Monday, May 17, 2004

Drew may have the right read on our inability to process American wrongdoing—he suggests that decades of repressing the guilt for the evil done in the name of "America" (c.f. slavery, American Indian genocide) have made denial the most powerful reflex we've got. Nevertheless, I continue to believe against evidence to the contrary that truth is powerful and impossible to suppress permanently. This Slate article suggests that we're only at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to trouble for the administration and its supremely arrogant, cruel, and despicable actions and policies. This story ain't going away. And I'm not Michael Moore's biggest fan, but I think Fahrenheit 9/11 is going to have an impact. Now, if Kerry would only step up to the plate that the Bushies have obligingly dusted off for him. If you haven't already, head on over to and send him that "Go Big" message. He needs to hear it.

In poetry news I found a copy of Ashbery's Hotel Lautreamont on our bargain shelf for $3.98 and I'm trying to remember if I have it already. It seems like every time I see an Ashbery book remaindered (it happens often) I'm convinced I already own it. Maybe I should write down what I have on a notecard and carry it around with me. For me a little late Ashbery can go a long way, but he sure does come up with great titles: "Not Now But in Forty-Five Minutes," "Private Syntax," "The Great Bridge Game of Life," "A Stifled Notation," "From Palookaville." He really does just riff, doesn't he? Somebody ought to do a study of casual poetry, if they could find a way to go about it. It's not just him and O'Hara—I'm convinced many poets, including myself, simply dash off a fair amount of stuff, and it's just as good or better than what gets labored on for hours and weeks and years. "If it doesn't come easy it doesn't come at all"—who said that? Might be a line from Augie March, which has bogged down a bit since its hero ran off to Mexico with the heiress to practice falconry. (Seriously, that's what he does.)

Slow night at the Bookery. Should read poems but I'd rather finish this Henning Mankell mystery. They're like candy. Poisonous candy.

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