Thursday, September 25, 2008


Here's a piece from a very good friend of mine, the Irish poet John Lyons, inspired by Louis Zukofsky.

Louis Zukofsky

Radiation he said
We are consumers of radiation
Of varying wavelengths
But radiation nonetheless
Energy that vibrates
That travels
through space and time
as we too
are bound by those coordinates
for all eternity
unless the mass of the universe
is to disappear:
nitrogen and carbon
omega 3,
and the simplicity
of the title he gave
to his life’s work
A poem
A vitamin
An assault
On the first letter
On the mathematics
of meaning
So much depends
We are told
Upon the creation
Of Henry Adams
And Adam Smith
Upon random specifics
Upon a throw
Of nature’s dice
An emphatically
Musical note
Sounding throughout
The pages
In every sense
Truth enfabled
The tortoise
And the hare
No sop to the cultured
Borges pre-imagined
In the myriad infinities
Of the alphabet
Though it takes objects
To people oblivion
Workers in the vineyard
That most literary
Of parables.
He said
As though he were
Composing pages
Of uranium,
To blow the mind.

John Lyons

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The New Serfs

Debt and peonage from now until kingdom come! On Thursday I was premature and off by at least three or four generations when I said that our grandchildren would still be paying for W’s latest act of abnegazione towards America’s corporate poor. I mean, 85 billion is but a drop in the bucket to what he’s proposing now. This is from Bush’s three-page proposal to Congress:

Sec. 10. Increase in Statutory Limit on the Public Debt.
Subsection (b) of section 3101 of title 31, United States Code, is amended by striking out the dollar limitation contained in such subsection and inserting in lieu thereof $11,315,000,000,000.

WTF???! As the Japanese kamikaze pilot in an old Cheech and Chong routine says to his superior officer (who has just told him that he will soon be bravely killing himself by plowing into a US battleship) “Generalsamo, ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR FUCKING MIND!”

What the [expletive deleted] is going on here? Could someone please explain to me why the 90% of the US population that never had a say in how these Wall Street criminals looted the country now has to bail out these very same crooks?

Why hasn’t even one of our elected leaders stood up to say that this is an outrage and that those who were responsible for this disaster be held accountable for their actions? Where is their courage now? Will none of them stand up for the American people?

Of course, both Obama and McCain are on the same boat again, calling for the usual bi-partisan relief effort in America’s endless struggle to help its super-rich. And you can be sure that none of the many trillions (and God only knows how much something like this will really cost in the end) will go to helping out the common man. Not a penny for the hundreds of thousands who are being kicked out of their foreclosed homes, or for the unemployed or the uninsured. Nothing.

The post-modern era, with its hint of democracy, came to a screeching halt last week, and from now on all of the bad bets and toxic securities of the financial oligarchy will be covered by the rest of us, the new serfs.