Thursday, November 30, 2006

The weekend election in Venezuela. How huge will the Hugo vote be?

In Bolivia, Evo Morales got his Senate to approve a sweeping land reform bill.
How will this affect the people in the eastern part of the nation?
Land reform is an important issue throughout the Americas. How long can we ignore it? People can't be poor forever; one man (or family) can't own the horizon or the planet next door.

Border solutions - when will Ethiopia and Eritrea get it together? This conflict is just getting a bit too old.

The Iraq Study Group report is another big book that folks will rush out to purchase. How many of our soldiers will download copies? Is the guy making bombs in Baghdad going to stop because of what someone wrote in Washington? How much influence does Syria and Iran have over the criminal element in Iraq? Where are all the guns and bombs coming from? This must be full employment for folks somewhere in the world. Geez...
Father's Day in November?

Men's Basketball Uses Second-Half Surge in 78-65 Victory at Moravian
11/29/06 -- Sophomore Nyere Miller (Washington, DC) scored five of his 18 points during the decisive run for Widener, 78-65 victors at Moravian in the Commonwealth Conference opener for both schools in Bethlehem, PA.

Senior Terry Smith (York, PA) scored seven points during a 17-3 spurt for Widener (2-3, 1-0 CC), which opened a 51-41 lead with 13:25 remaining. Miller netted five in that stretch.
Moravian (2-3, 0-1) fought back with a 16-9 run to close to 60-57 with 7:32 left. Ryan Miller and Mark Franzyshen netted seven points apiece in that stretch.

But Miller would not let Widener be denied. His scoring outburst came in an 11-0 run as Widener opened a 71-57 cushion with 2:34 to play. Senior Malcolm Thomas (Baltimore, MD), Wyatt Haas (Gloucester, NJ) and fellow sophomore Matt Sosna (Stratford, NJ) also hit baskets in that span.

Miller matched his career best in scoring from opening night November 17 against Lincoln. He shot 7-of-9 from the floor to help Widener hit 57 percent (17-of-30) in the second half and 51 percent (32-of-63) overall.

Smith scored 15 points, two short of his career high, and Thomas also netted 15. Sosna scored a personal-best eight points and Haas grabbed a career-high seven rebounds.

Miller scored 21 points and Franzyshen added 15 for the Greyhounds, who were held to 34 percent shooting (13-of-38) in the second half and 40 percent (27-of-68) overall.
Widener continues its four-game road trip Saturday at Juniata, beginning at 7:00 pm.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A stack of CDs around my desk tonight and I'm trying to determine what to play in class tomorrow. I plan to show my video interview with Sekou Sundiata- I have his THE BLUE ONENESS OF DREAMS. I have Head-Roc's NEGROPHOBIA! I'll also pack Linton Kwesi Johnson' TINGS AN TIMES. Thrown into the bag will be Komunyakaa and Tchicai and their LOVE NOTES FROM THE MADHOUSE.

Papers will be returned to students. A couple of very good ones on such topics as Jay Wright, The Last Poets, Honoree Jeffers...

Before I came home tonight I went down to the King Library. Did you read in the Washington Post about the new public library that recently opened in Rockville, Maryland? Whew...the place looks so beautiful. But there I was this evening going down to the King Library - not the place for dreams. DC needs a new main library. We needed one before we needed a baseball team. A new library would be better than the Wizards, the Nationals and yes - The Redskins. The present library is in last place among American libraries. It's representative of King when he was still fighting segregation in the 1950s. The place has that separate but equal feel to it. A second class library in a city that wants to be first class. It's a shame; especially with so many nice people working in the place. How they must read a book everyday just to escape their condition.
Martin Lammon has a new Arts & Letters out: It's always good to receive this publication. The latest issue has an interview with Michael Waters. Lammon has a review of LET ME TELL YOU WHERE I'VE BEEN: NEW WRITING BY WOMEN OF THE IRANIAN DIASPORA edited by Persis M. Karim (University of Arkansas Press, 2006) on page 192.
See the NY Times today (frontpage piece by Adam Liptak) about the status of Black lawyers at major firms in the U.S. I plan to put this article on my daughter's desk this evening. It would be sad to see her putting all this hard work into getting out of law school and then BUMP!
Forget Iraq for a moment. What's going on at NBC? Sounds like someone at the network has been reading a GM handbook. Are they opening up jobs for Republicans to be hired in the New Year? All of a sudden you look around and you have a new boss who is reading the Elephant Daily News. The guy once worked for the State Department - doing media no less. Hmmm. Sounds like something Orwell would write about and Dickens would get away with. We're nothing but waifs my dear, nothing but waifs.
So how come people and countries just don't behave themselves? We should tell Iran and North Korea they can't wear headbands. Isn't that what the Chicago Bulls are saying to Ben Wallace?
Did you think the guy was "hiding" weapons inside his Afro like that sweet honey Pam Grier once did?
Hey - check Shiite cleric Moqtada al- Sadr on the cover of Newsweek. Here is - THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN IRAQ. Wow...can you imagine having that label? That's like being in hell and having the devil afraid of you. Is this guy dangerous or simply powerful? If we have plans to now talk with Syria and Iran - why not him too? But let's also look at the same issue of Newsweek (December 4th). If Moqtada is dangerous - The Coolest Mogul is Jay-Z on page 62. So you can have your Moqtada and Mogul in the same issue. Isn't this as sweet as Starbucks?
Don't you love how folks package things these days?
Well I missed the lighting of the Norwegian Christmas tree at Union Station last night. I had to attend a Humanities Council meeting. I came home afterwards and was tired but did find the effort to watch the television show - The Unit - for the first time. Boy are the networks serving up images of torture for the American public. They must be working for the State Department.
Notice how torture is shown on the screen more these days- or how one of the captured Americans will say to his torturer (and us the viewer) that Americans don't torture. I always thought that war really didn't have any rules. Back in the days of ringaleerio in the Bronx I was often captured and "tortured." My Mom scolded me for staying out late, she never checked for bruises. My father was as quiet as the UN.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Quote of the Day:

"For all his genius, Mahfouz is hardly representative of modern Arab fiction as a whole. I cannot be the only Westerner who picking up the first volume of Mahfouz's "Cairo Trilogy" in my early 20s, abandoned it after a few dozen pages, finding its 19th century realism slow going. (It was only years later, after I began living in an Arab country, that I picked it up again and saw what I'd missed.)
- Robert F. Worth
edited by Denys Johnson-Davis. Anchor Books, $15.95.
NY Times Book Review, Sunday, November 26, 2006.
Front page of the NY Times today. The mayor Bloomberg with the Rev Sharpton. It's a cartoon photo. Sharpton has his body saying "Get your hands off me. You don't know me!" Bloomberg takes the female position of almost wanting to give up a kiss. They are surrounded by all the other black "leaders" who lack the bowties of the old NOI. What would Malcolm say? Which is why these guys don't look threatening. The black guy in the left corner of the photo could be Jamie Foxx - his head leaning in a Ray Charles defense. The photo is really Saturday Night Live with Sharpton as the guest host. I didn't know Daughtry was still around. Which makes me wonder - what do these "black" leaders do when no black people are getting shot by the police?
Do they keep checking their phones for calls? Do they knit?
Start with Z. Zelikow leaving the Bush Administration. He was the senior advisor on Iraq to Condi. The next few months folks under Bush will be looking for those jobs in the private sector and our universities. An indication that things are coming to an end. Of course the press release will be taken from the old handbook. Folks will claim they want to spend more time with the family and the kids...
Breakfast meeting with Sarah Browning. We discussed the upcoming DC Poets Against the War forum at IPS in January 2007:

DC POETS AGAINST THE WAR- AN IPS FORUM for artists and activists.

January 17, 2007
6:45 P.M.
IPS Conference Room
1112 16th Street, Suite 600

Join D.C. Poets Against the War ( for a forum on the war in Iraq. This 2 hour session will bring together IPS Fellows with poets and activists who have been outspoken against the war in Iraq. It will be an opportunity to obtain information and analysis of the current crisis. Come hear progressive ideas for ending the war and repairing the damage of the past four years. Participants will also read and discuss poems written about the war.

Suggested readings:
D.C. Poets Against the War: An Anthology, edited by Sarah Browning, Michele Elliott and Danny Rose. (Argonne House Press, 2004).

Special Beltway magazine edition:

Monday, November 27, 2006


Well, the Dallas kicker Venderjagt is gone. Check my earlier E-Notes. I told you this guy had to go. Why wait until a playoff game for Mr. V to lose it for you. Dallas is on a roll right now. Romo can move the team down the field with ease. This means Dallas can get 7 or 3 points on almost every possession. With a good defense they should be playoff bound.
Now the next guy to go is the Redskin's kicker.

Oh...and Michael Vick is starting to behave like his little brother. If this guy and the Falcons let the Redskins beat them (this Sunday) look for Vick to get the Kordell Stewart award. Nothing but a flash and some sneaker commercials. It's not about how you run but how you win. It looks like no victories with vick.
What do you listen to after you learn about someone's death? I just needed a song - a voice, to hug my heart. So I'm playing "You Don't Know Me" with Chuck Brown and Eva Cassidy. It's on "The Otherside" album. I love the arrangement of this song. Notes just seem to vanish into the air. It's a farewell song....Eva's once. Bebe's now.

