Tuesday, February 28, 2006

So pick a number...18, 25, 100. Iraq could be in a state of war for many years. Look at countries like Haiti and Somalia. Soon these places will be backdoor nations. AiD might not even be sent to them because of the absence of a strong central government. Consider how much donated AID is collected and never reaches the people in need...many of them women and children.

Arms control, economic development, mandatory education for youth, free healthcare must be restored or started for nations around the world. The world needs to "adopt" 1-2 nations a year.For a year a country would receive an unlimited amount of AID to restore its infrastructure and get back on its feet. Regional development would be next. Look at how quickly a neighborhood can change in DC. Sometimes I look at my feet and expect not to find shoes. Folks be chasing the native - ME.

So Bush is low in the polls. What can he do? Meet with Fidel...open the door to Cuba?
Something radical might have to be done. Yep...those World Baseball games are coming up. What would Karl Rowe do? How many curveballs can be thrown at people in four years?

Now some good news. Today I had some EDEN Sea Vegetable Chips. An Eden food product.
A tasty treat. Product of Japan. They are being shipped from Clinton, Michigan 49236.
The Negro has taken the dove away under his opera hat.
- Albert Camus
They are falling all around us. JOHN LA ROSE just died. He was a poet, editor, publisher, founder of theCaribbean Artists Movement along with Andrew Salkey and Edward Kamau Brathwaite. Founded New Beacon Books in London in 1966; directed the
International Book Fair of Radical Black and Third World Books in the
1980's; among other things, published the New Beacon Review in the

I remember La Rose when I attended a couple of the Radical Black Book Festivals in London. The guy was such a gentleman. He will be missed.
While at the Vermont Studio Center I had the opportunity to talk with Francesco Levato and Lauren Levato.
Here is a link to their publication:
Many of my father's favorite actors died this week: Don Knotts, Dennis Weaver, Darren McGavin. These people gave me and my father time together. After school and after work we watched the television...or maybe I ran and found the TV Guide to see what time one of our shows was on. I laughed especially when I watched Don Knotts...you could also catch me in the hallways whistling that theme song to the Andy Griffith Show.

I've been reading Albert Camus. Here are a few excerpts from his NOTEBOOKS 1935-1942:

And like the warm bread that one kneads and presses I simply want to hold my life between my hands.

We do not need to reveal ourselves to others, but only to those we love. For then we are no longer revealing ourselves in order to seem but in order to give.

Every time I hear a political speech or I read those of our leaders, I am horrified at having, for years, heard nothing which sounded human. It is always the same words telling the same lies. And the fact that men accept this, that the people's anger has not destroyed these hollow clowns, strikes me as proof that men attribute no importance to the way they are governed; that they gamble- yes -gamble- with a whole part of their life and their so-called "vital interests."

We used to wonder where war lived, what it was that made it so vile. And now we realize that we know where it lives, that it is inside ourselves.


Monday, February 27, 2006

Well my son gets to go to the show:

2/27/06 -- Widener University’s men’s basketball team has been awarded an at-large berth into the NCAA Division III Tournament and will battle Catholic in the first round on Friday in York, PA.

Tip-off time has not been announced. The winner will play in the second round Saturday against either York (PA) or York (NY), also at a time to be announced.

The Pioneers (21-5) are one of 22 teams to receive an at-large berth into the 59-team field. It will be the team’s 14th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and first since 2001. Widener is 14-15 in the tournament, including a second-place finish in 1978 and a fourth-place showing in 1985.

Widener is led by senior center Kris Clarkson (Philadelphia, PA), the Commonwealth Conference Player of the Year. The 6-8 standout leads the league with 20.5 points per game, 10.0 rebounds per contest, 2.92 steals per game, 1.62 blocks per contest, 3.35 offensive rebound per game and is third with a .606 shooting percentage.

Entering last week, Clarkson was 22nd in the country in rebounding, 22nd in field goal percentage, 17th in steals, 35th in scoring and 49th in blocks. He has 13 double-doubles this season, has been named conference player of the week six times and is in 18th place in school history with 1,080 points.

The Pioneers also get a lift from junior guard Essien Ford (Baltimore, MD) and junior forward Malcolm Thomas (Baltimore, MD), both named second team all-conference.

Ford is seventh in the league with 13.9 points per game, sixth with a .400 three-point percentage and has scored in double figures 20 times. Thomas is ninth in the conference with 13.9 points per contest, eighth with a .722 free throw percentage and 16th with 4.4 rebounds per game.

Widener started the season winning its first 12 contests and was one of six unbeaten schools in Division III prior to a loss January 11 at Albright. The team has earned votes in the D3Hoops.com poll most of the season and was ranked as high as second in the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Region poll.

The Pioneers were the conference regular-season champions with a 10-4 record, but suffered a gutwrenching 56-55 home loss Saturday to second-seeded Messiah in the final.

On to York.....Go Pioneers!!
I finished reading Hoagland's WHAT NARCISSISM MEANS TO ME. The book contains a number of poems that will grow on you. Hoagland's works humor into his poems very well. I did find "The Change" to be an excellent poem about race and race relations. I would use this poem in African American Studies classes.

One wonders how long will we have to wait until Black/Hispanic gang violence becomes an issue in various US cities. It's important to monitor the San Quentin State Prison incidents. People come out of jail bringing their politics and issues with them. All of a sudden we have entire communties behind bars and trying to get out. No escape. Race and religion are the 2Rs. What's the third one? I wish it was rebirth or resurrection.
One can become so tired of these conflicts. I often feel as if I'm living in the Middle Ages. Crusades and plagues. Where is King Arthur? Where are the knights to restore honor? Where is Mohammed al-Mahdi, the hidden imam who will restore justice to humanity? Everyone is waiting for someone, and maybe that's the problem. We change our world by changing ourselves. Hatred is often the absence of love or loving something too much and becoming blind from the glare. Even here in Vermont I need protection from the snow.

Once again Henri Cole has written a fantastic poem. Checkout "Homosexuality" which was just in THE NEW YORKER (2/27/06)
Tell me this is science-fiction and just science-fiction. Octavia Butler dead at 58.
The loss never stops. The last two years --just a river of major figures in African American culture meeting transition. For us the living, the responsibility of memory.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Why would I go see Tyler Perry's Madea's Family Reunion? A recent review in the New York Times asked a question I was wondering about for a long time:
What is it about fat-lady drag that appeals to so many young black male comedians?

I think this is a good thesis topic for a graduate student in African American Studies.
And I am listening to a blues singer
named Precious Bryant
singing a song called "Fool Me Good."

If you don't love me, baby, she sings,
would you please try to fool me good?

- Billy Collins
No joy in Widener land. My son's team lost a heartbreaker yesterday. He had 6 pts...hitting two three pointers (6 minutes playing time).

Men's Basketball Drops 56-55 Heartbreaker to Messiah in Commonwealth Conference Final


2/25/06 -- Top-seeded Widener suffered a gutwrenching 56-55 setback to second-seeded Messiah in the Commonwealth Conference final as Steve King nailed a 3-pointer with 1.8 seconds remaining at Schwartz Center.

Widener (21-5), which trailed by as many as nine in the second half, took a 53-50 lead with 50 seconds left when junior Malcolm Thomas (Baltimore, MD) buried a 3-pointer from the right corner.

King missed a 3-pointer and senior Kris Clarkson (Philadelphia, PA), the conference Player of the Year, hauled in the rebound. He made 1-of-2 from the stripe for a 54-50 contest with 34 seconds left.

Clarkson got a steal on the Falcons’ next possession, but stepped out of bounds as he dribbled with 22 seconds to play. Matt Henninger got Messiah (18-9) within 54-53 on a 3-pointer with 15 seconds remaining.

Senior Brooke Tidswell (Mount Holly, NJ) was fouled on Widener’s next possession and missed two free throws. But Thomas came up with a huge rebound on the second miss and made 1-of-2 from the stripe with 8.2 seconds left for a 55-53 lead.

Messiah rushed it up the court and got the ball to King, who hit a 25-footer from the left wing for the seventh lead change of the second half. Widener fired a long pass to Clarkson, who had his 10-footer bounce off the rim at the buzzer.

King finished with 12 points on four 3-pointers, Jared Yoder had 10 points and eight rebounds, Darryl Brown netted 10 points and Dan Snyder corralled 13 rebounds. This helped Messiah shoot 42 percent (20-of-48) overall and 48 percent (11-of-23) in the second half.

Clarkson poured in 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds with Thomas netting 13 points for the Pioneers, who shot only 33 percent (19-of-57) from the floor and 65 percent (13-of-20) from the line.

Messiah earned the league’s automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Tournament. The teams will be announced Sunday night and the pairings will be set Monday morning.

Widener will wait to see if it receives an at-large bid to the tournament. It would be the school’s 14th such appearance.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

So nice to see the profile of jazz musician Andrew Hill in the New York Times. I have a copy of his recording BLACK FIRE. He has a new release (TIME LINES) from Blue Note.

It's obvious that the problem of the 21st century is the problem of religion and not the color line. So sad to see folks fighting in Nigeria. What's next Brooklyn?
Malcolm X talked about keeping one's religion in the closet. Hmmm. How one decides to worship should be a private thing. We also have a problem of simply maintaining public order.
Oh, and who is in charge of protecting police uniforms in Iraq? How many uniforms have been stolen since the war started? It seems someone is always running around in a military uniform and doing bad things. Is there a local K-Mart in Baghdad where folks can just get a badge and some slacks?

Don't look for the fighting to end anytime soon. The Golden Dome destruction is going to push things back by 100 years, and I'm only counting on one hand. Iraq is quickly going in the direction of Somalia and Haiti. The failure of a strong central government, organized crime and simple misfits with guns is difficult to control. Now if you add religion you have a gumbo too hot for even a "new" New Orleans. And you thought the cartoons was just the beginning...
Suddenly the world ain't funny - no more.

