A new poem, in comic format, by Božičević up on Hyperallergic.
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I would like to thank the editors of Epiphany, in particular Brian Turner & Martin Rock, for their help in publishing “Ode to the MQ-9 Reaper” in print & partially online in their Winter/Spring 2013 War issue, as well as allowing me to talk a bit about the process of writing the poem (which is only available in the print edition). Beyond this, they have also allowed me to post the whole of the Reaper poem here on my blog, in hopes that we can generate a larger readership for the work, & also drive readers to Epiphany, a great literary journal. Two & a half years ago I started working on “Ode to the MQ-9 Reaper,” finishing it during the late spring of 2011 in Brooklyn, & revising it up through fall 2012. My hope is that it adds to the larger conversation, now that drones are beginning to take shape in the public consciousness. To download a PDF of the poem, click HERE. ________________________________________________________________ Ode to the MQ-9 Reaper I. (I dreamt you up in third grade.) Ultra-cool & promo slick, a predatory dart zip-lining threads of nimbi, unmanned, over darkling continents, your bot-brain is a paragon of focus & yet mechanizedly desireless, as self-aware as silverware, & thus incapable of cruelty when delivering laser-guided missiles calibrated to fountain a small bus full of explosives into a contained puff above a crowded marketplace, or slip eel-like through a cave’s oculate within the Hindu Kush. Your blurry, thermal aerial view beset with squared crosshairs a rookie war director’s owlet dream: oblivious vermin swept up with gestural efficiency from heights that confer the necessary filmic distance of omniscience, as if each strike were a warrant fulfilled by reason abiding divine instruction: Michelangelo’s God fist-bumping Adam. Edited & packaged, a select few videoed assaults ship to media outlets as evidence, an impressive staging intent to show a public what humdrum work war’s become—locate, track, eviscerate. Replicate. From these spare scenes of bombed & reconfigured wreckages of cars & buildings ghosting though a dusty plume arrives a satisfying vengeance for the loss of Sgt. Elias from Platoon, those spry young Wolverines in Red Dawn, & my uncle’s waking battle dreams (of the Vietnam variety) that go unmentioned in advertisements peddling the mastery of thumb-numbing single-shooter POV games for Xbox & PlayStation as a skill set, with once implausible credits transferable to active military duty. O to be gamers & destroyers, with each ethereal tick a countdown aria to roadside decimation or the anticipated readiness of microwaved pizza— I’m on YouTube again watching a task force seize a desert outpost, the offal opulence of awful ordinance as witnessed by a documentarian’s hand-held, an eye unsteady in its capturing, but never insecure. By firefight an anecdotal oral history begins developing its authors, these servicemen & -women who user-posted comments identify as members of Generation Kill. Soldiers passing soccer balls to poor kids an errant attempt to dupe a viewer into moral alliance & engage the heart’s surrender, but as the camera goes downrange, still settings shiver with heat & the sudden dubstep beat drops its discharge of epinephrine, pumps us for the possibility of a shootout & invasive human plumage: gut-shots, headshots, Hajji hematomas (& never a dead American), the BBC-style coverage devolving into Bang-Bang Club badassery, moments spliced for detachment via destabilizing rapidity. The first tank shot a Globe theatric to begin the operatic picaresque: Pafghaniraq: the Musical. Ubi sunt & heretofore? Let the bodies hit the floor. Dulce et decorum est? You wanted in and now you’re here. / Driven by hate, consumed by fear. The tanks roll in, the tanks roll out. But Reaper, where they cannot go, you can—& suddenly we’re Superman! Eye in the sky, womb with a view. You whizz to the rescue, my childhood A.I. dream‘s apotheosis as M.Q. Joe, as a voice narrating the hunt regurgitates post-Towers ideologies— the kind of stuff we get from news sources instead of news—& a superstructure emerges, with themes equating learnedness with subversive otherness & might with right, which Heaven atones, advocating our patriotic, righteous will-to-power. & I get why we heart the hype. Your sleek iBomb design is haute Apple adorable: the extended wingspan, the ball turret cam. Viewed full-frontal, Hellfire missiles hang loosely clamped to the horizon of your asterisk body, itself a fusion of X-Wing Fighter & Lambda-class Imperial Shuttle from Star Wars, a sexy