Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The word of the year (2008) is: vetted.
Notice how this word slipped into our vocabulary like a tonic. Remember when the Klan would appear and vetted the brother? No investigation needed - just vet your ass. Talking about Obama needing to be vetted sounds like the need to show a brother a rope and ask him what it can be used for. Go figure. If there is already fear of a black candidate only a whitewashing would be a proper vetting. What do you really need to know about Obama? That's he is not a dangerous or angry black man? Please.

Miles Davis was too cool to be vetted. Paul Robeson questioned the authority of those who felt it was their right to do the vetting. What will Obama's legacy be? I'm Black but I won't be Blue?
Call off the dogs and you won't need a vet.


Thursday, May 22, 2008, 6:30 -8:30 PM.

Speaker: Stephen F. Teiser, D.T. Suzuki Professor in Buddhist Studies, Princeton University



Go Hawks!

An Anthology Celebrating the Poetry of William Carlos Williams
Edited by Maria Mazziotti Gillan and Mark Hillringhouse

Publication Reading on Saturday, May 10, 2008 1 PM
Hamilton Club Building
32 Church Street, corner of Ellison Street, downtown Paterson, NJ

Admission is free.
Save The Date:


2008 ASALH Convention

October 1 - October 5

Sheraton Birmingham Hotel
Birmingham, AL.

Registration is available online at:

Some good news:

President Bush signed into law on April 9th the Second Chance Act of 2007 (H.R. 1593)
This act is designed to rehabilitate and to prepare ex-offenders for a healthy and positive reentry into society.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Politics: Now's the Time

So when is the blood media going to move from Obama to Clemens? What's the next "virus" to come after Rev. Wright? You can't make a story go away; it has to "saturate" the population before it loses its lifespan. Right now Obama can't afford to lose North Carolina. He could use an endorsement right about now that could carry him into Sunday morning talk shows. This is where Al Gore or John Edwards could throw a lifeline. You have to play some big cards right about now. One could also make a television ad using that old photo of Bill Clinton and Rev. Wright with a caption that says - "Some folks always want to be in the picture."

Well, now is the time to keep the faith. If we want to help transform this society then we must bury the ugliness. We must also be ready for any "Terminator" sent our way. If we are to reach the Beloved Community then we must cross the racial sands.

Click here to view OF NOTE in your internet browser.
Trapped inside the Matrix again?

So what does Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Ethelbert have in common? They both attended Howard University.

One of the best decisions I made in my life was deciding to go to Howard University. The HU education gave me the insight to determine the difference between racial pride and Black Nationalist nonsense. I remember one day being in Rankin Chapel and listening to a well known militant getting the crowd all excited and crazy about H.Rap Brown being killed in a car explosion in Maryland. Everyone around me had a fist in the air and was ready to do something. Hmmm. Well, as we all know today, H. Rap Brown is alive in a jail cell and living as a devout Muslim. But let's go back to that "black" time at Howard. I was sitting in - yes the chapel- listening to nonsense. Which brings me back to the Wright stuff this morning. All one has to do is look at the folks who were in the audience at the National Press Club listening to Rev. Wright and we can see Obama's ship sinking. When I see Cornell West, I have a tendency to go East. If I don't, I know I'll be trapped inside the Matrix with him. So, let me out please. I want to reach a point or place where Black Nationalist thought like bullets can't stop a black man running for president. I want to see some of these silly remarks stop right in front of Obama and fall to the ground like the empty rhetoric it is. But is this possible? Trinity help us.
Fly Obama out of here.

But let's talk real black politics for a moment. Rev. Wright talks about the African American church being under attack. Really? I don't see the church producing the leadership that it once had with King. Many of today's church leaders are really on a faith-based payroll that keeps them happy and on their knees. Which makes one wonder if Wright who once was trying to save Bill Clinton's soul, is now secretly trying to save his wife campaign. We are all human in this world and so our egos and desire to be in the moment is what many of us cannot shed. Wright is having fun being in the spotlight. It's not about Obama or the country anymore. It's not about the war or the economy. It's about the speech -stupid!

So, what will happen? Look for Obama's black support to slightly decline, maybe beginning in North Carolina. As Obama looks to distance himself from Wright, he will begin to lose the nationalist wing of the black community. These are the folks who might not always vote but they are vocal. They can be like the old Reggie Jackson, the straw that stirs the drink. Soon there will be whispers that Obama might just as well be a white guy. The"are you black enough" breakfast food will be placed back on the table. If you don't eat this stuff in the morning how can you go out and win black folks over?

BUT because I went to HU and spent so many of my years video recording the Wrights of the world - I think I have a better understanding of what's going on today. The question is how much will Americans across the country know about the Wright Stuff. How many folks will be able to determine the real - from the nonsense? Somewhere the Oracle is baking cookies - I bet you wonder how I know this.

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Clinton Spin: Are you ready?

If Obama wins Indiana - it's because the state is next to Illinois.
If Obama win North Carolina - it's because of the black vote.

If Obama wins North Carolina and Clinton wins Indiana. Indiana is more important because Clinton says it is.

OK - let's move Black people from North Carolina to Indiana. Which state is more important now? North Carolina? Correct. The subtraction of the black vote makes it easier for Clinton to win. Now what would have happened if we subtracted the white vote from the Pennsylvania primary? What if we just ignored the white, small town voter? Didn't we ignore all those Black people who voted for Obama in Pennsylvania?

Notice how we are taught to look at these elections. It's shameful.

So no one is measuring the length of Clinton's nose anymore. Why does the Wright issue cling to Obama but no one talks about Clinton insulting the truth about Bosnia over and over ? The war in Iraq seems so far away. The poor economy is no longer linked to Bush. What's next?

It has to be abortion, or North Korea, or gun control, or maybe it will all come down to Puerto Rico and its delegates. Take your pick. I see why so many smart people don't run for office. Think about the fact that the next president is simply replacing George Bush. Is that a difficult act to follow?
Do you remember those days of slavery?
Someone must be reading E-Notes: LOL
How can Karl still keep a coaching job in the NBA?

George Karl, Nuggets Fighting With Each Other

Posted Apr 27th 2008 10:32AM by Tom Ziller
Filed under: Nuggets, Lakers, NBA Playoffs, Denver

Who said the Nuggets didn't have any fight in them Saturday afternoon as the Lakers smoked them? Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson each ripped coach George Karl after the game, and Karl fired back himself. Chris Tomasson of the Rocky Mountain News offers an A.I. quote, who reacted to being benched for the final 11 minutes of the game.

"To not go back in, I don't understand that,'' Iverson said. "And (Karl) didn't even say nothing to me even afterward . . . I played every game with a broken finger and all. I always came to play, every game we had. So why not tell me nothing?'''Melo didn't wait for the post-game, according to Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times.

