Veal Parmesan and a Boring Poem

This evening I made veal parmesan
and wrote a boring poem.

First I defrosted the veal in a bowl of cold water.
That was after some underpaid migrant farmer
tortured some small cow by stuffing it full of food
and not letting it wander. Like Monday Night Football.
Here on ABC. Some throat cutting and eventually
a veal cutlet. And a poem. Whoops. Shit or get off
the pot indeed applies to poetry, but as an unintended norm.
Let me get to that. I then contemplated the importance of
coprophage logotypes. I mean corporate. Sorry.
I ask you, 0 sweet audience, is 7-11's logo more penetrant,
a seven like a blade, than IBM's? I mean only to suggest
every once in a while we all take a shit. So what? Why
advertise? Oh right. The poem. Shit. I mean the food. Right.

Second I pounded the veal flat, after placing it between
two sheets of wax paper. Comfortable fucking, you know the kind.
Not too hard. Don't want bruising but you want some firm slapping of
pelvis against your preference. Thud thud thud. Here on CBS. We're out
of toilet paper. Pass the New York Times. Right again. Pounding away.
The point is not to tolerate my pounding. Celebrate it with me.

Third I dredged the veal in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs.
White death and the potential for cholesterol. My HDLs and LDLs are
reasonably well-fitted to the subject of a poem, since, after all,
a poem is a pile of shit, or so the Paris Review told me once.
It whispered gently in my ear, after some hot sex followed by a good
sweaty shit. I learned about defecating from my parents. Family values
gone straight down the shitter. Here on ABC. Roll that veal, roll, roll.
And keep that cholesterol of love rolling in the hay I pray.

Fourth I heated a pan of olive oil. Extra virgin.
You thought I was going to take advantage of that moment of purity
but I keep my hands off the verdant mama. I let the migrant worker
rape her for me. My bourgeois guilt and a recyclable popsicle stick.
Give me Al Gore and a colloidal oatmeal colonic. Give me George Bush
and a planet the shape and smell of a burning pile of dough. Georgie like
cookie. Georgie eat shit and smile. He no write poem. He leave it to
stinky poo Jimmy Carter pres. Jimmy he stinko no bombo. And
drop the dead cow into the hot oil pop pow like the fourth of July with
third degree burns. Shit a poem and remember it means more. The Great Shitstorm
did not smile upon you but instead left you FOX, the Washington Post, Cisco
and the Circle K. Your friends are askew in a pile like talus, a great mountain
eroded, gone. Dead. You are now alone. They were gods and died
before they invited you into the regularly scheduled programming. The dead
are dead but somehow call you into the black. The black is not
a pile of shit or a television show, not the veal parmesan
your petty life afforded you, but instead a request. You can't hold a job and
your head is cloudy but you must make something
yes something make something that is not a pile of shit, make it with anger hope fear love
and some words. Lay off the shit the dead channel says, shake that steady diet of shit,
hopelessly wander in search of a myth called yourself.
And then let go.

Is Lester's Flogspot Included or Excluded?

Being a Nobody: Liability or Asset?

Let's see if any other blogs link to my Flogspot.

Ululate: EXCLUDED!

Elsewhere: EXCLUDED!

Lime Tree: INCLUDED!

Pantaloons: EXCLUDED!

Tijuana Bible of Poetics: INCLUDED!

Free Space Comix: EXCLUDED!

Overlap: EXCLUDED!

Silliman's Blog: INCLUDED!

Ineluctible Maps: EXCLUDED!

Jonathan Mayhew's Blog: EXCLUDED

Laurable: INCLUDED!

WinePoetics: EXCLUDED!


Equanimity: EXCLUDED!


squish: EXCLUDED!

Ptarmigan: EXCLUDED!

nether: EXCLUDED!


chaxblog: EXCLUDED!

4 out of 5 Poetry Blogs
Exclude Lester's Flogspot
From Their Link Pool!

