Thursday, February 19, 2009

Further adventures in Quantum Poetics.

it was unsaid, walking into the cave

pale, skinny chest puffed out, regulated.

not here not here in the rat's lair the sound

of dripping water upon ear, Antigone's

dried bones rattling in the dark. A quorum,

sharp teeth sunk in wet loins while the shadows\

look on, an aperitif of flesh, lustrous

in gloom. Those skulls were heroes once, maidens

with soft breasts, old men with bent canes, crones. Chill

between slick thighs will be licked off, back pressed

against wall knees high, rain is only a note

in the song; brittle limbs broken in time

the incessant drip the sun that neither

rises nor falls in eyes that are not here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

On the Nature Of Certainty

In this very uncertain world, there are an awful of people who are certain of things. This is that, or that is this, or this is diametrically opposed to that. Despite all we know, we really know very little. How to put our pants on maybe. Friend of mine once related a tale to me: seems he was an artillery man in Nam, and he was sleeping one night when his base came under attack--he allowed that he was fully dressed and on his way to his post ten seconds after the first shell hit, never asked him if he tied his boots, passed on now, shoddy work of the VA carried him away--yeh, but in times of stress I guess we know how to put on our pants.

We are entering a brave new world; how may we certain that this theory is any better than the one it debunks? How long will it be before the parameters change; the stars shift?

No, it doesn't matter what theory, we have theories for everything--the computers leave us with a range of probabilities and we just rearrange the facts to fit the current condition, or at least as many of the facts as we can fit into an incomplete and fragmentary picture.--watching the detectives, they often say, "it's all we got to go on--sanitized for public viewing they never smoke anymore--another subtle hint for acceptable behavior, another subject--

One recalls reading the Foundation trilogy--Hari Selden's invention of Psychohistory, and the second Foundation's refinement of the data over a millennium--the project's purpose, of course, was to predict the the future history of the Galactic Empire through the movement of a vast number of people. Even so, the data was incomplete, errors could occur...

Our confrontation today, well, at least mine--is with Economics, Politics & Art, specifically poetry; and I for one, know so little about them that it would be best if I just crawled back in the cave and pulled the bearskin over my head. I should note here, that it would have been my step-dad that killed that bear, if I were confronted by such a fearsome beast, I fear the outcome would be somewhat different.

Through the good graces of our various magic boxes we are indeed bombarded each day with certainties,--yet those same certainties have led us to the brink of Armageddon rather than the steps to the gates of Eden. Something has gone awry. It would seem the experts know more than they are telling us, or they know very little at all.

"No, that's not what I meant at all, I was not sure of things, and really, it just seemed to be that be that way, at the time."

When I was a boy, over in Dogtown, I'd go up to old Earl's and listen to the old men sitting around the Burnside, spitting, telling lies and cussing the politicians. They'd all been union men, democrats and John L. Lewis was a god--one of Grandpa's favorite stories was the time he'd met John L. up in Brownton when the union was first getting going, "shook his hand," he'd always say. They was certain of God, though they weren't very good Christians, certain of the union, punching the chicken on the ballot, and damned certain every politician that had ever been born was going to pick your pocket. Back then, having only one tv channel, and having Uncle Pete as both news anchor and kiddie show host wasn't quite enough to affect the way you behaved; so I hung out with them old guys and probably learned a lot of things I shouldn't have. I suppose, through everything because of that, I have a few certainties of my own deep down inside, one's you might say as I keep for my own.

"There's nothing better that 250 mics of good acid to kick start the cosmic coonhunt for Enlightenment. It takes juice. After all sonny boy, you don't knock down stars with a bee bee gun."
-- Mad Dog Howard, Hippie Doper/Philosopher

Yeh, all that was later on, something about it--where you came to a rockhard place that you knew you were going to and the Great Game was laid bare. Kinda pointless here, to try and illuminate the motel rooms, the neon, the flimsy walls and the animals--but it was what it was at the time: The whole damn world as a charnel house; everything bleeding & breeding and dying--ancient visions now, and prophesies that saw way down deep at the seams of things. I looked at the Nature of things and who we are, and was amazed at the veneer which we use to cover it up. That is another certainty which came along; I suppose if I could translate it, it might be helpful, but I reckon that particular certainty can't be taught or bought or stole.