Friday, February 24, 2006

"I don't believe half of what I say."
- Barry Bonds

News below our radar: 7.3 earthquake hit Mozambique this week. The second biggest African rift quake since 1900.
Do we have any idea how many people were hurt or killed?

It was nice to see Amistad( HarperCollins Publisher) taking out an Ad for William Henry Lewis in yesterday's New York Times. Lewis was the finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. Be sure to add I GOT SOMEBODY IN STAUNTON to your reading list. The last story is a gem of a piece about jazz.

Oh...I read a review of A PIECE OF CAKE by Cupcake Brown. It's a memoir. Geez, and she found a publisher???
Addiction and recovery tales. Should I start taking drugs and writing about my experience? Will it sell? How high must a writer be before it's time to stop writing and find another career path?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

I went into Ryan Books (Johnson, Vermont) and purchased two books of poetry: Billy Collins and Tony Hoagland.

"I wonder how you are going to feel
when you find out
that I wrote this instead of you."
- Billy Collins

A Journal folks might want to read:
ZEEK: A Jewish Journal of Thought and Culture

More things to report in a moment...
Basketball News from my son's school:

2/22/06 -- Senior Kris Clarkson (Philadelphia, PA) and junior Essien Ford (Baltimore, MD) scored 23 points apiece as No. 1 seed Widener held over fourth-seeded Elizabethtown for a 74-69 victory in the Commonwealth Conference semifinals at Schwartz Center.

The Pioneers (21-4) advance to the conference championship game for the second time in three seasons and will host No. 2 seed Messiah on Saturday. Tip-off at Schwartz Center is 3:00 pm.

Widener will look to win its 13th conference title in school history and first since 2001.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Golden Mosque destroyed. One weeps when the news is reported. If I was God I would turn my back on man. It's obvious we're not worthy of mosques and churches. We have failed to love our fellow human beings. We are so trapped in hatred that maybe we have become the cartoons not suitable to print. Things are only going to get worst. There is no longer any sacred place or land on earth. Chaos is making love to the Devil tonight.
I pulled from the HU library stacks two books by Camus:
Notebooks 1935-1942
Notebooks 1942-1951

Camus started keeping notebooks when he was 22. He would keep diaries until his death in 1960. Will I be able to keep my E-Notes going that long?
Historian and social critic Theodore Draper died this week. Draper was 93. While I was in college his book THE REDISCOVERY OF BLACK NATIONALISM (1970) was part of my diet. Draper was an expert on American Communism.
We may never stop war, and it isn't likely that we will, actually. But what we're doing as we try to stop war externally, what we're trying to do is stop it in ourselves. That's where war has to end. And until we can control our own violence, our own anger, our own hostility, our own meanness, our own greed, it's going to be so, so, so hard to do anything out there.

- Alice Walker
I received Naomi Shihab Nye's latest book. Thanks Naomi. The title is YOU & YOURS (from Boa Editions).It won The Isabella Gardner Poetry Award for 2005.

I received a letter today that was addressed, Mr. E. Ethelbert Miller, Emeritus Professor, Department of Afro-American Studies.It must be time to look into retirement.
Eugene Redmond has another Drumvoices Revue coming out this spring. It will be # 14.
Many wonderful contributors in this one. The rent is due, so send $10 for a copy:
Dept of English, Box 1431, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Edwardsville, IL, 62026-1431. eredmon@siue.edu.
IPS Board member Harry Belafonte will be honored at the upcoming TransAfrica Forum Annual Policy Weekend Conference & Luncheon.
Friday, March 31, 2006 & Saturday April 1, 2006.
Blackburn Center, Howard University.
On Friday, March 31, 2006 at 12:30, Belafonte will be presented with the Amilcar Cabral International Freedom Award.
Gumby (Bryant Gumbel) has problems with the Winter Olympics? I don't watch them. Never did. I know many black people who do. I think my wife was watching the events every night. She had the room to herself. I do know many black people who love to ski, and simply adore the skating, etc. The same way more people of color are playing hockey look for some of these Winter Olympic events to have a change in snow in a few years.
I do like Gumby at times. He speaks out and really made a good transition from doing sports into the serious news arena. Folks might find him arrogant but that's what it takes to make it in the business.
But how important is this issue? Focus should be on Haiti, Sudan, our ports, the war, etc.

I just got back from Rider University where I taught a class and gave a reading.
A fun day. Great people.
To Trenton and back in a day.

Hey, I didn't know that cool hand Hank was nominated for the PEN/Faulkner award.
Late congrats. William Henry Lewis is the author of I GOT SOMEBODY IN STAUNTON.
Several years ago I was telling folks to watch this guy. When he read one of his stories at an AWP Conference it was like hearing Charlie Parker play for the first time. Your ears are never the same. In fact when people heard Parker play they finally understood why God gave them two ears. So it is with William Henry or is it John Henry? The guy is writing good fiction against that steam drilling smut we see too much of these days.

So folks are pushing for Bush to make changes in his administration? Condi as VP replacing Cheney? Hmmm.
I'm afraid to even think about the Democratic primaries. No choice. No choices. Are there any entertainers out there?

Monday, February 20, 2006

A good day. Everyday should be a holiday, then we could all get our work done. :-)
I completed reading ON MICHAEL JACKSON by Margo Jefferson. The book contains a fortune cookie bit of advice on page 82:

"Make a statement before you're pushed to make a confession..."

I gave a Korean woman who owns the neighborhood cleaners a copy of the anthology FRAGRANCE OF POETRY. This is a book of poetry by Korean-American poets living in the Washington area. Yearn Choi edited it and I wrote the introduction.

In the early afternoon I went downtown only to find all the cafe's crowded. I was looking for Hemingway or maybe Baldwin and Wright. I did talk to Anu at Mocha. Around the corner at Busboys the poetry junta was meeting. Good folks deciding best how to keep everyone's hustle and flow going. I purchased Abani's GRACELAND from the bookstore. I stayed until Ginger G graced the place. We walked a few blocks and found a Starbucks where we could talk about the state of the union. G loaned me a copy of the Indian film, Mr.and Mrs. iyer. On the bus home I was transported to Lagos by Abani's work.Good writing. I'll pack it for my trip to Rider University.
Oh Barry Bonds please. Your retirement story is just morning fog to cover the steroid issue from 2005. It's a way of putting a topic in the hands of the media and shifting the questions to the following:
Do you think you can still break Hank's record?
What if you fall short of the record by 3- 5 homeruns? Will you come back in 2007?
This is a PR attempt for folks to love and cheer Bonds this year. Let's face it some fans were going to use steroids just to boo Bonds better.
This is a PR attempt to make this season a last hurrah for Barry Bonds. So where ever he goes there will be folks either rooting for him to hit a homer, or not hit one. The issues of steroid use and tax problems will take a seat behind the dugout.
Baseball must think we're stupid. I know a curve when I see it...and if these folks attempt to throw a knuckleball at the fans, they better have someone around with a big mitt.
So Kobe had 7 assists in the All-Star game. I guess he was showing folks he can share the ball. Right? But did his team win? Nope. And this was with some of the best players in the world. Now what is the guy suppose to do on the Lakers? Pass or shoot? Hey Oscar R, Big O..explain this to me? I saw your NY Times article. Yes, Kobe will need a 100 for the Lakers to win anything. James is growing up. Do you remember when everyone was talking about Grant Hill?

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Funny how some guys are "faking" an injury so they don't have to play in the
World Baseball Classic. It these games really took off they would just create another reason to burn cars and riot. Can you imagine Cuba playing the US in the championship game? Just selecting the teams for the contest forced many players to declare their loyalty to the US or their place of birth

Now what should be done with Baby Soriano? If the Nats were the Yankees the guy would be told to play in the outfield or don't put on a jersey. It's obvious the guy is not interested in playing in DC. I would trade his butt before he sat on the bench. What can we get for him? I always thought he was another overated player making more money than he needed for his shoes. I'm certain Mr. Robinson is going to give the guy some plain talk. We all have feelings but this is baseball.
Additional required info to read from my Genius G out in Indy:

Info for you:

An audio interview of elder revolutionary (she's about 90 years old) Grace Lee Boggs is available for your listening and discussion/debate. Please go to: and look for MP3 file called "GMUS-Jan17".

Grace Lee Boggs- Asian American - was the revolutionary partner of the late James Boggs: a selftaught Black Revolutionary who had been an organizer and author of:

"Racism And The Class Struggle"
"American Revolution"
"Revolution And Evolution"

Grace Lee Boggs has also published widely as well as having been (and still is) involved in grassroot organizing for revolutionary change.
My friend Julia told me about this article by Jean Baudrillard in the New Left Review. It can be linked to my E-Note about Walter Mosley's Nation essay:


Thanks Julia.
For about five years Soyinka was in Las Vegas.
"Las Vegas is rather like one of those books you pick up in a junk shop. At first, you're repelled by its garish cover and frontispiece, but then you make the mistake of turning the first page."
Soyinka was involved with the International Institute of Modern Letters:www.modernletters.org:


The IIML is dedicated to funding initiatives that increase the diversity of literary voices available internationally, provide various assistance to writers whose voices are silenced or stifled by all forms of censorship, and translate literary work and thought into public benefit.

One of the Institute's cornerstone commitments, in partnership with the International Network of Cities of Asylum, is the North American Network of Cities of Asylum (NANCA) in Las Vegas. The City of Asylum program provides safe havens for writers of conscience who are under threat of death, torture, or imprisonment in their native countries. City of Asylum Las Vegas is the first City of Asylum in the United States.
The political environment that has developed after the terrorist attacks of September 11 has sharpened the focus of the Institute's endeavors. Believing as Nobel Laureate and IIML director of literary arts Wole Soyinka that writers and their readers represent a “conspiracy of skeptics,” the IIML is currently placing more emphasis on providing support for translation and international initiatives in an effort to foster more dialog between writers and readers in this country and their counterparts abroad. To that end, the IIML has founded Rainmaker Translations, a publishing consortium with W.W. Norton, Ecco/HarperCollins, Archipelago Books, and New Directions that, beginning in 2005, will bring six to eight new translation titles to market each year.