sort of curvilinear Geek Goddess whose forehead slope recalls the stately dolphin fish, rear propeller the whirr of a rubber-banded planophore. Behold our Indian Springs Sphinx, riddled with weapons. But your work is deadly serious: to split atmospheres & genealogies alike, & do to human beings what bunker busters do to basements. In my child’s mind you were precise, able to de-install a dictator as effortlessly as any computer virus, a typed command & poof, *democracy*. But the reality is always trickier: while pursuing the enemy you also catch civilians, & often, a fact that crass reporters reduce to food metaphor (in order to make an omelet) & zealots to allegory (God makes his omelets with American cheese), but a truth remains: when targeting al-Qaeda, jihadists, & the Taliban, you snatch the heads off schoolchildren. Actual little kids, with families smothered in radii of blast circles & a bloody sampling of bystanders. The Brookings Institution puts your civilian-to- militant kill ratio in Pakistan at 10:1. Possibly. New America Foundation says 1:6. Maybe. Actual numbers unavailable. I click from collateral damage to Google Maps, satellite zoom to downtown, & comb rooftops for the faintest fraction of your form hovering Ground Zero because I’ve read you minnow those twin blue columns of memorial light as New York’s newest National Guard. I can’t help but imagine what future recon missions Cuomo might commission. Will you one day sweep & clear meth labs? Will you whistle just above our neighborhoods, a goodly beat cop who when alerted turns bag snatchers into smatterings of gore a blogged cartoon Giuliani might welcome as graffiti? Or would you just zap terrorists? & could we as Americans stomach accidents? A collapsed school gym, a Park Slope bar, the IFC, NYU, or BAM? In my dream you spiral slowly overhead in a droning corona of mechanized security, attentive as any parent. Are you the border patrol or the border? In your harmonious hum I hear George Carlin proselytizing on flamethrowers, a confluence of human ingenuity (How do I throw fire from here—) & what our culture embraces as a necessary wickedness (—on people over there?), as if the bargain struck with sentience was having to fulfill its darker innovations. Will the ramifications of your exploits serve as a parable, or dictate foreign policy? Do robot assassins outstrip the honor of our enemy, or us? This is not, I think, an academic question, unless we really wish to own the role of a global hobgoblin, dining expansively at the expense of others, crematoriums stirring in our cocktails. II. As a boy sweating it out in the swampy Florida ruins of the Space Coast, I conceived also the Extreme Frisbee, which when tossed onto a lawn levels a concentric blast horizontally, mowing the yard & thus finishing my chore, an easy circumvention of a nagging task I found torturous in humidity. Would the Air Force be interested in my toy version of the “daisy cutter”? It’s unnerving, two decades in the rearview, my easy fascination with destruction. I can’t say if it was fed by video games, toons, the assumptive natural tendencies of boys, or incidental fallout from grandparents that worked for NASA at the Cape, where I once met Ronald Reagan during an era of Cold War initiatives—rockets, satellites, weaponry, plutonium payloads; beach protestors’ signs reading: We Want to Grow Not Glow! At ten I watched the shuttle Challenger craze a curious Y overhead as we paused in playing duck-duck-goose on the school’s soccer field, our harmless game made instantly ridiculous, sickening perhaps, to our teachers, though I’d rather imagine our sport as analgesic to abrupt cracks forming in their logic, a hopeful premonition (even as they instantly foresaw a future of layoffs & foreclosures, ransacked tourism & a raised crime rate, an anti- Oz ushered in by faulty O-rings) of enduring life—which touches me now, resting on this bench in McCarren Park & watching a group of latino kids batting around a diamond, a few of whom might one day serve overseas. In this Spring of uprisings & genocide & war—baseball. A juxtaposition one may enjoy like an itch on the back of the throat. But what we call living is loving what we have, & have lost, when we can afford to love having it. Some say we fight for this opportunity alone. Others say to fight at all perverts the having. I see the boy pitching catching the HEAT end of an RPG-7 in a few years, & think, Play ball. Live & love this having. I worry Reaper you’re nothing but the latest incarnation of defensive bulwark designed to keep our leaders from having any skin in the game, a flying watchtower for One-Percenters. But that’s my