How can the Lakers judge their playoff acumen if they are beating a Nuggets team whose most energetic moment Saturday occurred in the fourth quarter when their coach George Karl was being heckled? "Just don't sit there!"The heckler's name? Carmelo Anthony.'Melo also told the Mountain News the entire team quit, from the coaches to the players. Coach Karl disagreed ... well, at least in defense of himself.

"Well, I don't think I quit. I quit on not passing the ball,'' said Karl, when asked about Anthony's post-game comments. "In the fourth quarter. I tried to find some answers. I tried to find, 'Is Chucky (Atkins) going to help us?' . . . I think Melo's emotional right now. He's frustrated right now, as we all are. And keeping our composure and a maturity to it is probably the best way to go.''

Fun times, Denver!
National Cinco De Mayo Festival

Sunday May 4, 2008
Noon - 6 PM

Free Admission

Sylvan Theater at the Washington Monument

Music Food Dance

Children's Pavilion

I.F. Stone website:

Is Bert Time measured in Light Years? Spock - come here. I need you.

I was laughing this morning after receiving a note from a friend. She mentioned how I was born "several" years after her grandmother.
I think we should follow these guys. I suspect they are up to something good:

Free Radicals
Monday, April 28th
WPFW 89.3 FM
with host Reuben Jackson
featuring guests Lisa Pegram and Silvana Straw

click on link for how to listen online:

.:: WPFW.ORG ::.

Recommended Reading: Jason's List

Every Room We Ever Slept In by Jason Shinder

Among Women by Jason Shinder
Only the body lying/outside the heart/is safe.

- Jason Shinder

Memorial Service for Jason Shinder
Tuesday April 29th
Riverside Memorial Chapel
180 West 76th Street

New York City 2PM.

In the old days one could send a letter to the editor to correct a mistake made in a newspaper.
Those days are gone. There is no longer any erasure. We no longer live in the time of whiteout fluids and IBM correction tape.

Any mistake you make in today's world operates like a small virus. It's difficult to contain and the only thing to do is "introduce" a new virus. Another tactic is reboot and move forward as if nothing happened. You don't argue or try to explain mistakes anymore. This is something our VP understands very well. So?

Rev. Wright can no longer "clear" his name. He might as well be OJ or Farrakhan. What is needed is a "new" virus to push the Wright problem out of the news and make it history. The more Wright talks about how his views and sermons were distorted, the more he adds to the problem. (W)right?

If you step outside how the media operations - and you can do this thanks to the technology - you can come to your own conclusions. This is not Jeffersonian democracy at work. This is the real thing. It's pure democracy? It's even Islam without an Iman? Just you and God- one on one. Or just you and your vote, listening.

What follows is Rev. Wright's entire controversial sermon. Come to your own conclusions and not those of Fox News.

Don't forget to reboot afterwards.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Remembering Jason Shinder with Love

TO: Writing Seminars Alumni, Faculty, Students, and Friends
FROM: Sven Birkerts

As many of you have heard by now, Jason Shinder died late last week at his home in New York. From the start Jason has been one of ours—giving us poetry, teaching us poetry, and putting himself out on behalf in ways that made it all look so easy. Here, just give everything, what’s the big deal? Jason made many things look easier than they are, and I include dying in the list. He kept a largely behind-the-scenes struggle with his illness for years, overcoming odds until we fooled ourselves into thinking that those odds were not so much. But of course they were. Still, he was in negotiation with us right up to the end about his coming to the June residency to interview a poet of his choice, to talk poetry with his favorite people. I’m consoled to know that we were in his thoughts--he will stay in ours. Many of us have Jason ‘take aways’ we preserve. Collectively we have his spirited, wise and utterly sui generis Stanley Kunitz lecture at the last residency. Before that his lecture on Alan Ginsberg and all the beautiful readings and other talks he gave—Jason so oblique in his asides that he turned out to be coming straight at us. And then there was Jason on the dance floor, the ‘how does he do that?’ moves that reminded us that craft arrives from the craft place, but art from who knows where. That same energy, that love, survives him in his work, in what Auden called ‘the valley of its saying,’ though the Auden I confess I hear right now, in Jason’s voice, goes: “At Dirty Dick’s and Sloppy Joe’s/ We drank our liquor straight,/ Some went upstairs with Margery,/ And some, alas, with Kate;/ And two by two like cat and mouse/The homeless played at keeping house.” It fits--I’m not sure how, but it does.


We have just learned that Jason’s memorial will be held this Tuesday April 29, at 11:00 am or toward noonish (time undecided) at Riverside Memorial Chapel in NYC,
180 West 76th, at Amsterdam, 212.362.6600.

We will also be holding a commemoration of Jason at Bennington during the June residency and will be sending you more about that soon.
BertWork is better than homework:
Later today I'm going to read "Two Speeches on Race" by Garry Wills that's in the latest issue of The New York Review of Books. It's about Obama's Philadelphia speech and the Cooper Union talk that Abraham Lincoln made on February 27, 1860.

How about those Atlanta Hawks yesterday? Did any Denver players "watch" that game? Great fans cheering their team on. Hey, Nuggets! It's playoff time and you guys will be sitting home watching the games after the Lakers find their brooms. Sweet Sweep.Sweet Sweep.

Sports and Politics:

So I finally see a clip of Obama playing basketball. Why now? Is it because he's now the "black candidate." Is his run at the presidency just another hoop dream? Notice how things are framed and when we get to see it.
If race is suddenly so important now - why wasn't it earlier? How come nobody really raised this issue in Iowa? Whatever happened to Oprah? Can't she save Obama and provide my family with a car? The media talking so much about race and how white people might not vote for Obama seems so orchestrated. How long are we going to be suckers for racism? It's not about the past but the future. If we can't imagine the Beloved Community we will never reach it. If white blue collar people suddenly have problems with Obama - then ship tons of his Philadelphia speech in a nice booklet form - to bars, churches and homes in small towns. Encourage folks to organize or just meet and talk about things. It's also important to talk about jobs and ending the war in Iraq. It's about making connections and motivating people to change America and change themselves. It's impossible to transform this nation without first looking in the mirror. Maybe we need to view "blackness" not as some unknown, but as something viewed with wonderful possibilities. I think this is where faith comes in- imagine an Obama presidency. Could any of us had imagined this several years ago? Don't you want to see it? How might this change the country? Your life? Notice how young people are so excited and getting involved in the political process. My only fear is that we might be guppies who eat their young.
Yesterday, my daughter sent me the following note:

Interesting website trying to change the image of black men in the media. I saw an advertisement for it on the bus and decided to check it out:

Saturday, April 26, 2008

So I watched the Lakers defeat Denver today. George Karl is a nugget. All the talent on his team and he can't coach (it). Defense wins championships.
Oh, and why is Karl's team watching the NFL draft during halftime?? Is Iverson interested in playing football again? He's the only guy on the Denver team playing his heart out. Mello? Oh, please.

