Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Heat wave

smothering heat humidity scorched grass
burning sun total fatigue brain mush
this is an image from a square kitchen plate I
got at a discount store it's above the sink so that when I do
dishes I don't have to look at the wall this is not a poem it's just 
that seering fiery digital redness parallels the effect of heat today
i close my eyes and dream of

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Basket of Poems


                              *    *   *  

                          *                        *
                    *                                      *
                  *                                          *
                  Bill Knott ****** Ed Baker
                    Paul Pines **  Art Durkee
                        robert    d.      wilson 
                           Don Wentworth  
                           Alexei   Tsvetkov               
                             Juan   Gelman                                                               
                               Tom  Montag
                  Today!  Over at  Salamander Cove.                                                          

Million, billion, trillion, kazillion disconnect

29 companies had more cash than the U.S. government as of July 13

[Source:  Think Progress.]  

In the first half of July alone, Treasury cash balances were depleted from  $130 billion to just $39 billion.[1]

Lost and Reported Stolen - $6.6 billion of U.S. taxpayers' money earmarked for Iraq reconstruction, reported on June 14, 2011 by Special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction Stuart Bowen who called it "the largest theft of funds in national history." [2] Last known holder of the $6.6 billion lost: the U.S. government.

U.S. Annual Air-Conditioning Cost in Iraq and Afghanistan - $20.2 billion [3]

Spent on Iraq War  FY 2003 - FY 2010 = $801.9 billion.[4]

2012 Budget Request & Mandatory Spending re: Department of Defense: $707.5 Billion[5]
The total dollar cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan so far exceeds $1.171 trillion.

All told, U.S. military spending in 2011 will exceed $700 billion — the most since World War II. That amounts to more than half of all government discretionary spending. It represents 35% of total military spending on the planet.[6]

 A billion here
a trillion there
(. . . got some food
that you can spare?)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Ants and Spiders and poems and Life

Saw on Ron Silliman's blog yesterday a reference to a review of Don Wentworth's recently published book Past All Traps, Wentworth's first published collection of poems.  The article's mention of Wentworth's "spiders yes, ants no" behavior made me smile. Because I do the exact same thing--rescue spiders and gently transport them outdoors, but stomp on ants.

 I sometimes feel guilty about this because I'm generally with Buddha on the "no harm to sentient beings" thing.  But here's the thing:  It is what it is.  And that's what the below-quoted poem addresses  (without being explicit) re: our conscious attempts to be who we think we should be, only to be reminded that we are, after all, only human:

Wentworth continues to find those moments that describe a brief truth of our existence -- whether we like it or not.

Past all traps / my shame revealed -- / September ant.

"I capture spiders and take them outdoors," says Wentworth. "But ants? I'm setting traps. And that's part of who we are, too. This isn't all about being good. It's about being."

Carl Mayfield wrote that what drew him to this book "is the poet's incredible ability to pay very close attention to his discoveries, yet not say anything." [1]  But this poet's words say a lot--the words don't merely present an idea/scene/emotion, they invite you to experience it up close (or remind you that you already have and elicit a sudden wave of understanding that has formerly eluded you).

 Don Wentworth is resident in chief over at Issa's Untidy Hut, the poetry blog for Lilliput Review..    You can order his new book there.