Stomping at the Savory (2006)
72 Hour Hold (2005)
What You Owe Me (2001)
Singing in the Comeback Choir (1998)
Brothers and Sisters (1994)
Your Blues Ain't Like Mine (1992)
Sweet Summer: Growing Up With and Without My Dad (1990)
Succssful Women, Angry Men: Blacklash in the Two-Career Marriage (1986)
So many of us never live beyond what I call the 5th Inning (our fifties). So sad to hear the news about the death of Bebe Moore Campbell at 56. I remember this woman before all the successful novels. We met when she was a freelancer in the DC area. She was writing for the New York Times Magazine and the Christian Monitor. She was one of the few writers I knew making a living from her work. I remember a wonderful lunch and conversation( about writing) we had at one of those places near M Street - the city had yet to be discovered then. BeBe was wearing one of those short afros, and she was beautiful and simply a person of grace. I followed her career and chuckled when a reviewer compared her writing to Baldwin's. Be Be was the writer I was always very happy for. The writer who becomes successful but remembers the price of the ticket. She became an inspiration to many because of the issues she tackled in her novels and non-fiction work. Love and prayers to her family --their blues are now our blues. Some of us will forever be BEBE kids...reading her work, letting her words breathe into our lives.
I spent the entire day in Annapolis, MD. I had a meeting with several people associated with The Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Foundation. I was invited out to advise them on some development issues. We had a lunch meeeting at BUDDY'S Crabs & Ribs. The waitress was very funny and the crab cakes were good. I thought the meeting went well. Here is a link to the foundation:
I might serve on their advisory board in the future.

I'll finish grading my Mason papers this evening. I should finish the Baraka collection of short stories (TALES OF THE OUT & THE GONE) too.

I will be in New York this Friday (December 1st) at the New School with Elizabeth Alexander.
The Cave Canem program is at 7PM. Wollman Hall, 65 West 11 Street.
It's part of the Legacy Conversation sponsored by Cave Canem. Tell friends and lovers.

I'm listening to Diana Krall -When I Look In Your Eyes.
So let me be a Monday morning QB.

It's obvious Brady is the best NFL QB. Right -Colts fans? Did you see that famous Chicago linebacker trying to give him a bear hug? Nothing but air baby, nothing but air.

Oh, just check the old E-Notes...I keep telling YOU that "big Ben" on the Steelers is nothing but an overated player. The kid will be sitting on a bench next year in Detroit. The Ravens just chewed his butt yesterday. Nevermore Benny, Nevermore. Oh...please don't blame it on your accident.

So Campbell wins the game for the Redskins because he called his own play when the headset in his helmet didn't work. Yes - that's the answer. Did you see some of the dumb play calling by the Skins throughtout the game. The Skins defense finally put on their jock straps. That was the only problem with this team. Oh - and please fire the kicker. The teams with the 2 worst kickers are Dallas and Washington.

Baseball? Might every team ignore Barry Bonds? The guy gets no contract offers because of a gentleman agreement between owners? Why sign Bonds and have him break Aaron's record?
There will always be a steroids question hanging over his achievements. If baseball ignores Bonds, maybe he will quietly trot into retirement. You know that's what the baseball leaders do the Baseball Gods.
Central governments might be going the way of the old television networks. People might begin to ignore them. We live during the time of the internet, computer, cell phones, i-pods. The new technology has to have an affect on our politics and how we govern ourselves. If we now can control our own music - why should we listen to a radio station? Trying to control things in Iraq might be as difficult these days as trying to regulate the internet. You just can't do it. Broken countries fall into millions of little pieces - the best one can hope for is a "chat room" where a few people listen to each other.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Treve de blues
- Leon Damas


On Sundays I invite other writers to share my E-Space and contribute their own E-Notes.
Today my guests are the Washington writer Joe Lapp and the Saudi poet Nimah Ismail Nawwab.


Thanksgiving Week In Pakistan

Friday, November 24, 2006

It's Thanksgiving week in Pakistan for Americans here just like it isThanksgiving week for Americans in the States. There's no notice of the holiday in Islamabad, though, except for a slight increase in expats buying yams and potatoes in what passes for upscale grocery stores, and the sudden surfacing of turkey-availability as a topic ofconversation.

I came to Islamabad because my girlfriend is here and because I needed a place to write. I've been wanting to make a book about my neighborhood in DC and about my Amish-Mennonite family's life there. I spent three years in Kenilworth reliving my family's experience and trying to create the manuscript but kept getting distracted. Pakistan sounded like a good place to write. I knew no one except mygirlfriend; I figured I could live simply and spend lots of time with my computer.In my most productive weeks here I've put on my one go-go CD each morning to get in the DC mood, have barely left the house, and at the end feel like I've spent more time in Kenilworth than in Pakistan.

Those weeks have been few, though - there's the business of living, and social events, and bike rides for exercise and health, and of course friends and family back home want to stay in touch.I try to write, but I keep getting sidetracked. I've concluded we writers must carry our distractions around with us.In some ways this Thanksgiving week has simply been anotherdistraction. I've written almost nothing this week.

Tuesday I had to run around doing travel stuff - visas, airline tickets. Wednesday was food shopping and French class. Thursday I baked all day and had an evening celebration with friends. But hey, even writers need holidays,yeah? I've been trying to hold Pakistan at bay while I write about Kenilworth. Though the immediate need to see and to explore this new place has worn off, Pakistan still stares me in the face daily. With the current state of misinformation between our two cultures, I sometimes cannot shake the feeling that I, like the Biblical Esther,have been sent here for such a time as this to in some small way promote peace between our peoples. But if I am going to write about Kenilworth, most of the time I must shrug off that feeling and play my go-go and get down to business in front of my computer.Perhaps this day after Thanksgiving, as the mullah's Friday sermons echo from mosque towers all around the city, I can give thanks for both my writing and my Pakistani distractions and learn to balance them productively. Well, now that I've finished my writing for the day,anyone up for a bike ride and leftover turkey after?



Nimah Nawwab , Saudi poet, writer from the World Economic Forum, New Delhi.

Arriving in India from Arabia for a second visit has been an experience that struck my poetic imagination on a different level this time around.

From the moment of arriving at the airport, encossed in the yellow and green taxi joining a stream of honking cars, rickshaws and couples on motorcycles, I felt the pulse of New Delhi. I couldn’t resist taking photos as we moved along noting the bright red, pink saris, black turbans and dusty street vendors, all seen through a misty haze of pollution.

As the days pass, I steel away precious hours to write in between meetings, producing some new poems inspired by daily encounters and readings of Indian writers, as my fascination for this land of contrasts-a land of extreme richness and extreme poverty, of bollywood stars and sleepy slums, of the highly intellectuals and illiterate, of economic and agricultural boom, grows daily.

The time spent turns into a typical trip that includes a schedule of full out meetings with our group of Young Global Leaders participating in our India Summit and the World Economic Forum. Relying on previous experience of such functions, I sought out the first opportunity to get to the first order of business --visiting local bookstores. Coming from Arabia with its dearth of bookstores, I crave bookstores and India is a true booklovers paradise. The Indians are voracious readers, as well as prolific writers so the variety of available books is impressive.

Armed with a list of Indian poets researched online, I had the pleasure of going on a mini tour of the city in the company of M.S. Shah Nawwaz, the warm and hospitable
editor-in-chief of the Urdu ‘al Mustaqbil’ (The Future) a progressive newspaper. It was a real treat as I got an insider' s view of Indian life and the literary scene. He made me smile as he said “when people ask me to take time off I write, write, write that is my time off.” Later on, at a meeting with a journalist from ‘Asian Age’ my literary acumen of Arabian writers was put to the test as the journalist dug deep into knowledge of the latest works by Arab writers. But I enjoyed the interview, which ranged in topics from women and youth issues, current affairs to famous Indian writers and figures.

In the late evening hours, I settled into the writing mode. Traveling sometimes plays havoc with writing while it sometimes it inspires …Plus it has a lot to do with the will to write outside the usual parameters of the normal writing home ‘environment’ and spiced up with fresh bits of inspiration.

With two articles on the to-do-list with deadlines, I checked my emails for answers to questions for a story I was preparing for "The Arab News," The usual background research was complete and it was time to plug in quotes and updates.

Once again I thanked God for the blessing of the internet. The answers I sought were in, so began work on the body of the piece that revolves around the work of the energetic Audrey Shabbas, who heads AWAIR (, which includes an intriguing teachers workshop program on the Middle East, Islam and the arts.

I had personally had the pleasure of watching Audrey in action a few years ago, while attending part of a workshop held at Harvard one summer. Audrey’s anecdotes, her passion, first hand experiences, the workbook she had developed and reserve of knowledge is impressive.

Later on it was poetry mode, so turned on some Arabian music switching between Fayrouz and Celine Dion. I began work on a piece inspired by reading the work of the Nobel prize-winning Bangali poet and novelist Rabindranath Tagore. One of the most treasured books, my new companions on the trip has been his "Gitanjali." I enjoyed the short deep pieces in his ‘Stray Birds’. This set in motion a train of thought and led to a series of what I am now calling 'bites', 20 short pieces on love and loss starting off on a somewhat mystical trend, not often taken when writing on social issues.

The first bite is as follows:

I have dipped the warming wax of my love
in the rough hands of destiny
will the lamp of delight stay its course?

For the next few hours I moved to working and re-editing some pieces on child slavery, freedom and choices. It is funny how we poets go into another realm when inspiration and passion strike.

Speaking of passion, the best part of the week took place last evening following visits to slums schools and a shelter for street kids-- as part of the Dignity Day Project,

As our Young Global Leaders group headed by John Bryant of Operation Hope, engaged students in the concept of respect for each other regardless of creed, race or age as well as the value of self-respect, we ended the day with a mixed sense of compassion, pride and respect once again for the intelligence and maturity of youth. As the day came to a close, we were assailed by the hardships the young face on the streets.