MVP for Kobe.
Sadness on the shelf...
Just a few hours ago I was in a Barnes & Noble in Orlando - talking with a member of the store staff. We laughed and spoke about mutual friends while pulling books off the shelf. It wasn't about buying books but more about talking about those poets we loved. I mentioned the name Jason Shinder and a few others. I came back to my cousin's house only to discover that Jason is gone. Who will make us laugh and talk about the projects we need to do? I first met Jason in Utah - we were sitting around a pool in Park City. We kept ourselves happy and silly -exchanging jokes about Blacks and Jews that reminded us both that we were two New Yorkers not in exile but entering the land of friendship. We would teach a class together at Bennington but we didn't know that then. I didn't know he would leave us today. What else will fall off the shelf before the darkness descends again?
Not Just Hoop Dreams:

Obama wraps up day with hoops
KOKOMO, Ind. (AP) -

For Barack Obama, figuring out how to cap a long campaign day in basketball-crazy Indiana was a no-brainer - you shoot some hoops.After a noisy campaign rally, Obama donned sweat pants and a "USMC" shirt for a little action on the courts, with no ordinary companions.

His 3-on-3 team included Alison Bales, a member of the WNBA's Indiana Fever.Blake Hancock, a Marion high schooler was picked to take part in the game because he collected 150 voter registration forms, and he picked some high school friends and they joined Obama for about 15 minutes of half-court hoops.Obama is noted for using basketball to get his exercise and is said to be a fierce competitor. He kept up with the younger competitors, but at one point joked with medics standing by that they might be needed

And he proved to be effective, scoring four baskets that included a nifty left-handed three-pointer, along with four rebounds and a couple of steals.

In what he'll certainly interpret as a sign of things to come in Indiana - which is in the next round of primaries May 6 - Obama's team won 15-5.

Hey - where's BATMAN?
Has anyone see Barry Bonds?
Two Wrights can't correct a wrong.And if it isn't wrong - it still won't be right. No matter what Rev. Wright says it's not going to change how folks look at Obama. We have become History's Tar Babies; the past keeps sticking to us. We can't seem to move beyond the color of our skins or the black and blankness of our minds. We can't seem to find that needed common ground between people. It's why we can't push for the type of social and economic changes that are needed this country. When white rural/ blue collar people and urban people of color recognize the power in their numbers and not the color of fear - we might move forward as a nation. We just can't seem to turn the corner. The media and the pundits keep calling the same old game and seem to be making a living by creating "drama" in the political world. Can you imagine how much revenue some folks would lose if Clinton dropped out of the race this weekend? The networks would love a deadlocked Democratic Convention where folks could spread rumors of a Clinton/Obama ticket. Please note how it's seldom Obama and Clinton. Hmmm. Is this more a change of our sexual habits than politics? The death of the missionary position? Oh Lilith, where art thou?
New York or New Orleans?

McCain in New Orleans reminded me of Ronald Reagan in the South Bronx. One wonders if God told these guys about the rainbow sign? No more water but elections next time.
Suddenly our nation Gives Birth To Brightness. Suddenly we escape a black hole.

Suddenly. Billy Collins once joked about how writers use this word.

We are in the middle of the Democratic presidential campaign and suddenly everything is about race. Obama was winning primary after primary and suddenly we discovered he was winning the wrong states.We all thought Obama had the nomination but suddenly Hillary said she had more popular votes. People were talking nonstop about Pennsylvania and suddenly they started talking about Indiana. Suddenly it didn't seem to matter if Obama won North Carolina. Suddenly folks were talking about Michigan and Florida again. Suddenly someone noticed Obama's name wasn't even on the ballot in Michigan. Suddenly Obama looked like Jackie Robinson standing in the middle of a ball park waiting for Pee Wee Reese.
YouTube - Obama Dirt Off Your Shoulder Remix

The Institute for Policy Studies invites you to a forum on:“Understanding the 1960s”

Richard Roberts, 1960s journalist and editor, recently retired as the adminstrator of afterschool programs for the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Monday, April 28
IPS Conference Room, 1112 16th St., NW, Suite 600
12-2 pm

Roberts will explore the accomplishments of the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1960s-early 1970s, and the scope of the radicalization they inspired, followed by a discussion.
Beloved Aime Cesaire:

Professor Marilyn Séphocle of Howard University, a protégé of Césaire, pays tribute to her mentor. Dr. Séphocle was the university's representative at Aimé Césaire's funeral in Martinique.

Tribute by Tiffani JeTaun Jones, Howard University student representative at Aimé Césaire's funeral. Visit
Political music from the Tom Tom:
The Cold War International History Project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

cordially invites you to a new book discussion

Henry Kissinger and the American Century

Monday April 28, 2008
4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
5th Floor Conference Room
Reception follows

with speakers:

Jeremi Suri, author
Professor of History, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Melvyn P. Leffler
Edward Stettinius Professor of American History, University of Virginia

Thomas S. Blanton
Director of the National Security Archive, George Washington University

In his new book, Suri endeavors to explore the philosophical roots of Henry Kissinger's actions as national security adviser and secretary of state under President Nixon, finding those roots in a Jewish boy's experiences of a weak Weimar regime's fall to genocidal Nazism. At the end of the day, in Suri's account, Kissinger's philosophy boiled down to the need to back democracy with muscle. America, alone of the free countries, said Kissinger, was strong enough to assure global security against the forces of tyranny. Only America had both the power and the decency to inspire other peoples who struggled for identity, for progress and dignity.

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
One Woodrow Wilson Plaza
1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
(202) 691-4000
Keeping up with Lady Burnham:

Friday, April 25, 2008

Make the Renaissance something beautiful again. If you have Amistad do you need a Black Star Line?

Yes, Reuben Jackson, we are all Negroes with Hats.
New book from Curbstone Press:

Margarita, How Beautiful the Sea

A novel by Sergio Ramírez.

Translated by Michael B. Miller.
Many thanks to Julia for playing the notes. It's good to be back after taking a short break from blogging.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Greetings, friends of Ethelbert.

I'm guest-blogging today while the poet is in Florida. I teach literature and writing at a state university in Indiana. We have two more weeks of classes and then final exams. At this time of year, I'm very conscious of the fact that my students tend to like literature best that is a) easy to understand, and b) realistic. The trick, I think, is to teach that working to understand literature can give us a pleasurable sense of achievement, and that accessibility is not always the best criteria for evaluation of quality in literature. (A newspaper is accessible.) I find that when I can help them transfer what they learn from their habit of watching movies, to literature, they are able to handle more complex literary devices.