It was round about that time, I decided I was going to be a poet--Dave's fault really, he wrote about the wheel of life in a little poem, and I was astounded, got lost in a fever from which I have never escaped, and have been lost in the uncertainty of certainty ever since. Damndest thing about it is, you have to learn all this stuff, (damn near everything) just so you can write about that which you cannot know; and that's the easy part. Damn silly thing to want to be in the first place--quite vogue these days; the net is crawling with "poets". There are some commitments you can't escape, yet all the wanting in the world won't make you what you want to be; that may or may not come along after you are gone, and by then I don't suppose it will matter much, now will it. Turns out, I was never much good at making a living anyways so it was just as well I wrote things down. Point is--I was certain that is what I wanted to be, since nothing else made any sense; everything I learned from that point on had no practical purpose, it was simply grist for the mill, stuff to be sifted through for the next poem.

Whatever other certainties I acquired, I applied to that. Studied philosophy from Thales to Sartre, dumped most because the next one proved the last one wrong, History from the Nile Valley to the second world war, literature from Homer to Ginsburg. Came away from that with a few things--Birth death rebirth, the absurd, and the dialectic--which seemed reasonable to me. I rejected the formal, preferring instead to see in each finished poem a form. To me the formal structures lacked weight, they determined, not allowed. (many consider a mastery of the forms as liberating, but that is not my view.)At any rate, I determined that I would find my own way through the maze; and that is not so easy as it sounds; everything you read sends you to the next one you will read and certainty about anything retreats ever further away.--Nowadays, and I suppose it was always true, though I cannot be certain of this--most folks will have you do something in one particular fashion; because it is their way, and therefore it is the correct way. Put the square a sixteenth of an inch longer than it should be, and maybe it will come out right, whatever it is, it's a feel for the the thing that matters and that's something you can't be certain of no matter how sure you are that you got it right.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Case for a Fascist society

It seems to me a natural outgrowth of declining Imperium. A loss of control sociologically combined with the most powerful armed force ever known on the planet, and an economy on the verge of complete collapse--makes for a compelling scenario...

We note some differences in the modern Fascism of the Repukes and Neo-Cons--

The first is the largely Jewish makeup of the shadow leadership of the movement: although I am perplexed over whether that has any material relationship to the actual events which seem to be transpiring. Guess that will have to be left to the more paranoid of the conspiracy theorists; they could just as well be Baptists, Presbyterians--more about preserving an aggressive foothold in the Middle East than any thing else, I suppose.

The second is "the use of "champions of law, order, Christian morality, and the sanctity of private property" as ploys rather than principles--as a means to power, propaganda to advance the merger of economics & politics.

the third and most important point where they diverge is in the emergence of "The Leader" principle, until that transpires, that is, until they find a Charismatic leader they cannot move forward. Everything in the Fascist State must revolve around a leader, Fascism cannot function by committee.


"Forerunners of fascism, such as Georges Boulanger in France and Adolf Stöker and Karl Lueger in Germany and Austria, in their efforts to gain political power played on people's fears of revolution with its subsequent chaos, anarchy, and general insecurity. They appealed to nationalist sentiments and prejudices, exploited anti-Semitism, and portrayed themselves as champions of law, order, Christian morality, and the sanctity of private property."

"The greatest principle of all is that nobody, whether male or female, should be without a leader. Nor should the mind of anybody be habituated to letting him do anything at all of his own initiative; neither out of zeal, nor even playfully. But in war and in the midst of peace - to his leader he shall direct his eye and follow him faithfully. And even in the smallest matter he should stand under leadership. For example, he should get up, or move, or wash, or take his meals . . only if he has been told to do so, by long habit, never to dream of acting independently, and to become utterly incapable of it."

