Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Future of News Media

Yeah, I know, but a poem post doesn't really count, does it?

Let's shut down our OBSCURE bureaus (Bogota, Jakarta, Nairobi ... Does anyone really CARE?) and embed a reporter in "The Amazing Race." That way we can write about "real" foreign news as part of a blog about THE SHOW. Give readers what they "need" by giving them what they WANT, like how you sneak medicine to a dog by hiding his pills inside a chunk of hamburger.

Remember the day Lee Abrams parodies became a bona fide genre.

I Think That I Shall Never See.

I wanted to write a poem about Colony Collapse Disorder, but there's just too much there, got to do some research. So whatever.

It's my favorite place to stop in New Jersey. There are also all these signs along some roads up there that warn people that the trees have been sprayed. I'm not sure why. Do they have a problem with people digging up trees and stealing them? Trying to eat them? Pulling over and possessed of a compulsion to climb them?

Maintenance

It's getting so you can tell the trails not so much
By the blazes but by
Whether the trees fallen
Across them have been cut and cleared.

The violence of the storms increases
Each summer, and this season has pounded
A harvest of timber onto the floors of the city's
Stream bed parks. Piles of cut limbs

Show up trailside, and then there are the
New gateways, chainsaw-sliced
Out of the thickest trunks. The neat core
Is rolled aside and set stumplike,

A future stage for a stretch. The other day in the woods,
Running, I smelled something strange, something
That carried a vague air of alarm. I came up to
Two newly fallen and realized: Char.

Lightning did it. Most just loose their roots
From weeks on end of mud, and topple. It used to be
A fallen tree might lie for weeks waiting for clearance,
An obstacle to climb or bound

Over. Now there are so many falling
They have to get them right away, get ready for more,
Or be overwhelmed. One morning run, two years ago,
On my birthday, I leapt a fallen trunk in smug pride,

Only five paces later to slam my toe against an iron root
And go sprawling. "FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK,"
I screamed, then "I'M OK, I'm OK, I'm OK, it's OK,"
At the yard worker in the orange vest, tossing raked leaves

Into the edge of the woods from the embassy
Far up the hill, who had made a run of crunching, sliding
Strides in my voice's direction--to stop when he saw me wave--
Fearing another unspeakable attack.

Photo: Vishwin60, Creative Commons public domain license.

Friday, July 25, 2008

I Want to Believe...

...that someday I'll have a threesome with Sculder and Mully. There it is I said it.

...that the Fannie Mae bailout will help stabilize the markets. Though that won't happen until they either publicize or privatize those guys. The current fence-straddling is breaking our balls. I felt a little like a Republican the other day when I read a heartwarming story about people getting loan assistance. "This is great," one woman said. "Now I can go to grad school and really save some money." Hey, wait a minute--I want to go to grad school, too! Except when people tried to get me to use my condo as an ATM, I just said no! And got me a fixed-rate with a solvent institution! So where's my assistance?

...that the people helped out won't just cycle right back to the same old shit, because the real problem isn't solved. I guess I must be a compassionate conservative, because when I read the NYT Sunday piece about the woman who racked up the credit card bills on the home shopping network while in bed after a hysterectomy, my heart hurt for her. Especially seeing the photo--she's way overweight and smoking. We're so terribly, sickeningly, tragically addicted to so much; we must be in such terrible pain to go to such lengths, destroying our health, our lives, our relationships, just to feel a little bit better. Even Republicans do it--look at poor Bob Novak with his penis-extender Corvette convertible. Ooops, forgot, that wasn't purchased out of an addictive urge to shore up identity--it's an investment. You can use it to run down old men and decrease the surplus population.

Words of wisdom from my August horoscope, by astrologer Eric Francis:
"...the whole notion of "difference" as it is projected onto social (so-called) reality is a farce, the job of which is to perpetuate alienation (mainly to sell things). You don't need that, and neither do the rest of us."

Priceless.

Photo: The Last Judgment altarpiece from St. Cecilia cathedral, Albi, from Sacred Destinations Travel Guide. The horrifyingly huge cathedral and its horrifying and also huge last judgment were made over the course of about 200 years to smack down the Cathar heresy. Just a couple of highlights: 400 "heretics" burned; the Pope's bagman memorably coined the phrase "Kill Em All, Let God Sort Em Out." ("Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius.") The Last Judgment and the cathedral were the medieval version of "this is what will happen to you if you don't buy what we're selling." Nearly every artist involved in its creation is anonymous. Hope they got paid, at least!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

"Death, Race, Sex, Death, Race, Sex, Death, Traffic, Sex"

My daughter is standing at the bathroom sink, sculpting in tissue, soap and water. "I am the great inventor of toilet paper art!" she declares. And: "Water is the enemy of toilet paper."

All of which is no comment on the following, except to say I think she's moving toward a world where separate literary anthologies from men and from women may not be needed, but for now...

Launch party at P&P Friday 7/25, 7 p.m., for Stress City: A Big Book of Fiction by 51 DC Guys. Dudes discussing the work include R. R. Angell, Juan H. Gaddis, Brian Gilmore, Dave Housley, Charles R. Larson, Alex MacLennan, Richard McCann, and David Nicholson.

Here's a chunk of a review: “Stress City is a core sample of the D.C. male psyche, a tube that comes out striated with the compacted layers of what's on these guys' minds: death, race, sex, death, race, sex, death, traffic, sex.... makes me feel like I never left. Recommended for Washingtonians past and present." – Jordan Ellenberg, author of The Grasshopper King.

Wish I could go; believe I will be beaching.

Photo: Mural by G. Byron Peck, who did the Stress City cover art; photo by AudeVivere, Creative Commons 2.5.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Son of a Window Dresser!

There's Obama graffiti all over France. Outside the Cluny. On the road to Hautacom, in chalk, for the Tour riders to roll over. He's bigger than David Hasselhof in Germany.

And I've heard he's huge in Japan.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Gotta Love Those Little Visitors

OK, had to post this chunk from the website of the place where we're staying:

"Our village of L├ęzignan provides wonderful strolling walks for those who are looking for the peaceful traditional French village. L├ęzignan has a beautiful 17th Century church. The church spire is unique to the Barony of Angles.

There is also plenty of wild life, with deer roaming the woods behind Chez Passet, and birds of prey circling above in the blue skies. We also have the little visitors too, with Doves, the Nut-hatch and of course the Robins and Great Tits."

Of course.

Photo: Weekend

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Lawn Savant Who'll Lop a Tree--Oh!*

I'm off to France to taste of the healing waters of Lourdes, y'all. Won't be doing none of that there bloggin for two weeks.

Food of the Gods.

Song of the Season.

Oh, can you believe this, it's all over the Internets! CNN correspondent Michael Ware has been sleeping around. It's all over the news, because, of course, it's really big, big news when a man sleeps around like this, OMG!! (There's this woman correspondent who's been fooling around, too, but who cares, I mean, that's not news, when a consenting adult woman has sex with other consenting adults, who would ever care about that or think it's news? Silly me.)

A Hillary Clinton supporter in a "Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History" t-shirt would have tried to have my child taken away if she knew I write erotica and take my clothes off in front of strangers. Even though neither of those things are ever done in a way that my child would ever know about, care about, or be affected by.

Countless Obama supporters speak of their contempt for Hillary Clinton for letting her husband "get away with it" when none of them know anything about that couple's private arrangements. And neither do I.

Perhaps the sacred waters and hikes in the fresh air of the Pyrenees will improve my disposition. I have been feeling a little Sade. If all else fails, Armagnac.

Photo: Two or Three Things I Know About Her.
*: Pynchon.