Many people in Evansville are appropriately energized by the attention we've had lately from both Hilary and Chelsea Clinton, and Obama. Chelsea Clinton is making her second appearance in Evansville today. Obama was here Tuesday night. The students are excited about the election, and concerned about all their friends and spouses deployed in Iraq.

May all of us be safe and protected.

--Julia Galbus, a scholar of memoir, American literature, and philosophy
Ethelbert, where did you go?

He is working for the N.E.H., evaluating the Florida Humanities Council. He should be back on line Friday evening.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Maybe it's time to understand how our brains work. Thanks Julia G for providing this link:
Reach in the hat and show me the bunny:
More Politics from Michael:
Entertainment today. Entertainment tomorrow. It's not going to be easy knocking Clinton out of the race. It won't be easy defeating McCain in November. It's very easy to distract folks from the issues by dealing with what "entertains" them. One can understand a flag pin before having a real grasp on what's going on in Iraq. It's amazing how everyone is talking about the economy without talking about the war. It's also funny how that topic of family values isn't being raised during this campaign. Remember that one? Who has the "better" American family - Obama or Clinton? Well the spin here is that the Clinton marriage is stronger because of past events. Yeah right.

Notice how only some states matter in this election. Are we talking politics or the publishing industry here? If you live in Montana or Utah - you really have no say in things. Which brings us back to the war. It's those small states that many of our soldiers are coming from. Who will speak for them? Who will push for their return home and for their health benefits?

We say we want the best person for the job in Washington. But how did Bush defeat Gore?
How can anyone vote Republican after looking at the economy the last eight years? Let's debate not small government but the failure of our government. What happened after Katrina?

How can a person in a small town not be 'bitter' with all the greed and profit making taking place?
Let's not talk about jobs disappearing overseas, let's just talk about folks concerned about profits over people. Do American businessmen who sit in boards and make decisions to move jobs overseas wear flag pins? How do they vote? The little guy views the world through race and religion and anything else that's easy to put on the grill.

Which America do you want to live in? The one plugged into the entertainment channel nonstop or the America of hard news and difficult decisions? Our failure to come together and fight for a new future with new ideas might just be our historical downfall. It's not about Obama - it's about a country we still need to build. It's about overcoming racial and regional divisions. It's about getting the facts- the news.

Funny, how folks are saying Obama will now have to go negative if he wants to win the nomination. Who came up with this idea? I'm certain it wasn't the Pope during his last visit.
Going negative has always been the dark side of our nation's history. Can you imagine if George Washington had decided to go negative? I bet we would be calling him King George in our textbooks. The rest is history but we seem not to care.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Ok. Let's skip over North Carolina and get to Indiana. Soon we will be back talking about Florida and Michigan. Do you remember those guys?
Oh, Hillary this is beginning to seem like a Joan Crawford movie. Well, the media gets its entertainment and the pundits get another day's pay. I'm not ready for a week of spin. Are you?

Ex-bishop Fernando Lugo was recently elected president of Paraguay. This ends the 62 year reign of the Colorado Party which came of age when Gen. Stroessner seized power in 1954. Lugo was once known as the "bishop of the poor."

All around the world there is a need for new leadership. Poverty is the key issue that must be tackled. Food riots - why?
We have been living in an era of greed. A few have so much, many have so little.

Nothing disturbs me more these days than reading about pirates attacking boats in the Gulf of Aden. The following was just in the AP news:

Pirates in the lawless Gulf of Aden fired on a Japanese oil tanker Monday, unleashing hundreds of gallons of fuel into the sea, a day after a Spanish tuna boat was hijacked using rocket-propelled grenades.

Why are we letting pirates mess up our environment? This type of nonsense is just going to spread. Pirates along the Mississippi? Pirates along the Hudson?

But maybe some folks enjoy the fact that we have pirates these days. Do pirates really want to take over the world? Nay! Pirates loot and plunder. They don't run governments and invest in business. They don't manufacture things.

Some of us find the times of Pirates to be a time of romance and adventure. Hidden Haliburton treasures and maps showing where there are no weapons of mass destruction.

Read David Brooks OP-ED in The New York Times today -The Great Escape. If you thought Brooks was clueless about the campaign he was covering - this essay confirms it. This guy wants to go back in time. He needs a break from the last 15 months. Brooks is fascinated by an essay written by Michael Ward - C.S. Lewis and the Star of Bethlehem. In the old days man was fascinated by the sky and what he imagined was up there.

Hark! Let's return to the Middle Ages, sire. Here is Brooks of the Square table:

We tend to see economics and politics as the source of human motives, and then explain spirituality as their by-product - as Barack Obama tried artlessly to do in San Francisco the other week. But in the Middle Ages, faith comes first. The symbols, processions and services were vividly alive.

Large parts of medieval life were attempts to play out a dream, in ways hard to square with the often grubby and smelly reality. There were the elaborate manners of the courtly, the highly stylized love affairs and the formal chivalric code of knighthood. There was this driving impulsion among the well-born to idealize. This idealizing urge produced tournaments, quests and the mystical symbols of medieval art - think of the tapestries of the pure white unicorn.

A pure white unicorn?
Where is Audre Lorde? What year is this? Pirates? NAY! Nay I say!
The Middle Ages are back - Dude.
You know something is happening but you just don't know what it is:

Do you Mr. Jones?
After E-Notes comes of note: Living the Legacy.
So many things going on in the world? How much do you take note of? Lady Grace A. Ali is creating a world worthy of note:
Click and be blessed with information.
Click here to view of note in your internet browser.

A Social Action & Leadership School for Activists (SALSA)workshop

Classism 101

Led by Felice Yeskel & Chuck Collins
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
6:45-8:45pm $30

1112 16th Street NW
Suite 600
Washington DC 20036

What is meant by "class and classism"? While the answer to this question is often taken for granted, in the U.S. class is a very confusing and elusive thing. Mostly we don't talk about it and one person's definitions may not make sense to another. This class will raise understanding and awareness about classism, show how you can facilitate cross-class dialogue, support cross-class alliances, and how to work with others to promote economicj ustice.


Felice Yeskel, a co-founder of Class Action and United for a Fair Economy,comes from a working-class Jewish family from New York City's Lower EastSide. She was a founder of the UMass Stonewall Center: A Lesbian, Gay,Bisexual, and Transgender Educational Resource Center and served as thedirector for 20 years. Felice is also a founder and co-director ofDiversityWorks, Inc. an organization of social justice educators thatprovides training and consulting on issues of diversity andmulticulturalism.