-Karl R. Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies, Vol I The Spell of Plato, London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1969, p. 7

* "The Cult of Tradition", combining cultural syncretism with a rejection of modernism (often disguised as a rejection of capitalism).
* "The Cult of Action for Action's Sake", which dictates that action is of value in itself, and should be taken without intellectual reflection. This, says Eco, is connected with anti-intellectualism and irrationalism, and often manifests in attacks on modern culture and science.
* "Disagreement is Treason" - fascism devalues intellectual discourse and critical reasoning as barriers to action.
* "Fear of Difference", which fascism seeks to exploit and exacerbate, often in the form of racism or an appeal against foreigners and immigrants.
* "Appeal to a Frustrated Middle Class", fearing economic pressure from the demands and aspirations of lower social groups.
* "Obsession With a plot" and the hyping-up of an enemy threat. This often involves an appeal to xenophobia or the identification of an internal security threat. He cites Pat Robertson's book The New World Order as a prominent example of a plot obsession.
* "Pacifism is Trafficking With the Enemy" because "Life is Permanent Warfare" - there must always be an enemy to fight.
* "Contempt for the Weak" - although a fascist society is elitist, everybody in the society is educated to become a hero.
* "Selective Populism" - the People have a common will, which is not delegated but interpreted by a leader. This may involve doubt being cast upon a democratic institution, because "it no longer represents the Voice of the People".
* "Newspeak" - fascism employs and promotes an impoverished vocabulary in order to limit critical reasoning.

Umberto Eco; Essay, "Eternal fascism;" 1995

Thus, the Communist Third International published the following definition:
“ Fascism in power is the open, terroristic dictatorship of the most reactionary, the most chauvinistic, the most imperialistic elements of finance capitalism.

The historic function of fascism is to smash the working class, destroy its organizations, and stifle political liberties when the capitalists find themselves unable to govern and dominate with the help of democratic machinery. ”

— Leon Trotsky, Fascism: What it is and how to fight it

1. Right Wing: Fascists are fervently against: Marxism, Socialism, Anarchism, Communism, Environmentalism; etc – in essence, they are against the progressive left in total, including moderate lefts (social democrats, etc). Fascism is an extreme right wing ideology, though it can be opportunistic.
2. Nationalism: Fascism places a very strong emphasis on patriotism and nationalism. Criticism of the nation's main ideals, especially war, is lambasted as unpatriotic at best, and treason at worst. State propaganda consistently broadcasts threats of attack, while justifying pre-emptive war. Fascism invariably seeks to instill in its people the warrior mentality: to always be vigilant, wary of strangers and suspicious of foreigners.
3. Hierarchy: Fascist society is ruled by a righteous leader, who is supported by an elite secret vanguard of capitalists. Hierarchy is prevalent throughout all aspects of society – every street, every workplace, every school, will have its local Hitler, part police-informer, part bureaucrat – and society is prepared for war at all times. The absolute power of the social hierarchy prevails over everything, and thus a totalitarian society is formed. Representative government is acceptable only if it can be controlled and regulated, direct democracy (e.g. Communism) is the greatest of all crimes. Any who oppose the social hierarchy of fascism will be imprisoned or executed.
4. Anti-equality: Fascism loathes the principles of economic equality and disdains equality between immigrant and citizen. Some forms of fascism extend the fight against equality into other areas: gender, sexual, minority or religious rights, for example.
5. Religious: Fascism contains a strong amount of reactionary religious beliefs, harking back to times when religion was strict, potent, and pure. Nearly all Fascist societies are Christian, and are supported by Catholic and Protestant churches.
6. Capitalist: Fascism does not require revolution to exist in capitalist society: fascists can be elected into office (though their disdain for elections usually means manipulation of the electoral system). They view parliamentary and congressional systems of government to be inefficient and weak, and will do their best to minimize its power over their policy agenda. Fascism exhibits the worst kind of capitalism where corporate power is absolute, and all vestiges of workers' rights are destroyed.
7. War: Fascism is capitalism at the stage of impotent imperialism. War can create markets that would not otherwise exist by wreaking massive devastation on a society, which then requires reconstruction! Fascism can thus "liberate" the survivors, provide huge loans to that society so fascist corporations can begin the process of rebuilding.
8. Voluntarist Ideology: Fascism adopts a certain kind of “voluntarism;” they believe that an act of will, if sufficiently powerful, can make something true. Thus all sorts of ideas about racial inferiority, historical destiny, even physical science, are supported by means of violence, in the belief that they can be made true. It is this sense that Fascism is subjectivist.
9. Anti-Modern: Fascism loathes all kinds of modernism, especially creativity in the arts, whether acting as a mirror for life (where it does not conform to the Fascist ideal), or expressing deviant or innovative points of view. Fascism invariably burns books and victimizes artists, and artists which do not promote the fascists ideals are seen as “decadent.” Fascism is hostile to broad learning and interest in other cultures, since such pursuits threaten the dominance of fascist myths. The peddling of conspiracy theories is usually substituted for the objective study of history.[24]

