Friday, June 30, 2006

One basketball player I don't see anymore in ads is Sheryl Swoopes. She was the 2005 MVP in the WNBA - right? Funny how coming out as a lesbian made her invisible or maybe I'm looking for her face in the wrong places. I haven't seen any pictures of her in Sports Illustrated. What's UP with that? Is she no longer a role model or pin-up for the league? Hey Stern!
My son and I walked over to the park this evening. Geez, we hadn't done that in a long time. The park was filled with another generation of young kids as well as the old timers. A number of guys greeted my son with warmth and respect. It's what happens when you make a name for yourself on the neighborhood court. Many of the guys who were playing on the playground did good in high school and are playing in college (or getting ready to go). So many good basketball players coming out of the DC/MD/VA area. I spent the evening helping my son get his game back. Condition time as July says hello. Much of the time was spent trying to improve his shooting with his left hand. We also joked and played father and son games. I challenged him to hit 10 free throws in a row and I would pay the $35 dollars to get his shirts out of the cleaners. He made it to 8 and then missed - I was laughing all around the court and getting the exercise I needed. So much fun...tomorrow we'll go out again around 6AM and do some more drills.
And here's to you Mr. Robinson, baseball will miss you more than you will know. Frank is gone after the whacking the Nationals took tonight. It was painful. When I stopped watching Tampa Bay had 10 runs. The Nationals are playing like a last place club. Guillen and Soriano are gone in July. The Nationals just can't hit. What are guys swinging at on 3-1 counts when the ball is in the dirt or outside the plate??? Baby, please take a walk to first. This club has NO pitching staff. No middle relief pitchers. Nothing.
Maybe this is the problem:

"Soccer has exploded in popularity in the last few decades: there are now as many as six million Americans under eighteen who play in youth leagues. Among young people, the sport is now second in popularity to basketball. Every kid in the American suburbs, it seems, owns a pair of shin guards. Soccer accords nicely with baby-boomer parents' notions about sports: every kid gets to play, no one stands out too much, there's plenty of running and trophies for all."

- Jeffrey Toobin "Un-American Activity" in THE NEW YORKER (July 3, 2006)
So right there in the latest issue of DIVERSE magazine is a quote by a dean of one of our leading colored colleges. This guy has banned the braid and the dread like it was a drum in Congo Square. I laughed when he said his school was like the Marines. If you join you have to wear the uniform. Maybe that's the problem with so many of our institutions. What war are we preparing for? Who are we fighting? Are we soldiers- or doctors and lawyers? What if I want to be a poet and not a soldier? I'm glad Howard U didn't want me to learn how to simply polish my shoes. My daddy taught me that. I expect more from a college. My son was accepted into "this academy" mentioned in DIVERSE, I sent him north and not south. A year ago we both read the student Handbook from the academy and had problems finding the word freedom in it. What would Nat Turner do?
I just read the interview with former NBA power forward Terry Cummings in THE FINAL CALL (June 27, 2006). A positive piece about fatherhood. I checked Terry's site and enjoyed some of the music that he recorded. Listen to "All I Want" at:
The pentagon is revising a document that calls homosexuality a mental disorder. Nice to see folks changing the way they think about others. Now, how do we define war?
I'm always looking for new interesting spots where one can read a newspaper, relax and just chill. Two places of note are:
Starbucks on P Street (between 14th & 15th). Geez - hard to believe this is now behind my old apartment building (Newport West) on Rhode Island Avenue. The other place is Caribou Coffee located at 17th & L Street, NW. On a weekday morning this place feels like midtown Manhattan.
I like to watch workers getting their coffee, some folks having little meetings; the seating is cool and the place has that nice corner sunlight that is better than the pastries.
Friday and I'm feeling better. During the last few weeks I've had more medical exams than I've had in a number of years. As one becomes older it's very important. My blood pressure was so high I was about to visit strokeland. Funny how I'm feeling much better later in the day these days. Knowing about the different types of sleep disorders that are out there will help too. It's important especially for older black men to visit the doctor and not just sit at home reading those articles about "what's wrong with black men?" Diabetes and cancer will knock on your door even while racism is living across the street.
I find I can read more of what Rabbi Michael Lerner writes each day. It's so important to move beyond power politics in the Middle East. We need transformations in consciousness and the heart. I've been receiving my TIKKUN alerts and sharing them with folks. More of us need to embrace the path of King and Gandhi.
The "Nipple" gets out of jail on Monday. Lil'Kim is going to be released. Didn't you miss her?
When is her next video and song coming out? I bet there will be 2 to watch (enjoy?).
So IT in New York has six guards on the Knicks team. What is he doing? Guarding a bank or running a basketball team?

Turn the other ear - Evander Holyfield (43) is coming out of retirement. My only question is why?

Prayers to Lamar Odom (Lakers) and his family who lost their baby boy who suffocated while sleeping in a crib.

World Cup picks for me today: Argentina and Italy.
If you have wonderful new poems, please consider sending a few to( me ) Poet Lore magazine.
Here is the address:

Poet Lore
The Writer's Center
4508 Walsh Street
Bethesda, MD 20815
I received a note from scholar J. McWilliams yesterday in Dakota land. Well it seems the "2major" African American literary journals (Disney & Exxon?) turned down publishing some of the correspondence between me and Charles Johnson. One of the explanations was so sad I wanted to go out and immediately purchase a copy of Ebony. It's another reason why I find many of the black publications so difficult to read these days. The editors don't move beyond their own bedrooms. They try nothing new. I thought the letters from Johnson were fascinating because they captured a writer's spiritual journey and transformation. Geez...can you see them passing on Jean Toomer? Yes - they would- especially if Toomer sent them something after writing CANE. Letters are so important as texts. Just like interviews. This is something the late scholar Claudia Tate understood. I think of how important it was for a reporter to read the years of correspondence I saved from Reetika Vazirani. I'm glad my June Jordan letters are at the University of Minnesota. I couldn't have written a recent article for Drum Voices Revue about Ahmos Zu-Bolton without going back and reading his letters. A couple of years ago there were two writers who were trying to edit a historical account of important African American literary correspondence. This type of book is still needed. Trying to get some of our black magazines to help is like trying to talk to the car industry about new regulations. Bad literary politics is like global warming, folks never know what they are doing to the climate until it's too late.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Late afternoon at Busboys and the sunlight comes through the window making the writer Pamela W. glow. She's a regular in the place so the sun (and moon) know where to find her. I'm at the other table with Irene, Kale and the Amazing Ginger G. We are talking about politics in Ethiopia and other things that go with 2 pizzas. I hadn't been to Busboys in a few weeks, the place is still a center of activity. Cool Dan in the Teaching for Change Bookstore looking like a happy married man. Bless him with as many children as books. So nice to have an evening after the rain...where is Coltrane and his horn? Tonight he would go home and compose something for Niama. I bet she would hum the melody back into his arms.
Clarence Thomas spoke from the bench today and there was flooding throughout the land.
Repent little sinners- repent. The judge is judging on Judgement Day.
I've been working with Poets House the last few months. Here is a link to a cool website:

Spread the word.
Ginger G. called this afternoon and encouraged me to post some information about the Fulbright program. Ginger G is a former Fulbrighter. So here goes:

The 2007-08 competition contains several Study of the U.S. award
opportunities in Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines -
which also has an award in U.S.-Philippine Relations. For more
information on grant activity, qualifications and stipend, please select
the appropriate country from the following list:

More information on Fulbright Scholar Program in general can be found at
the website and on the U.S. Senior Scholar program at If you are ready to apply,
please click here to register for the Online Application If you are not
considering making an application this year but know someone else who
would benefit from a Fulbright opportunity, please feel free to forward
this message on. Please be in touch with any questions.

Thank you,

Mamiko Hada
I had a good meeting this morning at the TransAfrica office. I met with Mwiza and Karen. We discussed the upcoming benefit for the Arthur R. Ashe, Jr. Foreign Policy Library on the 21st of October. Here is the website for the TransAfrica Forum:
They are having a program this evening at their office (1629 K Street, NW, Suite 1100). The topic is "Immigration: Dissecting Legislation Affecting Immigrants." $5.00 Admission.
Panelists: Mr. Chuks D. Eleonu of Africa PAC, Dr. Wanjuru Kamau of African Immigrants and Refugees Foundation, Ndimyake Mwakalyelye, Voice of America.