To the 1 out of 5 dentists
who don't chew Trident
(Ron, Kasey, Laura, Heriberto)

The rest of you are blind.

Unless of course you let me join your inner blog circle.

Lester's Flogspot
Marginalized by the Self-marginalized
Since 2002

Lester's Flogspot
Losing the Literary Backscratch Game
Since 2002


A fascinating article by Irish poet Billy Mills appeared this month in the online UK journal Terrible Work.

Mills writes:

"A bald statement to begin: most contemporary poetry is predicated on a set of unsustainable anthropocentric views of the nature of the world.

"That the world exists to serve as a stage set for the enactment of human dramas. That it reflects the moods of, or evoked by, the poet. That it exists only when observed. That it exists only when written."

Mills' essay in its entirety can be read at http://terriblework.co.uk/sustainable_poetry.htm.


I'm not so sure about blowing.
I know that I want to blow.
But I always thought I wanted to
bite a garbage man, a priest, a torpedo
engineer, and a terrorist.
Well I'm not so sure I will bite a garbage man.
I wanted to bite a garbage man because
Because even though
the gutter is a Wonderful place,
the gutter is a place a Forever place.
So I've decided that I want to
just bite instead of biting a garbage man.

I fake words.
I fake reading.
I fake biting.
I fake faking stories.
I fake faking poems. Mommy is a biter.
I fake being mommy, too. It costs extra.
I can still do important things
Even if I won't bite a garbage man.
I can bite peace and love. I just
Fake biting Martin Luther King Jr. and Jesus.
I can bite and fake adventures
Fake Robert Louis Stevenson and
Fake Mary Pope Osborne and
Fake the one who did Star Wars.
I can bite and fake fantasy
And about funny rubber things and lots and
Lots of things that teach people
All kinds of stuff.
That's why I've decided that
I also bite when I blow.
Oh, and I will still bite a priest,
And a torpedo engineer,
And a terrorist, too.

In The Miseries of Poetry Mr. Kent Johnson has married his ineptitudes, having already driven his other wives from one poetic excess to another. Ms. Papaditsas has obviously abandoned the vicar for Mr. Johnson. The vicar was lacking in vehemence. Now coupled with Mr. Johnson, even in her death, Ms. Papaditsas becomes the high-priestess of a modern and ethical cult. Even now, Mr. Johnson does not believe in aesthetics. In The Miseries of Poetry there are no manners with which we may be contemporary. Because there are no manners in the manner by which me meet with humiliation.

Never before have logos, eros, Mimnermos, and stinkos ever been so intimately entwined. Was their entwinement for the sole purpose of allowing us to witness them spin together down the plughole? We bear witness. In the kosmos, is there an utter lack of krisis just as there is an utter lack of judgment in this work? Ms. Papaditsas seems to have thought so and so she whispered these words, and Mr. Johnson was apparently around to listen. Never before have I ever felt so abducted and taken against my will as I have through Mr. Johnson's traductions of Papaditsas' writing. Never before have I heard an Orphic orifice so deeply in need of a good washing. It's about time.

Dryden said, "If by traduction came thy mind,/Our wonder is the less to find/A soul so charming from a stock so good." which describes the very antithesis of the present work. Papaditsas' words hearken back to the original sense of "traduce": to humiliate. You have humiliated me, Mr. Johnson, Ms. Papaditsas, whoever you are. Now humiliate me some more. Yes, right there. Ooh, yes.

The Miseries of Poetry is perhaps the only erga that I've ever witnessed as having such a thorough lack of theoria. It forces us to face the very limits of reason and then run for the WC. Humiliate me once again, please. Force me to bear this witness. The Miseries of Poetry may be the first work of poetry I've ever encountered that will avoid any classicist accolades while wholly indulging in a classicist idiom, with Greek words and Orphic communication and rough fucking and a fascination with feces and vomit. "Not all Oracles are kind" is what my own Oracle has told me. So at least two of three Oracles agree....