---Fascism entry in the Encyclopedia of Marxism

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


One looks at our modern world askance--

We can no longer look ahead with any confidence; the forces of freedom and equality have both failed primarily it would seem because of the economic strain which permeates both of them. Alas, Man must have commerce--he must work. At this point in time the world becomes a factory, nothing more than a repository of raw material that sustains our activity. Whatever else may be said of it, this world is finite: much of what sustains us has already been ripped from her bowels. Progress is still viable, but the idea of growth is a noose around our necks.

Fostered by the economic elitist who finds significance only in acquisition this pernicious doctrine of growth has led us to a cul-de-sac from which our whole civilization must be rethought. Profit can no longer be the primary motive; the illusion of "ownership" must be set aside. It must be recognized that greed wherever opportunity exists is the primary motivation in the way our society is structured today.

We are caught between the individual and collectivism, and on both ends of the spectrum the dialectic seems to be the rise of the corporate state; that is, the economic and political spheres are combined into one entity. What sort of tyranny we may expect from this development remains to be seen, though the oppression of the many by the few is a likely outgrowth, given our history.--As an aside, one might note that oppression need not be belligerent, a seemingly benign one works just as well and is even more insidious, leading as it does to a content populace which resists change, until the dominant minority oversteps its bounds, and even then years of inertia hampers any sort of rapid response--

What rises in reaction to the emergence of The Corporate State, which given our History must arise? The union is outlawed, at best under constant attack, and discredited; its members portrayed as reactionary--disloyal to the good of the company; religion is displaced as the dispenser of the Good, all sustenance resides in the generosity of the company, good behavior i.e. obedience, is rewarded by the company, and bad behavior casts one into the darkness of unperson--

What then arises to oppose this conglomerate incipient world state?

It may take various ideological stances depending upon its local necessities, indeed it may not have any clear cut ideology, it exists to oppose--the local papers define it as "terrorism"--tho its practitioners may view themselves differently, ranging from revolutionary to holy warrior to freedom fighter. Depends upon your point of view I suppose; or who signs your paycheck if at this point in time that can be distinguished. Either way, as Orwell pointed out, the State must have an enemy to distract internal dissent.

As I began so I must conclude, askance--

For the "Terrorist" to be effective he must be armed, to be armed he must wield the fruits of the corporate state, that is to say he must be supplied by his enemy. Victory is not the goal, conflict is. Only through conflict can the dialectic be held in stasis, the ideological underpinnings of the corporate state will not stand scrutiny since that basis is only the perpetuation of a dominant minority which has endured since the dawn of the neolithic age.