Next month, Monday, July 10th, 6-8 PM, at Busboys and Poets, TransAfrica will sponsor a film/book discussion - VENEZUELA TODAY, A Political Revolution.
Busboys is located at 2021 14th Street, NW.
Friends are telling me the horror stories of flooding in the area. Every area of the world affected by climate changes. I keep thinking I'm going to bump into someone like Jodie Foster in the supermarket. So you say a prayer today but in a few weeks you're in a shelter with a blanket, bottle water and a few possessions. Black, white, rich or poor, when it floods it touches every door. What's next? The plague? Folks saying prayers and prophets are talking about the fire next time. Go figure...
Yes, I was taken115th in the NBA draft yesterday. I will be playing with the Wizards and guarding Etan Thomas with a haiku.
Well, we have a nice AL batting race going on. Ichiro had 2 hits last he's at .358. Mauer on the Twins is knocking the ball around the park. Who is pitching to this guy? He is hitting .392. But this guy is also getting days off to rest. Check how many more at bats Ichiro has. More than 100? The batting race will really begin after the All-Star Game. The hot month of August is when things will shape up for September. Is it possible to hit .400? Yep. Going into September a person would have to have an average as high as .420. This means they could have a cushion and a slump and still finish the year around .403 or .4o4. If a person heads into September hitting around .380 or .390 it's going to be difficult; especially when those races to the World Series are taking place. Teams might just not let you you're average won't have a chance to move up. Also the pressure will be on every at bat and every swing. This batting race could make everyone forget about Bonds, homers and steriods. A return to the Ted Williams school of hitting?
I started reading Lee Martin's THE BRIGHT FOREVER last night. Very good. This book was given to me by sweet Sally Kim at Random House. It's one of the books she edited and is very proud of; Martin lives in Ohio and directs the creative writing program at The Ohio State University (Columbus).
I'm not running for mayor of DC but let's look at our Mayor's Summer program for kids. I think it still has the name leadership attached to it. Remember when Mayor Barry took pride in every DC youth having a summer job? Well, everyone talks about youth but let's be critical here. It is summer so why not sweat the truth. Both my children participated in this program when they were younger. They thought it was a joke then and they still laugh about it now. My daughter said she learned how to play cards one summer. Well, that was something we didn't play at home, so I guess she learned something- right? Anyway, I have no idea why the following isn't done---- Children should be kept in their neighborhoods. No busing to some site like Howard University for orientation. Keep the kids in their neighborhoods and have their summer headquarters be located right where they live. During the summer the first thing kids should be taught is civic and civilian responsibilities. Let's also bring back the word conservation. Kids should help clean and restore their local enviornment. During this information age there is still a place for those Booker T. Washington skills. I would encourage the teaching of "building" skills and manual labor during the summer. Geez, can't our kids paint buildings and do a local DC Habitat thing? With all these condos going up - can't a kid learn how to build one? Oh, and there must be serious coordinated summer excercise. Many of our young folks are just out of shape. Do I sound like Prez Kennedy? This is how the morning should begin. I also think during the summer for 1-2 hours every child should be learning a "summer" language. Why can't we use the summer to learn Spanish or Arabic? This would be a good opportunity to also deal with race relations. African American kids could be paired with Latinos and form language squads. The best teams that can speak the "new" language at the end of the summer might win awards and compete during the next summer. This might encourage them to continue to work and use their language skills during the regular school year. Well, let me stop here, I'm just sweating with ideas and it's hot. What are those mayoral candidates doing? Are they still knocking on doors and simply handing out their resumes? Geez. All I ever hear the candidates saying is that they want good education for kids living in the city. Has anyone ever wanted bad education for children? Let's be real and do some thinking. If folks can't develop good summer educational program for kids, why should I trust them with the rest of the year? Is this an old math problem? If one subtracts the summer from the 4 seasons, how many seasons are left for a politician to mess up?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Here is a link to something Grace Cavalieri said about the poet Ahmos Zu-Bolton:
Rupert Murdoch is on the cover of the latest issue of WIRED but inside is an interesting article by Chris Anderson. "The Rise and Fall of the Hit" just explains how much things have changed. Here is one thing that just jumped out at me: "Today's top-rated show AMERICAN IDOL, is watched by just 18 percent of households. During the '70s AMERICAN IDOL wouldn't even had made it to the top 10 with that kind of market share. Collectively , the hundreds of cable channels have now surpassed the networks in total viewership. No single one dominates."
Tomorrow I have meeting at TransAfrica. We are planning a program for October 21st that will support their Arthur Ashe Library. Hopefully, Edwidge Danticat will be participating. More details later...
Good things are always taking place in the world and good people are at the center of it. It was nice to sit in the lobby of the L'Enfant Plaza Hotel this afternoon and watch the Fulbrighters walk around. From June 28-30, 2006, there is orientation for Fulbright scholars going to the Near East and South Asia. I was invited by John Sedlins (Branch Chief/Near East/South Asia Fulbright Programs) to participate on a panel "What It Means to Be A Fulbrighter: Your Role in the Community." Also on the panel were Everette Penn (US Fulbright Scholar -Egypt) and Katie Zaman (Fulbright -Bangladesh). I spoke about my 2004 visit to Israel. I thought the Q&A discussion was very good. People directed questions to Katie who had spoken about the importance of taking photographs while overseas; another person directed a question to Everette and myself and asked about how we were received overseas as African Americans. I thought it was interesting that the question didn't come from a person of color in the audience. But I thought this was also another indication of the type of people who are Fulbrighters going overseas. They are sensitive to what is going on in other cultures. This is the only way we can help improve the world.
Oh, is that another Duke rape case article in the today's Washington Post? This one by Ruth Marcus. Folks are pulling out all of the stops to have this case thrown out before the next school year. This is where it helps to have contacts, power, and influence. Another way of saying you are in a better position if you're white and can plead your case. I was in the Provisions Library a few months ago looking at a photo exhibit of men who were released from death row because of DNA evidence. Yes, almost all the men were black. Almost every case was about a black man convicted for "raping" a white woman. But when I read some of the cases I was shocked to see that a trial even took place. Where was the evidence? Many of the white women didn't know who raped them - just that the guy was black. That was enough to put an unfortunate soul in jail for years. They would still be in jail if not for DNA evidence. But what's my point? It was impossible to stop some of these cases, folks went to court because they were poor and didn't have the lawyers, etc. So this Duke case is one to study for how our system responds to race and class. Everyone should have their day in court but what happens on that day? I can see where parents of some of these Duke boys would rather not have that day come. Throw the case out. It sad to say if they were black parents they wouldn't have a choice, in fact how many cases are out there right now and black fathers and mothers have no power to help their sons. Is this fair? Is it justice or just us?
Just read the playbook and you'll understand the game better. Right? In the Washington Post today (page A3) we find the Bush Administration calling new "war" plays. Notice the released photograph of President Bush jogging with Staff Sgt. Christian Bagge, who lost parts of his legs in Iraq. I doubt if we might have seen a photo like this during the early days of the war. The backdrop in the photo is the White House. The President is not visiting Walter Reed or some military base. The picture shows the White House support for the war. It presents Bush as a commander-in-chief and not being removed from the "costs" of war. From the Bagge angle it shows a willingness to continue following his leader. This photo also shows the "future" of the military, which will see an increase in the presence of robots, cyborgs, etc, in training.
Now some good news: The elephant population in the eastern Congo is up. From 265 to 340 the last three years. There are now 3, 800 buffalo in the Virunga National Park, that's up from 2, 300 in 2003,
Well stoning is back. 5 rapists will be stoned in Somalia. What year is it? On the otherhand this sends a message out to the world that the Islamists are serious about cracking down on crime. Now they just have to keep defining what a crime is. Might someone be stoned for a poem or painting? Stay-tuned. Oh -and the name Islamists -is this what folks are calling themselves or is this another Western media label. Hard for me to tell. Let me know what you hear...
Mistakes? Mistakes? IT. Yes it. IT (Isiah Thomas) should be fired right now. No way the Knicks are going anywhere next season. Who can they beat? The Wizards? Celtics? Nets? they win their games in Atlanta. Can the Knicks beat the Heat right now? If the answer is no...Thomas should leave now and get to New Jersey before the fans turn hostile in the Garden. Joe Dumars should give guys like Thomas - and yes the Jordan guy some workshops on how to build and run teams. Isiah is not Avery so he is not going to get anything out of the Knicks. Look for Francis, Rose and Marbury to walk around with Gary Payton clown masks for most of the season. The only solution is to give these guy some Phil Jackson booklists. The first book the Knicks should read together is the Bible. Right now I can't even pray for this guys.
Heart scars and Gaza. I'm always sadden when things in the Middle East fall apart. I think of Carter trying to find a solution when he was president. Things might just get worst in the area the next few weeks. A Palestinian suicide attack inside Israel and it's all downhill from there. Who makes war? How come we are always "looking" for peace? Why can't we find it? Who is responsible for this game of hide and seek? Why can't we make peace, the way we make war? Can you imagine a build-up of "peace" troops around the world, ready to "attack" and help improve lives and not destroy them? Instead of refugees running from soldiers with guns, they would be running to embrace them, and receiving water and food. This can happen...we just have to make it happen.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Why don't folks trade Guillen and Soriano for Miguel Tejada? Please.
Oh...and check the art work of Willie Cole. You have to see his shoe sculptures which originated as a critique of Imelda Marcos. There is a picture on page 48, of the International Review of African American Art. This magazine might be the best thing coming out of Hampton University right now. Juliette Harris is the editor.
Subscription information:
Last night I read the wonderful article about David C. Driskell that's in the latest issue of The International Review of African American Art. The title is "David C. Driskell, The Artist and His Gardens by Rebecca T. Frischkorn and Reuben M. Rainey. Driskell talks about his gardens in Hyattsville, Maryland and Falmouth, Maine. Driskell makes the following observation:

"...why not listen to nature? We see ourselves as the object of the universe, and everything has to fitour formula, instead of our fitting in."

Driskell reminds us to love the land. I like how he begins each day by going out into his garden and seeing how the world has changed. In the Driskell article there is also reference to the garden that was created by the poet Anne Spencer (1882-1975). Spencer who was a member of the Harlem Renaissance designed her garden at her residence in Lynchburg, Virginia.

In this same issue of International Review of African American Art (Vol. 20, No. 4) there is an article about the new Faire Gallery/Cafe in Seattle. This new site was created by Elisheba Johnson (the novelist Charles Johnson's daughter) and opened back in February.
The difficult we'll do right now,
the impossible will take a little while.
- Billie Holiday
Storms. Computer problems at home. Should I call FEMA? Parts of the surrounding area is beginning to look like New Orleans maybe a reminder to folks in this city that they should be doing more for folks down south.

The front page of today's NY Times says it all. A picture of 10,000 empty mobile homes at an airfield in Hope, Arkansas. On the same page a picture of Warren E. Buffett and Bill Gates with an article about how they are going to tackle disease and education problems. It seems as if these guys can do more than our government. Which brings one to the following conclusion. Is our federal government just for entertainment and ceremony? Don't you care about what Rice is going to wear to the next reception? Either things are going to be done on the grassroots state and local level or we are going to have to rely on innovative and progressive business leaders to tackle the big issues like education and healthcare reform. The best minds are not in government right now. Visionary politicians like Gore and Carter are more effective outside of public office.