There is no doubt that Alexandra Papaditsas is a poet, but she is not a poet's poet. She is no one's poet. Or maybe just a poet's poet's poet. And Mr. Johnson, I suspect, is her lyre. Play on, Mr. Johnson, remain in arms against our pathetic rage for order. In rejecting poetry, in fucking poetry spitefully and in striking poetry dead, you and Ms. Papaditsas in your consummation have consummately revived it.

(The book should be released by Skanky Possum soon.)


Welcome to the Age of American Technological Totalitarianism
Programmer Poets Welcome!


It's sunrise here in Kinshasa, home of US Covert engineering. No one here really likes Americans, even the ones sucking on coke bottle mouths like they were cocks filled with the elixir of life. They like our movie stars, though our stars are theirs too. Doesn't help an American's reputation here. But it's not personal...these folks are hospitable, friendly. Met a man who whispered in my ear. He say things like, "US paid for Rwanda-Zaire genocide in 1994 through 1996." He say, US send soldiers way back in 1991. They bring Orions and counted the gold not yet extracted. I could smell the Lumbumba airlift in his hair, as if it just happened yesterday, when he was just a young wide-eyed boy.

This country is built on gold and diamonds, but you won't find the streets of Kinshasa lined with it. The leadership still participates in its tradition of smuggling its own diamonds out of the country. Even Mobutu did it, and he nationalized the whole fucking thing (he named it Gecamines) and was reaping the proceeds anyway. But he had to smuggle from his own pot to make even more. Diamonds, gold, copper--you name it--its all here. every last bit of it. As the US prepares to scramble for the last bits of oil reserves it can justify stealing, you can feel standing here in this buzzing city, that it's only a matter of time before attentions focus once again on the "strategic minerals" that is the eastern DRC. I feel fortunate to be far away from the madness and despair of eastern Congo right now, that is for sure. there's already talk of treating Zimbabwe as another country in need of being "liberated" by the United States. Mugabe is unfortunate and horrific, yes, perhaps as bad as any other dictator. But the US might liberate them and give them what? Another dictator? Another one of these governments where the first two years is "provisional" and unelected, and then after that two year period, that country and its future democratic elections have been forgotten by the world community? Brothers and sisters....

AIDS has consumed this country perhaps far worse than even the wars of the last 6 years. you can pick a nice place here if you can actually count the bullet holes on one hand.

anyway. i'm rambling. Man, these folks sure have suffered. Me? Nahh...the munkoyo is pretty strong.

All these years of funding every side of strife..funding Mobutu, Kabila, Kabila's opposition, and so on. the more strife, the easier it is to get the diamonds. every new leader signs a new contract. and every new war supplies hungry workers (cheap labor) and hungry soldiers (cheap security, cheap smugglers). not to mention all the guns that wars sell. And genocides help depopulate, "get the natives out of the way" of the gold and diamonds and copper and col-tan and so on. gawd how could I forget Col-tan? That's the stuff the War Machine Mongers need for chips in their tax-looting Expensive Weapon Systems. 2.5 million dead in an ongoing war. Ugh.





5:30 AM

from the Imitation Poetics list...

Here Augie's poem underscores the difference between rule-based text generation and human-based text generation. While they may overlap, it seems clear that rule-based text generation is a rather boring end in and of itself while lessening the difference between people and machines. Highland who is perhaps better known as a writer of codework shows why he ain't no machine and isn't ready to become one. Here is an example of someone who not only knows but can illustrate the difference. And note he's already parodying the use of googlisms (see my "lester is"/"codework is" post from 1/11/03). Nice work Augie.


"Poets should wear masks, as Mexican wrestlers do."

- from the The Tijuana Bible of Poetics, a blog by by Heriberto Yepez.

Right on, Heriberto. Whoever you are. I love you. I want you to translate me.