How do we define madness, and who is it exactly who is mad?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Birth, Death and Rebirth

Still, no matter what Obama does, even in making the finest of choices, somebody’s ox is going to be gored. Especially in a country whose economy and sense of identity is driven by a ridiculous infantile and pointless lifestyle of gadgets,20fads and flatulence. In other words, somebody is not going to get their goddamned pony for Christmas and be pissed as hell. Which makes them prime fodder for demagogues and profiteering corporate sharks.---Joe Baigent

"Goethe(who, With Nietzsche, was Spenglers leading inspiration, as he was also Thomas Mann's) in a brief study called "Epochs of the Spirit" had outlined, already at the opening of the nineteenth century (1817), a sequence of four stages normal to all culture cycles, whether of mankind in general, a civilization, or a nation, which he then summarized in the following diagram:


I Poetry folk Belief Hearty Imagination

II Theology Idealizing Holy Reason

III Philosophy Clarifying Wise Understanding

IV Prose Dissolution Vulgar Sensuality
in Banality

On the 4th Epoch--

This epoch cannot last long. Human need, aggravated by the course of history, leaps backward over intelligent leadership, confuses priestly, folk, and primitive beliefs, grabs now here, now there, at traditions, submerges itself in mysteries, sets fairy tales in the place of poetry, and elevates these to articles of belief. Instead of intelligently instructing and quietly influencing, people now strew seeds and weeds together indiscriminately on all sides; no central point is offered anymore on which to concentrate, but every odd individual steps forward as leader and teacher, and gives forth his perfect folly as a perfected whole.

And so, the force of every mystery is undone, the peoples religion itself is profaned; distinctions that formerly grew from each other in natural development now work against each other as contradictory elements, and thus we have the Tohu-wa-Bohu chaos again: but not the first, gravid, fruitful one, rather, a dying one running to decay, from which not even the spirit of God could create for itself a worthy world.
--Campbell, Creative Mythology, pp. 378-379


Goethe, in "Geistes-Epochen," Sammatliche Werke (1853), Vol 3, pp.327-330
Thomas Mann, Der Zauberberg, (Berlin: S. Fischer Verlag, (1924), pp. 526-528, abridged, English transl. by H.T. Lowe-Porter, The Magic Mountain (New York, Knopf, (1927), pp. 510-511

Yes, of course, imaginative chicanery dug up from the ignorant and innocent past; then again one hopes that you are not missing the latest episode of Desperate Hosewives, or the oracle wherein the ultimate fighter is crowned again this week.--

Be content. Be happy. Despite the isolation, the loneliness and alienation which permeates everything that is touched. Be obedient to your switches and knobs, fill out your registration forms and keep a copy for yourself in the unlikely event that a record will be lost. Be diligent, work hard, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain creating the great Oz, for he is you, whitewashing the old fence over and over again. Swathed in illusion from the cradle to the grave, safe and saved by one creed or another until nothing can be discerned in the yellow fog descending.

Slowly it permeates the whole. The realization that this life you've lived is not your own, bits of it sold, some given away, some stolen, who knows? You want it back but its gone. --one narcotic or another is provided depending on the severity of the malaise, physicians clothed in gold guide you through white halls to the proper treatment areas, should your status merit such consideration, otherwise you are herded with the rest of the mob into long lines to receive injections that will render you harmless until your next premium is due.

At this point, each essential truth is examined and denied. Truth itself is pointed out as a caricature, "life is a joke, and the joke is on you;" sums up "Being and Nothingness," and the world grinds on, host to a motley crew. We founder aimlessly, pinballs bouncing between lights, moths drawn to one flame or another, leaves caught in an uncertain wind. Each succeeding anchor made of sand melts away.

Helplessly we grovel in the entrails of the machine; our hope being that the Collective Will will overcome inertia and erupt erecting barricades and smashing the shop windows once and for all dumping the manikins into the streets so that they can be burned and we can bask in the heat.--Yet the seed says, "Let me me be safe, until I am gone," then the revolution can burn the house to the ground, and the anger gnaws like the fox in a trap who leaves his paw behind to rid himself of the constriction.