irreverence speaking, as it’s obvious you were designed primarily as punctuation, a stop-gap for sentences like, “I’m going to plant an atomic bomb (Reaper) in (Reaper) your (Reaper) city.” & to keep young adults from shipping out & having to bear the brutal brunt of difficult decisions. But I find the remoteness of your remote control indicative of certain policies of opacity, the reticence toward disclosure adopted by governments & gatekeepers, fretful as circus flea-handlers, who decide some truths are too harsh/heady/hairy for a public. Your lofty hands- off approach feeds into that, & I imagine a subsequent generation envisioning war as raining droplets onto water beetles: bloodless because we do not see the blood, effortless because we do not see the effort, & so a simpler thing than the arduous recurring task of engaging in diplomacy. A not-so-futuristic, not-irregular Tuesday: coffee, WiFi iTunes, Netflix South Park reruns in an open tab, your successor drone narrowing on its target, requests a confirmation & is approved by the same sugared finger that seconds ago tested the relative squishiness of two types of jelly donut. III. Here’s a line announcing a strong desire to reference Blue Oyster Cult in this poem, or pepper in a bit more humor for digestion, but the shitstorm in my head’s pushing my levity button sublingual as my mammalian cortex indexes lines for a Codex (disseminating tips on how to better agitate an ulcer) entitled Driving a Blunt Point Down a Dark Road, With a Wandering Eye for Wildlife & a Certain Recurring Fear. Dear Reaper, I interrogate to better know aspects of myself, it seems. My inquiry into the meaning of your presence has made for incessant consternation, ineffective sleep, a line by Karl Krauss my rare dreaming’s epigraph, “In case of doubt, choose in favor of what is correct.” & around me the world becoming a sudden dustbin for metaphors, e.g., these El Beit coffee cups stacked into one another lip-to-lip like largemouth bass of similar size attempting to swallow whole their counterparts perhaps the symbolic error of my arrogance, choking on a subject more immense than my wheedling could wend; a caricature; enigmatic reach beyond my grasping. Outside June ferments its special brand of Brooklyn light, summoning dog-walkers & buskers & strollers to the park overlooking the motley chopper barges of the East River & Manhattan’s bric-a-brac skyline, & all the styled lines I’ve erased in pursuit of you are monumental failings I can’t shake, & share with friends over café beers & small plates of chorizo & applesauce, speaking of guilt for having not reached an ethical conclusion of you, as my internal editor broods & kicks, distrustful of poems that approach polemic, & rightly so. I could bend like the palm tree, ruffled by opposing winds, yet breaking neither way; or play the twin-faced Janus who, given variations on a score, sings a garbled contrapuntal tune. But still each night I return to you, clouded with resentment, the questions I pose echoing as personal indictments: If I accept you as a net positive, must I then accept the death penalty, for which the cohesive moral arguments by either side I find by turns compelling & absurd? When if anytime is absolutism, in law or life, viable? & what of fallibility, stamped on every birth certificate? Is human error error’s most humane defense? If war (as the poor) will always be with us (or us), should preemptive forgiveness accompany any loyalty we bestow upon our government, however begrudgingly? Is skepticism our better patriotism? Resuming, marching, ever in darkness marching. IV. The case made for your creation was utilitarian, with a catch. As an instrument sacrificing nothing of itself, you are a tool, Reaper—a dumb bucket of brimstone & nothing more. But in your work there’s sacrifice, to be sure. Not the mundane daily forfeits made by people carving out their own identities with virtues like humility & patience—a guile amounting to a certain manufacturing of spirit— but with swift certitude in servitude, sacrificing the lives of others in our name. To deprive war of warfare’s casualties (on our side, of course)—its main malignant property (to paraphrase Zizek)—is reiterated as your goal, & yet civilian casualties excluded from military updates discount the lives of victims whose freedom we’re told is in part the reason why we fight, no? Surely liberation doesn’t mean from life. Or are we expected to believe their desire for democracy (if indeed this is desired) denotes a predilection, an implicit willingness, for self-sacrifice in service of greater goods, this devotion somehow empirically antithetical to that of suicide