Monday, June 26, 2006

If you don't want to walk in the rain today, sit home and read Matt Schudel's wonderful essay (Washington Post) about the trumpet player Clifford Brown. Brown died at the age of 25 back on June 26, 1956.
50 years later the music still lives.

For samples of Brown's music go to:


Hope House DC is looking for a half-time development manager. The right person for this job will have development experience, good writing and phone skills, as well as a willingness to research new sources of funds. We are a small non-profit organization that works with incarcerated fathers and their families ( Salary commensurate with experience. For more information contact Carol Fennelly at 301-408-1452.
From Noah to Gore? What's with all this rain? Coming back from the DCJCC last night I discovered the umbrella in my bag was broken. Not a good thing. It's like a flat spare tire in the car trunk. I was lucky to make it home without being as wet as Shaq running down the court...or was that simply champagne dripping from him last time?

The Dorfman play (Picasso's Closet) and our conversation yesterday was very moving. Another nice IPS event. We made several thousand dollars. Try and purchase a copy of Ariel Dorfman's memoir - HEADING SOUTH, LOOKING NORTH. It's a Penguin Book that sells for $15.00.

Today is hospital time again. A Stress Echocardiography (Echo). Not the "Echo" sung by Sweet Honey In the Rock. This is a stress test that records images of one's heart before and after exercise. It tells whether your heart is getting enough blood to meet its increased demand for oxygen. But what about the need for more Love? How do we measure that? What would my Echo sound like then - maybe it would just be an echo? Here's the riddle: A man leaves home looking for love in the world. Why did he leave home in the first place? I've always been curious about those men who simply walked out the door one day and never came back. Did they walk into another Middle Passage? Did they stop, turn, and look over their shoulder? How many men left running in the middle of the night or just before the dawn? Trying to get as far away before a wife or child noticed they were gone. What happens that first and second night when no one knows where you are? What happens when folks stop waiting for the police to find your body?
How many men keep moving looking for that Daddy Underground? A place where some woman might offer comfort and the soft touch of a hand across the scars on your back...

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Hey - was that Ethelbert on Evening Exchange with Kojo? Geez - I missed it. Did anyone catch it?
I just completed work on the comments I have to make at the Fulbright program - Wednesday, June 28th, 4 PM at the L'Enfant Plaza Hotel. I'll be speaking to about 200 Fulbrighters going to the Near East and South Asia. I'll share my experiences of 2004 when I had a Fulbright to Israel.
Not serious news yet. If you think troop reduction in Iraq is important you won't find the story on the front page of the Washington Post. There is a small story on page A10. Watch how this same story (with photos of someone) will appear on the front page around September. The story in today's newspaper is what I call a balloon. Float the topic first. It's like when a company like Washington Gas or Pepco want to increase their rates. You get those little news annoucements of rate increases in the envelope with your bill. The print is so small you can't read it. All you know is that your rates are going up- soon. Yep -troop reduction is coming. It might just be one guy on a plane heading back to the States, but you can't tell because of the fine print. Right?
Ichiro watch:
2 hits last night.
He is 8 points behind Mauer for the AL batting lead:
Mauer - .368
Ichiro - .360
No way Mauer is going to win this. Look for Ichiro to have a 3 or 4 hit game soon. He might even be the league leader by tomorrow. No need to wait.
Oh...and Ichiro has been up to bat how many more times than Mauer? Give Mauer those additional at bats and the guy would probably be hitting .290 at best.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Troop reduction in Iraq will be the big issue around Labor Day. With NATO forces due to handle more Afghanistan patrols and America pulling back in Iraq -this might show Bush moving up in the polls. All of a sudden - Republicans are looking good and the polls and media will say they will probably hold and not lose any seats. Yep...didn't you see this coming back in March? It's the typical Republican playbook. Stay low early and peak around election time. If you think the NBA schedule is too long, so are the political games. The only thing that can upset things is Mother Nature doing an audible and sending a storm out for a pass. Those FEMA trailers will fly when the wind blows hard. So sad. Can prayers hold those levees from breaking again? Republicans will be praying. I don't see too many changes coming from those other folks. The Democrats remind me too much of the Kansas City Royals. They might need to cork a bat or two. Was that Howard Dean or Brett running out of that dugout screaming last time?
Just call me Jack Bert and not Bauer. I chuckled when I saw folks at that" other" think tank sponsoring panels with cast stars from the television program- 24. It was obvious that previous episodes was placing folks inside the "Patriot Act" and forcing them to torture their way out of trouble. No wonder this might go over big with the Homeland Security folks. What would Jack do? You? Me? So what can we expect next year? Well, look for 24 to give us the real bad guys. So you thought the Cold War was over? Think again. Here come the Chinese. We know where we can find them so they are a better enemy than Islamic terrorists. Making China a bad guy brings attention to their recent movement into Africa and South America, plus these guys are using too much oil. Right? As you might recall at the end of this season's series, Jack was on a slow boat (how many hours) to China. Where will the new season pick-up? How much time will pass? Months? Maybe a year or two? Look for Jack to be kept in one of those secret prisons - yep...everyone is doing why complain. That's the subtle message. Jack is tortured, so that will give us the green light to provide payback. I wish Chloe could find me a new computer.
Tomorrow I'm looking forward to seeing Ariel Dorfman's play PICASSO'S CLOSET at the DC Jewish Community Center. 3 PM. 1529 16th Street, NW (at Q Street). I'll be interviewing Dorfman after the performance. Cocktail reception after.
The worst book I've read this year has to be THE SEXUAL LIFE OF CATHERINE M by Catherine Millet. I read this book in a few hours while in New York. The writing will make your penis weep.
I stopped into Melody Record and purchased "ClothesDrop" by Shaggy. I love the beat. Work music...
Vaclav Havel will be 70 this year. There is going to be a Havel Festival starting on October 5th.
The place will be NY and the Untitled Theater Company # 61 is going to be doing it. Havel will be at Columbia University for an 8 week residency. Something to look forward to.
Will America ever elect someone to high office like Havel?
So the King papers are going to Morehouse. That's good. Let's just hope the institution will take care of them. Too often historical Black colleges lack the resources that are needed for upkeep. We are talking King's papers - not cotton. When I was growing up in the South Bronx I remember guys getting new cars and just sitting in them. No gas and not a map in their lap. Let's keep King's dream alive and take care of 10,000 handwritten documents worth about $30 million.
Today was a day for getting the basics done. Bank trip, haircut, etc. I sat in a Starbucks on lower Connecticut and read some Poet Lore packets. I later moved to Cosi and read a bag of magazines and papers.

Things to check:
I don't care too much for ESPN magazine but the latest issue (July) is must reading. It's about steroids and pitchers. Yep. Pitchers.
11 of the 14 players suspended in the majors and minors have been guys throwing from the mound. Let's move the attention away from the sluggers. Let's "bond" with the pitchers. These are the guys who want to keep their arms working and healing as quick as possible. Tim Keown writes this cute line in the article:
"So now that we know what we know about pitchers, is it fair to raise an eyebrow because Roger Clemens can command more than $3 million a mouth - at age 43?"
Hmmm. Roberto Clemente was our last hero.

Have you noticed all the Duke case coverage lately? Simply an attempt by folks to push this case out before the next school year begins. Right now this case is not going to begin until spring 2007. Things are becoming dangerous when the public feels they know all the answers before there is even a trial. Everyone has an opinion but only the opinion of a jury matters. Let's not make our judicial system a game show.
Talking sports, my son's basketball team will be getting a new coach. Coach D is leaving. My concern is how this will impact my son's career. Can the team make it back to the NCAA dance?
Is that the lost Book of I in New York? Knicks are going nowhere until they get a big man.
Second rain delay. I was watching the Nationals play Baltimore. Since the score is tied let's make some changes now. Trade Soriano before his average hits .240. Get something for Guillen. These guys are not going to lead a team into a playoffs. Sorry...oh- can we get a shortstop for this club? A slick fielder who can steal 40 bases and hit about .280. Where is the outfield on this team? These guys must only hit when they are on vacation. Poor Frank Rob has to go too. It's like placing your parent in a home. Tough love but it's good for everyone. Who is going to make the decision? How soon? Is this season over? If I see another relief pitcher walking the leadoff batter in a close game in the 8th inning- they are off to the little league.
The Nationals seem to resemble the Wizards. They don't even look good on paper. Where is Joe Dumars? Can he make some trades for a baseball team?

i’m walking down broadway from the random
house (building). I had a 12:30 meeting with sally
kim. we laughed and talked about book publishing
and what kate had for lunch. so many people are bringing
salads from home these days. it’s like fiction. (at 51st
street) i check my watch and it’s 2:15. i don’t want to be
late for my meeting with elizabeth macklin. she once wrote
for the new yorker. what else can one do in this town?
I meet liz at an irish bar on 14th street. you know the one
across from the subway station? you can’t miss it.
liz has a manuscript of poems translated from basque.

why do poets meet when the world cup is being played?
japan just scored a goal against brazil. it’s just as hot outside.
after beer (and conversation) I say good-bye
to liz. now i’m walking down 14th and heading over
to 4th street. on the corner are two boys kissing like barnes
& noble. inside the store the books are fresh and open.
I purchase e.e. cummings- the selected poems. tonight i’ll
watch them undress before reading. my bags
are packed and waiting (for me) somewhere on harrison street.
that’s where my mom lives. she introduced me to new york
in 1950. why did my luggage have such small hands?

E. Ethelbert Miller
June 24, 2006

Friday, June 23, 2006

Looking for someone to edit your manuscript? Contact my friend Grace A. Ali at the following email address:
Grace has been helping me with a project. She's a wonderful person to work with.
Important information:

Ethelbert: do you have any contact information for artists. I am trying to get the word out to as many artists as I can that the Gateway Georgia corridor has an immediate rental vacancy that would do well as an art gallery. The price is $3,000/mo, but includes three floors. Several artists splitting the costs could probably manage.