Take heed of the Parthenon on the Acropolis, The Colosseum in the heart of Rome--
those who wander in our ruins will find that Myth & poetry in our accomplishments just as well, that Atlantis which rose and fell when the world was cool and abundant; that learned time when men sat about the colonnades in the evening shade and debated Birth, Death, and Rebirth but did not hear the voice inside.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Sorrowful Beings----Discussions

Neon people remove bindings
resemble shadows
bent in angles. They ask,
is gray black?

The dog brings tidings;
the vulture is left with the leavings

Babel is choked with rising smoke
a ritual of angels
music to collide between rests;
geared time fades on the parchment:
morning midday and evening,

night. Gold silver gray and black
tinted by the angel’s roving finger

Mygod is left inside insidious.
hammer falling on iron
the sculptures are deaf
prophets no longer breathe
what spins spins ever faster-

Old Scratch dazed in the field fire
gargoyle in Neon, the poet’s pen-

next or next in ash wood mixed with oil
imprint on shadows
absent of color

The first discussion--Portraits.

What if they killed everyone
than just the ones
they told you
came to steal the children
in the night,

and then he said,

each thief must earn his place at the table.
He said it twice
so it must have been important,

...even more of the drab meater
between worlds
as he was held
by another illicit lover

or how faces coalesce
when under siege;

he knew they had some left
she just hadn’t told him

how much.

The city kept exploding like a flashbulb.

First Discussion--Angels

It was not to hurt too much
to set such gravity aside,

days that pass sweetly
the old man climbing the stone step-

as yet they must be so-

the keys used for the old door
on his hips
like coins too heavy to bear.
the bells are muffled by distance;

in the parchments are words
shuffled they may become
legions, an essence of nether worlds,--

in the rafters the pigeons stare uncertainly
certain of the bond

that the old man scratches at,
the keys tossed on the old table
on which the parchments lie.

1st Discussion-Demons

It’s true,
that even in Winter, she would,
walk down the path to the garden

seeking blooms
her hands often trailing in the frost,
bits of the morning lost
I suppose,
bruised at the touch of petals.

who would fear
death by water
in this day & age
when the barks creak together
so harmoniously,


between Autumn & Spring
when fire cracks in the evening?

The spider’s web
is long abandoned
a tiny twig spins
in a cold wind.

2nd Discussion--Earth

Why does she wait?
For what?--

In Odessa by the sea
the tenements stink of urine,
The churn of the water
kisses the rock strewn shore with spray.

Churn. Why does she wait?

In Odessa by the sea
Apollo tunes his lyre,
rain & occasional sunlight,

lovers settle in the wasteland
fingers wet
with singing flesh,

the grotto moans with their weight,
from both worlds free,
enslaved to love;

Stephen says,
“this supreme quality is felt
by the artist when the esthetic quality
is first conceived in his imagination;”
picking his teeth with a wounded match

still, she will wait
bent under went sky
bruised by callous light
churned lovers
chopped off
white disarrayed
august between infinities--

too much to bear,
they say being god by turns
in Odessa as the sea churns
one less wave subtracted.

2nd Discussion--tat tvam asi
“Life, like a dome of many colored glass
stains the white radiance of Eternity”

Small twigs
like fearsome beasts
peek above the water rocking--

Beyond, the fog is a white wall,
hiding the island of Avalon,

the mountain where Dioce nestles
the long valley of Byzantium,

and more besides,

I bathe in cold water
listening for the rustle of your silks,
your hot breath

the coracle rides on gentle waves,
my pole is a twisted vine
the white wall
towers into the sky;

we may follow the shore,
knowing that it lies,
or pierce the wall
and leave such concerns behind--

all that was
fading in the wake.