bombers? ಠ_ಠ. #OverheardInDC. To usurp a suffering voice with ventriloquism or shush it with cover-up is the handiwork of dictators, dickheads, & directors of propaganda. A modicum of respect is paid by invoking a revoked life when reporting a victory, losses both targeted & untargeted. Shame is America’s great barometer: it lets us know when we’ve crossed a line. Recall LBJ’s reaction to Cronkite’s condemnation. We know sacrifice well enough to know when it’s not worth it, & even find within ourselves forms diametrically opposed: the soldier who sacrifices herself for us might sacrifice another for herself. We’ve seen our own countrymen take batons & lashes to the back, suffer the lunacy of crowds, or the indignity of being unjustly jailed & even killed in the fierce nonviolent battles of giving of oneself. But what do you relinquish, Reaper? What do we lose by using you? Your advocates serve up spin like dervishes, hors d’oeuvres buttery as Rumi but bitter, as detractors clamor eagerly for central space on aggregate news sites, Op-Ed columns marginalized & funneled through the foreign press. Each time you slip across an international border illegally to snuff a serial killer, the debates erupt, each side tending garden with the unimpeachable words of our forefathers, proven pesticides for fighting any weed or rhizome of rebuke. On the airwaves Senators, Representatives, & talking heads unite to enact a dance of prefabricated sound bites & slogans a Fifties adman might concoct to ameliorate “the befuddled masses,” teaching us where to focus our newly engaged feelings: on the nationalistic Pride for our military’s Ingenuity; the Bravery in making these difficult Choices; the Talent & Teamwork; the restored Honor in having doled out Justice. Phrases that imbued with righteous overtones subdue & collapse their subject, trivialize with jargon the power of authentic expression, & with the pompous authority of the politico attribute a successful campaign to our fighting spirit, heaven-forged & exclusively American. Well firstly, Senator, nice tie. Lieberman called & wants his smirk back. & so we’re clear, I find it slightly fucking irksome to be addressed as a collaborator in some monumental decision in which I had no say, & livid because I have a stake. In your speech against the enemy, was I meant to be the juror, or the injured seeking justice? Looking out into the cameras, do you imagine the solemn, braided faces of a million confessors staring back, each troubled by a grief only your full pardon could relieve, being as we share in this responsibility? Do you stick to boilerplate clichés because language is a terminal for vagary & connotation, & our polling preferences remain a known unknown? Even if I shared your plan of action, the rhetoric smacks of self-glorifying punditry, as if you’d commandeered the bomb yourself & rode the goddamn thing to earth like Major Kong. This aint you vs the hippie-dippies, so stop trying to out- man-handle gravitas. One dead Head doesn’t curtail much less abolish a terrorist movement, so let’s talk turkey: the drone tactic of picking off bad guys one by one is feasible but expensive ($3k/hr); they’re prone to crashes, slip-ups, have a flight hang time of Jordan on two days’ rest & methamphetamine, & are practical merely as an application for hunting higher-ups who’ve had their covers blown by errant errand boys—a strategy that relies on runs walked in on balks to win. If it boils down to body count, Senator, let’s discuss the flimsy bags of foulness— the body as person, conflux of ideas, protein chains in congregation, a thin material: not the kind we halyard up a pole or drape over a coffin, but a living instance we either value or devalue with our actions. To keep the number of combatants-to- civilians killed out of your podium romp & rhapsody amounts to whitewashing in the name of foreign relations, does it not? (No need to wake the far right Czar- side of Karzai.) If ever our leaders & .gov devalue bodies, undermining each our own mind’s dominion, we’ll lend our heart’s ears & eyes elsewhere, to be clued in by the new vanguard, e.g. the tag team comic smackdown of Stewart & Colbert, the nebulous panopticon of WikiLeaks, or the ambitious wave of Anonymous grey- hat hackers who post their findings online mere ticks after your talk. Transparency is a form of objectivity, & truth a noumenon: by this I mean, we know bias exists, so share your bias, & allow us to judge its worth. We need to know those running our machines are functioning well, as well, & in good service. We need to know that even if wars find us unavoidably involved, as with an attack on our harbors, or a