Among the benefits of locating in the Gateway Georgia corridor, is (1) an upscale nearby market that appreciates fine art in Shepherd Park, Colonial Village, Takoma Park, and Silver Spring, (2) proximity to downtown Silver Spring which promotes dozens of art related events annually, and the opportunity to synergize, and (3) an attractive display window in a newly upgraded facade.

If you know anyone, please have them contact me immediately. Or better yet, send me links where I can post info about the rental availability.


You can reach Marc at:
Black guys want to blow-up the Sears building? Yipes. Bigger(s) with a bomb? Well, I do recall Bigger was cutting off Mary's head in that Chicago basement the last time I read my Wright. But what year is it? I've told folks since 9/11, that "radical" African American muslims are the folks the US government might have to watch too. Guys who have been locked up for years, converted to Islam and emerge back into society with a triple identity: Black, American, and Muslims. As a race we've always had a nationalist segment and folks will put a Fez or something on their heads and push back a plate of pork in a minute. Meanwhile, the good folks who embrace Islam out of a desire to live a good life are going to suffer from future investigations. You also know when folks start rounding up folks from Haiti and linking them to Bin Laden we have a serious global problem. Look for the CIA to start talking about VooDoo terrorism? How do you stop that? Duct tape?
Well, I'm back from NY aka Poetic City. The Poets House celebration was a nice event. It took place on Wednesday evening. I arrived in NY on Tuesday. I kissed my Mom on her head when she opened her apartment door. HomeGirl will be 90 soon. She still has a grocery cart and instead of pulling, she's pushing. Life cycle advice hidden in that observation. I went over to the Village and had dinner with Opal M. I hadn't seen her since Furious Flower(the sequel). The sister is simply a lady of grace and beauty. We had Mexican food and talked about the literary world. Opal is working on a book about Gwendolyn Brooks.

Wednesday morning I did some walking around NY. I made it over to the ACA Galleries (529 West 20th Street) where they were exhibiting Benny Andrews work. In the show was his Trail of Tears paintings as well as his Langston Hughes series. I wanted to see Obiora Udechukwu's art work at the Skoto Gallery (same address) but they were not opened. Walking back across town I got a phone call from my friend Elana (visual artist). I met her downtown in front of the Film Forum. We walked a few blocks and had lunch in a small cafe.

New York can seduce a person. The streets have beautiful legs and the buildings expose themselves too often to the sky. One keeps looking up and wanting to touch maybe a 15th floor.

I went back to my Mom's house to get ready for the reading at Rockefeller Park, Battery Park City. It's right around the corner from where she lives. I sat across the street from the Park waiting for Opal. I saw Grace Paley get out of a cab and spin around looking lost. I love her. She always greets a person like they are family. I felt I was still in my Mom's apartment but I was looking at the Hudson and watching folks prepare for the evening. When Opal arrived, we all walked down to the trailer where the musical group The Persuasions were relaxing before their performance. Man, you know these guys have stories. Beautiful black men. Singers with that old school personality and harmony. Behind stage these guys are warmer than all the notes they sing.

And then Gerald Stern arrived - looking like a Bard. What a guy...such fun to be around. Nonstop teasing and jokes.

It was a great night for poetry. A good audience. A wonderful lineup...with only Jeter missing:

The Persuasions
Marie Howe
Willie Perdomo
Gerald Stern
Tracy K. Smith
Martin Espada
E. Ethelbert Miller
Regie Cabico
Grace Paley

Poems and songs flowed into the evening. The sun pulled her legs beneath her dress and sat down behind the Hudson River.

After the reading I saw a number of people I hadn't seen in years...including Herman Beavers and Juliet Bruce (

I was also happy just to rub Willie Perdomo's head and hug Martin E...who looks like Fidel these days.

Oh - my sister (yes the woman from Fathering Words) was down from Yonkers. We ended the evening with dinner at a nearby Indian restaurant. Bombay baby, Bombay:

Thursday morning I went up to mid-town to meet with my former editor Sally Kim. Sally works for Random House now. We had so much fun laughing and talking about the publishing industry.
I was so inspired leaving her office that I wrote a poem...
Here is the result of the 1st MILLER CLASSIC at Bennington:

Fiction Writers 14 - Poets/Nonfiction 9

I plan to sponsor the event every June. It looks like I might have to return and play too. :-)
yours is the light by which my spirit's born:
yours is the darkness of my soul's return
- you are my sun, my moon, and all my stars


Tuesday, June 20, 2006


How are you going to get out of this one, Ornette Coleman?
A new Black Quarterly is out (Spring/Summer 2006 issue). This one features an interview with Ngugi Wa Thiong'o. Whew...I haven't see or read his work in a number of years. He has a new novel - THE WIZARD OF THE CROW coming out this year.
Ngugi is now head of the International Centre for Writing and Translation at the University of California at Irvine.

In the old days I was eating a steady diet of Ngugi and Fanon, on rye. Nothing to drink.
Did you know this?

"Chlorine, a staple in public pools, is also an issue. Dr. Jeanine Downie, a dermatologist in Montclair, N.J., who is African American and was a competitive swimmer, said that chlorine can turn black skin "ashy" and cause processed hair, popular among black women, to break off or discolor. "The hair issue is a big one," Dr. Downie said. "African-American women are always saying: 'What am I going to do with my hair? I can't get it wet.' "

NY Times- 6/19/06

Ah...I remember the ashy skin...the search for Ponds and Vaseline. Some people kept these items next to their bibles, while secretly praying to God for a whiter skin.
A benefit for the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial and Speak Truth To Power.
Friday, October 8th. Pier Sixty. Chelsea Piers, New York City

Katherine Dunham Familial Memorial Celebration, June 22 in East St. Louis.
For more information contact Eugene Redmond:

Another new book:
Editor, Luis Cortes Bargallo
New book coming out from Tony Hoagland:
The publisher is Graywolf. Look for this baby in October.

Monday, June 19, 2006

OK, there will be a few more E-Notes and then darkness until Friday. Look for new changes to my website:
I've created an archive section that might be helpful to literary scholars. Send feedback and suggestions.
The University of Minnesota is the publisher of THE NEW DOWNTOWN LIBRARY: Designing with Communities by Shannon Mattern. Should this book be required reading for all DC voters and politicians running for mayor? We need a new main library. If it's not going to be like the one in Seattle we shouldn't even break ground. And if we build it - we must take care of it.

Talkin about breaking ground...geez. How come the person who is able to raise the most money running for DC mayor is suppose to be the best candidate? This is so silly and should be stopped. I'm tired of local politicians giving me paper or brochures that are mini resumes. Yes, I know you're looking for a job. But what are your plans for the city? Right now I have no idea who to vote for.
The latest Folklife Center News (Vol 28, Nos. 1-2) has a wonderful picture of Pete Seeger on the cover. Contact the Library of Congress, American Folklife Center. Inside the magazine is an article about the films made by Seeger and his wife Toshi.

The new SABLE is out with Chinua Achebe on the cover. This Brit Pub given to us by Kadija Sesay is key to understanding what's going on overseas. Hey - was that a picture of that guy Ethelbert on page 73?
So I'm not alone. Norman Chad's column in today's Washington Post was about Ichiro. Yes,there are a few of us out there who realize that baseball history is being made. I was glad to see Chad listing the fact that Ichiro has only made 12 errors in his entire major league career. Oh Chad hit the mark when he wrote:

"Some people find it relaxing to watch a crackling fireplace; I am soothed by the sight of five Ichiro at-bats an evening."

I tried to explain all of this to Ginger G at Sala Thai.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

In the cartoons someone always says - "Yipes!" That's how I felt after reading about New Orleans in today's NY Times. It's so obvious that NO voters made a dumb mistake letting Mayor C. Ray Nagin have another turn at bat. This guy can't hit and can't mayor and look for another hurricane to knock him in the head. There are many Nagin(s) around the country. Black politicians that look good in suits but do nothing but play a race card now and then. Usually the R-card is pulled from the bottom of the deck around election time. So I'm suppose to vote for Nagin because it's good for my black self-esteem. Oh, please...stop this nonsense, it's turning me all red, black and green. Poor folks are going to be sufferers for many years. No help is coming.
New Orleans is Rwanda without the machetes. Poor people having their economic limbs severed by redtape, lack of vision, greed and Negroes who want a buck to hide in a freezer. "Yipes" said
(C)artoon. Ray Nagin. Toon. Toon. Toon...went the Mardi Gras drum.
I took the bus up 16th street this morning. I ran into the Jackson 2. Fun to see poet Reuben Jackson. Today was the 2nd Annual Martens Volvo Grand Prix of Silver Spring. Fun watching a bike race. I never did that before. Afterwards I stopped in Borders and purchased Russell Banks' CLOUDSPLITTER. I was thinking about this book while up in the Northern Country of New York. July is going to be my book month - a time to do summer reading. So it's Banks and then back to Doug Brinkley's THE GREAT DELUGE.

At home - folks fixed a Sunday lunch for me. They gave me a new book I'll look cool when I visit New York City this week. Talkin NY...the baseball game this afternoon was sweet...very sweet. As good as Jim Bunning pitching that no-hitter back on a Father's Day - remember? Nationals won in the 9th with a homer by Zimmerman. Yes - please don't trade this kid. In a few years folks will be placing his name next to Brooks and those Boyer boys. And A-Rod thought he had won the game. He He

I received a few nice phone calls from my best friends wishing me a Happy Pop day. Much love and thanks to Ada, Julia, and sweet Ginger G. If family is blood then good friends must be either air or water...something one can't live without.