2nd discussion--Theory

Herein lies the fact:
within the mime
beneath the rumble of his mind

Chaos tends her garden
just as she always has;
each bean divides half way to the end of time.

“Oh, Mother please just let me be
dangling at the end with a rope
my throat sore
the juncture of my motive
worn & cold
the wind of all this noise
passed within my years,”

“skip this blue for rose”
she says fading
sowing the beans
on the stage
where the mind finds himself

Discussion three--Texture

The matrix sags where I stand
over time I shall become lighter
sleep with Faust on the cathedral steps,
carry Isolt's veil,
climb upon the angel’s lap
steal feathers from his wings
and read him childrens tales;

Delayed us all,
this wicked gravity hung about the hall
with gaunt men watching the smoke fall;

I lean crossways writing obituaries
with a pen
my clothes are loose
like a shroud
my hands are long and pale,
the air is stale and hangs about too long,

the devils in my dreams carry nets
and scream,

I deem myself too heavy
turn sideways and slip through the cracks.
In the dust
there are papers scattered about
husks of dry thought
mutters or whispers
you decide which.

Discussion 3--Laughter.

bedlam, white foot
in yellow sandal, the sea
tangled in nets, snow
in deep valleys waits for spring.
trapped in corners
in the angles as words explode,
implode those eyes, corrode
the walls of sanctum
given over to the holy war

“I is I, mastuh” divine,
somewhere along the way
someone surely--
the crash of metal chairs
sliding across the parquet floor
an echo of loud smiles;

The Centurion wipes his grizzled beard
of stale wine in the sea of murderous glances,
“how brave this sanity” says the decorator
changing drapes yet again, glowing in starlight
as algae shrinks
on the bottom of the window sill;

what matter the shape of the mirror, Horatio,
if Alice were blind-
each copy bled to a startling paleness
blurred edges in those same angles.
Still it pushed its way through,
pitiful in its plea.

Discussion 3--Dog

In the dark, Finn
fiddles with his hard-on,
depicting shadows on membrane;
he counts cunt hairs
in preparation for eternity.

here he is sleeping, here he is,
beside me she says,
next to fresh meat and clear water,

thus that piercing cruelty
will taste sweet when he wakes
when he wakes with a dry tongue
and a bright sword
reflecting the dog star
and the emptiness between.

here is my daughter says the star
wide awake beneath the night sky
wide she is against the earth
and Finn sleeps on
his ardor creased on the edge of the sword--

The splash was ever more bold
than a nick from a boar--

the hound in the distance on a false trail
while Finn dreams the world.

The Gloved Hand---

The only card we had was our humanity. Our dedication to the rule of law, and the rights of Man.

We tossed it back into the deck, and descended to the level of our adversary. It is a War of Ideas, not casualties, not attacks and counter attacks--we were wrong from the outset, and we are still wrong today. Every action we have taken has only reinforced the position of Al Qaida in the Muslim world, unprovoked invasion, rendition, torture, the denial of basic human rights. Put yourself in the shoes of a young Muslim throwing rocks at tanks in Gaza, or Beirut, Kabul, or Bagdad--madness, an idiotic useless madness. One that will not depart soon--


The choice, he alleged, reflects a naive mindset among the new team in Washington: “The United States needs to be not so much loved as it needs to be respected. Sometimes, that requires us to take actions that generate controversy. I’m not at all sure that that’s what the Obama administration believes.”

No, we need not be loved, but respect is not gained by fear, or by ignoring our own principles. If, indeed, we have any anymore, other than our own fear, and our greed.

I would submit that our world stands upon a precipice, environmentally, economically, and sociologically. None of which will be solved by tanks, missiles, or boots on the ground. I rather doubt the leadership of Al Qaida even undertook any serious plans to attack the United States since the events of 9/11, that action itself unleashed the exact response they were looking for--the naked fist of the beast smashing everything in its path.

Like I said, we tossed the only card we had, and it read compassion.