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Thread: Wikileaks and Poetry

  1. #21
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Array Mole's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    If you liked the poem, "All the Sciences", you can see the poet by clicking on -

    Laura Eve Engel is the second from the left.

    Don't be shy. Ring USA 608-263-3658 and ask for Laura Eve Engel, and tell her you liked her poem, and you just wanted to hear the sound of her voice.

  2. #22
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    Mar 2008
    Hacked last night and revealed today -

    A Crow's Elegy for the Farmer's Daughter

    We gathered in the fern-thin treetops at dusk
    or in the flat sear of noon
    strutted among puddles and spoke only
    of the sky's empty torment
    or ourselves. Once in awhile

    we flapped in the dust and silver rain
    and disparaged wind with our bevel-winged plummetings
    and soundless glides.
    We did not care
    who shot at us for our raucous predawn menacing
    or for settling like a plague of black books in fields
    under the blindness of those homespun effigies
    leering and motionless and coming unstuffed.

    We did not care for you
    though we saw the cortege winding past the arbor
    and drunken berry rows, the ghosts of peach trees bowing
    to acknowledge death's grand simplicity at last

    We were pieces of a blackboard
    upon which last rites were written and did not care
    who could or could not see
    that we were gods and you were not
    ever coming home,

    in spite of the mourners' deeply foolish love
    we could imagine only by flying
    into the sun, where every grief is charred
    and finally burned away.

    - Christopher Howell.

  3. #23
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    Mar 2008
    If you liked, "A Crow's Elegy for the Farmer's Daughter", you might like to see the poet Christopher Howell by clicking on -

    And if you would like to tell him you enjoyed his poem, you might like to ring USA 509.359.4956 and ask for Chrisopher Howell and tell him you wanted to hear the sound of his voice.

  4. #24
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    Mar 2008
    Hacked last night and released today -

    Tabasco in Space

    I hear a generator buzz, I taste those days,
    citronella swirled with cardboard meals
    and ice unlimited, and the welcome thrill
    of Katrina's king cake dolls, half-ounce bottles
    of Tabasco packed with MREs marked
    "Chicken Fajitas." People thought our food
    was special made, a little heat singing
    to the tongue of home, but I knew better.
    Long have the McIlhennys been men in arms,
    and Tabasco has always traveled with them,
    from saddlebags, to officers' tables,
    to the final frontier—Tabasco in space,
    floating from the dripper to the spaceman's lip.

    What could be more American than
    a Yankee banker ruined by the Civil War
    come south to make it big with pepper sauce?

    My worst job, worse than Taco Bell cashier,
    was at Hill Memorial, a special collections library,
    where it fell to me to tackle patrons fool enough
    to sneak a pencil in the reading room.
    Afternoons I worked behind the scenes
    sorting donations, mostly major donor
    McIlhenny stuff, his great-grands dumping crates
    of a rich life's ticket stubs and corsages.

    The librarians couldn't flat out refuse,
    which meant shelf space dog-eared in the stacks
    for resin hummingbird statuettes alongside
    Audubon's Wild Turkey, collectible most high,
    and print number one in Birds of America.
    Protocol demanded white gloves, as on butlers of yore,
    be worn when turning the folio pages
    with tissue paper in between meant to keep
    the reds from fading, red berries and beaks
    living mostly in the archived dark.

    They didn't end well, my library months.
    I got so tired of filing letters to the world,
    letters meant for home, the family bible's
    apocrypha intercepted, transcribed, and shellacked.
    Moss Madonna decoupage, and photographs
    of slaves around the sugar pot, the children
    battling stillness so hard that in the aftermath,
    to history, they're just a blur.

    I wonder
    when they noticed my long, long lunch,
    my blazer left behind on its peg, work
    unfinished on the desk like an exhibit
    at the Gallier House, all but the threshold
    of the room roped off. If only I'd have thought
    to tease them with a prank, something harmless,
    like sharpening the golf pencils at both ends,
    little footprints, Tabasco bottles placed
    at random in the stacks—near Kingfish's
    windbag letters, between gilt books in cages.
    A fake collection, "The Hot Stuff Chronicles"—
    among its contents a list of nonfood uses:
    sentry-watch eye drops, cure-all for a sassy tongue.

    Tabasco released a C-ration cookbook
    as a joke. Somebody sent me one
    in a letter not long ago—did they jest,
    or fear I'd turned survivalist after a peek
    at my post-Katrina stash? So many ways
    to spend a mouthful of vinegar and smoke.
    Maybe I am crazy—awaiting the end of days,
    except for me and mine, who'll be hydrated and fed,
    dressed in desert fatigues, and off the grid.

    - Alison Pelegrin.

  5. #25
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    Mar 2008
    If you liked, "Tabasco in Space", you can see the poet Alison Pelegrin by clicking on - . And Alison is the blonde poet in the middle of the photo.

    Why not give Alison a nice surprise and ring her on USA (985)549-2076 and thank her for her poem, "Tabasco in Space", and say you wanted to hear the sound of her voice.

    But under no circumstance mention you found her poem in the Poetry Section of Wikileaks. This is simply on a need to know basis, and Alison has no need to know anything except you want to hear the sound of her voice, her poet's voice. Discretion is the better part of valour. You don't want the Danes to be taking an interest in your romantic life.

  6. #26
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    Mar 2008
    Hacked last night and released today -

    Without Ceremony

    Once, many skies ago, we drove across the ache
    of Kansas straight to the base of a large mountain.
    We were nearly engaged. We were close to knowing
    each other. At the peak I couldn't breathe and I
    was elated. A fear with a name and I named it. Hypoxia.
    Asphyxia. Things we might call a daughter. Later,
    we played on pinball machines from the '30s.

