
And you must volunteer to save them!
An equally deluded world awaits your counsel
with reservations in all that you propose:
Not that you’ll have more than circumstantial tapes
and fuzzy photographs to show.
And no matter how sincere your speech
the circumvention will make it sound so glib
that when opposition comes, it’s sympathetic to your cause,
but amused to watch you twisting in the wind.
So thanked and scolded and squeezed between philosophies
you’ll go back to the capital to pay
for fashioning the truth from things that seemed true yesterday.
By then your life may seem to be careering—
one long Mercedes ride on an unpaved road,
down which you disappear from history’s bad dreams
as your favors fade to crimes.
just hope one day your words taste better
than what’s become of mine.

Critical Thinking

I.

The aerial photo lay on the table like a deceased dinosaur thrown out of its habitat by some primary force.

I listened to the last bars of the Mahler symphony playing from a radiogram extension in the warm bedroom.

I had locked myself into a golden prison that only postponed the day of reckoning.

The violence resumed despite a four-day Muslim holiday.

A pregnant woman died in a house made of iron sheets after a mortar hit where she was sleeping. Broken limbs, broken jaws, a body raked from end to end, lungs pierced through and through, entrails torn and protruding.

Television pictures of the latest carnage were soon being beamed into living rooms around the world.

There was blood everywhere. There were pieces of flesh floating in the air.

I called my commander. He is an emissary of pity, and science, and progress, and devil knows what else. He said Whatever the company might lack in scale and scope, it has gained in speed and timing. Instead of issuing constant warnings, we must project stoicism and resolve.

But the violence continued despite a four-day Muslim holiday.

I often found dozens of corpses a night dumped in the capital, many of them tortured by Shiite death squads using power tools.


Debris and clothing mannequins would be scattered in thick pools of blood on the floors of warehouse-type buildings while men tossed plastic chairs onto piles.

On television, violent scenes would air continuously, the most brutal often repeated with the most frequency.

Like the old god Proteus, they were endless in the forms they took and filled with the information of realized Nature.

There was blood everywhere. There were pieces of flesh floating in the air.

I called my commander. He had synthesized the behavioral research done by contract academics in a manual spelling out a revolutionary two-phase form of torture that relied on sensory deprivation and self-inflicted pain. I said We're turning craters into bigger craters and rubble into smaller pieces of rubble. He said
If we apply critical thinking, we may have a chance of formalizing the subversive.

But the violence continued despite a four-day Muslim holiday.

Before long, militants were taking positions in almost every building--they had positions in the basement, on the stairs.


Gunmen popped up on rooftops and in alleys, engaging us in crackling gunfights shouting Our warband is invincible. We may chatter like barbarians, but at sunrise our horses will drink blood and the vultures will eat flesh.

Once a car bomb exploded, killing at least 28 people with a blast that touched off raging fires and a blizzard of bloodstained paper from a popular book market.

But now it was a slaughterhouse, only instead of cattle, all around were human bodies. On this side complete bodies, on that side halves; and everywhere body parts.

The charred body of a child lay motionless on a stretcher. A river of blood oozed from beneath another's long tangled hair.

There were pieces of flesh floating in the air.

I called my commander. He said The score is 60-0, but we don't know what quarter we're in. I said Both sides accuse each other of violations. He shouted angrily We already had our Vietnam!


Sometimes I wonder how I will feel when I see self-centered and soft Americans instead of the hardened, swaggering Marines who ask for nothing more than a chance to kill some bad guys and make a difference.


But why rack your brain when it's going to be plastered over a tree trunk at any second?


--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sources

1. Shimon Naveh, “Between the Striated and the Smooth,” Cabinet, Summer 2006.
2. J.G. Ballard, The Atrocity Exhibition, ReSearch, San Francisco, 1990.
3. Peter Bernstein, The Power of Gold, John Wiley & Sons, New York, 2000.
4. Associated Press, “Violence Resumes in Gaza as Rivals Clash,” Baltimore Sun, 1/2/07, 7A

1. Guled Mohamed and Sahal Abdulle, “Mortar blasts rock Mogadishu,” http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSL2041716620070220
2. Winston Churchill, My African Journey, Easton Press, Norwalk, 1992.
3. Philip Stevens, Tony Blair, Viking, New York, 2004.
4. Guled Mohamed and Sahal Abdulle. Ibid
5.Witness, “Suicide Bomber Kills 3 MPs at Iraq Parliament,” http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSPAR34073020070412?src=041207_1030_TOPSTORY_iraq_parliament_blast&pageNumber=3

1. Generic
2. Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, The Easton Press, Norwalk, 1980, p. 36.
3. Dan Steinbock, The Nokia Revolution, Amacom, New York, 2001, p. 127.
4. Brian Michael Jenkins, “Unconquerable Nation,” Rand Corporation, Santa Monica. 2006.

1. Ibid

1. Jason, “Update from Ramadi,” 4/24/07, http://iraqnow.blogspot.com/2007_04_01_archive.html
2. Bushra Juhi, “Bombs Strike Baghdad Markets, Kill at Least 71,” Associated Press, 2/12/2007
3. Rachel Bronson, Thicker Than Oil, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2006, p. 234.
4. Edward Wilson, The Diversity of Life, Norton, New York, 1999, p. 80.
5. Ibid
6. Ibid

1. Generic
2. Alfred McCoy, A Question of Torture, Metropolitan Books, New York, 2006, p. 50.
3. General Charles Guthrie, qu. by Philip Stevens, Tony Blair, Viking, New York, 2004, p. 164.
4. Shimon Naveh, ibid

1. Ibid

1. Major-General Waheed Arshad, qu. by Zeeshan Haider, “Pakistani Troops Storm Mosque,” 7/10/2007, http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSISL18833720070710?src=071007_0830_DOUBLEFEATURE_troops_storm_mosque
2. Alexandra Zavis and Julian Barnes, “U.S. launches Iraq offensive,” Baltimore Sun 6/20/07
3-4. Bugul, quoted by Lidwien Kapteijns, Mahdist Faith and Sudanist Tradition, KPI Ltd., London, 1985, p. 179.
5. Lauren Frayer, “Car Bomb Kills 28 at Baghdad Market,” http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/03/05/ap/world/mainD8NM35PO0.shtml
6-7. unknown Iraqi woman, qu. by Mark Danner, “Words in a Time of War,” http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2007/06/01/rhetoric/index.html
8. unknown “37 Die as Car Bomb Hits Near Iraq Shrine,” http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2007-04-14-iraq-bomb_N.htm?csp=34
9. Tina Susman, “Fallout from Girl's Stoning Embodies Iraq’s Discord” May 21, 2007, LATimes.com
10. Ibid.

1.Generic
2. General Charles Horner, qu. by Time-Life Books, Air Strike, Alexandria, VA
3. Skye Wheeler, “Uganda rebels to return to talks mediator,” http://www.reuters.com/article/homepageCrisis/idUSL20462271._CH_.2400
4. Harry Kleiner, Sheldon Lettich, & Sylvester Stallone, Rambo III, Tri Star Pictures

1. Chris Lozano, “The Last Quarter,” http://amarinestory.blogspot.com/2007/01/last-quarter.html

1. Tom Hart Dyke and Paul Winder, The Cloud Garden, Lyons Press, Guilford, CT, 2003.