We had begun or day by addressing each group in terms of what we can learn from them, and by the end of the day we did learn from them, learned life lessons. I am haunted and will continue to be by the looks in their eyes, the sharpness, intelligence and strength.

This time in India has once again reinforced the fact that despite the bleak political waters we navigate nowadays, our hope for peace lies with the future generation’s demand for peace.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Two practical Iraq war solutions to begin with:

1. Have all National Guard units return to the States; first wave of withdrawal.
2. Don't extend the tour of duty for soldiers who have been in the war zone for nearly a year.
A number of magazines came in the mail yesterday:

NY Review of Books
Black Enterprise
The Nation

and The Atlantic (December 2006). This one seems the most interesting . The cover story is 100 most influential Americans of all time.

Here are the top ten:

1. Abraham Lincoln
2. George Washington
3. Thomas Jefferson
4. Franklin D. Roosevelt
5. Alexander Hamilton
6. Benjamin Franklin
7. John Marshall
8. Martin Luther King, Jr.
9. Thomas Edison
10.Woodrow Wilson

I know, I know you were looking for Ronald Reagan to be # 1. He is #17.
Richard Nixon is 99.
The first woman is Elizabeth Stanton at #30

Check this issue out. Every American should know the 100 people on the list.

You don't want to know who is on the list of the top "living" influentials. You can find out by reading page 72 of The Atlantic.

Many of the people on the list are entertainers. It shows you that we've moved from Edison to a light bulb of a joke. And you want to know what's wrong with our society? On one list we have Frederick Douglass and W.E.B.DuBois - on the other it's Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods. We've moved from books to balls.
Is freedom just a word?
Back to the Kramer incident. You know you have a "black" problem if Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton refuse to help you. Who you gonna call? Gary Coleman?
Kramer's career just threw a block for OJ.
New word for our vocabulary. The media must be getting this stuff from a handbook:

Sectarian strife.

This is just a co-ed way of saying we have a Civil War in the backseat of Iraq.
We are not going to solve anything unless we become more honest with the language we use.
It's a Civil War!

I don't know about you but the only "leader" I can recognize in this conflict is Moqtada Al-Sadr.
The guy has his face on a poster. That must count for something in a land where many men are walking around with masks. When are we going to sit down with this guy. I know we were trying to kill him several months ago...but remember when we didn't want to talk to the leader of Libya or anyone associated with the Palestinian movment? If we don't get to the peace table, how are we going to have peace? Someone in Iraq needs to find that Robert E. Lee grace. Bush needs to grow a beard like Lincoln.
Well the disappointment in OUT OF IRAQ is the chapter where McGovern and Polk talk about getting out of Iraq. Here is a sample sentence:

"Once American troops are withdrawn, the Iraqi public is unlikely to continue supporting insurgents, so the level of combat is almost certain to fall. This has been the experience in every comparable guerrilla war. But as the insurgency loses its national justification, new dangers will confront Iraq: "warlordism" (as happened in Afghanistan) and other forms of large-scale crime."

My take on the above is that I've never been clear on who the insurgents are. That's so much a US term. Folks who are insurgents to us, must be something else to each other. Here is where we find not a guerrilla war but a Civil War. New dangers? Yeah-a full scale Civil War bringing the entire region into a major religious conflict. Who will suffer the most? Every nation in the area. Refugee problems as people try to escape. Attacks against Christian minorities will increase not just in Iraq but also nearby countries. The appearance of warlordism is an indication that the nation has fallen back into the Middle Ages. Another word for broken. Broken nations are just going to be forgotten about in the future. They will be cut off from the network of highly developed nations. As we pursue alternative sources of energy, we won't even need the oil from these places. New types of cars will be built, etc. The oil nations will become the owners of eight track recorders, Buffalo Bill t-shirts, bellbottom pants, and consumers of bad hip hop groups - thug music that won't play anymore even in LA. In other words Iraq will become an oil field in Nigeria, a country without trees like Haiti. Broken and discarded. These nations will fall further off the map of civilization. Oh -and any major natural disaster like an earthquake or climate change and it's over for good. Think of Katrina without even FEMA. Iraq will be hoping for a Hollywood star to adopt an Iraqi child, so that maybe CNN might give the nation air time again.

Friday, November 24, 2006

I have a few more page of OUT OF IRAQ by McGovern and Polk to read. Whew. This book just squeezes your head and makes you cry. The impact of the war on the health and welfare of Iraqi civilians and American soldiers is off any chart I could look at. How can one even imagine the " cost" of the conflict. Consider also the following:
-lifetime healthcare and disability payments to returning veterans
-replenishment of military hardware
-increased recruitment costs

We also need to pay more attention to the use of depleted uranium shells. These thing give off radiation for many years after their use.

"Competent medical authorities assert that men exposed to high levels of radiation from depleted uranium can harm their sexual partners, forcing them to have hysterectomies, and can perhaps cause birth defects in their children."

I can't even imagine the destruction to Iraq's environment.
Did all this have to happen?

How strange to read about Abu Musab al-Zarqawi again. Remember him? The death and destruction continues in Iraq. Was this guy nothing more than a utility infielder?

OUT OF IRAQ is the first book about the war that I've read. Much of my information has been coming from newpapers, magazines, online, tv and radio. When you hold a book in your hands it brings back so many things that you just forgot about.

Things are out of control and we need to admit it. Iraq is broken. A Civil War is going on...
Now what do we do? Oh, and American troops are going to be at those "large" bases for a very long time. Withdrawal is not going to happen between now and 2008. What you might have is an increase in troop deployment and then a reduction after a few months. Which will keep things at the same level, but we would have had a troop withdrawal. Right? A slick move that simply plays with numbers and words.

Even after the war stops one will have to deal with organized crime in the region. This will always be a threat to any newly created Iraqi central government. The other solution but a threat to the region might be the rise of a "strong man" who might want to rule by Islamic law.
He might be able to make the streets of Baghdad safe again, but what happens to all the talk about democracy? Gone?

If we were in a Walt Disney cartoon, right before the end of this movie, a rabbit would pull from a hole in the ground - a very" small" weapon of mass destruction. In the midst of all the rubble he would grin - I found it! Behind him nothing but smoke. We live in a world just that crazy and just that cruel.
I went down to Busboys & Poets around 2 PM. I purchased 2 books:
OUT OF IRAQ by George McGovern and William R. Polk
TALES OF THE OUT & THE GONE by Amiri Baraka (A collection of short stories)

I can't put the McGovern book down. It's a quick read and a good one. I suggest everyone take a moment and read it. The Foreword and the first chapter will make you weep. How did we ever get into this war?? The cost is over 2,500 young Americans dead and more than 16,000 wounded.

The McGovern/Polk book is a cupcake. It's small enough that you can read it in one afternoon or evening. The background/historical info about Iraq is what we all need if we are to help our government make sound decisions.

I can't see this region of the world being safe in less than 60 to maybe a 100 years. No easy solutions. Undertakers will not go unemployed. So many widows...some woman praying for twins hoping maybe one child will survive.
Listening to Billie Holiday singing "Sophisticated Lady."
Looking around the world it seems Malcolm X was right about something we need to do. We must begin to put our religion in the closet. Each person should be able to worship the way they want to. When you exit your place of worship you should find ways to work with your fellow human being. Killing people because their faith is different is so Middle Age. Yipes! I remember years ago, I was on the subway in DC and a guy wanted to talk about Jesus( to me).
I told him nicely I wasn't interested in listening to him. I was reading my book and not bothering anyone. Soon the guy got angry with me. He became hostile. I looked at him and his sudden transformation from being a peaceful person to an angry lunatic. I wanted to hit him in the head with his own bible. Maybe a psalm or two would sink into his head. But I remained non-violent and realized this too would pass and that my stop was coming up. I knew I would exit the train and this guy would harrass someone else. I didn't want to be on the train with the guy. Give him a few matches and he would burn my mosque or burn my synagogue. I've never read anything in a book that filled my head with hatred and nonsense. I never read a book about slavery and had a drunken desire to lynch a white person. Why can't a Christian have a Muslim for a best friend? Why do people blame Jews for things that go bump in the night? I don't understand it. Religion should open our hearts to the stranger inside and outside our selves. After all the "level 1" anger and hatred we must reach "level 2" and "level 3" where we can become compassionate and practice the lost art of love and forgiveness. Isn't this as easy as riding a train? What's the price of the ticket?
Is the Dallas QB Romo that good? Yes, he is. Nothing like a chance to shine on national television too. Dallas was always successful when it had the QB, the running back, two good receivers and their defense. Is sure looks like this team can go very far. But please cut the kicker now. Do it. That's the weak link. Nothing worst than Romo moving the team down the field in that last game of the year only to have the kicker miss the field goal. Oh, the only thing wrong with T Owens was his ego and that has been fixed by the guy dropping enough passes to see his humility on the ground kicking dirt in his face. The guy has average hands - so why all the hype? Notice how he is smiling and doing the high five with Romo? It's all about chemistry between players. It's the X-factor between a winner and a loser.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

The three poisons:

A morning walk down 16th street...
Afterwards a couple of hours in the basement reading newspapers that had collected on my upstairs desk. I tend to create "stations" around the house where I can work from. I might sit on one floor and just read magazines or books. Upstairs I find myself often on the computer answering email and doing E-Notes. Oh - and paying bills. But upstairs is also where the music is. When I'm down in the basement the only thing I might listen to is the news on NPR.