To highlight a few other important initiatives, in April 2002 the IIML began helping to fund the new International Center for Writing and Translation at the University of California, Irvine and will provide fellowships for PhD students in Comparative Literature whose dissertations can be original works in translation. At the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the IIML provides matching funds for the Elias Ghanem Chair in Creative Writing at UNLV, currently held by Wole Soyinka, the Nigerian playwright and 1986 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. Among our university partnerships, the IIML also funds two Schaeffer Fellowships for PhD candidates at UNLV who are working on creative dissertations.

In addition to its emphasis on international concerns, the IIML is committed to its leadership role in the local Las Vegas community. In an effort to strengthen its ties to that community, the Institute created the Writers-in-the-Schools (WITS) Program to bring noted authors into the Clark County high schools to provide workshops for English and Humanities teachers and for selected “in need” students. A pilot WITS Program was held during the summer of 2001, and a full-scale program was held during the spring of 2003, with noted authors Tom Perrotta, Sandra Cisneros, Mary Karr, and E. Ethelbert Miller participating.

The IIML's activist initiatives are funded in part through the proceeds of an innovative fund-raising effort: Rainmaker Editions, a limited edition fine press series featuring the work of some of the world's greatest writers, designed and printed by our country's leading fine arts bookmakers. Current and upcoming titles include work by Toni Morrison, Wole Soyinka, Joyce Carol Oates, Salman Rushdie, and Tobias Wolff.
New book from Wole Soyinka, CLIMATE OF FEAR:THE QUEST FOR DIGNITY IN A DEHUMANIZED WORLD. Soyinka won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986. From 1967 to 1969 he was imprisoned in Nigeria.
Around the world there are cartoon protests, problems in Nigeria, recent elections in Haiti, but in this Seinfeld world there is only one story worth reporting - Darko has been traded to Orlando. Yes, Darko Milicic is no longer in Detroit playing for the Pistons. Will Darko get to play now? Will the # 2 NBA draft pick of 2003 change the world? Darko baby...we've been waiting for you.
Jim Croce playing in the room. I'm listening to his Life & Times.

Good news to report:

Prince George's Community College Announces New African American Studies
Institute and Partnership with Hurston/Wright Foundation

LARGO, Md.- Prince George's Community College announced today an African
American Studies Institute (AASI) will be established in fall 2006. The AASI
will serve as an intellectual hub for stimulating discussions and action plans
as well as issues and trends impacting the African American c! ommunity in Prince
George's County. The announcement was made at 9:30 a.m. in the Rennie Forum on
the college's Largo main campus.

The African American Studies Institute will feature a partnership with the
nationally recognized Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation of which
novelist Marita Golden is founder and president and Clyde McElvene, executive
director. Golden and McElvene joined college officials in announcing the
institute at the Book Bridge Project panel discussion based on Washington Post
columnist Michelle Singletary's book "Spend Well, Live Rich." The Book Bridge
Project brings together county residents and the college community to discuss a
selected book each year focusing on contemporary issues.

The Hurston/Wright Foundation is a non-profit literary organization, founded by
novelist Marita Golden and Clyde McElvene to support creative writing in the
African American community. The Foundation i! s supported by many noted literary
figures, including authors Maya Angelou, John Grisham, Toni Morrison, Henry
Louis Gates and Terry McMillan.

Prince George's Community College is a comprehensive, public, post-secondary
institution that provides high quality academic instruction, workforce
development and continuing education to the citizens of Prince George's County
and surrounding areas. The college awards associate's degrees, letters of
recognition and program certificates. For more information, visit the college
Web site at www.pgcc.edu .

Saturday, February 18, 2006

I'm back from Chester, PA and a visit to Widener University. I saw my son's team lose the last game of their regular season. They will finish this year at 20-4.

I was reading the Washinton Post and came across the following story:

The Metro board has approved the etching of two poems onto granite at the Dupont Circle station as part of an arts project to highlight the contributions of people who care for those suffering from devastating illnesses.

The project, approved by the board Thursday, will feature the poem "We Embrace" by Howard University professor E. Ethelbert Miller encircling a large round bench that will be installed near the entrance of the station.

A Walt Whitman poem, "The Wound-Dresser," will be engraved in the granite circular entrance of the station.
The D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities funded the project, and Metro will pay for the bench at a cost of several thousand dollars.

2/18/06 Washington Post

Friday, February 17, 2006

Friday night and I'm reading Margo Jefferson's ON MICHAEL JACKSON. In the background Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes singing their greatest hits. What's the connection?
Listen to "Bad Luck."
Vote for Jamie Raskin for State Senator, MD. Here is his thank you note to all the writers who came out to support him on February 11th:

Writers and Poets:

I know W.H. Auden said that poetry makes nothing happen, but he should have been there last Saturday night! It is hard to know how to thank you all for propelling my campaign forward with so much elegance and power and class. We raised more than 18,000 dollars and a huge reservoir of good will and good vibes. I'm still getting emails thanking me for bringing all this literary talent together and others from local authors asking why they weren't invited to read! In any event, I will treasure your warm words of support and encouragement and will always remember that my political campaign began not as a cocktail reception with lobbyists and politicians but as a rousing community gathering in a blizzard with writers and poets. Thank you for lending so much depth and clarity to my campaign. Please check out the post-Mayorga coverage at www.raskin06.com and stay in close touch as the campaign unfolds. . .

All best, Jamie

p.s. And let us know if you want a lawn sign and bumper stickers. They are not necessarily eloquent but they are cogent indeed.

If you want to be placed in touch with Jamie, send me an email: emiller698@aol.com
On the front page of the Muslim Journal (2/24/06) is a very important article to read. It's about the Muslim protest against Liquor Stores in the Bay area. A number of people are critical of the owners of these stores who are Muslims, because they feel they violate their religion and the public trust. How should our society handle this?
Is this a religious issue? What about the rights of the small businessman? What if I'm not Muslim but want to buy a beer in my neighborhood? Who determines what is Halal? On the otherhand we know what alcohol does to people. It can cause accidents, crime, brain disorders, liver disease and child abuse. Are we not against smoking? But what if the Muslims attempt to ban pork chops next- in the Black community? Hmmm.
The August Wilson Center for African American Culture will officially become the new name of the African-American Cultural Center of Greater Pittsburgh today.

The Louis Armstrong House Museum in Corona, Queens is located at 34-56 107th Street.
It's open Tuesday through Fridays, 10AM to 5PM and Saturdays and Sundays, Noon to 5 PM. Admission is $8. Students and children are $6.
Friday. I needed today. A nice note from Suheir this morning. Thank you. Anne Becker has an upcoming reading with Rod Jellema and Patric Pepper, Friday, February 24th at 7:30 PM at Westmoreland Congregational United Church of Christ in Bethesda, MD (One Westmoreland Circle). 301-229-7768.

Mark Doty is reading at the Hamilton Club Building, 32 Church Street, corner of Ellison Street, Downtown Paterson, New Jersey, Saturday, March 4, 2006, 1 PM.

So what color tie are is everyone wearing today? What a stupid story in the Washington Post today. Do you really care that Dick Cheney wore a pink tie the other day? It's this type of stupid media coverage that dumbsdown the American public. We spend more time wondering about the Vice-President's tie and not his policies.

Talking about pink...who would ever go and see THE PINK PANTHER? I always disliked Inspector Clouseau. I'll pass on Beyonce too.
"The wind came back with triple fury, and put out the light for the last time. They sat in company with the others in other shanties, their eyes straining against crude walls and their souls asking if He meant to measure their puny might against His. They seem to be staring at the dark, but their eyes were watching God."
- Zora Neale Hurston

After Katrina...read Hurston again. Tea Cake and Janie without a car and no where to go. Sounds familiar? And what about how we bury our dead?
I missed the news the other day, and didn't hear NBC-anchor Wendy Rieger mention I was her favorite poet. A couple of poems in my next book are dedicated to her. Wonderful friends make life worth living. Yesterday at Howard many of us formed a circle and celebrated Dr. Russell Adams who retired last year from being chair of the Department of Afro-American Studies. It was good to see his old students returning just to show the love and give the thanks. Fellow friends from other Black Studies programs also participated in the event (James Miller/GW and Nathaniel Norment from Temple). I enjoyed listening to Miller as well as Greg Carr and Alvin Thornton the Associate Provost of Howard.

I'm heading over to XM today to tape the Sonic Theater Audio Book Club. Marita Golden and I will be discussing THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD with radio host Josephine Reed.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Google Earth is something that should be on everyone's computer. Check it.

I watched THE CONSTANT GARDENER last night. You watch this film after Lord of War and you just want to crawl under your bed when someone mentions the future of Africa.
Africans being experimented on for $$$. So many problems, where do we start. Health issues, the absence of democracy, military corruption, too many guns, educational problems, the failure of economic development...
There is a good profile of Bishop T. D. Jakes in the latest issue of THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY (March 2006). It's written by Sridhar Pappu. Page 92.
Here is a wonderful line taken from the article:

"People who set out to change the world are not quite like the rest of us. They can sit in our homes, share our taxis, and attend the birthday parties of your children.
But they are never fully detached from the great personal sacrifice that the role entails."
D.C. Mayor Celebrates Black History Month With Poetry
Williams Holds Event Featuring Noted Poets

WASHINGTON -- D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams Wednesday helped celebrate Black History Month Wednesday by recognizing the influence of poetry and the arts in Washington.

The event featured noted poets Delores Kendrick, who is the Poet Laureate for the District of Columbia, as well as E. Ethelbert Miller and Grace Cavalieri, along with actor David Mills.

The 'Doc Powell Trio' entertained a gathering in the mayor's office to mark the occasion.