Also a co-founder of United for a Fair Economy, Chuck Collins is a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy (IPS) and directs IPS's Program on Inequality and the Common Good. He is an expert on U.S. inequality andauthor of several books, including Economic Apartheid in America: A Primer on Economic Inequality and Insecurity (New Press, 2005). He coordinates a national effort to preserve the federal estate tax, our nation¹s only tax oninherited wealth. He co-authored with Bill Gates Sr., Wealth and OurCommonwealth, a case for taxing inherited fortunes.
The Boston Letter to Frank Rich of The New York Times:

Re: Op-Ed columan, Sunday, April 20, 2008

Dear Frank:

The only person newspaper editors should stand for is the American citizen and not political candidates.

Frank, this is the first time I read in black and white that newspaper editors at the Associated Press luncheon chose to stand for John McCain; and made an obvious choice not to stand for Barack Obama. In my opinion it does not matter about the candidates. It does matter, a great deal, that persons (newspaper editors) who have the power, influence, resources, and responsibility to disseminate information to the large and broad American electorate have chosen to play partisan politics in their profession. Let me go further by saying it is extremely disturbing.

I am glad you’ve blown the whistle but has it been blown loud enough and by enough of your colleagues to get their attentions. The news media is flooded with opinions and pundits. Where are the journalists? Yes, at some point our own journalists have inserted an opinion when the news wasn’t enough to justify certain events like the Vietnam War for example. But didn’t investigative journalism precede this? Weren’t there journalistic boots in the field collecting first hand accounts of what was happening? Same with the civil rights movement.

In the words of the character Charles Foster Kane in the film “Citizen Kane,” “You provide the prose poems. We’ll provide the war.” Though I believe in protecting the rights of journalists in the field to protect their sources, I also expect editors and journalists alike to assume their responsibilities to provide the most accurate and substantive news and information, and be accountable to their readers. For many, this is the first and sometimes only resource for information about our communities, the world, and the issues we as citizens will be affected by most.

The New York Times is one of the news resources I have withdrawn from reading consistently in recent years. With the newspaper’s practical endorsement of the Iraq invasion without questioning or attention to detail or accuracy, it is a source I can no longer rely upon. Even the Arts section, a resource I once craved on Sundays, has fallen victim to pandering to publicists and press release journalism. The magazine, however, still gets my attention once in awhile.

But now I know where the problem lies. At the top -- the newspaper editors who are impressed with wine receptions and so-called openness by candidates for fear of losing their “access” to power. It is the power they crave, not the story. And the next time someone says, “newspapers are in danger of folding,” I won’t panic.

Yours Truly,

Michon Boston
Washington, D.C.

I didn't go to any Washington Wizards games this season. There is nobody on the club I really like to see play. The team has no legit superstar. Arenas would be a back-up quarterback if he played for the Washington Redskins. Look for Etan to move from writing poetry to prose. A long season requires a longer line.

If Obama wins today look for the media to put the Houdini tag or label on him. How did he do it? Black magic? An O- win kicks all the pundits out the door. It's the only way we can get away from the media trying to predict how folks are going to vote based on their actions in the past. So a white blue collar guy votes for the Black candidate. Why is this so strange? Is racism better than a good job? I don't think so. I do know that most folks out here believe what they hear and read in the media. We often swallow the hook, line and sinker. The news is so silly - thank God for the internet. The media will continue to play the race card, over and over again. What is the major issue, Rev. Wright or the war? You can't tell from watching Fox News. We've reduced politics to entertainment, so we need characters to play roles. Oh, and what's with this silly question about we don't really "know" someone. We don't know Obama? Do we really know McCain or Clinton? I bet they have enough secrets to keep them out of heaven - if heaven had a primary. Look in the mirror. Do you really know yourself?
OK, I see the yoga mat in the corner. Forgive me for asking.
What's going on in Burundi?
What's the latest in Bujumbura?
Just Wyn Baby:

Dear Friends,

I wanted to let you know that Madison Bell and I have a new cd out, called POSTCARDS OUT OF THE BLUE. The 15 songs range from short crooked ballads based on poems from my last book, POSTCARDS FROM THE INTERIOR, to rock and blues numbers that address such subjects as alcohol popsicles and loose fools. I wrote the words, Madison wrote the music, and it was produced by the rock god Don Dixon, who co-produced our first cd as well as the first two cds by REM.

You can listen to several of the songs in their entirety at, where you can also see photos from our recording session last summer in Nashville. You can sample all the songs at, where you can also buy the cd (for $9.99) or download the songs. Other sites containing downloadable versions of the songs include itunes and The cd is available at Amazon for $9.99, but the cheapest way to get it is by sending a check made out to me for ten dollars even, and I will pay for shipping.

Our first cd, FORTY WORDS FOR FEAR, is also available on Amazon, or from me for eight dollars. Songs from that cd have been used on five tv shows over the last few years. Esquire called it "sonic moonshine." So drink up!

I apologize for the blatant self-promotion, but Madison and I are very happy with the new cd and suspect you might be too.


45 Metcalf Lane
Brattleboro, VT 05301

35 year collection of African Art for sale at the Artifactory in downtown DC, near the intersection of 7th & Pennsylvania Ave., NW. Metro station: National Archives/Navy Memorial. call 202 393-2727, or

Monday, April 21, 2008


American Experience: Roberto Clemente

PBS Stations. Check local listings. Today.
A funny note from my friend Jina:

Pablo Neruda said it best "La vida de un poeta es como un perro.." In other words, the life of a poet is like that of a dog's, you live it running around in public..."
my negritude is neither tower nor cathedral

- Aime Cesaire

I was on The Kojo Nnamdi Show today discussing the life and work of Aime Cesaire.
WAMU 88.5 FM (American University)

Suggested reading:

The Collected Poetry -Aime Cesaire.
Translated with an Introduction and Notes by Clayton Eshleman and Annette Smith
University of California Press, 1983.

Negritude Women by T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting
University of Minnesota Press, 2002.
Jazz Time:

Happy Birthday JASMINE-SIMONE!!!!

April 21st - is tomorrow.

26 years ago I became a father. I remember being in the hospital room waiting for the female doctor to reveal - the wonder- a baby girl. The birth of a child immediately changes one's identity. Here was I - the baby in my family - having a baby. It was daze time for me. I remember being across town that first day, waiting at a bus stop. As I pulled the money for the fare out of my pocket, I realized I was going to see my daughter. My daughter. How strange to discover this word coming from my mouth - being a part of my vocabulary.

You hold your child not the first time but the second, third and fourth time. That's when you feel the change in your bones. You hold someone who is connected to you. You hold love in your hands. It's small and growing - and hungry - and crying. And you struggle to understand what love is. You know it demands that you be responsible and that you never turn your back.