A nice day to relax...will watch the Cowboy game after Thanksgiving dinner. Love to you and yours.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Questions for F-Man (Fenty):

1. What are your plans for the city's library system?
Will we build a new library?

2 What is going to be the cultural policies of the city under your leadership?

3. Will there be changes at the D.C. Commission of the Arts?

4. What contributions do you see yourself making to the DC cultural community?
I think the key to living long and being happy is a good friendship; perhaps it's even more important than a marriage and better than a lover. The special friend is the buddy you can't wait to see. They bring nothing but fun and laughter.

I had lunch with Ginger G at Busboys. An afternoon of food and fun. We talked with Andy, Pam, Jenifer and some of the regulars. It was like old times. Ginger G back in town.

HU closed I'll work in my basement this evening.
How it starts. So I'm reading this essay by Charles McGrath about the poet Paul Muldoon, and he mentions that Muldoon is a serious contender for the Nobel Prize. McGrath's essay was in the New York Times Magazine on November 19th. Now, watch how future articles about Muldoon will repeat McGrath's words; soon you won't be able to think or read about Muldoon without thinking Nobel Nobel. But is Muldoon the only writer worthy? I would like to see Kamau Braithwaite, Jay Wright and Charles Johnson be considered for the Nobel. What do you think Paul?
Around the world again:

700 Islamic Somalians traveled to Lebanon to fight alongside Hezbollah. This is an example of how international and complex the struggle for world peace is.

In South Africa the Parliament voted to legalize same-sex marriages. The first country in Africa to remove this legal barrier.
Folks will be voting in Venezuela on December 3rd. Watch the media spin on this one.
From the Wall Street Journal to The Nation. Hugo keeps making headlines. Can you image how effective this guy would be if he didn't do the fan fan stuff? So is Hugo a bad guy? Poor people seem to think he's Jesus taking care of their needs. One must admit there has been major improvements in Venezuela since Hugo's rise to power. Which side is the US going to be on?
Not just in Venezuela but around the world. Don't we want to help the poor and the oppressed?
Or do we want to side with the rich and the rulers? What would Jesus do?
I can see the Knicks replacing Isiah Thomas by the All-Star game. They can probably find a number of good coaches working in the WNBA right now. I suggest they trade both Marbury and Francis. One of these guys could make it big in Milwaukee or Toronto.
Look for Charlie Ward to be a head coach soon. He is working under Van Gundy in Houston.
From NBA to NFL...wardrobe changes.
Jaguar's and 49ers are seeing their head coachs wearing suits to the game. Should we punt now or wait for a board decision?
Fear will place an ice cube in a hot drink. The recent incident on US Airways sounds like a bad joke:
Six Imams walk into an airport and...
Looking for good news somewhere between a planet and a hay stack?
Nepal and Maoist Rebels signed a peace agreement ending a ten year war.

Now what about other folks?

Lebanon looks like another broken country. Some of these divisions and conflicts are political and religious, but let's not overlook organized crime that simply abhors state power. They would prefer to establish conditions of chaos in order to rule. Thug life is all it is. We are slowly dividing into two worlds - one primitive and 2 steps down into the Middle Ages and the other is high tech and waiting for Martians. Space age meets the club and gun. Notice how the landscape of the world is getting that bombed out look. Inner city life around 1969? Much of the world is beginning to look like the South Bronx and bringing hip hop with it. I think Dylan would call it Desolation Row.
Book party for Jean Nordhaus (author of Innocence) on Sunday, December 10th, 6PM at Politics and Prose Bookstore, 5015 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C.

Filipino American Literary Writers
Friday, December 8, 2006, 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM
National Museum of the American Indian, Rasmuson Theater
4th Street & Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC

Writers: Peter Bacho, M. Evelina Galang, Marianne Villanueva, and Luis Francia.
The first negative article about F-Man (Fenty) is on the front page of the Washington Post.
How does F-Man make decisions? Notice how the media will slowly begin to examine F-man's character and style. Every mistake he makes will be placed under the heading of being young or impulsive. I saw this during the campaign when he was on my block. The guy wanted to knock on three doors before the first door was open. That's not how politics works. Return to the classic movie - THE GODFATHER. Look at how decisions are made throughout this movie.
My suggestion to F-Man is to keep his friends close but his (F)oes closer. You never know who will smile in your face while holding some of that dangerous green stuff behind their back. Be careful F-Man.Meanwhile, slow down, have a time to share a meal like all powerful men know how to do. Say grace and bless those in need. Be generous and compassionate. Be warm when you have to be cold. The inability to be cold and detached at times can prevent you from making a tough decision. Leadership is about making tough decisions. Sometimes you can't trust your brother-in-law.
So the DC City Council decided to table the proposal for our new downtown public library. Do these people read? It's obvious all they think about when it comes to development are shops and condos. Put a funnel on all Council heads. Make them sit in a corner without a book. The quality of life in any city is determined by its cultural base- theaters, art galleries, museums, cafes, bookstores - oh- and the other place where books are kept. I would like a new library to be built soon. If it was my decision the new building would be constructed near the waterfront in the SW part of the city. One would be able to look out a window and see the river whenever they looked up from a book. That's how dreams begin.
Went up to Chester, PA, to see my son play last night. Widener won their first game of the season over Chestnut that was good. Traffic on the road was heavy so I only caught the second half of the game. I checked the stats and it looks like my son had a good game. He played 32 minutes, 7 points, (1 three pointer), 4 of 5 from the FT line, 4 rebounds , 4 assists and 1 steal.
Widener won 81-58.

I see where Jeter didn't win the MVP. I know if I was building a baseball team the guy would be my captain. He might would be my second pick after Ichiro. They I would grab Santana for my leading pitcher...

I haven't started watching the NBA games yet. I do smell a losing season for the Wizards (again). It's not that the team is bad, it's just that other teams are much better. The good thing is that Larry Hughes is not injured and sitting on our bench. Geez...the guy should do hospital commercials.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

William Greider is correct when he writes in the current issue of The Nation:

"Republicans lost, but their ideological assumptions are deeply embedded in government, the economy and the social order. Many Democrats have internalized those assumptions, others are afraid to challenge them. It will take years, under the best circumstances, for Democrats to recover nerve and principle and imagination - if they do."
Poor Michael Richards (Kramer). Not even the Soup Nazi can help him now.
Hey - but let's give the guy the QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"They're going to arrest me for calling a black man a n......?"

Well maybe we should. Yes, maybe we should and without an apology.

No soup for you Kramer. No soup for you.

Hey - but let's give the guy another QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"I'm not a racist - that's what's so insane about this."

I must be crazy to believe this. What about you? Hey -Kramer - this isn't Bizarro world.
Poor Michael Richards (Kramer). Not even the Soup Nazi can help him now.
Hey - but let's give the guy the QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"They're going to arrest me for calling a black man a n......?"

Well maybe we should. Yes, maybe we should and without an apology.

No soup for you Kramer. No soup for you.

Hey - but let's give the guy another QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"I'm not a racist - that's what's so insane about this."

I must be crazy to believe this. What about you? Hey -Kramer - this isn't Bizarro world.
On page B7 of today's New York Times there is a wonderful picture of Toni Morrison. She is seating in the Denon wing of the Louvre. Gosh...Morrison looks like a piece of art. It would be nice to have the original print of this picture taken by Ed Alcock.
So you wanted to know what was coming after OJ? Well it looks like it's the 6th Rocky Balboa movie. Hit me again if I have to watch this. Release date is December 22.
Syria and Iraq are restoring ties after 25 years. They hope to meet with Iran. I think this makes sense. Don't you? Is this a regional solution towards finding a way to end the cycle of violence?How will this influence US interests in the region? What are our interests? The people or the natural resources? Is this a setback for democracy? How will the Sunni Muslims feel about this new development?
I had a nice time last night at PGCC. Good to see Bro. Yao. I read a few of my new poems as well as work by June Jordan, Naomi Nye and a couple of folks who are in the recent issue of Poet Lore magazine (Michael Rattee and Brendan Short). There was a birthday cake after the reading...
The departure of Susan Kidd at channel 4 comes as a real shock. The face of our city changing on the screen and in the streets. Talking about the streets- this city will have a woman as its new police chief. One wishes her well.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Basketball Update from my son's school:

Nov. 17-18 (Rotary Tournament
Men's Basketball Drops Two at Rotary Tournament
(vs. Lincoln) / (at F&M)

11/17-18/06 -- Widener opened its campaign with two losses this weekend at the Rotary Tournament in Lancaster, PA.

Widener suffered a 98-91 overtime loss Friday in the first round to 16th-ranked Lincoln before a 71-44 setback in Saturday's consolation round against Franklin & Marshall.

Friday's matchup of two "Sweet 16" teams from last season saw Widener squander a 16-point, second-half lead. Lincoln outscored Widener, 45-35, in the second half.

Senior David Douglas (Baltimore, MD) nailed a 3-pointer 1:16 into overtime to give Widener an 86-83 lead. But the Lions ended the contest on a 15-5 run, shooting 4-of-7 from the field in the extra session and 6-of-6 from the line.

Sophomore Nyere Miller (Washington, DC) scored 18 points with senior Terry Smith (York, PA) adding 17 and 11 rebounds.

Widener on Saturday could not overcome shooting 36 percent (19-of-53) from the field and 1-of-9 from 3-point range. Franklin & Marshall shot 49 percent (28-of-57) from the floor, including 62 percent (16-of-26) in the second half.

Smith posted nine points and nine rebounds with Douglas netting seven points.
Douglas was named to the all-tournament team, finishing the weekend with 24 points on 7-of-12 shooting.

The weekend marked the debut for Chris Carideo as Widener head coach. Carideo is a 1996 Widener alum, a 1995 All-America and a four-year All-Middle Atlantic Conference player at shooting guard.