Ada's husband Obiora Udechukwu has an art exhibit at SKOTO Gallery in New York. I plan to see it this week. Here is the link to the gallery site:

Sad note: Cody's Books in Berkeley is closing after 50 years.
American Idol. It's a chance for everyone to believe they have talent and can win. We place our hopes in others. Years ago we would be happy just to have a few family members around in a basement as we held a broomstick in our hands and thought it was a mike. Or maybe we wanted to be Aretha but that was on Sunday when the preacher turned his back. American Idol? Is this the way to pick a president? So I'm reading about Barack Obama who folks mention as a 2008 Democratic contender for the Oval Office - why? The guy gives ONE speech at the 2004 Democratic convention in Boston. I didn't hear it. I read the text the next day and found nothing in it. Bubble gum politics or what one might call early Beatle music before the group began to experiment. It's hunger that gives rise to wanting to select the next president of the US as if we were watching television. The issues around the world demand that we once again find the best and the brightest, not the folks simply high in the polls or walking away from a movie script into reality politics. Bring back old school rap and don't believe the hype. Maybe we are our own worst public enemies. We like Barack because we play with his name like it was foreplay. It's not difficult to say unless you're a member of the old school immigrants. I spent my entire childhood learning to say the names of friends who came from Russia and Poland. We were encouraged to read Russian authors - now we can't say an African name? Please - let's not be lazy and let's stop laughing. Too many people are fighting hunger and poverty for us to simply be fascinated by a politician's name. But let's move to what the guy is saying. It's nothing but the old Governor Wilder upgrade. 2.0. I could write my own script. Ethelbert, the great, great, great, great, great grandson of "free" Martians who came to Earth looking for a planet closer to the sun. After many obstacles I have a better understanding of global warming because my ancestors adopted dinosaurs before they became extinct. Geez, I could present this on Jay Leno and folks would encourage me to visit Iowa or New Hampshire the next time I left DC. No reason not to hit the campaign trail when People magazine and Oprah want you to pose. But would I have any substance? When was the last time you heard anyone on American Idol that could really sing? Really sing. Where is that voice for the ages? We need that type of American President right now. Someone with that Teddy Roosevelt swagger, JFK intellect, Lincoln last quarter - jump shot. But folks want to give us a Cuomo -one speech guy. I remember when folks tried to stick Julian Bond on the ticket at a Democratic convention. He was too young to accept at the time. From Bond to Barack, is this the journey? If so, what's the price of the ticket? And where are we going?
Ichiro Watch:
He's cooling off. But if he can get several mulitple hit games before the month ends, he will be leading the AL in batting.
Mauer (Twins) is maintaining a 17 pt lead. I won't mention how many more at bats Ichiro has.
Ichiro is at .363 and in second place.

Early morning. You rise and find a card on your desk from your son. You sit reading it. You realize this is a card he spent time looking for. It's not one his Mom purchased and told him to sign. It says what he wants to tell you and you feel the insides of yourself crying. You're a writer and you know that words can do this. And then at the bottom of the card, he writes "thanks for all the times you've been there." Maybe this is what so many sons want to tell their dads right now. Are we there? You sit waiting for the sun to begin another day. Yes, you're in a place you call home, but that word "refugee" you want to use at times. But now this is one of those moments when you realize that God knows more than you. You understand what it means to have faith in the unseen. You remember what your own father told you once, about how things seem to balance in the end. Your father didn't ask for nothing much, he just struggled to do more. You remember him always working and so this is what you begin to do. It's why you rise early. You're a writer. You start writing and discover for the first time that the word "family" has the same number of letters as "prayer."

Saturday, June 17, 2006

There is homework for literary activists in the latest issue of THE NEW YORKER (June 19, 2006).
Read D. T. Max's "The Injustice Collector" and see what James Joyce's grandson has been doing.
Why are people always trying to protect something or someone? Why keep secrets from history? Why destroy letters?
I plan to make corrections to my Will again. I prefer a committee of literary scholars making decisions along with family members.
On page 37 of The New Yorker is a nice ad for my upcoming reading in New York: POETIC CITY - A CELEBRATION OF WORD & SONG ON THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF POETS HOUSE. June 21, Battery Park City, Rockefeller Park, 7 PM. Regie Catico, Martin Espanda, Marie Howe, E. Ethelbert Miller, Willie Perdomo, Tracy K. Smith, Gerald Stern and THE PERSUASIONS.
I finally got around to watching another one of those movies that have been sitting on the DVD shelf at home: Million Dollar Baby.
Eastwood is always good for a good movie soundtrack. This one has some sweet jazz moments. Is this a 4 Academy Award film? No. I could have done without the Freeman voice serving as a narrator. It's like someone taking you to the bathroom and holding you so you can hit the bowl. Geez...there was enough pop wisdom is this movie to make me float like a butterfly and sting myself to death. Poor Yeats being read outside the ring. This is Hilary Swank's movie. She was a knockout.
Hey - Vote for Ichiro to start in the All- Star game. Right now he's is 4th among AL outfielders. That makes no sense. Someone must be handing out less ballots in Seattle.
Here is a summer question: How good is Jason Campbell, the QB for the Washington Redskins.
Is this guy Kwame Brown with a helmet?

Nationals have been losing again. Poor Frank Robinson. I doubt he will make it through the end of the season. Who is this team going to get for Soriano? Look for the new owners to create a low budget team that's going to be in the basement for 5 years. Might it be that DC has much in common with Boston and Chicago? Must we suffer for many years like Red Sox and Cub fans before we win a World Series? I'm certain I won't see it in my add another 50.
Oh, and why do people feel they can end a war with a calendar? You just can't pick a date and bring troops home. We've reduced the war into something we hope we can manage. The reality is we've destroyed many lives and planted seeds that will haunt our children's children. You just don't walk away from the death of a soldier or the destruction of a mosque and get on with your life. Life consists of memories and stories. It will be 500 years from now and someone will be blaming someone for what we've done today. The challenge we face is how to not START a war. Wars will only end when there are no winners and losers. Until then we continue to "play" this ENDLESS game we even teach to the unborn.
So many people still living in trailers in Louisiana - another bad storm and they will be asking what lies beyond the blues? What's on the otherside of paradise? Folks need homes - Not shelters.
Tiger, Tiger, no longer burning bright? Silly. Why do we expect Tiger to win every golf tournament?
Did Jordan make every basket? Life is about seeking balance and understanding victory and defeat. The goal is to become better to practice and to live.
How do you fix a broken country? How long will it work without needing new repairs? All quiet in Mogadishu? I was reading the front page story in the Washington Post this morning about Somalia. The Islamic Militias have restored calm to this city after 15 years- and look at these comments by Diiriye Jimcaale:
" Our ears are resting now." and "Now we hear nothing."
So the guns are gone but at what price? This is going to be a key issue. People will embrace anything when faced with chaos, and that's where Somalia is trying to return from. Law and order begins with curtailing crime and then suddenly you can't see certain types of movies because it's against the law. The thugs become moral police which means they simply change uniforms and quote scripture that could be interpreted 10 different ways. When veils become longer you never know when they begin to resemble hoods.

Keep an eye on Somalia and Nepal the next 2-3 months. Can these nations move forward?
Will the US begin to aid countries without first looking for Uncle Bin in every attic and basement? We failed at this during our fight against Communism. We failed to understand nationalism. Sometimes nationalism is the face behind the Islamic veil. Some countries like the style, while others would look foolish wearing something else. Democracy can be a dress in need of matching shoes.
Evo Morales Pays Homage to Che

La Paz, Jun 14 (Prensa Latina) Bolivian President Evo Morales will pay tribute to Commander Ernesto Che Guevara Wednesday on his 78th birth anniversary, at La Higuera Village, where the guerrilla spent his last hours.

As part of the homage, Morales will inaugurate a medical center donated by Cuba and head the graduation of a group of Bolivians who learned how to read and write through the Cuban campaign "Yes, I Can Do It."

Political leader Hugo Moldiz noted those governmental achievements corroborate the validity of the fight of the Argentinean-Cuban commander, aimed at providing health and education for the Bolivian people.

Popular leaders, other governmental members, and Cuban Ambassador to Bolivia Rafael Dausa will attend the act at La Higuera as well.

Also today, Morales will install modern equipment at the state Vallegrande Hospital, whose clothes washing area has become a sort of sanctuary, for it was there where Che´s body was shown after his assassination in October 1967.

Local reports reveal there is much expectation in the region about Morales´ first visit there as president, and also because it is the first time a Bolivian president honors Che Guevara.
No Stackhouse for game 5??? Stu in the NBA office was never too smart. A dumb decision coming at this time. Folks might as well give things to the Heat with a Cuban cigar.
So I'm watching that third game and Wade has 5 fouls. Why didn't folks just attack him and place him on the bench? I saw plays going away from him...
Win a road game and you win the Series.
Congrats to Donald Hall. He will be the new poet laureate of the US. Another plus connection for the Bennington program. A good choice but not the one I thought was going to be made. I was looking at Rios, Nye or Osbey to represent a new turn in American voices. Well, Hall likes baseball so that's good.

University of Louisville: The Audre Lorde Chair in Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality.The departments of Women's and Gender Studies and Pan-African Studies at the University of Louisville invite applications and nominations for the Audre Lorde Chair in Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality, to begin August 1, 2007. The Audre Lorde Chair is a tenure-track, assistant professor position jointly based in the Department of Women's and Gender Studies and the Department of Pan African Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences. We seek a candidate who can contribute to the intellectual life of both departments and whose teaching and research emphasis is the intersection of race, gender, class and sexualities across national boundaries.