Spoken word artists performed the works of Langston Hughes, and African drumming added to the celebratory nature of the event.

The poetry event was free and open to the public.

While in office, Williams has held a quarterly poetry reading and music session to honor the arts in the District.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Hoops. Hoops. Widener University takes 1st place in the Commonwealth Conference. This year they are 20-3. My son played 7 minutes in tonight's game. 2 pts. 1 steal. Final game of the season is Saturday.
Read Maureen Dowd in the New York Times today. One would have to agree she's why a person reads an Op-ED. Tough words. Funny. In your face journalism which should always be a reminder of what Americans do best.
First let me say that I really like Walter Mosley. I love his fiction. But let's look at what he recently wrote in the latest issue of THE NATION (February 27, 2006).
The title of his essay is "A New Black Power." Well you know this caught my attention. I loved Carmichael(Ture) when I first headed off to college. Next to my books by McLuhan was a copy of BLACK POWER. So I'm reading Mosley's essay and I suddenly realize that I'm reading graffiti. You know someone put something on a wall and you have to read it, because it's there. What can I say, I have a subscription to THE NATION. Graffiti is shorthand and nothing else. So that's what Mosley provides instead of serious intellectual thought. He means well and so I respect him as much as I like Mariah's voice. But I'm not listening to Aretha and Mosley is not C.L.R. James or Walter Rodney. He's a guy who means well. If you read his essay it's like something someone would say after the Gary Convention. Or maybe it's Jesse Jackson after 4 years of the Carter presidency. Remember when folks were upset with the Democratic Party and didn't know what to do? Some became Republicans and made money the old fashion way. They help run things today. The rest of us fell apart like the Berlin Wall and entered a world with no ideological direction. We became a race of weepers, with no King. No Malcolm. We embraced the image of Mandala like it was a mandala. Something to wear but maybe not believe it. How many of us really call ourselves socialists or communists?
So read Mosley's essay against this wall. The guy has two good suggestions for what we need and need to do:
1. Rehabilitation for people trapped inside the legal system. Suffrage for all ex-convicts who have served their sentences.
2. A universal healthcare system.
I think Easy Rawlins would support # 2. The guy is getting older with each book.
However, before Mosley ends his essay we get that sunlight that reveals nonsense.
Mosley would like our youth to take the reins of leadership. He asks the question I ask everyday when I'm riding the # 70 bus down Georgia Avenue in DC:

"What are the young people telling us when they talk about bitches and ho's, motherfuckers and niggahs and bling?"

Well Walt, they are not telling us anything. I often want to know where they mothers and fathers are. Who raised these kids? I also don't want to follow kids. I don't even want them to drive the bus or sit in the seat where Rosa Parks sat. Let's be honest. Adults lead movement. Young people lead movements when they have an ideology...so my hat will always go off to a young Fidel and Che. I will always respect every member of SNCC who risked their lives to help black people in the South obtain the power of the vote. But these young people had a worldview, and a commitment to service. They also listened to people like Ella Baker. Without elders taking the lead you can't move forward. The Lost generation is Us Walt. Folks who are in their 50s. We are the Lost Generation, not our children. We have witnessed the decline of our communities as a result of violence and drugs. But then we could also be in Sierra Leone or Liberia, looking down the barrels of guns held by 12 and 14 year olds. Well, in some places in the US we do.
I don't expect a 14 year old to lead Africa and I don't expect a 12 year old to lead DC or Phillie.
Nyerere when he was the leader of Tanzania said that if you want immediate change you have to change the behavior of adults and not children. Hmmm. Yes, I did name my son after the man because he was smart. Walt you can't hand over the leadership of the race to children. When I went to those old socialist countries many years ago and sat down with "youth" from around the world, many of the people were in their late 30s...some were even in their 50s. Do you remember when a "young" writer was a middle-age person? Yep. Hip Hop messed with our age. The motion of everything just speeded up and now we've lost control. We don't want to admit it because too many of us want to be hip and sing the lastest songs and wear the clothes the cool people wear. The absence of dialogue in a community is also an indication of the absence of ideology. Men and women give us ideas not children. We give children our ideas and values, and we hope they will build a better foundation out of our lives, not destroy things.
I remember my father going to work during the early days of graffiti in New York. Here was a hard working man who sat on a subway train and knew something was changing and not for the best. I remember my father on his few days off, polishing his black dodge, outside our housing project. This was one of his few joys in life.
Now, I open the newspapers everyday and somewhere in the world a young person is burning a car...it's my father's car. And when I look at the pictures of young, laughing faces and flames around their grins, I think of the cars of our fathers.
Our children are also burning. Maybe in the midst of their chaotic joy their clothes trapped a spark. I was always reminded not to play with fire. I was taught this by the adults in my house. Now we are fumbling trying to pass a torch to a another generation, and the words burn, baby, burn take on a new meaning.
I'm placing LORD OF WAR on my list of best movies I've viewed in the last several months. This film should be required viewing for every citizen. It's an introduction into the terrible gun traffic which engulfs so many (or is it every) nations.
Nicolas Cage is excellent as Yuri Orlov. Parts of this film will make you weep.
An African child asking if her arm will grow back...
A very well written script. Cage has so many memorable lines in this movie that you should watch it with a pad in your hand.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

In other business news, China, the world's second biggest consumer of oil is planning to cut its dependency. They plan to increase their use of alternative-energy sources such as wind, solar and nuclear power. China plans to build 30 nuclear-power plants by 2020.

Howard Schultz and Starbucks continue to expand in China. Last year they increased their stores to 209, up from 152,
Starbucks has 11,000 stores in 37 countries.
So I'm reading the NY Times this morning and suddenly I feel like a Muslim looking at a bad cartoon. Check the article about Relentless Aaron who has a six-figure deal with St. Martin's Press. The guy is writing street lit stuff. Ms. Monique Patterson a senior editor at St. Martin's Press is quoted as saying "We're just scratching the surface now. The publishing world is still starting to see the potential beyond the street, which is going to keep getting stronger."
Anyway, I'm scratching my butt on this one. St. Martin's Press told my agent they couldn't do my next book because of the sale records of FATHERING WORDS. Whoa...hey Martins what planet are you guys on? Did you ever put any money behind the book? How many of your books are being taught in colleges across the country? How many of your books were selected for the one city/one book program? When DC picked my book for its DC READS program we couldn't get cheese from you guys. Dare I ask for wine? I had to push for my own website to be linked to yours. Now, I hear the book is out of print, even though someone said it was an audio book, and I don't even remember anything for that in my contract. Speaking of contracts...who is keeping your records? FEMA?
So I read about Relentless this morning and I happy for him. But I'm a literary activist and I thought this would be a good time to tell folks that big companies are just big not better. Boy does my butt itch today. But I know one publisher I would never let near it.
I will be speaking today at the Embassy of Israel. It's an event honoring the 50th anniversary of the Fulbright Program in Israel. Since 1956, over 1,100 Americans and over 1,400 Israelis have taken part in Fulbright Israel exchanges. I had a Fulbright to Israel in 2004.

On Wednesday I will be reading poems at the Mayor's Press Room, Ground Floor, The John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. Time: 12 Noon.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Suheir Hammad on WBAI
Poet Suheir Hammad will be on a live fundraising special, Feb. 14, 2006, 7-9 pm (EST) on WBAI radio (99.5 FM) in NYC. Program is RADIO TAHRIR
The DuBois Talented Tenth Exam: Are you a member of the Talented Tenth?
Answer the following questions:

Did you go see the movie BIG MOMMA'HOUSE 2 ?
Do you know anyone who saw BIG MOMMA' HOUSE 2?

If your answer is YES to either of the above questions, you are not a member of the Talented Tenth. Sorry...no refund. He He

Martin Lawrence is not Flip Wilson.
Don't you see a problem down the road? Who gives advice to the President these days?
If someone gave you $100,000, wouldn't you remember that person? Wouldn't you ask that person about their kids?
It's just a matter of days until more Bush-Abramoff pictures make the media rounds.
The inability of this government to be honest is a serious bone fracture.
Do you think the VP was practicing this weekend? Was that a warning shot to reporters?
My friend (and fellow poet) Roberto Vargas wanted me to share this information with you:

Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
Washington, D.C.

The Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Bernardo Alvarez

Requests the pleasure of your company
To Attend a Tribute in Memory of

Historic Salvadorian Leader
Schafik Jorge Hándal

Special Guest:

Tania Bichkova, “compañera” of Schafik Hándal

On Thursday, February 16, 2006

At 7:00PM
Bolivarian Hall
2443 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20008
Please R.S.V.P. by February 13, 2006
It looks like my son will be on a championship basketball team his first year in college.Widener can capture the Commonwealth Conference this week. They are currently in first place. 2 more games left to play. They are 19-3. 9-3 in the CC.
It's might not be major news but it's important news:
Rumsfeld in Algeria discussing arms sales. What about human rights in this nation?

Is that Bird Flu in Iraq?

Tension growing in Haiti. Is Rene Preval really the answer?
Were there a heaven,
I would have gone long ago.
I think that light
is the final image.

- Robert Creeley
The Collected:

edited by Alice Notley with Anselm Berrigan and Edmund Berrigan
California. 749 pp. $49.95

The heart stops briefly when someone
a quick pain as you hear the news, &
someone passes
froum outside life to inside. Slowly
the heart adjusts
to its new weight, & slowly everything
continues, sanely.

by Kenneth Koch
Knopf. 761 pp. $40

You warm up, then you take a great
Forward as the ball comes smashing
toward you, home
Plate. And suddenly it is evening.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Charles Johnson's daughter is opening her new art gallery in Seattle. Here is info about the upcoming event:

Elisheba Johnson is inviting you to the Grand Opening Party for Faire Gallery Cafe, a contemporary gallery mixed with a cafe atmosphere.

Faire is located on 1351 East Olive Way Seattle, WA 98118.