Jasmine-Simone - you say her name and it's like a poem you never thought you could write.
It's a poem that will discover her own rhythms. Line by line and year by year. You say the name again and realize all things come from God - and you're a "true" believer - maybe for the first time.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


In Praise of Poetry: Click and scroll below:

Weekend Edition Sunday, April 20, 2008 · April is National Poetry Month, which celebrates, among other things, the power of poetry. E. Ethelbert Miller reads and discusses several of his poems with Liane Hansen. Miller is director of the African-American Resources Center at Howard University.

From Jay-Z to B.O.

Got some, dirt on my shoulder, could you brush it off for me.
Politics: it's finally here. The Pennsylvania Primary. Yahoo. How did we survive so much media silliness since Ohio and Texas? So what could happen this week? Either we move into the future or we embrace the politics of the past.

If Obama can win PA then the media is going to have to look for "smaller" town white men.
They won't be able to play the race card again and again. Of course Hillary could win by 1 vote and see that as being a majority of one and her right to the nomination. OR-Nothing might be decided by PA - Hillary will get her expected win but by less than 10 percent...that will mean Americans will next discover Indiana. Yes, Indiana. Clinton and the media will skip over North Carolina because Obama is expected to win there - because - yes you know why. The Black VOTE. But let's follow the logic here. Why don't we look to North Carolina as being the key state and skip over Indiana? Why is Indiana more important than North Carolina? It has no real link to size or delegates but primarily race. We might as well count black people as 3/5th again. How come the states we live in are not viewed as important as others. Why isn't North Carolina a MUST win for Hillary? Oh, the drama of it all. You can hear the networks hoping for more drama all the way to the Convention site. If Obama was to beat Hillary by 10 percentage points she would still remain in the race and pundits would be focusing on the super delegates getting together in a convention bathroom - and coming up with some s- to deny Obama the nod. With our society changing so much -maybe the media is using the wrong R word. Maybe it's not recession but instead reconstruction. Neo-Nazi guys in DC yesterday - can the Klan be right behind. Oh, DuBois -please save the souls of black folks and all the other good souls as well.
DC Area Writing Project is having their 6th Annual Benefit Gala on, Friday, May 2, 2008, at the People's Congregational Church Fellowship Hall, 4704 13th Street, NW, at 6:30 PM.
Being honored are: Asali Solomon and Renee H. Shea.
Tickets are $50.

Past Honorees:

Marita Golden - 2007
Sharon Bell Mathis - 2006
Eloise Greenfield - 2005
Ishmael Reed - 2004
E. Ethelbert Miller - 2003

On Friday, after my reading at The Writer's Center I had the opportunity to meet Svetala Goubanova. Here is a link to her - ART NOTION, collaborative creative collective.

Yeah baby, it's still April.
A new book of poetry:
I just received a postcard from Lia Purpura. Her book - KING BABY( 2007 Beatrice Hawley Award Winner) is out from Alice James Books.
It sells for $14.95
Vanishing Tribes?
So many things that were once part of the landscape are disappearing. The record store. 3,100 stores around the country have closed since 2003. Gone is the place where one could browse on a Saturday, meet folks, chat and just have a nice time. You didn't even need money in your pocket. The record shop was the little sister of the bookstore for me. In high school I was always going down to Greenwich Village. Where is the old army jacket I once wore? What buttons did I wear? In my basement are albums -the good stuff. The vinyl. I've sworn not to make the mistake I made with my baseball cards. I'm not giving these suckers away. But I know they will one day vanish or just be discarded. I can't see my children holding them with the same love and care. My memories have become homeless. The music fading. I often stare at my hands and try to read the liner notes.
You don't have to love me when I want it
Cause somebody else will

- Mable John

Saturday, April 19, 2008

New Poet Lore magazine is out:

Work from:
Pablo Medina
Joseph Ross
Kyle Dargan
Barbara Goldberg
Rose Solari

Editors are: Jody Bolz and E. Ethelbert Miller
Hey OJ:

Young Chicago Authors Invites Applications for Executive Director Position

Founded in 1991, Young Chicago Authors encourages self-expression and literacy among Chicago’s youth through creative writing, performance and publication. YCA provides student-centered, artist-led workshops to youth ages 13-19 in schools and communities. Our process emphasizes artistic development, mentorship, and creating safe spaces where a young person’s life matters. We believe that through their words, young people can promote tolerance and remove barriers to transform their lives and society.

Young Chicago Authors’ Executive Director oversees, manages and is responsible for the organization’s administration, operations and programs. The ED ensures that YCA programs are high quality, engaging to youth, artistically challenging and in keeping with progressive educational practices. Working closely with YCA’s Board, staff, and stakeholders, the ED ensures that YCA programs and initiatives are coherent, diverse, and responsive to YCA’s mission and needs.

The Executive Director is responsible for maintaining a healthy sense of collective community, artistic excellence and youth development mentorship throughout all YCA programs and constituents. S/he understands the organization’s mission and vision, and can articulate it to parents, youth, funders, and community and school partners.

With Board oversight and support, the ED is responsible for the organization’s budgets, financial record keeping and planning, including cash flow projections, payroll, tax reporting, and annual audits; and determining salaries with Board approval.

Oversight of YCA’s operations includes working closely with and getting input from youth, teaching artists, staff, Board, parents, funders, community and school partners; recruitment, hiring, management and evaluation of teaching artists and/or program managers; and organizational functions such as program development, and strategic planning. S/he communicates program strategies and outcomes with the community of YCA supporters, the arts education field locally and nationally, and the Board of Directors.

S/he works closely with YCA Development Director to communicate YCA funding needs and report on progress; develop relationships with supporters and donors; develop grant proposals for government, foundation and corporate funders. S/he is also responsible for working with staff to synthesize information from evaluations and documentation in order to improve YCA operations.

Ø Bachelor’s degree in related field & at least five years work experience in youth, arts and/or educational settings with youth from diverse racial / ethnic / economic communities;
Ø Extensive management experience in youth arts non-profit;
Ø Extensive experience in fiscal management, budgeting, and financial planning;
Ø Experience working with a Board of Directors and as a liaison with staff and Board;
Ø Commitment to YCA mission and youth-centered educational practices;
Ø Experience with organizational strategic planning processes;
Ø Experience with grant-writing, fundraising, special events and major donor giving;
Ø The ability to coordinate and manage multiple project schedules, working with youth, community partners, teaching staff and organizational stakeholders;
Ø Excellent written and oral communications skills;
Ø Accuracy, organization, attention to detail and ability to meet deadlines;
Ø Background in literary arts preferred;
Ø Familiarity with Quickbooks or other accounting software preferred;
Ø Working knowledge of the Chicago youth arts community and national knowledge of field.