Widener on Tuesday plays its home opener against Chestnut Hill, beginning at 7:00 pm.
You have to laugh at the picture of the world leaders in their Vietnamese dress. They all look cute. If they wore these outfits everyday the world might just be a better place to live. The garments look so sweet and peaceful. Would your own military listen to you?
But poor Michelle Bachelet (Chile) looks trapped in a StarTrek rerun. Who told her to wear that hat?
Talking about birthdays - we had a nice party for POET LORE magazine at the Writer's Center yesterday. POET LORE is 117 years old. Melissa Morphew and Jane Shore read their poetry.
It was a nice program and well attended.

I missed the Washington Redskin game but did return home in time to see Dallas defeat the Colts. One has to cheer the play of Romo. This kid looks like he could take the Cowboys to the SuperBowl. The defense is there for those guys with the stars. Now, I missed Campbell's start for the Skins. I heard folks said he played well. OK...let's not get too happy here. The real test will be next week against Carolina. We know the Skins are bad if Tampa defeated them. The problem is not at the QB's the defense stupid. You can run on these guys and you can always hurt them with a deep pass. Geez Gibbs can't you see it?

Oh, my interview with Charles Johnson can be accessed at the following site:
Bringing back the draft idea should be shot down as soon as possible. One can predict a number of draft riots taking place around the country. Why tear the" seam" in our society at this time?
We already have an unpopular war going on. The type of Hip Hop young person that has been created by the new technology is not going to buy into this. Also because of the change in equality laws we are also talking about drafting young women too. So simply multiple the number of protesters. I wish Congressman Rangel would return to talking about what we can do to help Haiti and forget about this dumb draft idea. How come the Democrats sound so much like Republicans these days?
Quote of the Day:

The very word futurism is old-fashioned, way too 1960s. Today's Internet-savvy futurist is more likely to describe himself as a strategy consultant or venture capital researcher.
-Bruce Sterling

Time to celebrate the self and forget the self.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


Treve de blues.
- Leon Damas





Well, here's what this book editor's week has been like: I began by interviewing Richard Ford Monday morning; he will be returning to New Orleans in December to live for a while and to be part of our rebuilding effort. It was so heartening to hear that he and his wife Kristina, a brilliant urban planner, are turning their hearts and thoughts toward home.

I wrote a short feature about mystery novelist Julie Smith, who is beginning to teach writing classes via teleconference; I was besieged by readers who have stories to tell and want her help in getting them out there. Then I finished a profile of former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who is appearing here this weekend as part of the National World War II Museum's conference on World War II. She has been a strong supporter of our city, and came for last summer's American Library Association, the first great hopeful sign that our tourism/convention market was on the mend.

So much of my week has been consumed with post-Katrina thoughts, evidence that our story here is still unfolding. I read a truly remarkable book by the Neighborhood Story Project, "Coming Out the Door for the Ninth Ward," an oral history by the Nine Times Social and Pleasure Club, a true and loving picture of the Ninth Ward by people who live there, something of an antidote to all the superficial news coverage of the Katrina era. Nine Times will parade through the Ninth Ward on Sunday, revisiting that once drowned neighborhood, mourning their losses and celebrating what survives, one of the best signs of rebirth I can think of.

Then--what wonderful news this is!--I heard from a reader who had seen my review of New Yorker photographer Robert Polidori's "After the Flood," which was accompanied by several photos of the ruined houses that fill our streets. This man had seen a photo of his house in the paper and wanted to let me know that he was restoring three (!) houses on St. Anthony Ave. in an effort to help bring the city back.

And last, but certainly not least, I interviewed a sweetheart of a first grade teacher at St. Angela Merici School, Faith Kyame, who, with her students from last year, has written a book, "Katrina, My Teacher." Step by step, these first graders take the reader through the whole experience -- the anticipation of the storm, the rush to leave the city, the terrible time in exile, the shock of returning home, and the strength it takes to rebuild and renew. Memories of "trunk-or-treating" (a creative Halloween celebration in which parents filled a parking lot with cars and loaded the trunks with candy to take the kids' minds off Halloween memories of their ruined neighborhoods) are here, with tales of Thanksgiving dinners in people's back yards and stories of celebrating Mardi Gras again. These children show the resilient spirit of the new New Orleans. Lessons learned from such a teacher as Katrina? "Now we know we can do anything we need to do because we love each other and work together," they write, in a caption that accompanies a sweet drawing of children hand in hand. Out of the mouths of babes...

Now I am surrounded by the lavish gift books of the season, finishing up my gift guide for readers. Stacks of beautiful photography books -- my favorite is Annie Leibovitz's "A Photographer's Life" and the National Geographic Society's "Work" -- cookbooks, hilarious pop-up books ("The Pop-Up Book of Celebrity Meltdowns"--can you imagine? And "The Alfred Hitchcock Pop-Up Book"!), innovative graphic novels and stories, all those extravagant books that I only write about this time of year. And such a wonderful, welcome reminder of the escape that books can bring.
B-Cards in the mail, along with the latest issue of TRICYCLE. Charles Johnson sent it to me. His article on "The Dharma of Social Transformation" can be found on page 58.

E-MAG tomorrow.
My guest will be Susan Larson, the book editor of The Times-Picayune in New Orleans.
I went to Lancaster, PA to watch my son play the second game of his season. On Friday, Widener lost in OT to Lincoln University. When I spoke to my son on the phone he was really sad. He felt his team should have won. He was disappointed with his play even though he led his team is scoring with 18 points and had 8 rebounds. The problem is coming from the turnovers and the handling of the press. Tonight I saw a basketball team that was tired, flat - and young. It's going to take a few games for this team to find its identity. New coach and new players. Right now it looks like a long season for my son. Ankle and knee hurting - he saw limited action and put up 4 points. His team lost to Franklin & Marshall and is now 0-2. Hopefully, the team will find its soul in time to win their conference games. Go Widener!
I sat in the back of a church in Hillcrest Heights, Maryland this morning. A dear friend's mother gone...
I noticed the age of all of us and where we sat. Children and ex-wives, lovers, and college kids -once.
The one room now like an ark and I realized the flood didn't last as long as I thought. Everyone's hair is gray and still there is no peace in the land. I wonder about the rest that comes with death.
I held the service program in my hand and read that my friend's mother lived until she was 91.
A long time to witness the pains and joys of the heart. Enough time to build something on this rock. What is a mother's love but an endless sea...

Saturday, November 18, 2006

2 packets of Poet Lore submissions to read. Mason papers to grade. Clothes to wash and rooms to clean. Ah -this is a Booker T. Washington of a day.

Tomorrow there will be a Poet Lore celebration at the Writer's Center in Bethesda, Maryland. 2 PM.

I'm listening to Ray Charles - GENIUS LOVES COMPANY.
"You Don't Know Me" with Diana Krall.
Theme song of my life? Looking back...
Good news...
A friend made a sizable contribution to the Vermont Studio Center for one of the literary studios to be named after Reetika Vazirani.
I have a meeting in December with a librarian from William & Mary to arrange for my Vazirani letters to be given to that school. Reetika loved teaching there...

I spoke with Dolores Kendrick (poet laureate) and discussed the movement of my files (on her) over to George Washington University for better preservation.

The University of Minnesota should be completing the cataloging of my Charles Johnson material. So things are going well...much to do.
Andrew Solomon continues to produce the best reading about depression. He is the author of THE NOONDAY DEMON: AN ATLAS OF DEPRESSION. His Op-Ed piece in the New York Times (November 17th) mentions the creation of the first national depression center at the University of Michigan.
"Before the cancer centers came around, cancer was as taboo as depression is now. But as antibiotics and vaccines for other illnesses lengthened life expectancy, cancer became more pervasive and less shameful. Depression, too, is becoming more widespread and more frequently diagnosed. Depression and bipolar illness will affect some 20 percent of Americans during their lives, and yet the stigma endures."
- Andrew Solomon

Friday, November 17, 2006

Exhibit to see:

"New York Divided: Slavery and the Civil War"
New York Historical Society
2 West 77th Street
212 873-3400
Open Tuesdays through Sundays.
11AM to 6 PM
$7 for 65+
$6 Students
12 and under are free
Watching my step.
Falling is the 14th leading cause of death among those older than 65. I'll be 56 on Monday.
Funny, but doesn't she look African? Segolene Royal is moving closer to becoming the first female president of France. Royal was born in Dakar, Senegal.
Don't the people buying the new PlayStation 3 look old? Do these guys ever get out?
IPS Board Meeting today: www.ips-dc-org

Look for E-Notes this evening.
I finished reading NATIVE GUARD by Natasha Trethewey.
I liked her poems"Photograph: Ice Storm, 1971" and "Southern Gothic" A couple of weeks ago we watched( in my class) the reading she gave at Furious Flower.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

So should I let the day pass without making reference to something I read this morning? Check the Metro Section of the Washington Post (B2) and read the article about the teens that cut class in order to commit a series of burglaries in Montgomery County. We are talking about middle class kids and not Malcolm Little and Shorty. Here is a question that was asked in the news article:

What motivates children in an affluent suburb to commit a property crime?
What's the answer here?

Did rap music make them do it?
Is there a "crisis" in the white household?
Are the kids being raised without their dads?

Hambone! Hambone!
Congrats to Nathaniel Mackey who recently won the National Book Award for his collection SPLAY ANTHEM. One can find an interview with this Pound/Tolson of a guy in the latest issue of New American Writing # 24. It was conducted by Sarah Rosenthal. I always saw Mackey as another Cecil Taylor -playing the page. Dogon Right! Go Mack Go.
Here is an early Black History Month quiz question:
Who is the Buddhist in the Black Caucus?
OK this sounds like a joke but don't laugh:

Alcee Hastings is up to be chair of the Intelligence Committee.
The guy has legal debts between $2.1 and $7.35 million.
Last May he listed assets worth less than $15,000.