Check it out at http://thetijuanabibleofpoetics.blogspot.com/.


lester is coming
lester is definitely more
lester is tackled by
lester is brave for bitsy
lester is a real
lester is on the move
lester is busy sorting out responses to the proposal of
lester is a young adult himalayan male who gets on well with other males
lester is definitely more >
lester is definitely more published on monday
lester is too stupid too stop
lester is worth a grand
lester is back
lester is a true champion and didn't offer any excuses on the day
lester is our hero
lester is in his apartment above it
lester is
lester is tired and resting
lester is passing through middle age and has become practically a zombie
lester is much more than just a dog
lester is using computer
lester is best known for his emotional style
lester is a happy
lester is the brian epstein of film
lester is net zo'n 'loser' als zijn vrouw
lester is now the chairman of I
lester is up to here
lester is living down there
lester is not teaching
lester is suffering from some unknown sort of radiation poisoning
lester is a former world champion and brings some credibility to the table
lester is transubstantiated by this book
lester is here
lester is talking to his wife
lester is a 37
lester is that singular bird's creator
lester is a big
lester is able to keep the flood of money fresh
lester is one of australia's most popular authors
lester is dying
lester is a
lester is not going to survive this film
lester is a babe in the woods
lester is looking for a few good friends for his upcoming album
lester is really gay and is having sex with his son ricky
lester is an administrator of great experience and quality
lester is seeking a researcher who knows single
lester is on its way along the coastline and there is no imminent danger of it hitting shore right now
lester is one of the deepest and clearest seers i have ever met
lester is hardly lazy when it comes to music
lester is a stallion in which top
lester is a bright
lester is happiest when sitting on your lap
lester is the big brother i never had

codework is that it breaks with hypertext strategies on all three points
codework is the worldwide sales and support operation for an award winning and powerful range of java tools
codework is in a position to provide the following tools
codework is available for the full range of activities that make a project successful
codework is that it breaks with >hypertext strategies on all three points
codework is
codework is the european support and sales operation for leading edge pc tools and utrilities for pc cloning
codework is done
codework is probably intellectually correct in having an interface which is appropriate to the job in hand
codework is created to solve a specific problem for a site that we are doing for a friend
codework is tedium
codework is said to be done by alex and tony but i suggest that we here have another intro
codework is a term for literature
codework is not a homogenous
codework is a term
codework is found
codework is stupid this way; it's nothing more than a minor art

Thanks to googlism.com.

"Frost, Corey" wrote on UBPoetics Friday 10 January:

Here's a quote from Christian Bök —author of the Oulipo-influenced Eunoia — "We may exalt the poets of the future, not because they can write great poems, but because they can program devices that can write great poems for us." (ubuweb)

I dig Bok's Eunoia myself and all, but don't you think that this is a "somewhat" naive and very American-culture-bound viewpoint? That poetry can be modeled, calculated, "produced" (and commodified and reserved for certain classes over others)? Or maybe it will become true, but only at our very own expense?

I'm speaking as a programmer AND as a poet. Oh, and as a dummy.

So many people seem to be working hard to reduce people to machines while elevating machines to the status of people. (See Figure 1 below.) 2053 will be glorious year because people and machines will finally be equal! And yet people will not be equal among themselves.... Making people less wonderful and machines too wonderful. Which will be the function of a priveleged few PEOPLE. Somewhere in that model is someone trying to *sell* you something, some bag of goods that you might not want, that will *lessen* you, *reduce* you, once you get it off the showroom floor and take it home.

It's all very PT Barnum while being disingenuous about it, don't you think?

  people                                     machines
-----------                                   -------------
    |                             / \
    |                              |
   \ /                             |
                people = machines
   / \            |
    |             |
    |            \ /
-----------                                   -------------
machines                                     people

2003                 2053                     2103

Figure 1. The Bright Shiny Future of Humans and Machines

But then maybe Bok is right...so many people are ready to "give up the ghost" and just have it over with, you know, hail the programmers as the poets. And forget what poetry is. But then so many people have indeed forgotten just what it was that got them hooked on poetry in the first place.