Benefits include health insurance; salary commensurate with experience.

To apply, please email a cover letter and resume by May 9, 2008 to:
Letter can be made to the attention of Lisa Lee and Julie Parson Nesbitt, Co-Chairs, Board of Directors.
Festival of International Literature, New York City
Public Lives/Private Lives
April 29-May 4, 2008
Only a very small article in one of the newspapers about former President Jimmy Carter's trip to the Middle East. I'm monitoring how the media is handling his visit with leaders of Hamas. One way is to just ignore it. Control the programming of the media and you can create your own reality or deny someone theirs.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Link to Reginald Shepherd's Blog:
More about Reginald Shepherd:
Earthquakes and then your world trembles. I've been exchanging emails and text messages with my buddy Julia in Evansville since the 5.4. How many of us will be survivors during our lifetimes? One moment you're in your home-- the next moment it's YOU on the news. A reporter has a mic in your face -asking you to describe what happened. You turn around to point at what was once your home - your possessions. You have nothing. You try to answer the reporters questions about what you will do now. It's the first time you've been on television and you're thinking Warhol fame - so you look into the camera -and say you have faith in God and you'll rebuild. For just a second you're an American Idol. A tear starts down you cheek and it's going to place you on CNN over and over again. Next week the monks in Tibet will take your place.
Was that Ethelbert talking to the poet Sally-Ann Hard yesterday near DuPont Circle?
Sally has a beautiful new book of poems out -WALK INTO WATER. Limited edition. Gosh - what a gem made by Medusa's Laugh Press in Wallingford, Connecticut. You just want to hold the book in your hands. A couple of the poems were inspired by Sally's reading of work by Thich Nhat Hahn.

If wisdom is giving things their proper names
I want to name things blossoming in darkness.

- Sally-Ann Hard

Sally -Ann is British by birth but emotionally Australian having spent half her life there.
She has featured at several reading series in New York and New Orleans. She is passionate about jazz and lives in Harlem.
Sally-Ann was in a poetry class I taught a couple of years ago in Provincetown.
Return to Aime Cesaire:

For further reading: Aimé Césaire by Gregson Davies, Abiola Irele (1997); Critical Perspectives on Aimé Césaire, ed. by Thomas Hale (1992); Aimé Césaire by Janis L. Pallister (1991); Modernism and Negritude: the Poetry and Poetics of Aimé Césaire by A. James Arnold (1981); Aimé Césaire by Susan Frutkin (1973); Aimé Césaire by L. Kesteloot (1962) - For further information: Aimé Césaire .
April 18, 2008
Aimé Césaire, Martinique Poet and Politician, Dies at 94


FORT-DE-FRANCE, Martinique (AP) — Aimé Césaire, an anticolonialist poet and politician who was honored throughout the French-speaking world and who was an early proponent of black pride, died here on Thursday. He was 94.

A government spokeswoman, Marie Michèle Darsières, said he died at a hospital where he was being treated for heart problems and other ailments.

Mr. Césaire was one of the Caribbean’s most celebrated cultural figures. He was especially revered in his native Martinique, which sent him to the French parliament for nearly half a century and where he was repeatedly elected mayor of Fort-de-France, the capital city.

In Paris in the 1930s he helped found the journal Black Student, which gave birth to the idea of “negritude,” a call to blacks to cultivate pride in their heritage. His 1950 book “Discourse on Colonialism” was considered a classic of French political literature.

Mr. Césaire’s ideas were honored and his death mourned in Africa and France as well as the Caribbean. The office of President Nicolas Sarkozy of France said Mr. Sarkozy would attend Mr. Césaire’s funeral, scheduled for Sunday in Fort-de-France. Students at Lycée Scoelcher, a Martinique high school where Mr. Césaire once taught, honored him in a spontaneous ceremony Thursday.

Mr. Césaire’s best-known works included the essay “Negro I Am, Negro I Will Remain” and the poem “Notes From a Return to the Native Land.”

Born on June 26, 1913, in Basse-Pointe, Martinique, Mr. Césaire attended high school and college in France. In 1937 he married another student from Martinique, Suzanne Roussi, with whom he eventually had four sons and two daughters.

He returned to Martinique during World War II and was mayor of Fort-de-France from 1945 to 2001, except for a break from 1983 to 1984.
Mr. Césaire helped Martinique shed its colonial status in 1946 to become an overseas department of France.

He was affiliated with the French Communist Party early in his career but became disillusioned in the 1950s and founded the Martinique Progressive Party in 1958. He later allied with the Socialist Party in France’s National Assembly, where he served from 1946 to 1956 and from 1958 to 1993.

As the years passed, he remained firm in his views. In 2005 he refused to meet with Mr. Sarkozy, who was then minister of the interior, because of Mr. Sarkozy’s endorsement of a bill citing the “positive role” of colonialism.

“I remain faithful to my beliefs and remain inflexibly anticolonialist,” Mr. Césaire said at the time. The offending language was struck from the bill.

Despite the snub, Mr. Sarkozy last year successfully led a campaign to rename Martinique’s airport in honor of Mr. Césaire. Mr. Césaire eventually met with Mr. Sarkozy in March 2006 but endorsed his Socialist rival, Ségolène Royal, in the 2007 French elections.
Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Sunday, May 4, 2008
11 AM - 3 PM

National Postal Museum
2 Massachusetts Avenue, NE
(Metro: Union Station)

Close to 1.6 million Americans are in prison, a figure that does not count the more than 700,000
people held in local jails. While 650,000 prisoners are released each year, an estimated two-thirds of them can expect to return to prison within three years. Little help is extended for newly released prisoners making this unpromising transition, particularly compared with society's mamoth investment in building more prisons.

Excerpt from an editorial published in The New York Times (April 12th).

New book to place on the expanding book list:

IDA: A Sword Among Lions by Paula Giddings.
Amistad. 800 pp. $35

(Biography of Ida B. Wells)
More Jackie Robinson:

I saw a reference in The New York Times a few days ago about how Sharon Robinson (Jackie's daughter) set down the nine values that defined her father, and guided their family. They are key terms to build on and share with others. Here they are:










The life of Jackie Robinson is one I seem to keep going back to. So much to learn about and from the man. I remember many years ago working in the African American Resource Center at Howard and meeting a very lovely woman who would borrow books. One day she told me she was Sharon Robinson...

Aime Cesaire has died at the age of 94.

Aime Cesaire was born in Martinique in 1913. His first work, Cahier d'un retour au pays natal, was published in fragments in 1938.

One of the founders of the Negritude Movement (along with Leopold Senghor and Leon Damas) Cesaire was also the mayor of Fort de France and a deputy to the French National Assembly, representing the independent revolutionary party of Martinique.