The celebration is Friday February 17, 2006
7:00 pm - 12:00 am
Noli me tangere.
For one of the best reviews of BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN read Daniel Mendelsohn's essay "An Affair to Remember" in The New York Review of Books (February 23, 2006).

"Both narratively and visually, Brokeback Mountain is a tragedy about the specifically gay phenomenon of the "closet" - about the disastrous emotional and moral consequences of erotic self-repression and of the social intolerance that first causes and then exacerbates it. What love story there is occurs early on in the film, and briefly..."
Face the Nation is a show I stopped watching a couple of years ago. Many of the questions given to the guests are big softballs. If you can't hit them out of the park you belong among the little leaguers. Madame Condi was on this morning along with Howard Dean. The focus was mostly on Iran. The word that has slipped into American vocabulary on the Right and Left is REGIME. Iran regime, Bush regime, regime, regime. It's just defined as a system of government but it does fly smack into the face of a word like democracy. Say the word regime too often and you might as well get ready to hear a loud knock on your door. Regime, regime,goes well with wiretapping.
Condi also has a bad habit of talking about a nation's behavior. She spoke about Iran's behavior so often that I wanted to send the country a box of crayons to color with. Isn't coloring better than making nuclear bombs?
Howard Dean faced the Nation after Rice. Whew. This guy once ran for President? It's obvious he wants to appear tough. Can we buy him one of those Abramoff's hat and coats? If Dean was standing one might think he was packing something like a gun. The guy needs to answer questions much better. Geez...don't come on television with a game plan and no ability to call an audible. Should we send him some Peyton Manning tapes to watch? How is the Democratic Party going to get back into the ring with Dean bean? Let's be honest. I could have answered the questions better.

In other political news...watch Lynn Swann in Pennsylvania. He is running for governor. There are a number of conservative African American sports stars that the Republican will probably groom to run for high office. Do we know where Swann stands on the issues? Nope. Who will the Dems run against him? An Ugly Duckling?

This brings me back to my old idea about American writers deciding to run for public office. I think there are a number of writers who would simply make good political candidates. Well, better than the guys with jockstraps and helmets.
Do I need the snow? Do you? Why can't the polar bears have this type of weather? I have to spend the morning cleaning in front of the house. Ugh.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Art Shell? Geez. Shell is going to be head coach of the Oakland Raiders again. It's obvious no one wanted the job. I watched Shell coach when he made history as the first black head coach in the NFL. That was 1989. Shell has that Clarence Thomas style. Did he ever say anything while on the sideline?
A tribute to the # 1 woman in the world:

You are invited to a reception in honor of
Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon,
on Thursday, February 23, 2006,
from 5:00 pm-6:15 pm
in Mary Graydon Center, Rooms 5/6.

After the reception, there will be a screening of the documentary film
"Raise Your Voice",
which chronicles the Grammy Award-winning
African American female vocal ensemble
"Sweet Honey In The Rock"
in the Weschler Theatre
on the third floor of Mary Graydon.

Following the screening, audience members will have an opportunity to engage in a post-screening discussion with
Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon,
founder of "Sweet Honey In The Rock."

Please join us for this special reception.
We ask that you RSVP on-line for the reception by Monday, February 20th.
We also ask that you RSVP on-line by the 20th if you plan to stay for the screening of "Raise Your Voice"
so that we can reserve seating.
Please click on the link below to send in your RSVP.

Seating is limited
Please RSVP as soon as possible.
A COSI Poet Lore meeting this morning. New issue almost done. It's going to have a cool cover. Wait until you see the guys on the cover.

This afternoon Jamie Raskin is having his extrordinary gathering of poets and writers who are promoting his election to the Maryland State Senate. This could be the birth of the cool era:
4-7 PM
Mayorga Coffee Roasters
8040 Georgia Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20910

So what's a Gretzky to do?
It's not illegal to place a bet, but it is against the law to act as a broker and profit from gambling.

In other sports. Thomas Boswell made an interesting remark(Post/yesterday) that explains the baseball foul balls being hit around the building of a new stadium:

In the case of Washington, Selig simply cannot comprehend the split between five million suburbanites, who epitomize baseball's dream demographic, and the District itself, which has relatively few citizens who love baseball. The poor can't afford it and many who have the money simply aren't fond of the game. One reason so many council members find it easy to risk losing baseball is because they understand their constituents."

Boswell's statement explains why I sometimes feel I'm sitting in Fenway Park and not RFK Stadium. When I went to see the Nats play Seattle last year, Ichiro did help increase the stands with people of color. I sat in right field with was filled with wonderful Japanese fans. We had our own private garden.

In the absence of candidates to run for president in 2008, will someone start a Dennis Haysbert (President Palmer from the television show 24) campaign? The election is coming but you have the feeling the nation needs help in the next 24.
Jack Bauer for Secretary of State? In this crazy world life continues to imitate fiction. Is this my reality show or yours?

Friday, February 10, 2006

Be sure to visit Provisions (1611 Connecticut Avenue, NW) between February 11 - April 15, 2006. On exhibit will be THE INNOCENTS /Headshots. This exhibition presents photographic portraits of wrongfuly convicted individuals who were exonerated using DNA evidence. There will be a number of public programs while the exhibit is up.
Check website: www.provisionslibrary.org
Look for prisons to be back in the news. 5 days of race riots in LA County jails. Blacks and Latinos. Why are we fighting each other?? Aren't we already in lockdown? Sometimes not even history turns like a key.
This looks like a long weekend for the Bush Administration. The Abramoff statements are very serious. Is it possible the president is watching Hustle & Flow? Is it true that sometimes a guy has to lie? Maybe our nation is a cassette tape and we just can't find someone to listen to it.
It's Hard Out Here Being A President.
I watched two movies last night:
The Legend of Zorro
Hustle & Flow

The Zorro movie is fun silly and not something to rush out and see. I'm glad I missed this one on the big screen. However, check it for the dialogue by the two Pinkerton agents midway in the movie. Also follow the plot of this movie and how it fits into contemporary politics. Z

Hustle & Flow...what can I say?
I would say the first couple of minutes in this film are excellent. Terrance Howard has a good script to work with. I can't believe this film has Singleton's name associated with it. I mean I watched the entire thing and didn't ask for forgiveness.
Nola played by Taryn Manning steals this movie. I was caught by her simply enjoying the responsibility of turning the fan off during recording sessions.
Now, I'm still curious how the Pimp song sneaked out of this film and into Oscar's bedroom. Somebody must be getting a BJ for this one.
Here is information about my friend Me-K's film:

Other happenings at the Capstone of Negro Education:

“Black British Aesthetics Today: The Howard University Symposium” to be held on the Howard University campus on Saturday, April 8, 2006. The keynote speaker at the Symposium is the internationally renowned Professor Kobena Mercer, Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Visual Culture and Media at Middlesex University in the U.K. Many other notables, scholars and writers, will be participating in this multidisciplinary and multi-media, ground-breaking event. The focus of the Symposium is on the artistic aspirations, accomplishments, and artistry of contemporary poets, novelists, playwrights, graphic and multi-media artists, photographers, film-makers, television scriptwriters, and musicians as well as fine artists and pop artists in other media. Please see attached Program for a full list of panels and participants.

We invite participants-at-large to join us and to enjoy our exploration of the topic. Please write to R. Victoria Arana at rvarana@archeform.com to register in advance. Please send your name, title, affiliation, field of specialization or study, contact information (emails, telephone numbers, and snail-mail addresses) as well as special interests.
This is what my department at Howard University is doing next week. I'll be making a short presentation in the afternoon:

The Department of Afro-American Studies extends a special invitation to you to attend our sponsored Symposium on The State of the Discipline: Past, Present and Future Challenges. The program includes a luncheon where Dr. Russell Adams, will reflect on developments in the discipline and the department during his 36 years of service and leadership at Howard University. The Symposium is scheduled for February 16, 2006 in the Browsing Room, Founders Library from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The luncheon (12-1:30 PM) will be held in the BLACKBURN CENTER Ballroom. To obtain your ticket for the luncheon please R.S.V.P. to Ms. Joyce Rose via e-mail at jrose@howard.edu or call 202-806-7242 before 4 p.m. on February 14, 2006.

This symposium is unique because, not only is it part of the Department's annual Black History Month activities, it, also, is an opportunity to recognize a man who has been extremely dedicated to learning and teaching about the Afro-American experience in the global community. This dedication has made our former Chair one of the preeminent experts in the discipline and has put our department "on the map". Your presence at this special event would be a powerful expression of your appreciation for Dr. Adams' efforts and a demonstration of your support for the field.

Thank you in advance for your support and participation in the Symposium. If you need additional information please feel free to contact Ms. Joyce Rose via email jrose@howard.edu or call 202-806-7242.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

If someone is calling Wayne Gretzky, we want to know about it.

It looks like Wayne is going to be smelling like a rose.
Get ready for a bunch of dumb Ben Roethlisberger television commercials. Do we really need this?
The guy is an American Idol type of QB. Look for his name to be part of a trivia game question years from now. Q. Who is responsible for getting one for the thumb?
Duh. Big Ben? You're correct. Next Question or joke...a guy walks onto a football field carrying...
This looks like a good publication on Islam to read:
Before folks drop those cute $100 Laptop computers (that come with the power crank) on developing nations, a study should be done on how these items might impact political organizing. It's not just an educational tool.
Nerve agent scare on The Hill today. It's obvious someone is watching 24 on television. Where is Jack Bauer? How much money was spent today just looking into this false alarm? What's the budget for C.T.U.?
On page 32 of the latest issue of THE NEW YORKER (Feb. 13 & 20, 2006) there is a priceless Roy DeCarava photograph of Billie Holiday and Hazel Scott. It was taken in 1957. I love DeCarava for his black&whites, the shadows, the blue(s) darkness of each image. This photo was taken just a few years before Billie's death. The light from the lamp illuminates both women. I think it was back in the 1970s that I had a chance to talk to DeCarava while we were on a train. Boy, I felt like Langston Hughes that day.