Are we talking AI here?
Quote of the Day:

"On top of all that, Black Caucus members, who tend to be more liberal, might find it hard to push their traditional social agenda. Conservative and moderate "Blue Dog" Democrats, whose numbers are nearly equal to those of Black Caucus members, have vowed to counter agendas that they have deem too liberal."
- Darryl Fears, Washington Post Staff writer

Boy - sounds like Reconstruction all over again. Beware of the Dog? And you thought Cave Canem was just a term to explain a literary movement. I suggest someone send all members of the Black Caucus some Cave Canem t-shirts. Quick!
OK here is a pop quiz for you. How many of you knew about the "Blue Dog" Democrats? Geez...these guys sound like Reagan pups. Bow wow and a bite up your ass. Sounds like they want budget cuts after all the money has been wasted. Unless a new Teddy R makes a ride up another hill look for poor people to be sufferers after all the talk, talk. Or maybe we won't even get there. What's Pelosi doing so far? This Murtha issue looks like a hole in her drapes or maybe there are no curtains at her windows and we can see into the "house" and it's business as usual. Who put the wreath on the door before Thanksgiving? Maybe that's just our votes hanging there. Happy New Year!

Vocabulary building time. I'll be tired of the word "bipartisan" before Thanksgiving. I think the origin of this word must be from a New York playground. It's the old "do-over" call. As soon as Democrats win anything big, Republicans grab their arms and sex organs and twist....folks either shout "uncle" or "bipartisan." It means I won't be as mean to you as you were to me. Promise?
This is another reason why good people get trapped inside the political game. You want to be fair and play by the rules, but the rules keep changing or maybe the entire game isn't fair. Who's going to admit that?
Listen to my interview with activist James Early by going to the IPS website:

I'm walking around today with copies of IN THESE TIMES, NEWSWEEK and THE NEW YORKER to read. I want to read Peter Boyer's article on Rumsfeld in The New Yorker. The title is "Downfall" on page 56.

Funny how Rumsfeld has been replaced by O.J.Simpson (in the news). Any connection?
Congrats to historians John Hope Franklin and Yu Ying-shih for being awarded the $1 million John W. Kluge Prize for the Study of Humanity.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Good news today from the library of William & Mary College. They are interested in my Reetika Vazriani files. I'm make arrangements in December to house the material there. I had a nice chat with RV's Mom and told her what I've been doing. She was happy.

Other news- the Charles Johnson material that I gave to the University of MN will be cataloged soon. I should have a link to the material in a few days.

So, it's been a good day. I thought the James Early interview went well. One will be able to access it from the IPS website either today or tomorrow:

Class preparation tonight. I'll miss some good book parties around town - John Edwards, Alice Walker....

I have an interview with James Early at IPS today. See yesterday's E-Notes.

Day Break is the new ABC drama series. Taye Diggs is Brett Hopper an LA police detective who is forced to live the same day over and over. Can you imagine living in Baghdad and watching this show?

O.J. Simpson is back with a book and a Fox interview. This must be about money. Please no more oranges, no more juice.

Did you see Manny Acta putting on "my" manager shirt and hat yesterday?
This is what happens when you don't have inside connections. It's like being left out of an open mic reading. So maybe the only thing left to do is run for the Ward 4 Council seat left vacent by F-Man. Everyone in the ward seems to be running. I think I'll write my own name in when I vote. If I win I'll take everyone who voted for me to dinner.

New word for our vocabulary list:
World-class capital

Look for this to echo from the lips of F-Man the next few months. See his OP-ED piece on Home Rule in today's Washington Post.

OK here is our quiz for the day:
Is Murtha just another Murtha... ?
Read Robin Marcus in today's Washington Post.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

New book out from Jimmy Carter: PALESTINE PEACE NOT APARTHEID.
An organization to follow in the news next year: KBR (Kellogg Brown & Root). Once a part of Halliburton it will probably get some sniffs from the House Government Reform Committee.
KBR are the guys with the overbudget construction projects. They must make money the old fashion way - they keep getting no-bid contracts.
I was surprised to see promotional material for THE NATION magazine featuring Russell Simmons. Did this guy start reading the magazine after election day? The last time I saw him he was pushing Michael Steele on folks. Geez.
Talking about photographs - the picture of Jesse Jackson and Andrew Young on the front page of the Washington Post today captures an important moment in history as well as the discussion about black male images. The photo shows the "weight" of history we too often carry. Young seem old now. Jackson seems compassionate and not angry as the media likes to label him. The picture in today's Post is even more moving than the one taken of Coretta at King's funeral where she is holding her family together. If you want to know what it means to be on the side of truth and justice and finally win (something) --then here it is. It's the tears that fall from the eyes of the marathon runners.
Must reading:
Arthur C. Danto's review in THE NATION (November 27th) of Columbian artist Fernando Botero exhibit at the Marlborough Gallery in New York. Botero has done a series of paintings about Abu Ghraib. Here is a statement by Danto:

"Botero's astonishing works make us realize this: We knew that Abu Ghraib's prisoners were suffering, but we did not feel that suffering as ours. When the photographs were released, the moral indignation of the West was focused on the grinning soldiers, for whom this appalling spectacle was a form of entertainment. But the photographs did not bring us closer to the agonies of the victims. Botero's images, by contrast, establish a visceral sense of identification with the victims, whose suffering we are compelled to internalize and make vicariously our own."
So the Redskins are going to change their QB. Hey guys! That's not the problem. Where is YOUR defense? The team can't stop the run. They can't cover anyone going deep. They have no pass rush. Campbell seems like a nice guy. He reminds me of a young Joe Louis. We know he can run but can he hide? I never saw what all the rah rah was for the guy. Against Tampa I would look for 1 TD and maybe 3 interceptions. Redskins will only score 10 points.

No hiding the fact that the Redskins are a weak team because of a certain type of player missing. Brian Mitchell was my model for this team. Thrash comes close. I have no idea why he isn't the second receiver on this team. Play the guy and he might prove to be a good safety valve for a young QB like Campbell. Thrash can keep drives alive with clutch catches. The other weak link with the Redskins right now is the kicking game. Those missed field goals are beginning to add up. The NoNO needed two chances to kick one.
This morning Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman and I were discussing an "underground" proposal to take away all cell phones from "free people of color" who have been talking too loud and giving away "too many secrets." Hmmm. What would Garvey do?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Just being curious...

I was wondering- What was the lowest number of Iraqi people killed in one day since the war in Iraq started?

Are there any neighborhoods in Baghdad that are safe?

Have many of the suicide bombings been in roughly the same area?

How many people have fled Iraq since the war started?

How difficult is it to leave the country?

How many mosques have been destroyed since the war? How many are being rebuilt?

What's going on in Babylon? Basra?
Where is my banana dress?

The Smithsonian is hosting the Centennial Celebration of the Birth of Josephine Baker

Join us Saturday, Nov. 18 for: In Vogue: Black Culture and Identity in the Jazz Age Washington D.C., Paris, and New Orleans .

A Symposium on the African American Presence in American Public Life.
National Museum of Natural History, Baird Auditorium; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Presented by The Humanities Council of Washington, DC In partnership with The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture & The Embassy of France .

This program is free and open to the public but reservations are required. Limited space is still available for the following sessions:

Session I, 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Josephine and the Jazz Age Overview: Bettye Gardner, Ph.D., Symposium Chair, Coppin State University Social-Historical Context for 1920s Jazz Age: Lonnie Bunch, National Museum of African American History and Culture Visual History of the 1920s: Donna M. Wells, Howard University, Moorland-Spingarn Research Center Josephine Baker: Farah Jasmine Griffin, Ph.D., Columbia University

Session II, 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Panel Discussion -- The New Negro in the New Century: The 1920s Revisited Facilitator: Starmanda Bullock, Ph.D., Howard University The Paris Scene: Deborah Macanic, Independent Curator/Historian Washington, DC: Eleanor Traylor, Ph.D., Howard University New Orleans: Michael White., Ph.D., Xavier University 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Lunch on your own

Session III, 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Panel Discussion -- A 2020 Vision: Black Culture and Identity in the 21st Century Facilitator: Donald Murray, Chair, Humanities Council of Washington, DC Panelists: John W. Franklin, National Museum of African American History and Culture Malkia Lydia, Independent Film Producer and Director Marvette Perez, National Museum of American History Tricia Rose, Ph.D., Brown University Michael White, Ph.D., Xavier University

To register send name, name of session requested and number of people attending to or fax to: (202) 387-8149 For more information on this event, contact Jennifer Foley,, or (202) 387-8391. ext. 15 For further information on this message contact Fleur Paysour, Office of Public Affairs - National Museum of African American History and Culture at 202-633-4761 or .
Monday, November 13, 2006
Contact: Joia Jefferson Nuri
cell 240-603-7905;

Defining The Issues Series

The Evolution of a Revolutionary: James Early

Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Institute for Policy Studies
1112 16th St. NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20036
(near Farragut North Metro)
Audio will posted at 2 hours after the briefing

On Wednesday, November 15th IPS Board Chairman E. Ethelbert Miller will launch a series of interviews with the men and women who shape the progressive political movement from behind the scenes. The hour long discussions will explore the political and cultural development of people who beckon governments and civil society worldwide to respect and support the human journey with resources and politics. The series begins with James Early. Mr. Early is fluent in Spanish and travels frequently to Cuba and Venezuela with Harry Belafonte and Danny Glover connecting civil society leaders in a dialogue for change.