At the end of the small hour...

Ichiro Watch:

Off to a slow start this year.
Average at .264

- Jackie Robinson # 42

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Keep your eye on the torch and you'll miss all the money being made. Coca-Cola is one of the reasons the Olympic games are being played in China. 5 to 6 percent of Coke's total revenue come from China. Coke sold 1.2 billion cases in China in 2007. Forcast for 2008 will place it at 1.5 billion.
Look for protests to increase as a result of the crisis in Tibet and Darfur.

Other sponsors of the Olympics include.
Visa International
Johnson and Johnson
Bank of America
Home Depot
United Parcel Service

Sci -Fi or 2008?
(So) The US government is going to begin collecting DNA samples from anyone arrested by a federal law enforcement agency.
The government will also collect DNA samples from foreigners who are detained.
The expanding DNA database is known as Codis.

How far are we from taking DNA samples at birth?
Quote of the Day:

"I just don't get it. After seven and a half years of a president who can't utter a coherent sentence, folks are calling Barack Obama elitist because he can actually speak English.

-Alison Goodwin Schiff
Letter to the Editor, NY Times, 4/17/08
Research: Update

Akili Ron Anderson is having his Graduate Thesis Exhibit on Sunday, April 20, 2008.
3PM to 6PM, at the Graduate Art Studios of Howard University, 2467 Sherman Avenue, NW,
Washington, D.C. The exhibit will be available for viewing through May 10, 2008.

Shawn G. Hart will be having her MFA Thesis Defense on Tuesday, April 22, 2008. 4 PM.
Howard University, Gallery of Art
The Brown Writers' Symposium.
An Extensive Exploration of the Craft of Writing Creative Nonfiction

July 20-26, 2008
No peace tomorrow. No peace today.

If you read nothing else today, be sure to read the OP-ED page of the Washington Post. There you will find a piece written by Mahmoud al-Zahar, the founder of Hamas.

No way out of this cycle of war (and pain) anytime soon. Just look at the personal loss of Mahmoud al-Zahar. He writes the following:

Only three months ago I buried my son Hussam, who studied finance at college and wanted to be an accountant; he was killed by an Israeli airstrike. In 2003, I buried Khaled - my first born - after an Israeli F-16 targeting me wounded my daughter and my wife and flattened the apartment building where we lived, injuring and killing many of our neighbors. Last year, my son-in-law was killed.

I don't think this guy is going to find any healing or love for the Israelis unless he is of exceptional spiritual character. His loss seems to be too much for one lifetime.

What does Hamas want? It's all there in the Post today - Mahmoud al-Zahar's outlines his criteria for the start of negotiations. Notice we are talking negotiations not peace. Geez,
look at what he is saying and you know he's not going to get:

A "peace process" with Palestinians cannot take even its first tiny step until Israel first withdraws to the borders of 1967; dismantles all settlements; remove all soldiers from Gaza and the West Bank; repudiates its illegal annexation of Jerusalem; releases all prisoners; and ends its blockade of our international borders, our coastline and our airspace permanently. This would provide the starting point for just negotiations and would lay the groundwork for the return of millions of refugees. Given what we have lost, it is the only basis by which we can start to be whole again.

The key words in the above statement are tiny step. How many people even remember 1967 anymore? I read the newspaper this morning and I just wept. No peace in my lifetime. Oh Jerusalem, please pray for these people.


I missed last night debate but how much did I miss? I found it interesting what Tom Shales says in the Washington Post today. The guy writes want I've been monitoring the last few months. Yes, it's the media folks. Why do we have to listen to George Stephanopoulos ask questions?

Here are 2 excerpts from Shales:

When Barack Obama met Hillary Clinton for another televised Democratic candidates' debate last night, it was more than a step forward in the 2008 presidential election. It was another step downward for network news - in particular ABC News, which hosted the debate from Philadelphia and whose usually dependable anchors, Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos, turned in shoddy, despicable performances.

To this observer, ABC's coverage seemed slanted against Obama. The director cut several times to reaction shots of such Clinton supporters as her daughter Chelsea, who sat in the audience at Kimmel Theater in Philly's National Constitution Center. Obama supporters did not get equal screen time, giving the impression that there weren't any in the hall.

Folks keep packaging the news as if it's entertainment. How much money would ABC, NBC, CBS lose if the Democratic race was over? Their hope is for Clinton to keep winning and help create a hot new reality show this summer at the convention. It's all about drama. How long will folks keep asking Obama the same stupid questions? Let's stop the war, fix the economy and provide health care for people in need. Waiting for dumb gaffes to be made by politicians is juvenile and creates a crack in our democracy.
An excerpt from comments I made at the 'Let Freedom Ring" conference at Georgetown today:

I believe the world is beautiful
And that poetry, like bread, is for everyone.

Martin Espada uses this poem by Roque Dalton for the title of his anthology POETRY LIKE BREAD: POETS OF THE POLITICAL IMAGINATION FROM CURBSTONE PRESS. Unlike Espada I find myself attracted to Dalton's first line: I believe the world is beautiful. This observation and conclusion is where we might begin to discuss the need for political poetry. Is the world beautiful? Here is a short list of nations we might have problems attaching the word beautiful to: Haiti, Somali, Iraq and Sudan.

But Dalton is a poet and so the key thing is that he believes the world is beautiful. This is his
vision. This is why we turn to art for political engagement, resistance and liberation. For vision. I find Dalton's words creating visionary space; similar to Langston Hughes "I Dream a World."

The political poet shaped by his vision is also a spiritual poet. He discovers communion, community as well as the importance of democracy.

And that poetry, like bread is for everyone.

Poetry as food and nourishment. Poetry as something which is essential and vital to life.

Poems. Poems. Poems.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Sports Update:

Not out of the woods for a month?

Tiger Woods had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee; repairing cartilage damage. This was his second operation in five years on the same knee. Good thing golf is not a contact sport.
More Sports:

This was in the Washington Post today. It's funny -

Asked if he would like to play President Bush in a game of one-on-one, Obama expressed confidence. "You know, he looks like a pretty good athlete; he takes that mountain biking seriously," he said. "But I'm pretty certain I can take him."

Win the game, take the house?

Looking at the Washington Redskins 2008 Schedule - one can almost hear the Zip Zorn comments. Poor guy. Big shoes to fill. I don't see the team making the playoffs - which will be a step back from their emotional season last year.
Of course the future of the Redskins begins and ends with Jason Campbell. If he rocks...they roll.
If Eli can win a Superbowl ring anyone can. If only my arm was in shape and my legs were good.
Ah - the possible return of Jukebox Bert - a sportswriter once said my moves reminded him of poetry in motion.