Computers don't get inspired. They don't feel chills in their spines.

Programming is about cogency, completeness, rules. Poems have no necessary relationships with any of those features of a programmatic system. The funny thing that has everyone fooled is that the most rule-bound poetry (such as codework, algo-produced "poems") often appear to people to look the most chaotic, the most free.

In a hurry to get the next new thing, to be at the vanguard of some revolution. Magazine covers, anthologies, one's work labeled as "ground-breaking."

What about intelligibility? Readability is itself more and more of a bad thing for some reason. And then poets wonder aloud why they're marginalized just as they're marginalizing themselves in the most basic of ways, by communicating constantly while communicating nothing to no one. The only thing there is gestural content, content that only says, "I'm following the algo-trend too."

I think if anything the most interesting poetry happening is the work that appears to have picked up much of the formal innovations of the Oulipo folks and the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E while utilizing such formal tools to SAY something. Something that people can't see directly under their noses.

What's more relevant to poetry?

a. What a poem does.
b. How a poem feels.

While there is much to be said for procedure, I'm much more interested in the tension between procedure (rules) and the violation of procedures (rule-breaking). No machine can do that or even conceive of such a thing. It's so contradictory that a Turing machine wouldn't know what to do with it. Everyone's running to the ends of procedure because it's hip--it's a fully celebrated word that gets "educated" heads nodding without reflection. But what about breaking the rules, about surprises? Or about the dullness of what is produced by rules?

Machines are most interesting when they fail in a sea of success and people are most interesting when they succeed in an ocean of failure.

Man is already cyborg. The question is, do we recognize the difference between man and machine, each's strengths and weaknesses, or do we move from being cyborgs to being machines and lose our fleshiness and our souls/spirits/vitalities altogether?

I think that the viewpoint espoused by Bok has a shelf-life, that it faces some amount of reckoning, that it will eventually be subject to contextualization and review.



Gabriel Gudding's A Defense of Poetry is a work of absolutely mad absolute genius. Inflationary language perhaps but the book sure pumped air into my bellows.

This is the first book in a while that completely entertained and absorbed me, instead of merely boring and alienating me. A Defense of Poetry is already in my "special handful": the 10 or 20 books i would insist on having on the proverbial midocean desert isle. I could not help but laugh out loud at many points (e.g., the piece about a peacock's rectum).

Gudding's book displays an INCREDIBLE range of emotion: anger, sadness, and wonder as well as the humor everyone else is so quick to point out.

The blurbs on the book are much too guarded for this book. Gudding makes Edson look like a complete simpleton, and he's not. Well, maybe he is, at least in comparison (I met Edson in 1998 and we talked for 10 minutes about mirrors; he had a glazed look in his eye and I wondered if it were simply for effect).

Jesus, Gabe. I am absolutely shocked that anyone gave him an award for this book. It is coarse, crass, and frequently disturbing. It skirts the lines of what makes good and bad poetry at every turn (which I like immensely). It is great, but not the kind of great that is usually recognized by awards committees. It is something other.

Gudding's book has filled me simultaneously with marvel and jealousy.

Here's a sample:

For the train-wrecked, the puck-struck,
the viciously punched,
the pole-vaulter whose pole
snapped in ascent.
For his asphalt-face,
his capped-off scream, God bless
his dad in the stands.
For the living dog in the median
car-struck and shuddering
on crumpled haunches, eyes
large as plates, seeing nothing, but looking,
looking. For the blessed pigeon
who threw himself from the cliff
after plucking out his feathers
just to taste a failing death. For
the poisoned, scalded, and gassed, the bayoneted,
the bit and blind-sided,
asthmatic veteran
who just before his first date in years and years
swallowed his own glass eye. For these and all
and all the drunk,

Imagine a handful of quarters chucked up at sunset,
lofted into the ginkgos--
and there, at apogee,
while the whole ringing wad
pauses, pink-lit,
about to seed the penny-colored earth
with an hour's wages--
As shining, ringing, brief, and cheap
as a prayer should be--

Imagine it all falling

into some dark machine
brimming with nurses,
nutrices ex machina--

and they blustering out
with juices and gauze, peaches and brushes,
to patch such dents and wounds.