The Audre Lorde chair will teach courses in both Women's and Gender Studies and Pan African Studies, and will develop coursework in lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender/queer studies. A preferred area of focus is the study of social activism along and across these axes of difference, and the optimal candidate will serve the university's urban mission by enhancing both departments' connections with the local community.Applicants must have Ph.D. in hand by July 1, 2007, discipline open. Interested candidates must apply on-line at: (job opening #20092). The online application process will require that you attach a c.v. In addition, applicants must submit by mail an application letter describing teaching and research interests; curriculum vitae; and writing sample (article or chapter); and evidence of successful teaching to: Nancy M. Theriot, Department of Women's and Gender Studies, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292. In addition, three letters of recommendation must be sent directly to Dr. Theriot by the recommenders. To be given full consideration, materials must be received by December 15, 2006. The University of Louisville is an equal opportunity employer and particularly encourages applications from women and people of color.

Friday, June 16, 2006

So much to talk about...I'll be up to speed in a few hours. More later.
Hey- where did I go? For a second I thought I was one of those "Flying Africans." I'm back from the the North Country. I was at the North Country Institute for Writers of Color Retreat at Valcour. I've been unplugged for a few days. The first time in a couple of years. head feels better.
Being at the Retreat provided me with a much needed break from my schedule. I conducted a memoir workshop for 4 writers, worked on my Dorfman interview, read a bit and simply relaxed. I also gave a reading at SUNY Plattsburgh with Jeffrey Renard Allen.
The North Country Institute and Retreat for Writers of Color is really cool. There were seven writers there: Ching-In Chen, Joyce Harte, Yanick Rice Lamb, Clemon Richardson, Xavier J. Richardson, Heather Tamir and Subhanah Wahhaj. What a great bunch of people. I'm certain we will all stay in touch with each other. Regina Brooks, of Serendipity Literary Agency gave a good seminar on book proposal writing.
Here is the Institute's website:

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Be sure to read Rachel Yoder's (graduate student in the creative writing program at the University of Arizona) essay in today's New York Times. It's about love addiction. It's what happens when things more from passion to obesssion. I've seen this happen to a couple of friends over the years. I really didn't understand it. Why couldn't a person just stop calling or talking to someone. Folks have done that to me all my life. Like many addictions if you're outside of it - it looks crazy. But try curing yourself. It's difficult to imagine a situation where love might not be a good thing. Read Rachel in the Times today. It's the modern love column in the Sunday Styles Section (9) page 11.
Ichiro watch:
3 hits yesterday.
Average: .367

Saturday, June 10, 2006

How many men put their shoes on in the morning with no intention of returning back home. They open the door and they close the door. What are they thinking when the doorknob is in the center of their hands? Where are they going? Why is the unknown so much better than the known?
Kim Roberts continues to do a wonderful job with her BELTWAY magazine. She recently decided to reprint a 1982 interview I did with the poet Ed Cox.
Here is a link:
I walked down 16th Street to Marc Raskin house around noon. We had a nice lunch and conversation. The "Rask" is such a wonderful thinker. I often feel like a villager with a bowl trying to capture each precious drop of wisdom that he shares.

Bill Moyers is back on PBS this month. Friday, June 23rd he will present his program on FAITH&REASON.
Watch previews at

2 Packets of Poet Lore submissions read today.
Impossible to hit .400? Ichiro is hitting .565 in his last ten games. This might be a career year...
Keep in mind that he got off to a slow start in 2006.
THE NEW YORKER which just hit the newstands also contains selections from Operation Homecoming. This is the NEA project which invited American soldiers and their families to write about their wartime experiences. Fifty writing workshops conducted by American writers were held at twenty-five military installations in the US and overseas. I was one of the writers who conducted a workshop for troops in Italy. This fall an anthology of Operation Homecoming material edited by the historian Andrew Carroll will be published.
Another wonderful poem by Henri Cole. This one on page 110 of The New Yorker (June 12th).
"Self-Portrait With Red Eyes."
...and I was watching Hotel Rwanda just two days ago. This very important statement by Philip Gourevitch appears in the latest issue of The New Yorker:

"We entered the Second World War nearly three years into the fight, and then not to save Europe's Jews but in response to a direct attack on our territory and, ultimately, to repel Fascist aggression. We did not save Cambodia from itself, and did nothing while eight hundred thousand Rwandans were killed. And when Europe was again disfigured by concentration camps and ethnic cleansing, in the Balkans, we waited for years before pacifying Bosnia and, later, Kosovo with aerial bombardments. (Even then, the logic was as much strategic - to bring a defiant dictator to heel and restore order on NATO's turf - as it was humanitarian.) We have not sent forces into Congo, although it has been riddled with massacres in the past decade, nor did we send troops to southern Sudan during the civil war there that claimed more than a million lives in the past two decades. So it is not surprising that we have stayed our of Darfur."
Ichiro Watch:
2 hits last night.
Aveage is at .364

Only one person to catch. That's Mauer on the Twins. He is hitting .384. The catch is that the guy is a catcher. Look for his average to drop by next week. Ichiro should be able to pass him soon. The key to keeping the average up is having mulitple hit games and avoiding a serious slump like going 1 for 24 or something like that. Of course the baseball Gods can humble you with an injury and then you're on the bench and have to start all over again.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Today I'm curious...Did the Buddha ever visit a black college campus? Time for lunch and I'm feeling the urge for a jerk chicken sandwich. I need to feed the Garvey in me. I step outside into a flow of black people coming from a high school graduation. Caps, gowns, flowers, tight dresses,
heels, gold cornrows and balloons. I listen to the sound of voices bouncing on the pavement. It's loud and has a DC heat to it. It's another reminder that every black person has a differernt zipcode. We might not want to mention it but if Zora was running around measuring heads she would be surprised by her DC discovery. We be different and the same. I chuckle to myself like a Washington Post reporter doing a special series on race. Ah...the search for enlightenment continues. Paradise is a place where black people live. I keep hearing and reading about it.
Jane Hirshfield is on the cover of the latest issue of THE BLOOMSBURY REVIEW (May/June 2006). The article about her is the only thing worth reading.
So you're Gary Payton and you're on the bench and can smell a possible NBA ring. Sniff. Why are you sitting and Jason Williams is playing? Yes - Williams did hit 12, but checkout how he came down once,or was it twice, or maybe three times (at a key point in the game) and decided to jack a three. Geez. Trade this kid again- please. Where is his buddy Randy Moss? Why is he taking a shot when the game has a nice flow? So you're Payton and you look at the front of your jersey - it says KNICKS all over it. Yipes. Riley coaching another playoff game without a touch of MAGIC. Sweet Poison Avery all over him in game one. Give this one to the coach and Jason Terry. Oh...and let's go to the postgame show. I don't have cable so I often miss the clowns who are on ESPN. But check this - This was Terry's game right? So here we go to the post game interview and the silly African American with the mike talks to Dirk Nowitzki first as if it's the World Cup. No - it's the NBA finals fool! It's Terry's time! Hit the brother with a question first. Nope. After the Nowitzki interview (and he was gracious and sweet with his comments), Scott the Mike man turns to Terry and the first thing he mentions is the missed layup. WhY??? You could see Terry's face get that look folks had when Jack Johnson stepped in the ring. A man turns to a ghost at a time when he just wanted and needed the light.
If we can package war, why don't we package peace? Please read Philip Kennicott's excellent interpretation of yesterday's images of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. It's in today's Washington Post (Style Section).
Here is an excerpt:

"The framed image of a head also has a disturbing sense of the trophy to it - proof of another small victory brought home from battle - which connects it to what might be called the ultimate self-destructing image of victory: the "Mission Accomplished" photo-op staged on an aircraft carrier on May 1, 2003. Even before the war had definitively turned sour, that single image established a patten. The war would be politicized."

The "pattern" might also come from our government agencies not rewriting their "play" manuals. Mistakes keep being made maybe because the folks in the rooms don't understand how the game is changing. It's like England not understanding the Colonials are fighting a different type of war.

If we compare the war on terrorism to the war on drugs, it's easy to see the problems we are going to face in years to come. Killing or putting away one big drug pusher is not going to end the war. Defeating terrorists on one corner or in one neighborhood is not going to bust addiction.
Educating people not to use drugs is our only hope. Building a world of tolerance and respect for others is one of the major challenges we face today as human beings on this planet.

But check the front page of the New York Post today. There is a picture of Zarqawi and the newspaper's editors turn it into a "cartoon" by having Zarqawi saying "Warm Up The Virgins."
Now this is the front page of a major newspaper in a major city. This headline might rub many devout Muslims the wrong way. Is this Denmark? Was this necessary? No. Let's say we are in the editorial room of the New York Post - who votes for this cover? Where did this come from?
The headline of the New York Post has that "high school" prank tone to it. If riots were to break out in Brooklyn someone would simply offer an apology. But it's too late then. In our battle against terrorism why do this? Is it necessary? No - it isn't. It's the type of gloating that shows we have no grace, or we fail to uphold high standards of ethics and moral codes. We place future soldiers and citizens at risk by thinking we are playing a game.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Ichiro Watch:
3 hits tonight
Average: .362
So I'm walking down Columbia Road this morning and I'm behind a conversation between two young Latino men. They are loudly disagreeing about something and calling each other niggers. Hmmm. I felt so outside their dialogue. Now and then words remove their sweaters and I guess everyone thinks they can wear them.
Important information for You and Me:

Washington, DC, June 8, 2006. Michelle Bachelet, the newly elected president of Chile, placed a wreath this morning at the Sheridan Circle memorial in Washington, DC, that marks the site of the assassination of former Institute for Policy Studies colleagues Orlando Letelier and Ronni Karpen Moffitt. Orlando, the former ambassador to the United States under Chilean President Salvador Allende and an outspoken critic of the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, and Ronni, a 25-year-old fundraiser, were driving to work at the Institute on September 21, 1976 when they were killed by a car bomb set by secret police agents of the Pinochet regime.

In her remarks this morning, President Bachelet emphasized that she could not come to Washington without stopping to pay her respects and to remember this act of horror. She also spoke briefly with IPS Co-Founder Marcus Raskin and IPS Director John Cavanagh, expressing her gratitude for the Institute s commitment to keeping the memory of Letelier and Moffitt alive and pursuing the struggle for justice.