match scratched across Europe, though there may never be consensus, clarity at least will guide our certainty in how we will advance & why & at what cost. Make no mistake, your exploits (grave music) attract songbirds & whistle-blowers: smart phone photojournalists, bloggers on crusade, a child’s text arriving instantaneously on our devices. To stubbornly refuse to share with your constituents the hard facts & steer clear from implementing policies marshaling forthrightness, you lose a not- negligible portion of public trust; & find it worthwhile, as popular feedback during election cycles could consign a $10 million Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) deemed ineffective to the scrap heap. Phrases meant to assuage us, detailing the perils of compromised National Security, would be fair if we’d requested preliminary attack coordinates, communication logs, data that endangers operatives, etc., but what we’re after is POTUS’ justifications (heavily footnoted) & an honest casualty count. Bear in mind, what roosts in darkness awakens in darkness also, but is rejuvenated. Some folks, unable to parse fact from fiction, feeling resentful, duped & mishandled, will invest attention, energy, & money in commiserating charlatans who entertain conspiracy & preach a radical, bigoted, insular fascism that fetishizes your failures, Senator. It’s sad to watch such distrust flourish. It frustrates me, upends my mental furniture. When folks demand what lecherous voices demand they demand of you, it will be in equal measure to what they feel you’ve withheld. On all sides, animosity for government grows, the perception being it conceals only to illustrate its power. Evidence itself must be evidenced. Clamoring for graphic images of our own war dead are the people who sought out pics of bin Laden’s corpse (& Saddam’s gallows plunge, captured by a grainy camera phone; who watched Qaddafi sodomized & hood-strapped like a deer & driven through the angry streets), if not to placate their own disbelief, momentarily, then to finalize another draft of current history. Perhaps it’s fair to push past tastefulness & ask for images of our fighting dead; those who suggest it could prompt fewer military actions are probably correct, but then expect a surge in websites devoted primarily to gruesome battle porn, with faces recognizable—an unfiltered horror show no PBS documentary by Burns could fully mitigate for mass consumption, nor a le Carré novel stew in its juices, feeding out the pearls. Some things can be engaged but not encapsulated; slip our definitions; shift their natural structures when being observed, making it difficult to weigh the potential outcomes of any approach. Shock weds us to understanding & mothers empathy (or trauma), & empathy activism or a paralyzing awe at how little we can help. Shock enjoys the lifespan of a fruit fly, empathy the fig wasp, yet pitted within each, abuzz, a plot for ultimate change. If nourished too frequently by either, however, we numb to them. But if left unfed in intervals, we risk fostering conditions for bleak distortions of the soul, the rank solipsism of corruption, fear- mongering, isolationism, genocide. Best I think to arm ourselves with compassion, a word for love’s morality, & an activity to be pursued to a point of effortlessness. To share in the suffering of another (our enemy (our idea of our enemy)) gives us a stake in their welfare & survival, our shared breaths & burials. This isn’t breaking news. History is a coroner’s cold slab / the rise & fall of nations on display / & though the body is a bloody mess / its examination brings clarity. So what does it matter what wrapping we box our rationalizations in, or the fingered reason we ribbon our bows about, if peace is the desired end result & we cannot have peace without understanding? If the other suffers, we must suffer knowing. If it’s wrong, we stop. V. The soldier relinquishes his body for the greater body. The conscientious objector relinquishes her body for the greater body. The terrorist relinquishes his body for the greater body. The martyr relinquishes her body for the greater body. Reaper, you relinquish nothing but another’s body & our name. You respect not & want for nothing, & if by terrible error you misfire, you have no hands for blood to be on. VI. When Abraham took his only son Isaac to carry wood up Mount Moriah, which Samaritans (of the good ilk) believe was Mount Gerizim, in the West Bank, to do what his god had commanded, which was to bind his son & slit his throat, for proof of loyalty, it was always easy to imagine the scene as developed for Hollywood, a Warner Brothers production, where