- "One Petition Lofted into the Ginkos," from Gabriel Gudding's A Defense of Poetry. I do wish the poem ended with "Imagine it all falling" but nevertheless it is a masterful, funny, heartbreaking, and inventive poem that refuses to flaunt its hipness.



Lou Gerstner!

Lou Gerstner, Motherfucker of the Week

Congratulations Lou on climbing the Motherfucker Ladder. You've made it to the top, baby.

"IBM Chairman Lou Gerstner has been named chair of private equity company
The Carlyle Group, a role he'll assume shortly after leaving his Big Blue
post at year's end.

"Gerstner will join Carlyle on Jan. 7, the company announced Thursday,
offering strategic advice, lending perspective to the management of
Carlyle's portfolio companies and reviewing Carlyle's global investments.
Gerstner will also serve on the company's various committees."

(Note: The Carlyle Group is a private equity company. A private equity
company is a sort of mutual fund for the very rich, where individuals
investors need to put up at least $5 million in order to own a share of the
equity. There are currently about 450 individual investors backing the
Carlyle Group.)

Who are they, and why should I care?

More on the Carlyle Group:

http://www.webactive.com/pacifica/demnow/dn20010306.html (good realaudio
introduction by pacifica here)
"It owns so many companies that it is now in effect one of the nation's
largest defense contractors and a force in global telecommunications. By
knowing where the deals lie, and having access to the people who cut them,
Carlyle has bought up health care companies, real estate, Internet
companies, a bottling company and even Le Figaro, the French newspaper."

"In running what its own marketing literature spookily calls "a vast,
interlocking, global network of businesses and investment professionals"
that operates within the so-called iron triangle of industry, government,
and the military, the Carlyle Group leaves itself open to any number of
conflicts of interest and stunning ironies. For example, it is hard to
ignore the fact that Osama bin Laden's family members, who renounced their
son ten years ago, stood to gain financially from the war being waged
against him until late October, when public criticism of the relationship
forced them to liquidate their holdings in the firm. Or consider that U.S.
president George W. Bush is in a position to make budgetary decisions that
could pad his father's bank account. But for the Carlyle Group, walking that
narrow line is the art of doing business at the murky intersection of
Washington politics, national security, and private capital; mastering it
has enabled the group to amass $12 billion in funds under management. But
while successful in the traditional private-equity avenue of corporate
buyouts, Carlyle has recently set its sites on venture capital with less
success. The firm is finding that all the politicians in the world won't
help it identify an emerging technology or a winning business model."

"In late September The Wall Street Journal touched on salient
aspects of the story last month by highlighting the bin Laden family
investments in the Carlyle Group, then dropped it like a hot 'tater.
"Bin Laden Family Could Profit From a Jump In Defense Spending Due
to Ties to U.S. Bank", by Daniel Golden, James Bandler, and Marcus
Walker, The Wall Street Journal, 9/28/01"
(tons o' links here)

"But since the start of the "war on terrorism", the firm - unofficially
valued at $13.5bn - has taken on an added significance. Carlyle has become
the thread which indirectly links American military policy in Afghanistan to
the personal financial fortunes of its celebrity employees, not least the
current president's father. And, until earlier this month, Carlyle provided
another curious link to the Afghan crisis: among the firm's
multi-million-dollar investors were members of the family of Osama bin

"The former president, the father of President Bush, worked for the bin
Laden family business in Saudi Arabia through the Carlyle Group, meeting
with them at least twice. The terrorist leader Osama bin Laden had
supposedly been “disowned” by his family, which runs a multi-billion dollar
business in Saudi Arabia and was a major investor in the senior Bush’s firm.
Other reports have stated his Saudi family have not truly cut off Osama bin
Laden. "


""Their defense holdings are quite extensive," said Tom Fitton, president of
Judicial Watch, a Washington public interest law firm. "Because of their
investments, they are a major contractor for the Pentagon."