IPS has held an annual human rights awards program in the names of Letelier and Moffitt for the past 30 years, and has worked with others to hold Pinochet accountable for his crimes.Bachelet s personal history ties her to this tragic event. Nearly 30 years ago, President Bachelet's mother worked as a volunteer at the Institute for Policy Studies with Orlando Letelier s widow, Isabel. Isabel led a Third World Women s Project at IPS and was also active in the Chile Human Rights Committee. Michelle Bachelet sometimes stopped by the IPS offices to visit when she was a medical student.

During Bachelet s campaign for the presidency, Isabel Letelier served as an active volunteer.In addition to being a friend of the Letelier family, President Bachelet and her family also suffered greatly under the Pinochet dictatorship. Her father, an Air Force General who supported democracy, was tortured to death by the Pinochet regime and President Bachelet and her mother were themselves detained and tortured in the years following the 1973 military coup.At Sheridan Circle (Massachusetts Ave. NW and 23rd St.), Bachelet emphasized the importance of remembering what happened to Ronni, Orlando, and other victims of the dictatorship as a way to strengthen democracy and to prevent such atrocities from ever happening again.

Her appearance at Sheridan Circle was part of a one-day visit to Washington, which included a meeting with President George W. Bush.For more information, contact: Sarah Anderson, tel: 202 234 9342, ext. 227, or email:
Ichiro Watch:
4 hits last night
Average: .358

New projection:
Avoiding a serious slump...Ichiro could end the month of June hitting close to .380.

If Ichiro is having a "career" year (and it's too early to tell) then he could be hitting well over .400 during the month of August. Could this also be the year he breaks his own hit record?
Look for the media to start paying attention to what he is doing by the All-Star game. With Pujols out...Ichiro might be the major baseball player to watch. Oh -and Seattle is playing better ball this year too.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

World Cup? NBA Finals? No - It's the MILLER CLASSIC:

It's my great pleasure to tell you that our own E. Ethelbert Miller will be sponsoring an annual Bennington Writing Seminars Softball Game, hereafter to be known as:


Rules of This Game—

1. It will be a contest between the poets and the fiction & non-fiction writers.
2. Look for a sign-up sheet in the Post Office the 1st day of the residency.
3. Each team will select a captain.
4. The game will run 4-5 innings, depending on time.
5. All participants on both teams will share in the $250 prize money, i.e., each player
will receive a voucher that can be used in the Bennington College Bookstore toward
purchasing a book of poems (Poetry books only--hence this baby is called THE

If you own a baseball glove or softball glove, please bring it with you. And if you’re
driving in, think about bringing any favorite bat or ball you might have, too. And
don’t forget your cap!

- Victoria Clausen
If DC had a levee we could be in trouble. Who should be the next Mayor of DC? The Washington Post today has a profile of Marie Johns. Would this woman make a good Mayor? Maybe...
She's talking about education. Everyone has an issue, yet this is a key one as the city moves into gentrification 2. The second level of transformation. Why do those new green banners on U Street and also 14th suddenly look so colonial? Did you know the area is now know as Mid-City? Who came up with this? France or Portugal? What's a Marie to do?
A nice downtown Cosi meeting this morning with my friend Saundra. We met a couple of months ago at National Airport; discovered we have several friends in common. The world is small and wonderful, which is why we continue to struggle for peace and more love.

Letter today from Jackson Bryer, President of the PEN/Faulkner Board. I've been voted to sit on the PEN/Faulkner Foundation board as an Emeritus member. Other Directors Emeritus are Nick Kotz, Diane Rehm and Susan Stamberg.
Talking about war. I'm in the Mocha yesterday with Charli B. I'm shaking my head because of all the beheading going on overseas. Geez. Cutting off folks heads. What year is it? Did I miss the French Revolution again? Why are folks running around with machetes and serious cutting knives? And what if you're a guy who is just running with the wrong crowd? Maybe you're a very pious soul and you just want change in your world and maybe a return to normalcy; like the type Calvin Coolidge promised. Anyway, your group leader gives you the "honorary" task of being in charge of- the head. What do you do? I could never imagine myself walking around knowing I was carrying someone's head in a bag. What do you do? So you open the car door - do you throw the head into back or front seat? Do you put the head in the trunk? Or maybe you decide to place the head in the refrigerator for "safe" keeping. What do you do? Do you place the head next to the fruit and vegetables? Do you place it in the freezer? And what if someone did the shopping yesterday? Do you take the meat out and make room for the head? Such "practical" things to decide and someone is doing this right now. I'm still shaking my head and asking why? Charli B looks over at me and says - Ethelbert...look at're crazy thinking about this. I think YOU'VE lost your head. Well, maybe we all have.
So what's going on in Somali? With no central government since 1991 it was just a matter of time before people simply got tired of lawlessness and death. A choice between Islamic militias and warlords is like the NBA finals. I always had a problem with the word "warlord" or maybe it's just that movie with Nicolas Cage keeps playing in my head and the African leader changes the term to Lord of War. Whatever. So you're sitting down at the US State Department what do you do? Who do you back? Black Hawk Down again? Might Somali become a base for Al Qaeda? Sooner or later we are going to have to recognize the role nationalism plays in many of these conflicts and how Islam is going to change itself (morph?)wherever it seizes a state. What's the role of the secular Muslim in the future? Would an Islamic government in Somali restrict the use of khat? What role would women play in the future? What type of dialogue will Islamic law have with democracy? Behind all of this will surface economic interests. If you have a new government in Somali curbing those coastal pirates, it going to be something folks can't ignore. You can't have a group of guys in little boats attacking ships; this would just curtail tourism to East Africa. So we are faced with either an unstable Somailia or a stable one. Do you go with Shaq this time?
Ichiro Watch.
4 hits last night.
Average .350

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Poetry reading by Reuben Jackson and Sunil Freeman, Friday, June 9 at 8 p.m. at Savory Cafe, 7071 Carroll Avenue in the Old Town section of Takoma Park. Free admission. 301-270-2233 or This is the first in a series of readings the Writer's Center and Savory Cafe will present at Savory Cafe.

Support these guys. Poems to savor at the savory. A poet ain't nothin but a Reuben. I love the guy. Good to see Sunil outside the Writer's Center...where would that place be without him.
Attend Marita Golden’s two-day workshop “I Want to Write...But”

Friday/Saturday June 23rd and 24th and Friday/Saturday August 11th and 12th

Tuition $249.00

This workshop is the perfect solution for anyone who has ever said
“I want to write, but…” You want to write but don’t think you have the time. You want to write but you can’t get started. You want to write but are stifled by fear and self-censorship.

This workshop will help you gain confidence in your RIGHT and ABILITY to write. We are all born to speak. We are all born to write. We all have a story to tell. Are you ready to tell yours?

Release and discover the writer in you in a safe, nurturing, supportive workshop that will help you claim your writer’s voice and empower your life.

For a description of the workshop or to register visit or call 301-683-2134
writer/speaker/writing workshop presenter
Thinking about my father when the only thing left is Father’s Day.

It has been almost twenty years since my father died. I think about him quite a bit because I often feel as if I’m living his life. There are things that still trouble me when I look back at this man who lived mostly in the next room. This man who struggled to teach himself to play the piano, to read the notes on a page. This man who would spend his morning off from work polishing his car and until it shined like the riches he never had. This man whom I watched television with, who let me braid his hair into knots. This man whose silence echoed throughout the house unless he was in the back room talking to himself. I never knew the content of his mumbles. I did suspect that the intensity of their volume was also the source of a deep hurt.
The type that comes when I suspect you lose a limb or succumb to a disease you can’t see. Now that my father is dead I search my memory looking for clues as if his death was a Cold Case.

What I remember is that my father loved jazz. It was a music I didn’t understand when I was young, and so I didn’t understand my father. I didn’t know why he needed to take a solo when he did. I didn’t understand the fury of notes that made me afraid of him. My father was perhaps trapped in a big band without the guidance of a Duke or Count. Too often when I looked at my father I saw a man who was angry at how people looked at him; especially his family. I think my father felt that many people considered him to be stupid. My father had no degrees or certificates but what he understood was the rhythm and melody of life. He embraced jazz like a mistress, with its sparkle and dazzle. My father liked music and musicians, and maybe his coolness is what I saw when I looked at pictures of Monk. My father wearing a hat on a funny angle and trying to balance his happiness with his despair. I know my sister would probably talk about a different father if I called her right now on the phone. But my sister saw the world with a daughter’s eye and so the darkness I felt in our Bronx apartment never blinded her. Even before my father’s body was cremated there was a dust that fell over me while I slept as a child.

Today this dust takes my breath away, and the broken pieces of my father cut into my throat and when I mention his name there is blood in my voice. I walk around carrying the symptoms of death. The disease associated with black men who failed because they were not loved, or because people loved to think they were dumb or stupid within their own households. In my father’s case a printed piece of paper, a legal document, or just words were not something people came to him to explain. I can’t remember my mother or anyone else in the family asking my father to explain a document. Just like I live in a house (today) where no one expects me to fix anything. So no one looks to me, instead they turn to surrogate fathers who are given titles like “uncle” as if they were members of the new Iraqi police force. I don’t need that type of help but I appear to be helpless within my own home. The unspoken title of dumb or stupid could be placed on my head and I could be instructed to sit in a corner. But what if I had those Booker T skills and vocational training and could repair as well as build, would this define my manhood? No one looks to me for anything and so I stumble into the upstairs rooms of my house and after the silence and my heartbeat becomes too much, I play my jazz recordings and the music is as sweet as a father’s kiss and a son’s remembrance. There is an emptiness all fathers seem to hold at times, not in their hands but in their lives. It’s as if all our bones were hollow and someone, maybe God kept blowing through them, struggling to make us hear ourselves.