the complexities of devotion, split between familial love & a higher purpose, could be played out by actors we liked, whom we knew the studio would never allow to die onscreen, under a purpling sky & thunder & broad orchestral strokes that signaled a grave decision & torment of the spirit. What’s more difficult to imagine is how a country father could make that climb up a path of white rock, fig & olive trees arriving in clumps & the air smelling of herbs of his own childhood, perhaps—oregano, thyme—& brambles at his feet, as his son asked, repeatedly, what it was they were planning to sacrifice using all this wood, & having to hold that secret in, which must have felt like an infestation of the brain, for the whole duration, knowing the hot knife at his thigh would soon be under his son’s chin, the smooth skin found there, & that he would have to puncture or slit or in some way force this tool into this boy in a manner that would bleed him out like a goat, not yet knowing some force would stop him, knowing only that to do this he must prepare himself, empty himself of feeling & so become that tool of his lord, given to the invisible hand, & sacrifice himself in order to sacrifice his son. & what child, tucked under the covers, listening as his own father reads this bedtime story to him from a book opened many times before, doesn’t imagine himself Isaac? VII. Recently, among the industrial vestiges of Bushwick, I found myself in a white box some entrepreneurial do-it-yourselfers had carved into an art gallery, & found mixed in with post-grad’s work informed by the subtle forms of Lin & Beuys, the hard-wrought whimsicalness of Anderson & Baldessari, two flat screen TVs hanging side by side on the wall, where I watched a fluttering arthropod buzz onlookers in McCarren Park as the other screen detailed its aerial imaging as layered onto a satellite view of Google Maps. As chance would have it, the artist was there & gave me a rundown of his work. I saw this in a dream, I said, feeling slightly ridiculous. Me too, he said. I’m intrigued by drones, I said. It’s all that I can think of, he said. The drone was strung above us, its articulated exoskeleton & elbow cameras not quite so menacing in repose. Onscreen we watched it wobble along a swarming path remotely set by iPhone. It won’t need you soon, I said. That’s the point, he replied. How long did it take to design? I asked. It’s a kit, he said. You can buy your own online. I told him of this poem, how in using a received form, an irregular ode, which I’ve wrecked, to receive your form, I’d moved beyond a place of comfort & the sonic permutations of lyric wanderlust I usually trust to gather what it grows, & into a mode of formal speculation. These things will do that to you, he said, as if I were hard-wired to follow tension to intention. Why just last week a company approached me asking if I could outfit this thing with a thermal cam. IX. The line “(Ghastly went the twerp)” was first conceived as “(Petty wrath, this length of West),” among other improbable incarnations, plus or minus a few switched-out letters; ultimately I chose the former to fit an evolving characterization of you as a bird of prey. Treating the historical list of drones as a layered anagram was just another attempt to chip you from the stone, a time-intensive experiment to hone (home) in on the idea of you using a formal device of creative constraint not unlike meter or a Matthew Barney bungee chord. & if by certain measures it fails I’ll accept that. But let it be a failure with some transparency: in my word choices, using a soliloquy trope which allows for this presence of mind, the delights & false turns I’ve made, the frictions & fractious phrasing & varying musics. & this stanza of Kora in Hell-ish afterthoughts is part of that. Relationships need their breathers, their steps back, in order to assess what has been achieved, what is still at stake; it’s exhausting, this swarm technique I’ve employed to both encapsulate & out you. I’ve heard Moby Dick described as Melville’s own attempt to capture in language the whale’s essential thingness—fleeting form, elusive essence—by framing events preceding & surrounding its hunt, its hunters’ histories, & the industry relying upon its animal fats & oils. We get a minor telling of its impact, & sense the authorial hand creeping in at the sides. He divulges the secrets of its anatomy, charts its behavior in an attempt to elucidate a nature, collects salty anecdotes & myths to better keep it buoyed about a surface of referential symbolism. & still the whale evades totality; the trap is tripped but nothing caught. Where in a whale exists a whale? What