    There was a natural soda spring. I still can't explain it.
    Something else I loved. There were animals
    that popped from the mountainsides, built of curled horns
    and indifference. Our raft nearly wrapped
    around a boulder. At the take-out point, I jumped in
    and almost drowned from the weight of water
    ballooning my jacket. I didn't drown. Neither

    did you. I loved that, too. I learned that gin
    comes from the juniper tree. Could we name
    a daughter Juniper? There was an early evening the color
    of whiskey, all the trees sending out their air
    of clean and quiet, six hummingbirds spinning
    their wings around us on our cabin porch. On a hike
    too hard, lightning flashed. The ground growled.

    Here, too, I thought we might die. Then we didn't.
    That night the primavera had just been invented.
    We were toasting syrah to luck and odds. Outside,
    the night dropped its blanket of lake water.
    But inside a fire burned. It was meant to be
    rustic. It succeeded, or we let it. Something
    always worried me, my fear a constant shark,

    but there it stopped circling, grew feathers.
    It nested in the rafters, suddenly a quiet starling.
    One night we ate chili rellenos. One night we drove
    far out. We were lost in a strange neighborhood.
    Meteors blitzed over the dome of sky without ceremony.
    You held my head in your hands. We stood there.
    We stood and heard lowing. We stood and heard wind.

    - Catherine Pierce.

  7. #27
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    Mar 2008
    So without further ado and without ceremony, if you would like to see the poet Catherine Pierce, just click on -

    And if you liked her poem, "Without Ceremony", and remembering that their voice is what a poet most respects, why not ring USA (662) 325-3644 and ask for Catherine Pierce. Tell her you have just read her poem and wanted to hear the sound of her voice.

  8. #28
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    Mar 2008
    Hacked last night and released today -

    Do the Right Thing
    (Spike Lee, 1989)

    The days were a skillet on a red-hot eye of a stove.
    The men on the corner, the couple in their apartment,
    the kids playing under a fire hydrant's relief
    were all sitting, loving, or playing in a skillet.

    Heat rose off the assonance of summer language.
    Some called it music; others called it fire.
    The days were a skillet but the nights were a match
    lighting the gas. No moon appeared, only steam

    rising off the sidewalks from the day. Feet
    danced on the skillet, and smoke alarms sounded.
    Moths burst from musty closets fierce
    as kids at play on a summer day. People were evicted,

    put out like butter sliding across a skillet's face.
    Most of us were outside by then, swatting bees,
    swatting flies; we outlived the life span
    of giraffes and cheetahs, made for this weather,

    or we sat on our stoops, indolent but defiant,
    simply escaping the drama of our own lives.
    Even those indoors without air conditioning—
    we like to believe, at least—escaped the heat

    somehow. Mookie, to cool her fire, melted
    ice cubes on Tina's nipples.
    Radio Raheem stole ink off
    Robert Mitchum's knuckles; took the heat,

    too, to cast LOVE and HATE into digital bling.
    When did "soul brother" become an anachronism
    too hot for air-conditioned conversation? In Sal's
    Pizzeria, Buggin Out bugs:

    "Sal, Why ain't no brothers up on your wall?"
    Smiley, auguring smoke to come before nightfall,
    carried matches. The day is a skillet on a
    red-hot eye of a stove; later, a cop has Radio Raheem

    in a choke hold. Later we will light candles
    for Radio Raheem. If a man takes a baseball bat
    to another man's property, that's a skillet, too.
    If a man throws a barrel through a plate glass window,

    others will follow. A pyrrhic victory is a pyre of life
    possessions set ablaze to save lives. Catharsis is the moth's
    flight toward the flame, fluttering in the spotlight, or
    first fluttering then fighting the power

    to flutter, but consumed by the heat until all we know
    of its shimmer is how one smolders to survive.

    - A. Van Jordan

  9. #29
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    Mar 2008
    If we like the poem, "Do the Right Thing", we may meet the poet, A. Van Jordan, by clicking on -

    I haven't been able to find Mr A's phone number, but perhaps someone living in the USA might look it up for us and let us know.

  10. #30
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    Mar 2008
    Hacked last night and revealed today -

    Red Herring

    I say “my love” in a reluctant French,
    even though I hate the French, not the people
    who never did me harm, just the nectar-hearted
    sounds of mon amour, mon chérie, that always
    live in the right mouth on the brink
    of tumbling into beauty, a sad truth
    revealed to me when I overheard a socialite
    ordering a café noisette on the Champs-Élysées
    with the same river of honey
    spilling from the lips of a street vendor
    offering directions to the nearest toilet.
    With all apologies to the French, I’m deaf
    and dumb to harmony, unless it’s guttural,
    which is my shortcoming, one of many to be sure,
    and so to the reader whose uncle dresses hair
    in Marseilles or whose grandparents sell tires
    or blue eggs or both in the wards of Haiti
    and New Orleans and Algeria, dear reader,
    to you who wonder why my tin ear
    even bothered with your native tongue
    instead of following Romeo’s lead
    and saying “O teacher of bright torches,” or Goethe’s
    Die Leiden . . . for that matter, which is no less accurate
    no matter how you translate sorrows,
    my whole point was to use a romance
    language to persuade you cher lecteur
    that this is really a poem about love,
    and not smoked fish or the vagaries of words,
    although one could love a herring
    I suppose if the timing was right and the moon
    shone just so and the fish could order a pizza
    for two in near perfect French,
    which I could never do over the phone
    in any language without repeating myself,
    but which my elegant herring would have no trouble
    doing on account of her thinner lips
    and mezzo-soprano which has the power to save
    some pitiful soul from the torture
    of wrestling my mumbled request for black olives,
    mushrooms, pepperoni, from English into English.

    - Tomás Q. Morín

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