E. Ethelbert Miller
The Black Women Playwrights' Group is presenting their 17th Annual Staged Reading, Monday, Tuesday, June 19th & 20th at 7:30 PM

EVERYDAY GUMBO at The Studio Theatre, 1501 14th Street, NW
Price $20
$22 at the door.
For tickets:
Art exhibit to go see:
THE ARTS OF GUYANA at the Inter-American Development Bank, Cultural Center Gallery.
June 1 to August 11, 2006
1300 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C.
Felix Angel is the curator.
Ginger G went to the opening and said the show was wonderful. It was like placing gold ribbons on her roots.
So what's going on with the Kansas City Royals? How do those guys put on their uniforms everyday? It's amazing how teams can simply start losing or winning. It's almost like gentrification.

Monday, June 05, 2006

"Best of Friends" exhibit at the Noguchi Museum, 9-01 33rd Road at Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City, Queens. (718) 204-7088
Through October 15th.
Pictures that capture the friendship between sculptor Isamu Noguchi and futurist Buckminster Fuller.
I've been telling people about the growing presence of Islam in the Latino community. In today's Washington Post (Metro section) there is an article about this. See "A Clash of Culture, Faith by Sudarsan Raghavan. The following point is made in the piece:

"Across the nation, thousands of Latino immigrants are redefining themeselves through Islam including a few hundred in the Washington region, according to national Islamic groups and community leaders. Precise numbers are not available, but estimates range from 40,000 to
My friend Denise Chavez has a new book out:
A TACO TESTIMONY: Meditations on Family, Food and Culture.
Rio Nuevo Publishers:
New movie - big cast: A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION. I like Robert Altman's work. This film is done with Garrison Keillor. On screen is Woody Harrelson, Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Kline, Meryl Streep, Lily Tomlin and others.
Release date is Friday.
Good oil news:
Nigerian militants released 8 foreign oil-rig workers after two days in captivity.
Restoring the marshes and swamps around New Orleans is just as important as fixing levees.
Natural protection is key, so is more federal help. Check the Wall Street Journal (Page A4) today and notice Governor Blanco trying to get some of that oil profit. Some of the Oil companies simply want to drill and run, money "spilling" out of their pockets.
A statement made by Kofi A. Annan (Secretary General of the U.N.) in today's Wall Street Journal:

"As long as there are nations, there will be migrants. Much as some might wish it otherwise, migration is a fact of life. So it is not a question of stopping migration, but of managing it better, and with more cooperation and understanding on all sides. Far from being a zero-sum game, migration can be made to yield benefits for all."
Tucked away in yesterday's New York Times was an important article by Henry Fountain on climate change and global warming. You don't have to wait until things start melting in the North pole. Just go outside and check your backyard. The increase in carbon dioxide in the air can aid such things as the growth of Poison ivy. Ragweed does well too; leading to more pollen in the air. According to Fountain there is already an increase in asthma. Another thing he mentions is the extreme weather we seem to be having. Harsher droughts and heavier rainfalls.
The aftermath of this can too often be an outbreak of disease. Sorry to share these "Gore" details.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Here is my Email address:
Looking forward to hearing from All. One world. Peace and love is still possible.
The joy of doing E-notes can be found in the nice notes I get back. This one made me smile like Al Gore:

"Take care of yourself E. I learn much about what's going on in the world by signing-on to the E-NOTES. I truly appreciate the time you take to keep, not only me, but all the enotees informed. I wish you were President."
Tuesday - June 6th, Author Ariel Dorfman will be at the D.C. Jewish Community Center, 1529 16th Street, NW. Tickets are $10. 7:30 PM. to RSVP.
"You know, freedom is a two-way street."
- President George W. Bush
The new owners of the Washington Nationals are going to have to face a serious problem if the team keeps winning and enters a wild-card chase. Do you let your best players go to other teams because you are making plans for the future? That could cut your fan base below the knees. Each win keeps Frank R in his job. Old school and it works for now. Look for money to change everything - it always does. Baseball is a business with too many people walking around believing they have balls.
I'm still curious as to who the next poet laureate is going to be. Hmmm. Pinsky reviewed Alberto Rios new book in the Washington Post today. See the review of THE THEATER OF NIGHT (Copper Canyon) in the Book World section. Could this be a smoke signal coming from the Vatican of the Library of Congress? Rios would make an excellent poet laureate. A man of grace and intellect. He recently accepted an invitation to become a contributing editor of Poet Lore. Well, maybe there will be some good news this week.
Don't you get tired of being a problem? The Washington Post is downstairs and I'm upstairs. I don't think I can read another article about the plight of the black man. Aren't Jewish, Korean and Native American men having problems too? What's going on with young white males in rural areas, lacking education and doing drugs? Where are the reports and headlines? Why is the White community never in crisis? Is God dead? I could lift a newspaper story from any decade in the 20th century and place Oprah's picture in the next column and you would think it's what's going on today. I remember all those Black Survival conferences from the 1970s. I remember when we were not going to make it beyond Y2K. Geez. Here we are - black and living.

I do know we need to do something about New Orleans. The last time I looked black men were living down there. Here is a city we should simply encourage black men to rebuild. Can we do it?
Are we going to stand on the sidelines and let developers or Tulane University run everything?
So here is the challenge to the black male. Simply rebuild New Orleans. Do we have a Booker T to lead us? We do need some vocational skills...we are talking rebuilding not surfing the web with DuBois.

To rebuild New Orleans we have to tackle all the "problems" confronting black men: Unemployment, education, crime, health issues, etc. So let put ideas into actions. Use New Orleans as an experiment to solve things. New ideas for New Orleans. It's a city rich with history one can stand on. Let me stop - I think I hear Buddy Bolden calling me.
Pujols Gods at it again? The game will humble you. It's why I don't expect Bonds to pass Aaron. Look for the S-Slugger in SF to call it quits this summer or after the season. No way Bond-boy is going to get good pitches to hit about 40 long balls and his body is falling apart. I could draft this afternoon that speech that mentions how much time he wants to spend with his son.
Why do folks who are badboys always use the family as a defense? That's like Bill saying he wants to stop being so public so he can spend time with Hillary. Would you believe that? OK - let me stop blogging - I need to spend more time with my cat. Geez.
Ichiro Watch:
3 hits yesterday
Average: .342

Ichiro is leading the AL league in hits, 4th in stolen bases, 3rd in triples.

With a couple of multiple hit games he could be at .360 soon in June.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Most of the day was spent at the Humanities Council Board Planning Meeting. Sheri Betts was the person in charge. Nice person and good spirit. Here is a link to her consultant business:
I like the new Council members who are now on the board: Don Edward, Megan Cosby, Robert Bremner,Lea-Ann Baedda Bigelow,Ines Azar, Moses Nunez and Deborah Royster.
I don't function well at too many of these types of sessions. Difficult for my mind to plug into exercises and notes posted on walls. If this was a Boston Marathon I would have been in Cleveland. All in all it was fun because of the people. I left around 3:30 PM and sat in a nearby Starbucks (they are all nearby) and wrote letters and did some cleaning of the bag I was carrying. On leaving the Star I bumped into new Council member Don E and we walked up to DuPont Circle. I pulled him upstairs into the Provisions Library and he became a member on the spot. Provisions is that type of place. Today I discovered in the back room a bookshelf of books going for $1. Two gold discoveries - MY LIFE IN E-FLAT by Chan Parker (Bird's wife) and NEW DANCE: APPROACHES TO NONLITERAL CHOREOGRAPHY by Margery J. Turner.

I spent a few minutes at Provisions reading the latest issue of SHAMBHALA SUN (July 2006) .
bell hooks is the covergirl. It's a long article by Barry Boyce. hooks is now spending much of her time back in Kentucky, her home state. In 2004 she became the Distinquished Professor in Residence at Berea College, near Louisville. I haven't seen bell in a long time, she seems to have gained weight like Aretha but the bell still rings just as sweet. Someone needs to write a book about writers like hooks, Alice Walker, Charles Johnson and just examine their spiritual transformation. I admire the people who have that Jean Toomer streak in them. I'm a Langston man at heart, nothing but the blues in my life.

I came out of Provisions and went right into Melody Records and purchased The Isley Brothers new sound. So I'm listening right now to "Heaven Hooked Us Up." Yes, this sound. Let me play it over again and again.
Quote of the day:

"I always like to win. I don't get hung up on ideology. Whatever it takes, I will do."
- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
Ichiro watch:
2 hits yesterday.
Average: .335

He could be the AL batting leader by the end of the month.

.350 by the end of June?
Is Mark Brunell injured already? I hope the Washington Redskins are not thinking about a SuperBowl this year.
Oh, and I can't wait to see Peyton Manning being disappointed again. Let's see how good this guy is without a star running back on the field. Peyton is a PassHead.
Every war changes our vocabulary, and never in a good way. Haditha is on our tongues and it shouldn't suprise anyone that something like this happened. It's war and war kills. Soldiers are only human and everyone has a darkside. How many of us under "pressure" might not recognize the devil inside? Investigations simply look for someone to blame. War is where the blame belongs. There are going to be many more words and places coming out of Iraq that will disgust whatever goodness we thought was left in the world. Why is peace still a foreign language? What do we keep talking about when we don't talk about love?

Friday, June 02, 2006

Not too much going on this weekend. I'll attend a Humanities Council retreat down at the Topaz Hotel (17th & N St) tomorrow. A couple of new members were just appointed to the board. I might take a few manuscripts and books to read for after the meeting - maybe slip into a cafe somewhere and read for a couple of hours. I'm still adjusting to my meds. My head fills much better. I didn't want to turn around and look into the face of a stroke. So I've moved into that time of life where breakfast consists of toast and a line of little pills. I'm taking one pill right now. How many will I be taking in five years. I remember June (Jordan) placing a pile of pills on her table. I teased her about one being for oil change.