Other images in THE NEW YORKER. The cartoon of George Bush on page 47 is just as bad as a Islamic cartoon. Confront the man's ideas, don't simply ridicule him. Political struggle is serious business. The first thing one must do is respect the opposition and work hard to change things. It's not a game, it's life. Putting more energy and attention into making Bush look like a fool is not going to change things. I've been looking at the folks the media wants us to consider replacing Bush with: Trump, Sen. Clinton, Edwards, former Mayor G of New York. Let's admit the list is bad. We don't have any good candidates to pick from. We need to be honest about this in 2006. If there was an election held today, Bush would win.
Do you really think Sen. H. Clinton is going to win Texas, Mississippi, Georgia or even California in a national election? Nope. Nothing but hype. Don't believe it! I think the media (and the Republican Party) help push names of folks they know they can defeat in a national election. It's like getting to the playground first, and picking the other team. You put the losers on one side and keep the good hitters for yourself. Did you really think Dean was going to win a few years ago? I didn't.
Right now there are no progressive candidates we can even consider for higher office.
Show me someone who can win some Southern and border states and I'll start to listen to you. I'm waiting for someone to push the issues of poverty, and strong grassroots organizing, bringing together people from different cultural communities.
This might be interesting:

Project South Washington Book Forum - Raising consciousness for movement building

Report back from the World Social Forum in Venezuela & dialogue
on Today’s Globalization and building the US Social Forum
with Jerome Scott, Project South Director & Former Organizer, League of Revolutionary Black Workers
and Walda Katz-Fishman, Project South & Howard University
(Jerome & Walda were part of the Grassroots Global Justice delegation.
Others who participated have been invited)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006
5:30pm – 7:30pm
Howard University
Blackburn Center, Hilltop Lounge, 2nd floor
2400 Sixth St., NW, Washington, DC 20059

Sponsors: Project South: Institute for the Elimination of Poverty & Genocide * American University

Department of Sociology & Office of Multicultural Affairs * Howard University Organization of Graduate Sociologists
* Plymouth Congregational Church Board of Social Action * Committee of Indigenous Solidarity – CIS-DC
& St. Stephen’s Church
For information contact us at 301.367.1079 or wkatzfishman@igc.org

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Widener wins again. My son's team is now 18-3. Three more games remaining in the season.
I'm listening to the Four Tops tonight. "It's The Same Old Song." Did you see the beautiful creatures from the "Lost" World in that remote part of New Guinea? They looked so cute. I'm certain there are "bad" guys packing gear and purchasing plane tickets to head to that part of the world. Folks probably want to capture them and sell them on Ebay. It's the type of story where you expect folks to discover King Kong next. Indonesia should hire those "MinuteMen Americans" to guard their borders. Look for one of the birds to be on the Jay Leno Show in six months.

So did you really want to talk to Britney Spears about how to drive and protect her child? Spears is another woman with limited talent. I wish her child well.

The future is still coming. Soon we will be able to use our cellphone to buy groceries and movie tickets. We will be able to wave our phones over a sensor and gain access to the subway. This was reported in the Wall Street Journal today. Keep an eye on Motorola.

Should we talk baseball? If the D.C. City Council is having a problem with building a stadium, no wonder we have so many other problems in this city. This is just an audition for who will be the next mayor. I've not decided who to support yet. In the old days I would enter a poll both and write my own name on the ballot. A poem in every home?
Ah...such promises.
"Shake Me, Wake Me."
My friend Adrian sent me this information today:

The National Center for Higher Education (NCHE) Valuing Diversity Committee
Literary Festival

The Committee strives to cultivate its core mission “…to promote understanding, appreciation and awareness of diverse groups and to exchange an inclusive, respectful, and equitable environment.”

NCHE Literary Festival

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

12:00p – 2:00p

National Center for Higher Education Conference Center

One Dupont Circle

Interested in participating?

Authors, editors, and/or publishers who wish to be selected to participate should submit a professionally published copy of their work which embraces the spirit of our mission. We welcome all literary work or life experiences which address the following categories: disability, age, ethnicity, nationality, political affiliation, race, sexual orientation, gender, religion, class, and/or socioeconomic status.

Although we cannot offer a stipend or pay expenses, we will market this event and potentially expose publications and ideas to over 50 higher education associations, as well as nearby bookstores and local libraries. Additionally, will be able to bring copies of their work to sign and sell.

Application Requirements
Donate a copy of your professionally published (including self-published) work to the Valuing Diversity Committee (which will remain in the Committee’s library),
Complete the participant application form, identifying all applicable categories, and
Mail completed submission packets, postmarked no later than February 21, 2006, to
Monique McGill
Department of Government Relations
American Council on Education
One DuPont Circle NW, 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20036

Invited participants will be notified beginning March 6, when they will be required to pay a $25 registration fee made payable to American Council on Education. (Donations and all submitted children’s books will be presented to Ferebee-Hope Elementary School for the continued development of their library.)

Questions:Thia Davis, thia_davis@ace.nche.edu, 202-939-9732
Adrian King, adrian_king@ace.nche.edu, 202-939-9722
Be sure to follow the GM story. This is bad news getting worst. Pension curbs and pension pain for all of us. No one is going to take care of you. It's all on you.
The buck is being passed from company to employee.
Suggested plans might be like finding a lifeboat on the Titanic. What can you do?
Wall Street Journal advice:
- Fund your company sponsored 401 (k)
- Set aside additional savings in an IRA
- Open an HSA, if available to cover medical expenses
- Consider working more years before you retire

I found the last suggestion very funny. Work to you drop is another way of putting it.

The only way things are going to change is with a strong populist movement, and some very progressive American businessmen who place workers first. Look for organization to start on the local and state level. It might spin off the anti-war movement and CEO greed, which might encourage poor and middle-class people to reach beyond divisional politics like Democrat and Republican.
We need a New American Agenda.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Like Bird, Stafford Lives!

On Sunday, February 12, 2006, at 2 pm, the Writer's Center and the Friends of William Stafford will present the third annual birthday celebration of this much-loved writer and teacher. Martin Dickinson, Bettie Mikosinski, Gary Sange, and Myra Sklarew will be the featured speakers. 4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda MD 20815; 301 654 8664, www.writer.org. Refreshments provided. Free. Audience is invited to share favorite William Stafford writings and reminiscences.
Free parking in lot across from Writer's Center. 10-minute walk down from Bethesda Metro, Red Line.

William Stafford (1914-1993), an enormously loved and admired writer and teacher, authored 67 volumes and was the winner of the 1963 National Book Award and the Shelley Award from the Poetry Society of America. He served as Poetry Consultant for the Library of Congress (1970-71), and was appointed Oregon Poet Laureate in 1975.
Doreen, Doreen, Congrats! Congrats!

Monday, 6 February,2006
> An international judging panel, meeting in
> Kampala, Uganda has awarded the 2006 Commonwealth
> Writers’ Prize Best Book Award, Africa Region to
> Benjamin Kwakwe’s The Sun By Night (Africa World
> Press). The Best First Book Award was awarded to
> Baingana’s Tropical Fish: Tales from Entebbe (
> University of Massachusetts). Each author wins 1000
> Pounds.
> Both regional winners now enter the final stage of
> the 20th Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, the
> international award for outstanding fiction, which
> will be decided by a panel made up the four regional
> Chairpersons in Melbourne and announced on 14th
> March 2006. They join other regional winners from
> Canada and the Caribbean; Eurasia;and South East
> Asia and the South Pacific. 10,000 Pounds will be
> awarded to the author of Overall Best First Book.
> Regional Chair, Professor Mary Kolawole, Africa,
> comments:
> Best First Book:
> Doreen Baingana’s collection of short stories,
> Tropical Fish: Stories from Entebbe, impressed the
> panelists on three main grounds. The first is its
> expert structure, which deftly combines the
> crispness and variety of the conventional short
> story collection with the coherence and continuity
> of a full-fledged narrative. This is achieved mainly
> through the device of weaving the stories around
> three sisters growing into maturity in a troubled
> environment. Secondly, it lyrical narrative
> technique and easy stylistic fluency lend it a
> specially convincing charm. Finally, through its
> ingenuous but incisive insight into the minds and
> feelings of the characters and the challeneging
> settings in which they strive and find their
> identity, it reveals to the reader a fresh and
> intriguing African reality rarely glimpsed in the
> stereotyping “newsbites” that are the stock in our
> media. Entebbe, an emerald little city on the
> northwestern shores of Lake Victoria in Uganda, is
> the main setting of the
> stories, but the narrative frequently makes bold
> sallies out of it to explore the Africans global and
> universal struggles, as in the case of Christine,
> the youngest sister’s anguished attempts to
> understand and adapt herself to immigrant life in
> the US.
Information for you:

The 2006 Bechtel Prize

The Teachers & Writers Collaborative will award an honorarium of $3,500 and
publication in a special issue of Teachers & Writers magazine to the
author(s) of an exemplary article or essay relating to creative writing
education, literary studies, and/or the profession of writing. Possible
topics include contemporary issues in classroom teaching, innovative
approaches to teaching literary forms and genres, and the intersection
between literature and imaginative writing. Prospective entrants are
encouraged to read Teachers & Writers to familiarize themselves with its
personable, non-academic style.

The 2006 Bechtel Prize Guidelines

1. Submissions must be typed, paginated, and double-spaced. Maximum word
count: 5,000 words.

2. Submissions will be judged anonymously. The author's name and address
must not appear anywhere on the essay/article.

3. Submissions must be previously unpublished as of the deadline. This
includes print and online publications.

4. Two copies of the essay/article must be submitted. One copy should
include a cover page that states the author's name, mailing address, e-mail
address, telephone number, and the title of the submission.

The other copy should include a cover page that states the title of the

5. Winners will be announced in July 2006. The special issue of Teachers &
Writers magazine will be published in September 2006.