James Early is the former Chairman of the Board of the IPS. He is Director of Cultural Studies and Communication at the Center for Folklife Programs and Cultural Studies at the Smithsonian Institution. As a long-time advocate and supporter of cultural diversity and equity issues in the nation’s public cultural and educational institutions, Mr. Early began these pursuits at Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish. Over the course of a 25-year professional career, Mr. Early has consistently recognized the integrity of historically evolved values and cultures of African-American, Latino, Native-American, and Asian-Pacific American communities. He has taught high school Spanish, worked with the incarcerated, taught at the college level, lectured in the U.S. and internationally, and written extensively on the politics of culture.

The moderator for the discussion is Ethelbert Miller who describes himself as a literary activist. He is presently the board chairperson of the Institute for Policy Studies. He is a board member of The Writer's Center and editor of Poet Lore magazine. Since 1974, he has been the director of the African American Resource Center at Howard University. Mr. Miller is the former chair of the Humanities Council of Washington, D.C. and a former core faculty member of the Bennington Writing Seminars at Bennington

For more than four decades, the Institute for Policy Studies has transformed ideas into action for peace, justice, and the environment. IPS is a progressive multi-issue think tank, and can be visited at Defining The Issues is a bi-weekly discussion and radio taping with a live audience, featuring nationally known speakers and providing cutting edge analysis on the issues confronting the United States and the world. The entire program is available in digital audio at two hours following the discussion. Media can use the briefing in its entirety or as sound-bites.
The changing America...
Good to see the election of Keith Ellison (Minnesota) to Congress. He is the first Muslim elected to our federal government. Ellison converted to Islam in his 20s.
It's important that all faiths be acknowledged and protected within the US.
So there I was waiting for the Washington Nationals to call.
This week they are giving the job to Manny Acta. We "both" have no experience as a major league manager. They say Acta has a reputation as an outgoing, personable man - so maybe that's why I was overlooked. Who wants to be around a moody poet in the dugout?
Monday morning. What should I talk about first? The Republicans or the Washington Redskins? I think in an E-Note I took the Philadelphia Eagles by 20 points over the Skins.
27-3 was the final score. I could make money betting on the horses. The problem with the Skins is similar to the Republicans. Folks won't admit the team isn't good. Notice how the Republicans want to return to the same playbook. It must be that same big playbook the Heritage Foundation put out several years ago. The Republicans still want to run the ball - like the Skins. Pound the right-wing stuff down the throats of the American public. But look what happens when the other team puts up points. The Republicans can't play defense and neither can the Skins. They keep giving up the big play - are we talking about losing the presidency in 2008?

Another word slipping into our vocabulary is war profiteering. This is just going to upset folks.
A war going on and someone can only think about making money. Here is where Democrats and Republicans have to come together - even the religious right. If you want to talk about sin- just look at folks making money from a war. Oh, and you know the Katrina stories that will surface at future Congressional hearings is going cause another levee to break.

Meanwhile, notice how the media simply wants to ignore what took place on election day. Check the Wall Street Journal. Boy are they downplaying what happened. Oh- and what about Rowe in the Washington Post yesterday. The guy must have been the player whistling in the shower after the Redkskin lost. Arrogance without apology. It's like believing you're suppose to go to the SuperBowl but you're only 3-6.
Benny Andrews the painter died last Friday. He was 75. I was just looking at some of his work at a gallery in New York a few months ago. Andrews was the director of the visual arts program for the National Endowment for the Arts from 1982-1984. Andrews was a visual storyteller. He will be missed.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


- Leon Damas

WELCOME TO THE E-MAG: A Sunday kind of love.

On Sundays I invite other writers to share my E-Space and contribute their own E-Notes. Today my guests are Michael O'Keefe, Chenjerai Hove, Sarah Browning and Ed Ochester.

# 1

November 6, 2006

I am following my standard practice of getting up; doing a meditation that feeds all the hungry spirits of known and unknown words, and then writing. After graduation from the Creative Writing Seminars at Bennington College, I learned two things. In order to write, you have sit down and actually write. Thinking about writing is not writing. In order to write well, you have to read those that have. This duel realization cost me thirty thousand dollars. I highly recommend it.

I’ve been rummaging around secondhand bookstores and gotten into Mary Shelley, Randall Jarrell, Sartre, Kafka, and a host of others. I am writing the great American novel about a monster, created from scratch by a renegade medical student, who becomes a poet, and cannot get out of a castle that may or may not be employing him.

After adhering to strict discipline and writing at least three pages of narrative gems, I attend a yoga class. In this particular class, the temperature is kept at 104 F for ninety minutes. After five minutes, one’s eyes are clouded over with sweat. This lends a halo effect to me and my classmates that lasts the entire class. The teacher, who talks ceaselessly while we wrap our bodies in knots that no seaman could unravel, describes in minute detail what one does and does not do with one’s body in order to complete the class. They have no halos around them while they teach because they talk too much. Only the quiet, long suffering students, achieve the halo effect. One should not necessarily construe that this is due to any special status of the students but assumptions have been made and not just by me.

After class, I eat a lunch of wheatgrass and bran and return to the other half of my literary life. I read. Sometimes I read for up to fifteen minutes a day before falling asleep and napping until around 5 PM, whereupon, I rise and enjoy a hearty dinner of pomegranate seeds on white toast. Then I watch sports on TV, my only indulgence of the day.

While I cannot presume to advise each and every one of you reading this to follow my lead, one can hope. Just think what a life of fasting, studying, and sweating has done for me and set your own course to adventure, or don’t. See if I care.

Michael O'Keefe became an actor after his parents dropped him as a child. He's recieved both Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations, though little is known about the connection between the nominations and his early childhood.

Most recently he's appearing opposite George Clooney in his new film, "Michael Clayton," and with Catherine Keener in her film "American Crime," which was selected to be at Sundance in 2007. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from Bennington College and is currently working at a Starbucks, like most graduates, until his parents set up him in a steady job. Contributions to defray the costs of Mr. O'Keefe's education can be sent to the O'Keefe Relief Fund.


This week has been a cold one, rainy and windy, with those harsh winds from the sea. I could have been blown away like a leaf. So I decided I will read the memoirs of Geoffrey Nyarota, the most persecuted Zimbabwe newspaper editor now in exile in the United States.The experience of reading the book titled 'Against The Grain,' was like me clandestinely going back home,sneeking into all those places which I am now not able to visit.

Talking to all the journalists who have been either arrested or tortured, those who now know what freedom of the press is all about. It was so painful to be so intimately in touch with my own psychological and geographical landscape, yet emotionally feeling already detached and afraid to know it after five years in exile in the cold whether of Norway.

A good book is a journey into myself and into the world out there.Then it made me go back to my own work after two days of reading this sad but hopeful story. I went back to work on my latest poetry anthology(untitled) which I always seem to abandon because of my travels.I felt so bad on realising that some of the poems are scattered all over the place. Assembling them again became like the work of a surgeon putting back the scattered pieces of the human body in search of life once more.

When I read about my cruel, beloved homeland, Zimbabwe, the anguish in my soul always sends me back to my poetry. The journey never ends until I touch the pieces of paper with new lines and then smile again,feeling that at least in the fragility of exile, one can write beautiful lines, echoes of a life that has been and might never be.

The yearning is also so beautiful, the nostalgia for the voices of my street, the shouts of the market women, and the ruthless but profoundly gentle drivers of those little mini-buses which seem to carry the greatest number of passengers in the world. Twenty can fit into a mini-bus normally designed to carry eight.What a miracle!In all this search, I once again feel the wanderer that I have been for five years, especially that my contract with Norway ends soon. Maybe I will end up in other lands soon, in the UnitedStates, teaching once again, in some college, university, or somewhere.

Born in 1950s in the south of Zimbabwe, Chenjerai Hove is a Zimbabweanpoet, novelist and columnist who lives in exile in Norway. His novels include the award winning novel,'Bones' which was the best African book in all categories in 1989. Other novels include 'Shadows' and 'Ancestors'.Hove's poetry anthologies include'Up In Arms', 'Red Hills of Home', 'Rainbows in the Dust', and 'BlindMoon. Currently, Chenjerai Hove is Guest Writer of the City of Stavanger, Norway.


My week as a poet-activist-mother

A big week in this life. Background: I am the coordinator of DC Poets Against the War and we are planning a festival of poetry of witness, to be held in DC in March, 2008. It’s a big step for us – we haven’t done anything on this scale previously. But we’ve lined up many of our favorite poets who write poetry engaged with the world: Ethelbert, of course, and Lucille Clifton, Naomi Shihab Nye, Joy Harjo, Galway Kinnell, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Mark Doty, Patricia Smith, and many others. The excitement is growing.

But we didn’t have a name. It’s been challenging, with many brainstorming sessions, some fueled by caffeine, some by alcohol. I’ve read endless poems by Langston Hughes, Essex Hemphill, June Jordan, Walt Whitman, Muriel Rukeyser, Gwendolyn Brooks, Audre Lorde, and Adrienne Rich. Nothing had popped for me. I suggested finally Provocations: Poetry of Witness and, given the lack of anything else, folks were starting to warm to it. It wasn’t ideal, but I was feeling desperate: the deadline for copy for an ad in the AWP program book (for the 2007 AWP conference in Atlanta) was looming for Friday and we needed a name.

Then Tuesday, I had my monthly breakfast ritual with Ethelbert: I pick him up at 8:15 and we get breakfast at a café and talk the many overlapping poetry and personal issues in our lives. This month we chose Savory in Takoma Park – it’s quiet and we’re not likely to run into people we know. In the basement room, Ethelbert challenges me to try one more time, to find a name for the festival rooted in a poem by one of our forebears. I am in despair, but I know he’s right : something more lyrical would be better and would be an immediate entrée to the themes of the festival, if we could invoke a poet model from the past.

