poem and post

February 27, 2006

this week begins lent. i’m not a catholic but i am a christian and have taken up the practice of lent the last few years.

the idea is basically to forgo something for ~40-45 days before easter in order to remember the sacrifice that Jesus made for me by coming to earth.

i will also ‘take something on’, to help me remember what jesus took on my going to the cross. something which will be difficult, challenging but worthwhile.

so, i’ll be posting haiku poems during lent. these are small poems, japanese in origin. they are meant to be very ‘zen’–contemplative without necessarily meaning anything. observatory, objective, and distant. this is an extremely difficult form to master–both because we as humans imbue things with meaning by creating them, and we as humans see(k) meaning in things. the writer of the haiku is attempting to separate him or herself, and the reader from making an emotional connection with the object of the poem.

*****

“Flowers of morning glory.
The sky above this street
Begins to overcast.”

~hisajo sugita

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this wkd

February 21, 2006

so the poem isn’t really technically as late as you may think.

today is my monday because i actually took a three day wkd! yay!

well, i’d been working flat out for the two week prior to that, including weekends because of some things that i couldn’t stop at work.

and the next month, starting today and going through march 19, will be the same.

so, in between i decided to take a mini-break. besides which it was my birthday. besides which my mom came up for the wkd. besides which, my boss is out of town.

and now i’m learning matlab.

this weekend included a trip to the movie theater to see harry potter and the goblet of fire. it’s been out for awhile and will come out on dvd soon, but i hadn’t seen it and wanted to on the big screen, as they say.

so, one of the things i hate is the increasing genderization of the characters. it’s there in the books, and there in the movies.

oh, those boys: they can’t express their feelings because that would be, like, a completely girl thing to do!

but good thing they’ve got hermione around–she’s a genuine girl! you can even tell more now because she wore a DRESS to a ball! and danced with a boy! and her hair was all curly and stuff!

and what was up with that scene with harry in the bath, and moaning myrtle trying to get a look at his penis? did that make anyone else as uncomfortable as it made me? i mean, the kid is fifteen, or something!

ok, back to GUI.

"the plan"

February 21, 2006

the plan

“who told you
you were invisible?”

God said,

meaning naked
or powerless.

*

We had planned this meeting
in advance,

how we’d address each other,

how we’d stand
or kneel.

Thus our intentions
are different

from our bodies,
something extra,

though transparent
like a negligee.

*

Though a bit sketchy,

like this palm’s
impression of a tree–

flashing scales,

on the point of retraction.

But sweet.
You don’t understand!

Like a lariat made of scalloped bricks

circling a patch
of grass

~rae armantrout

again with the cnn

February 14, 2006

an addendum to an article on CNN about the muslim rioting in response to the danish cartoons published depicting mohammed.

CNN is not showing the negative caricatures of the likeness of the Prophet Mohammed because the network believes its role is to cover the events surrounding the publication of the cartoons while not unnecessarily adding fuel to the controversy itself.

in other words: CNN is not showing the cartoons published because the network believes its role is not to fully inform people, or support freedom of speech. we do not believe that you, the reader, can or should think for yourselves.

a poem

February 13, 2006

coming up

our father who art in a penthouse
sits in his 37th floor suite
and swivels to gaze down
at the city he made me in
he allows me to stand and
solicit graffiti until
he needs the land i stand on
i in my darkened threshold
am pawing through my pockets
the receipts, the bus schedules
the matchbook phone numbers
the urgent napkin poems
all of which laundering has rendered
pulpy and strange
loose change and a key
ask me
go ahead, ask me if i care
i got the answer here
i wrote it down somewhere
i just gotta find it
i just gotta find it

somebody and their spray paint got too close
somebody came on too heavy
now look at me made ugly
by the drooling letters
i was better off alone
ain’t that the way it is
they don’t know the first thing
but you don’t know that
until they take the first swing
my fingers are red and swollen from the cold
i’m getting bold in my old age
so go ahead, try the door
it doesn’t matter anymore
i know the weakhearted are strongwilled
and we are being kept alive
until we’re killed
he’s up there the ice
is clinking in his glass
he sends me little pieces of paper
i don’t ask
i just empty my pockets and wait
it’s not fate
it’s just circumstance
i don’t fool myself with romance
i just live
phone number to phone number
dusting them against my thighs
in the warmth of my pockets
which whisper history incessantly
asking me
where were you

i lower my eyes
wishing i could cry more
and care less,
yes it’s true,
i was trying to love someone again,
i was caught caring,
bearing weight

but i love this city, this state
this country is too large
and whoever’s in charge up there
had better take the elevator down
and put more than change in our cup
or else we
are coming
up

~ani difranco

sweet stuff

February 9, 2006

and kitty porn to get you through your thursday!

by the by

February 9, 2006

it seems as though i’ve been blogging for a year now.

woah. how it all rushes by.

what democracy requires?

February 9, 2006

time article from last week about “bringing democracy” to other places and why it succeeds and fails.

i’ve often been curious about this and am not nearly enough of a political scientist/ historian to know.

but here is what joe klein says:

It is common wisdom among serious democracy advocates that there are preconditions for successful representative government. There must be a solid middle class; there must be the rule of law and freedom of speech. But a more elusive human quality is necessary as well: a drastic change of public sensibility from passivity toward active engagement. In a place like Iraq–or the former Soviet Union–passivity was a survival mechanism. The best way to live with a tyrant like Saddam was to draw as little notice to yourself as possible. A Russian friend once told me that he was taught as a child never to smile in public. You never knew when a smile might be interpreted the wrong way.

Democracy requires the exact opposite. It demands that people take charge of their lives and make informed decisions. That takes time, the careful accumulation of the habits of citizenship.

i really like this. i don’t know that i’ve thought through all of the implications or, again, have enough knowledge to agree or disagree. but i like it.

i also think it has implications for our current political situation given the fact that all people think is required to be a citizen is to check that box/ pull that lever every year (or two or four).

poem of today

February 6, 2006

The german army, russia, 1943

For twelve days,
I drilled through Moscow ice
to reach paradise,
that white tablecloth, set with a plate
that’s cracking bit by bit
like the glassy air, like me.
I know i’ll fly apart soon,
the pieces of me so light they float.
The Russians burned their crops,
rather than feed our army.
Now they strike us against each other like dry rocks
and set us on fire with a hunger
nothiing can feed.
Someone calls me and I look up.
It’s Hitler.
I imagine eating his terrible, luminous eyes.
Brother, he says.
I stand up, tie the rags tighter around my feet.
I hear my footsteps running after me,
but I am already gone.

~AI

oh betty

February 5, 2006

betty friedan dies