6. Please mail entries to The Bechtel Prize, Teachers & Writers
Collaborative, 5 Union Square West, Seventh Floor, New York, NY 10003. We
cannot accept submissions by e-mail.

7. Entries must be postmarked by May 31, 2006.

For additional information: editors@twc.org
"It is not how much you do, but how much love you put into doing it."
- Mother Teresa
Congrats to Dr. Thomas R. Morris who will be stepping down as president of Emory & Henry College to join the cabinet of newly elected Virginia governor Tim Kaine. Morris will become Virginia's next secretary of education. He will oversee K-`12 education, public colleges and universities and state museums.
Morris and Emory & Henry College awarded me an honorary degree back in 1996.
Good news. Bush Administration might give DC $30 Million for its ailing library system. I still think a new main library should be build near the waterfront (or even the baseball stadium). I really don't care for a new library that might be underground on the old convention site. Geez...how depressing might that be?

The new Teaching for Change catalog is out. Good stuff for anyone who is teaching in public schools:
I've been a board member of the organization for many years. Good people doing good things. Visit the Teaching for Change bookstore at Busboys & Poets (14th and V Street, NW). Cool people like Derrick and Don are usually at the counter...

Monday, February 06, 2006

Here is a recent article about one of my best literary friends:

A weaver of disparate strands
By Ellen Steinbaum, Globe Correspondent | February 5, 2006

Some people have it all planned out. They have their maps and they're sure of where they're going. Others, and I am one of them, make plans but then tend to drift a little with the prevailing winds, sometimes arriving in an unexpected place.

Afaa Michael Weaver is one of those, too. He is a poet, playwright, and professor who holds an endowed chair in English at Simmons College, where he is director of the Zora Neale Hurston Literary Center.

When we meet, he is preparing to leave for China, where he has spent much of his time in recent years. The life he is living probably was not what he envisioned when he was a child named Michael S. Weaver growing up in an African-American family in 1950s Baltimore, or during the 15 years he spent as a factory worker. And I can't help thinking that the story of his journey lies in his name.

Michael Weaver became Afaa M. Weaver when the Nigerian playwright Tess Onwueme gave him a name from the Ibo language.

''Afaa means oracle," Weaver says. ''It is a good name for a poet because an oracle is a person who can clarify things in the present time."

Weaver also has a Chinese name, Wei Yafeng. ''Wei" means flourishing or blossoming. ''Yafeng" is the title of a section from the oldest anthology of Chinese poetry and carries implications of middle age. Weaver says he asked his Chinese godfather, who gave him the name, to add a ''radical," or character, that indicates grass growing.

Weaver describes the chain of events so logically you think it could have happened to anyone: At first, while working in a factory, he began studying tai chi.

''It helped with my balance," he explains, meaning physical balance, but noting that, as he began struggling with depression, it seemed to help him maintain emotional balance as well. Weaver continued practicing tai chi casually as he began writing poetry, saw his work published, founded a literary journal, and started freelancing for newspapers like the Baltimore Sun, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Chicago Tribune. He was still dabbling in tai chi when he published his first poetry collection, ''Water Song"; when he was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship; and when he completed his bachelor's and master's of arts degrees.

And when, teaching at Rutgers University, he experienced congestive heart failure, he added more intensive practice of tai chi to his medical regimen.

''It restored my health," he says, '' and I thought maybe Chinese culture was something important in my life." So when he was awarded a Fulbright scholarship, he chose to study in Taiwan.

Since then he has written poems in Chinese, including some he considers among his best. Even symbolism from the Kabbalah has found its way into his poetry as this weaver has brought together disparate strands of far-flung cultures.

''There have been different manifestations," he explains. ''At first I was writing about the United States, north and south. 'My Father's Geography' is part of that. 'Timber and Prayer' I saw as my last 'migration' book. Then there is the inner movement of 'Talisman' and 'Multitudes.' At this point I can look back and see more clearly what I was doing.

''It's a blessing for a poet to know you don't always have to figure it out. It's kind of a gift that requires a self-knowledge and self-awareness that are not always available to you, especially when you're younger. One should always hope for surprises."

Ellen Steinbaum can be reached at citytype@globe.com.

told me (he was an Onan-
daga) that each person is

born with a number of days
in his hand he must accept

that but he may hope for
the tribe because if there

is one to speak and one to
listen the tribe will go on.

-James Laughlin
What exists in the space between two thoughts?
OK. Please let me know if I should boycott Joss Stone recordings. Thanks.

Mail stuff:
Postcard information about Vincent Wixon's new book of poems: THE SQUARE GROVE.
Poems of rural Minnesota and southern Oregon. Order through:
abebooks.com or by phone at Bloomsbury Books in Ashland - 541- 488-0029.
Wixon's book sells for $14.

Also in the mail was a print from Walter Mosley. The guy continues to put time into his visual art work. Someone should give him a show in New York.

After Joss Stone, I'm back to listening to Duke Ellington's PIANO IN THE BACKGROUND.
The morning after the Super Bowl.
Almost all of the commercials were awful. Who writes this stuff? The best Ad was the FEDEX one. Oh, and why didn't folks let Aretha sing by herself? The woman has a voice that can easily fill a football field. Poor Neville was standing around like he was waiting for FEMA in New Orleans. So sad...
Oh, please help me identify the white female vocalist who was singing with Stevie Wonder. Did she think she was Janis Joplin? Pleez...no voice, no talent. Oh, and who were those dancers with the canes? Stevie Wonder doesn't even use one, why have dancers around him playing with them?
Now let's talk about the Rolling Stones. Who was the black guy on guitar? The Rolling Stone who gathers the moss? Where is his agent? The guy was getting no camera coverage.Who picked the Stones to do the half-time show? Who? Who? Who? This was Detroit, not a city in Nevada. Next year will it be Spoken Word poets? Aretha should have been given the half-time honors. I went to the bathroom as soon as Mick decided to go back in time and sing about getting no satisfaction. I enjoyed the satisfaction of going...

Now, be honest weren't you just waiting for those actors from the movie FOUR BROTHERS to interrupt the first quarter of the football game, demanding to know who killed their mother?

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Too many bad calls in the Superbowl. Geez. Big Ben is an overated QB. Seattle should have won the game. The real trick plays were called by the refs.

Talking football- Warren Moon is the first African American QB to be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Betty Friedan died yesterday. The author of THE FEMININE MYSTIQUE. I was fortunate to meet her a couple of times at gatherings in Washington, D.C. Friedan was one of the major architects of the women's liberation movement. Thank you, Betty.

So do you want one of those DNA Kits? Take a swab from inside the cheek...and bingo.
We could all be cousins.
Contact the Family Tree DNA in Houston, Relative Genetics in Salt Lake City and African Ancestry in Washington, D.C.
DNA kits range in price from $100 to $900.
Small news is big news. In a recent newspaper (Wash Post) there was a small article about 1500 seal pups that were swept out to sea and drowned. Lack of ice cover forced their mothers to give birth on a small island. Abnormally warm conditions have affected the enviornment of the seals. Global warming?

Back to BeBe. In her Bloomsbury Review interview Bebe More Campbell makes the following statement:

"Communities of color, particularly African American ones, don't cope very well with having a mentally ill family member. Black people already feel stigmatized by virture of the color of our skins. We don't want to own up to anything else that might be used against us, so we go into denial about mental illness. There are some very good reasons for doing this. We are often not insured or are underinsured. We don't trust the medical establishment to give us the right diagnosis, and we shouldn't."

I plan to read Campbell's last book 72 HOUR HOLD. It's a novel that examines the issue of mental illness within a family.
Yesterday was a good day for Widener and my son:

Feb. 4 (at Juniata)

Men's Basketball Remains in First-Place Tie with 74-67 Overtime Triumph at Juniata

2/4/06 -- Junior Essien Ford (Baltimore, MD) scored 17 points and freshman Nyere Miller (Washington, DC) hit all eight of his team’s free throw attempts in overtime for Widener en route to a 74-67 Commonwealth Conference triumph at Juniata in Huntingdon, PA.

The Pioneers (17-3, 7-3 CC) opened their biggest lead, 51-40, with 10:30 left on a 3-pointer from Ford. But the Eagles (10-11, 5-5) began chipping away and grabbed the lead, 56-54, with 2:26 left on Tommy McConnell’s 3-pointer.

Senior Brooke Tidswell (Mount Holly, NJ) hit two free throws for Widener to tie it, but Chris Jasiota followed suit with 1:43 remaining for a 58-56 Juniata edge. Junior Malcolm Thomas (Baltimore, MD) responded for the Pioneers on a jumper with 1:17 left for a 58-58 tie.

Senior Brandon Blakey (Willow Grove, PA) committed a turnover in the final minute for Widener, but Juniata could not capitalize as Travis Boyd missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Widener did not trail in overtime, scoring the first eight points over 2 1/2 minutes for a 66-58 edge. Junior Terry Smith (York, PA) netted four points in that run with Clarkson and Thomas each adding a pair.

McConnell made 1-of-2 from the stripe and Aaron Chamberlain drilled a 3-pointer with 1:18 left to bring Juniata within 66-62. But Widener’s lead would get no smaller thanks to Miller hitting his foul shots over the final 37 seconds to help give his team its fifth victory in seven outings.

Ford shot 6-of-13 from the field, helping Widener hit for 55 percent (11-of-20) in the second half and 48 percent (26-of-54) overall. Thomas finished with 14 points and seven rebounds, Clarkson poured in 14 points and Tidswell added 10 for the Pioneers.

McConnell and Boyd scored 14 points apiece and Chamberlain added 11 for Juniata, which shot 52 percent (14-of-27) in the second half and 41 percent (26-of-64) overall.