Among Carlyle's holdings is United Defense Industries, a maker of armed
vehicles and weapons, which filed in October to raise up to $300 million in
an initial public offering of its shares.

Judicial Watch filed suit last week to obtain documents shedding light on
Carlyle business activities undertaken by President Bush's father, who
reportedly met with bin Laden's family in Saudi Arabia at least twice prior
to the Sept. 11 attacks. He also has had dealings with a variety of foreign

"The appearance is awful," Fitton said. "For the father of our current
president to be doing business with foreign governments, there is a clear
conflict of interest."

"The Corporate Establishment can readily be portrayed as a complex web of
interlinked companies and executives, and the fact that Carlyle holds
ownership stakes in 164 companies and ranks as the eleventh largest defence
contractor in the US further emphasises its pre-eminence within this web,
and the somewhat disproportionate links to the intelligence services listed
above is reflected in its ownership - via BDM International - of the
CIA-front company, Vinnell Corp., which has been operating under contract in
Saudi Arabia since 1975. It is of pertinence to note here (if only to stress
the close relationship between the Administration and the corporate
establishment) that BDM’s President & CEO is one Philip Odeen who served as
Chairman of Clinton’s National Defense Panel. Another filament of this web:
in 1990 George W. Bush - now President - was on the board of directors of
one of Carlyle Group’s subsidiaries, Caterair, an airline catering company."

"As its reputation grew, so did the group's star-studded management roster.
It added former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. John M. Shalikashvili;
Arthur Levitt, the long-serving former chairman of the Securities and
Exchange Commission; former British Prime Minister John Major; former
Secretary of State Baker; and former President Bush (Carlyle officers say
the elder Bush's principal role is as "a draw": delivering speeches at
Carlyle-sponsored events).

Last February, the California Public Employees' Retirement System announced
it was investing $425 million in "a strategic partnership" with Carlyle.
Even the company owned by Osama bin Laden's estranged billionaire family in
Saudi Arabia was among Carlyle's clients--a mere $2-million investment that
Carlyle said it bought out after Sept. 11 "for image reasons," Ullman said.
He declined to say whether the Bin Ladens made a profit."

"Charles Lewis, executive director of the Center for Public Integrity,
commented, “Carlyle is as deeply wired into the current administration as
they can possibly be. George Bush is getting money from private interests
that have business before the government, while his son is president. And,
in a really peculiar way, George W. Bush could, some day, benefit
financially from his own administration's decisions, through his father's

"In a world now filled with biowarfare agents, backpack nuclear devices, and
chemical weapons like Sarin gas -- where there are people in many countries
with reasons to oppose the United States -- the Bush Administration is
following predictable strategies in a way that redefines the concept of
brinksmanship. Human survival may depend upon the will and the ability of
both the Congress and the press to focus on these relationships and to take
appropriate action. Moreover - and I am not the first to say this - if a
national security priority is to seize the financial assets of those who
support terrorists, then perhaps we should start right here at home."

"FTW, Oct. 26, 2001, 1700 PDT - The New York Times is today reporting that,
"The Saudi family of Osama bin Laden is severing its financial ties with the
Carlyle Group, a private investment firm known for its connections to
influential Washington political figures, executives who have been briefed
on the decision said today." Some of those influential figures include
George H.W. Bush and his son, our President."

Our enemy is really our friend, or, thanks grandpa, or, how the Bush family
and their Boys have profited in the past from manufacturing state enemies


The trouble with comparing a poet with a radio is that radios
don't develop scar-tissue. The tubes burn out, or with a
transistor, which most souls are, the battery or diagram
burns out replacable or not replacable, but not like that
punchdrunk fighter in a bar. The poet

Takes too many messages. The right to the ear that floored him
in New Jersey. The right to say that he stood six rounds with
a champion.