So, after dropping E at Howard U., I set myself up at Busboys & Poets and read all day (until 2:30 that is, when I have to leave to pick up my son and go grocery shopping, as Tuesday has been my Baseball Mom day, the afternoon of Little League practice – until this week, when the season is finally over). I read every poem Langston Hughes wrote and in the 1930s and ‘40s. I read more Rukeyser. I write down a number of excerpts from both poets. (Read them on my blog at: I go home to think.

Over the next two days, the possible names percolate. Finally, Thursday morning I make a choice and it is done: Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation and Witness. Here is the citation from Langston Hughes:

Don’t you hear this hammer ring?
I’m gonna split this rock
And split it wide!
When I split this rock,
Stand by my side.

I email it around for comment. Everyone likes it! We are done. Now, of course, I have to write copy for the ad for the AWP program book and get it to the designer (we got an extension…); write the copy for the web site and get it to the web designer (both these lovely people are volunteering: Nancy Bratton and Michael Heroux, respectively – all praises); contact all the poets who’ve committed to participate; write the fundraising letter; write myriad grant proposals; reserve the URL, etc., etc. It’s exciting and terrifying. I go to the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts on December 8 for two weeks and the list of things to do for the festival before I leave scares me.

But as Ethelbert reminded me at breakfast, this is the life I want to be living. On Monday morning, I got together with my friend Yael to write and she wrote the most moving, painful, and beautiful poem about torture. How is that possible? She did it. I wrote about my son spraining his ankle in his last little league game of the season, sliding into third. My second baseball poem, the first written last year about not standing during the singing of God Bless America at RFK Stadium during the second inning stretch. I simply can’t ask a god I don’t believe in to bless the country that is exacting untold suffering on another country. And yet, sitting while everyone around me stood felt only like a gesture. The poem, still in the notebook, wrestles with that uneasy feeling. Perhaps I am still uneasy; the poem is still in the notebook.

Wednesday evening DC PAW gave a reading with Esther Iverem at the Shepherd Park Library on Georgia Avenue for Veterans’ Day. It’s a beautiful neighborhood library and everyone should use it more. We were late getting a group together to read and late publicizing the reading but still had a good crowd of 15 or so. A poet new to us all, Dr. Kyi May Kaung, an exile from Burma, read for the first time with the group. Very moving – in a straightforward voice, with simple language, she detailed the daily experience of living under, and resisting, dictatorship: the fear, the unknowing, the not-writing-down. Esther also read and so did Richard Peabody. I discovered that they were meeting for the first time. It is striking how often this work for peace brings people together – it gives me great pleasure.

Tonight, Saturday, I’m just back from a party for Brandon Johnson’s new book Love’s Skin, published in the Hilary Tham Capital Collection by the Word Works. Brandon gave a terrific reading – his poems are mini-movies, whole stories wrapped into poem packages a page or two long. I loved the characters, their voices, the rhythm of the language that moved them through the problem to the solution, however the poem might resolve. My own book of poems, Whiskey in the Garden of Eden, is forthcoming in the Capital Collection next year, which adds to the thrill. Congratulations, Brandon.


Hi Ethelbert,

Thanks for inviting me to participate in the EM network.

I've been working today at some finishing touches on UNRECONSTRUCTED, my new and selected poems that'll be published next fall by Autumn House, and on an anthology of poets in the Pitt Series that'll be out next spring.

I think it's a terrific, readable book, and would urge folks to check it out for possible class use:American Poetry Now: The Pitt Poetry Series Anthology (early 2007):Jan Beatty, Wanda Coleman, Billy Collins, Denise Duhamel, Russell Edson,Lynn Emanuel, Edward Field, Barbara Hamby, Bob Hicok, Etheridge Knight, TedKooser, Larry Levis, Sharon Olds, Alicia Ostriker, Cathy Song, Dean Young,Afaa Michael Weaver, David Wojahn and many others in the Pitt Poetry Series.

After that, Britt & I visited my mother (as I mentioned before, she'll be100 in January); she does have onset Alzheimer's but right now she's still as contrary and pissy as ever--she blames the nurses for soiling her diapers.

And we listened to the Pitt football team go down in flames(again). But this whole week we've had a good glow about the election.America is enough to break your heart and drive you crazy--a step and a halfback for every two steps forward--but it looks as though, possibly, it maybe starting once again to heal itself after this terrible waste of life and money under evil monopoly capitalism.

And speaking of evil: we finally got rid of Senator Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania, the only human being I've ever met who literally looks like a prick with ears. As old as I am, and I'm old enough--as Charlie Rangel says about himself--not to buy green bananas, I've never been more pleased about the outcome of a Senate race.

I miss you, man, and hope to see you soon.All good wishes--Ed

Saturday, November 11, 2006

I was thinking about how you can tell when the weather is going to change. You step outside one morning and you feel a sudden chill. When do you reach into the back of the closet and pull out that heavy coat? How does one's body change? My mother talking about aches in her bones just before it rains. Maybe I can go back to a day in the my childhood, and find that moment when Hip Hop started. There must have been a sudden change in the weather of the South Bronx, an incident that was not noticable until after the radiation or the coming of Rodan. What if it was a virus getting into some of us, changing our personalities and how we sound? What if behind P.S. 39 on Longwood Avenue was a big hole or a space ship? Where did the guy wearing the Indian hairstyle come from? He was much older than we were and an evildoer. He changed our lives in a bad way. I did notice one afternoon that he walked with a hip and a hop. I ran as far as Kelly Street would let me. But there are some things that didn't make sense back then. It had that Outer Limits script or maybe it was Alcoa Presents. No not the Twilight Zone- that was Brooklyn and maybe parts of New Jersey. No the 2 strange things that happened around 1959 were the fires near St. Margaret Church that took place almost every Thanksgiving. It would leave the first abandon buildings- and the film world would call the place Fort Apache in a few years. But what I remember from my youth -what tore a page from my memory and I wanted to forget was my brother's friend who had two large dogs. They both looked like Lassie. I was in the hallway coming down from Dinky's apartment when one of the dogs went running by me, bounding up the stairs, and heading for the roof. Later that evening my brother Richard told me the dog had jumped off the roof. Suicide? The dog just jumped. It was something that never made any sense to me. Why would a dog commit suicide? What do animals know before humans? Was it the first sounds of a new music, hurting the dogs ears? The way my neighbor's dog today howls when the police cars pass by with their sirens blaring. Things falling a part....and the most important question we have yet to answer - Who let the dogs out?
DON'T MISS THE E-MAG this Sunday with:

Michael O'Keefe
Chenjerai Hove
Sarah Browning
Ed Ochester
All day I've been listening to one song - Annie Lennox singing "The Hurting Time" on her BARE album. This evening an old friend called and said his mother had died...

To Everything there is a purpose
To Every blade of grass
And Every leaf on Every tree
Every Livin' Thing will surely
Come to pass
And what will be will be...
That's when The Hurtin' Time Begins

Sending prayers and love out to the Mckay family - night in our lives but not our hearts.

Friday, November 10, 2006

I received Don Mee Choi's new book today. The title is CONTEMPORARY POETRY BY KOREAN WOMEN: Ch'oe Sung-ja, Kim Hyesoon and Yi Yon-ju.
It's a Zephyr Press book:
Don Mee is one of the leading translators of Korean women poetry. She lives in Seattle.
So all the Republican Party has to do now is find new leadership. That's the spin. It's another attempt to interpret reality. Meanwhile - what should be done? Look for Bennie Thompson to take over the House Committee on Homeland Security. An examination of the Katrina contacts is going to make a number of folks angry. There's just too much greed that needs to be exposed.
Especially those Iraq reconstruction contracts - no bid stuff. Even "new" Republicans are going to have to support Democrats on this investigation.

I was sitting in Busboys (this evening) and someone was talking about impeachment hearings against Bush.
Let's not go there and harm the structure of our nation. Why weaken the presidency? What would be the outcome?
No Bolton at the UN will be a major move by the Democrats.

In other news- New York Mets third base coach is still in the running to become the next manager of the Washington Nationals. What about E. Ethelbert Miller? He wants the job. We are talking about poetry being read at all home games during the 7th inning stretch. We are talking about giving all players cool nicknames so the fans can cheer or rap. We are talking about interactive baseball where fans can talk to me on my Blackberry. Hmmm. F-Man I'm sorry for stealing one of your ideas, but no one laughed when you created your own bullpen. Did they?

Quote of the day:

"Ed Bradley had cool like a vault has money."
- Wil Haygood
I plan to use the weekend to read the books I borrowed from the King Library Wednesday:

HOOPS by Major Jackson
NATIVE GUARD by Natasha Trethewey

I will also complete the reading of ON AND OFF THE COURT by Red Auerbach.

Next week I will be interviewing James Early for the DEFINING THE ISSUES SERIES.
The public is invited:
Wednesday, November 15th, from 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Institute for Policy Studies (IPS)
1112 16th Street, NW, Suite 600
(Near Farragut North Metro)

If you're not ObamaOUT - read The New York Review of Books (November 30th issue).

Looking ahead to 2008 I'm still supporting Edwards right now.

In other news:

It will be interesting to see what the Democrats will do regarding Iraq. I support the following:

Sitting down with Syria and Iran and trying to find a regional solution.
Reduction of US troops in 2007.
We also need to acknowledge that we are trying to end a Civil War that has religious roots. There seems to be a bit of ethnic cleansing taking place. :-(