core among detritus? If not a sum of facts & traits & qualia, if irreducible to cross-section, if un-pin-down-able by narrative, imagistic or lexical triangulation, then how does one account for it? It is a phantom object: the closer you look, the less there is to see. Melville must have enjoyed the slip of it, grabbing still, & so often. Gospel of Ishmael, Book of Second Job, a testament concerning a depleted man conspiring to kill what he cannot capture nor contain: not a physical Leviathan, but a bitter logic of injustice & vengeance trafficking within. Had Ahab early on harpooned his psyche’s cachalot, wrenched the jaw from it, flensed & minced it & laid it bare before maritime birds who’d take it in their gullets & disperse, his crew & himself might have lived longer, but then we’d be left with no lesson by which to mark our moral lives, which shows the truer whale for which Melville used Ahab as the bait, & for which I use Melville, so that a discussion might surround the impossibility of possessing you holistically. & I say it aloud to myself, & say it another way, that language is mere iron fillings betraying a magnetic field, exposing one aspect of a thing, a force, by its properties. I desire but will never hold the atomic fact of you in my brain. You are too quick & I lack the stamina; lack the knowledge, the tools, the knowhow. In the end I have just words & images. But images & words are what I have, & hope of their effectiveness. *** To begin with this: Writ into its programming a complex theory of the heavens & the earth, & a mystical treatise on the art of attaining truth; so that the Reaper in its own self was
I’ve been up all night, all January actually, working on books. Prepping for BAP’s first AWP. I’ve uploaded a free copy of a catalogue I’ve created to give away at the conference. Just click the link below and it’s yours. The writers and books included are: 10,000 Wallpapers by Matt Shears Darling Endangered by Carol Guess Love-In-Idleness by Christopher Hennessy Already It Is Dusk by Joe Fletcher Unpublished Poems by Broc Rossell To Lose & to Pretend by Chris O. Cook Dream-Clung, Gone by Lauren Russell Autobiomythography & Gallery by Joe Pan Click here for the PDF: BAP Mini Catalogue Forgive the format. Wendy and I are going to chop these things in half and staple them together on Saturday. There wasn’t enough time to have them professionally printed. This whole thing came about when Wendy *hand typed* the entire book for me for Christmas. She’s amazing. I need to sell enough books one day so she can quit her job and work for me.
I’ve updated the page for my first book of poems, Autobiomythography & Gallery. Check it out by clicking the link above!
Noon moon, city sidewalk a gyro draped in aluminum. The child holding his coat aloft by one arm is held aloft by one arm. Park leaves breaking into color. Two blind men compare dogs. Even the old dog in snow wonders at its breath. The cow under dogwood is the glove nuzzling away the hoarfrost. Blinded by the first flakes the ambulance cries for what it carries. Early workaday. Two women recognize each other revolving through revolving doors. My hands under the cubicle lights. Autumn? Spring? Nights at the Advertising Firm Quarter moon over the Empire State Building, unbranded.
How can I put this? Star Wars is the new Odyssey. No new news but still news. No? If one believes in a populace representing their own beliefs & choosing new characters as heroes. If not, there’s always academia. There’s always an -ism, which means an earlier stab at dominant theory revived into council as the ultimate way to believe a priori. Liar. You dream better than you feel the truth of that. Yet God is chosen much, mostly, or anti-god, muchly, and Chris Hitchens dying choosing writing as God, into the final hours. Much love. Some more hiccups: Spring rain taps the window. My refrigerator hums its one tune. Spring rain, and all the books here slouching on their spines. Sound of a saw—but when I look—child smiling from a tree fort.
So I’m going to try & post something new each day. A poem piece, a little nugget of text, fragments of a story in progress, something. So today, four hiccups (haiku-like poems) that began & ended my last attempt at blogging: onward, upward, forever westward eyeing eastly, uneasily & perhaps awkwardly, but openly, hopefully: On Mt. Rainier Log cabin porch swing— bugs practice shadow puppets behind the green leaf. 3 Hiccups in WA Is that my cat’s ghost or the computer breathing? New snow, old snow. World looks the same in an oilslick. Following a Korean dinner over oranges arranged in a white bowl she finds the rhyme in Stonehenge.