Then they sell beer or go on sporting commissions, or, if the
scar tissue is too heavy, demonstrate in a bar where the
invisible champions might not have hit him. Too many of

The poet is a radio. The poet is a liar. The poet is a
counterpunching radio.

And those messages (God would not damn them) do not even
know they are champions.

- Jack Spicer, "Sporting Life"
copyright © 1975 by the Estate of Jack Spicer
from The Collected Books of Jack Spicer

I want to get to know you.
I am so glad I found you available.
I wish to shake your hand and thank you.
It's great to reach out and finally shake hands with you.
I think of you often.
I miss you often.
I do.
I often think about what it would be like to be here with you.
And now, here I am at last.
Say, do you think I am attractive?
Maybe it's the haircut.
Or perhaps the shape of my nose.
Oh, c'mon.
Stop laughing.
This is not funny and you know it.
You don't see my face, and I'm right here with you?
Of course you do.

I thought sooner or later you'd come to your senses.

The external promise is also internal.
Just to let you know I know and now
we can move on to other things,
a change, an opposite. The external
threat that's not internal is the external
threat I will do my best to keep out.
I have built the wall. I am convinced
everyone else has too. And I want to expose
those who deny it for the liars or fools they are
because you have to think you're being laughed at first
in order to realize I'm only laughing at myself
and I want to meet you in laughter
more than I want to meet you in love
because there can be no love without laughter
or there can, but I will not meet you there.
It is the external enemy, if it brings music
I may make an exception but music's a form of laughter,
or a promise cloud I strike from
the drunken before disguised--in threat--as after

Chris Stroffolino, "Love as Fear of Love in Laughter"

from Fence v1 n2
Go ahead, sue me if you have a copyright issue. After all, I'm just a dummy.

I just love the sound of this 'un. One of the first poems I ever read of Chris'. It reflects a particularly keen and complex ear for the intersection of music and language, yet it has this layer that subverts poetic musicality by making it less sing-songy, and more syncopated, like some bass player with chops grooving on a simple melody. Unafraid of pauses, knowingly using space in a dramatic & surprising manner (e.g., "And I want to expose/those who deny it for the liars").

Interestingly the following poem pits a timbre that is more opaque and hard (e.g., the predominance of /eks/ and /t/ and /p/ sounds ) against the more pleasant and smooth sounding word "laughter". "Laughter" here functions as a release/relief here both prosodically and thematically. "Laughter" is insisted upon just as people might unrelentingly insist upon bullshit or upon love without music or laughter. Confronting a reader with his/her own self-deception is a dangerous & risky move for a poet, as he risks losing his audience, but the payoff of one successful reading is far greater than the hordes that might be alienated. Poetry that is refined but its perspicacity is interestingly masked by something that is akin to a DIY-punk sensibility. I find it very difficult to write a poem that combines ear heart and mind into something intensely poetic but here's an example that makes it seem easy.


What a great found poem! Found right here in my very own personal blog. Remember--my blog is yours!

Set yourself apart
from others and be
noticed Promote your
self and your poems
Choose the best path for
success Write for and
submit to greeting
card companies Be
noticed by handsome
publishers Promote
your book without a
dime Have a steady
column on the web
in a magazine
or on the TV
Free advertising
and business advice
Launch and promote your
very own poetry
website Make your own
e-book Earn income
as a performer
of poetry Sell
yourself Release your
own CD Conduct
poetry workshops
Make your own products
Sell your poetry
to businesses and
promote each other's
poetry Profit
from poetry Sell
your poetry Sell
yourself Sell the wife
Sell the neighbors Sell
the kids Together
we can be
                 For Sale.

      In the end will be the flesh
   And the flesh will be made word.

Welcome to the beginning of the end.

             Long live the flesh!