Widener will be in a first-place tie with the winner of Saturday night’s contest between Messiah and Albright in Reading, PA. Widener returns home Wednesday for a crucial game against Albright at 8:00 pm, preceded by the women’s contest at 6:00 pm.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

With freedom of speech comes responsibility and judgement. It's sad to see folks around the world being upset about cartoons when there are so many other more serious problems to confront. But I'm beginning to find "offensive" pictures of Muslim men doing nothing but chanting and raising their hands in the air. These pictures simply promote stereotypes that find their way into Hollywood movie scripts. The cycle of groups fighting groups never ends. It's important that anyone editing a newspaper or magazine understand, Islam 101. You don't print images of Prophet Muhammad. You just don't do it. So why would any editor let a cartoon image of the prophet see the light of day? I've always been against racist caricatures that attack African Americans, Jews or Arabs. I'm happy that newspapers that are following the Denmark story have decided to not reprint the cartoons. Just tell me about them...that's all I need to know.

Now, we also need to have a discussion on satire and humor. When does a person need permission to tell a joke?
The loss of freedom is never funny.
Friday. Warm weather. Everything is going well. You think about maybe going to the movies or just hanging out with friends. Then you get a telephone call in the middle of the afternoon and you learn members of your family have been in a car accident. Not one person. Not two. But three members of your family in a car accident and you're living in another city. What do you do? How bad was the accident? You're helpless and you're at work. Outside the sun is still as bright as when you left your house. On your desk is an open newspaper and suddenly it's not about the war but it's about your own family. Someone is hurt in New York not Baghdad but it's the same feeling...the helplessness. The sudden change of events. A phone call and your entire world stops.

You're lucky this time. Everyone is a survivor. The voice on the phone tells you not to worry. It's Friday, and you thank God, not for the end of the week, but for your family.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Our new vocabulary word is now "Long war." That's what we are facing today. If we accept this term then bringing the troops home is not going to make sense in terms of language. The words and concepts appear to clash. How long is a long war? The Civil War in Liberia was 14 years. I'm not good at math, but how many US troops would be killed in a 14 year war in Iraq?
What impact would another terrorist attack on the US have on the war effort? These type of questions are difficult ones, but once again we are being forced to think about the unthinkable.

I thought Prof. Ron Walters' essay "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Anti-War Legacy" in the latest issue of the Muslim Journal was well done. It's in the February 10, 2006 issue.

Poets & Writers for Jamie Raskin are gathering on Saturday, February 11th, 4-7 PM at Mayorga Coffee, 8040 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD. Raskin is running to become the State Senator from Maryland's District 20 which includes parts of Silver Spring and all of Takoma Park. Come and support Raskin.
"But poetry ought to possess some form of lastingness, something that distinguishes it from fast food, or from any of the pleasures that are used up as quickly as they are had. A poem must be worth returning to; it should be as rich, or richer, on the twentieth reading as on the first."
- Linda Gregerson
I always chuckle when I bump into writers who have tasted success. What does it really mean? How long will it really last? What's wrong with their tongues? How come they don't talk to you anymore?
Everybody wants to be seen, no one wants to look.
Yesterday was a long day. IPS meetings, lunch with Esther at a Korean restaurant (Songbird) in Virginia, a visit to Provisions and the borrowing of 2 movies (Salaam Bombay! and EL Che), and dinner with Fred and Grace at Busboys.

Glad to see Bush and Evo had a conversation. Do you think he wanted one of those Bolivian sweaters. It's amazing how more attention was given to Evo's dress than his economic program in yesterday's New York Times. One can market anything these days.
Look for women in New York to start wearing the boller hats before the end of the year. And you want to know what happened to rap and reggae? Everything has a price tag waiting for it. Everything can be sold. I could probably sell OJ Simpson gloves if I had a sponsor.

BeBe Moore Campbell is on the cover of the latest issue of The Bloomsbury Review.
Interviewed by Robert Burke.

The new Callaloo highlights the work of Cuban writer Nancy Morejon. Callaloo magazine seems to be publishing the same small group of writers in every issue.
Rowell needs to start doing something else or this journal will become something like an CLA publication. Which means folks will subscribe to the magazine but not read it. I like Rita Dove but how many Rita Dove interviews can a person read? Are there not other Black birds?

Peter Davis sent me copies of his CD -A: Short Hand Good Enough.
You could write to him for more information: artisnecessary@yahoo.com

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


We are walking to La Paz with your smile in our hands
The mines and fields are dancing together
Our hats sit on the top of our heads like the mountains we live in
Do you remember when you stopped to catch your breath?
Was that the day you decided never to sleep again?
Do you know the wind never forgets? Everywhere your face.

- E. Ethelbert Miller
What SuperBowl? After Aretha Franklin sings the national anthem on Sunday everyone might just decide to go home. Aretha is the voice....the SeaHawks and Steelers better bring their A game. Aretha is going to be there. Oh, and Aaron Neville is singing with her.
Now back to Kobe. Don't you get tired of all the team nonsense. Defense is what wins games. Kobe plays that too. Folks too often forget about his overall game. Let's look at the Lakers. They don't have a bench. How often do you really want to give the ball to Odom? Oh, and should Luke Walton even be wearing a Laker jersey? So what should Kobe do? If the guy makes his shots and the team wins, you keep riding it until other players start doing something. The Lakers have no players. They are only playing over .500 because of Kobe. I should be writing for the NY Times instead of Selena, Selena.
Maureen Dowd's article in the NY Times simply echoes what I said a few days ago.
Why do we continue to misread stuff overseas again and again? Yes, hire some cultural anthropologists or simply read what people are saying in Gaza or Venezuela.
People are not stupid and they don't see everything the way we see it. I remember a couple of years ago giving a talk down South at a very conservative country club. I spoke about Islam and turned a few heads. Later, a nice older conservative gentlemen came up to me and said, "I have nothin' against them Muslims as long as they accept Jesus Christ as their Savior." Duh...well that's the problem. They are not going to do that, and they have a right to worship their own way. Right? Everybody wants to change the world without looking at it first.
I just want to get to the future, without war, poverty, and hatred. Is that too much to ask? Is that too much to believe in?
After the State of the Union address the networks should immediately go back to the regular programs. Let's drop the pundits on their heads. What do they know? They always focus on dumb stuff. For example, Sen. Clinton's facial expressions when Bush was talking,etc. Was that in the speech? Congress should also get away from getting up and cheering at different points in the president's speech. This is very juvenile.
It shows that we are not thinking about issues; it also makes our government appear to be a game show or something like Saturday Night Live.
If you want to pay attention to little things, here are a couple:

Clarence Thomas looks like a happy guy. For a guy who nevers says anything in Court he sure was a talking bunny last night.

When Bush entered the room to give his speech, many folks received handshakes and nods, but Condi got a kiss. What should we make of this?

NBC after the President's speech couldn't tell one black person from another. There is only one black man in the US Senate and NBC confused him with a Black member of the House.

Oh and back to Preparation H.
Sen. Clinton makes nice funny faces. Shots of her last night were priceless.
Does this woman have a "soft" side? Hmmmm. Let's ask Bill.

So those are just some little observations. What's the big one? It has to be the new rhetoric. We are now talking about Radical Islam as the culprit. This is going to need a definition or we are heading into some serious problems. What is Radical Islam? Is it an Islamic state governed by Islamic law? Is Radical Islam wanting women to wear veils? Notice how the world is now being divided by religion. Where are the Templars?

The good thing is that a Republican conservative president is no longer talking about isolationism. This goes against the Pat Buchanan school. It would be good for the US to become more active with the UN. I don't think that organization was mentioned once last night. The US needs to take the lead in helping to solve the world's health, poverty and educational problems. Along with research into new energy sources, we need a serious halt to gun manufacturing and distribution.

Burma and Zimbabwe are moving into the vocabulary of the President. Look for these nations to be targeted; especially if they have a small military. The US might push for intervention in these countries just to have some quick success stories to point to. It's easier to invade Burma or Zimbabewe than Syria or Iran.

Countries missing from the President's speech: Venezuela, Liberia, Cuba and Haiti.

AIDS is now viewed as an African American issue and not a Gay issue. It's also something politicians are willing to talk about. Just a few years ago no one wanted to use the A word. I had to chuckled when the President talked about working with the black church around AIDs problems. Yeah...right. Just call me E.E.Jakes. There must be money being made in the back of the temple.
Hey Jason...way to go!


The Provincetown Cultural Council announces the Poet Laureate for the Town of Provincetown: Jason Shinder. Mr. Shinder is the Director of the YMCA National Writer’s Voice, and the Writing Program at Sundance Institute, and is a core faculty member of the Graduate Writing Seminars at Bennington College. A former fellow of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA, he was a professional dancer and amateur skier. He will be Poet in Residence at the Paris Workshops in France for part of 2006.

Jason Shinder’s poetry books include Among Women, Every Room We Ever Slept In (a NY Public Library Notable Book) and Uncertain Hours (forthcoming). His other books include Tales From The Couch: Writers on Therapy, Best American Movie Writing, and, most recently, The Poem That Changed America: “Howl” Fifty Years Later. His forthcoming books include Hollywood Poets: Moviemakers on Their Favorite Poems, Eternal Delight: Stanley Kunitz and the Life of Poetry , and True Minds: The Letters Of Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. He lives and works in Provincetown & New York City.

Jason will open town meeting with a poem. He will also do a poetry workshop and reading in the Provincetown Schools. He will promote the art of poetry as an ambassador of the town. The Cultural Council is very excited to have him be the next Provincetown Poet Laureate.

Last year was the first time that the Cultural Council organized a Poet Laureate for the town and it was Stanley Kunitz.
Wil Haygood's article on Coretta Scott King in the Washington Post today is excellent.
Egberto Miller (1915-1987)

My father has been dead for 19 years. He is buried inside of me. I walk around in my father’s shoes and shadow. I give my father my name. I call him and he answers. My father cannot explain how the two of us feel like one and both of us feel so alone in the world. I have been carrying my father’s silence in the screams of my shoulders. His weight is terrible and I cannot lift myself up, no I cannot shift the burden to anyone else. This is my inheritance.

E. Ethelbert Miller