Tuesday, July 31, 2007

NIKE settles discrimination suit for $7.6 million.
The lawsuit was filed by 400 black employees of the Niketown store in Chicago.
Back in 2003 they claimed managers used racial slurs to refer to black workers and customers.
The store segregated black employees into lower-paying jobs. They accused managers of making unfounded accusations of theft against black workers and directed store security to monitor black employees and customers.

Now tell us about "shoes" we need to fill.

Dear Ethelbert Miller:

Poets & Writers, Inc. the nation's largest nonprofit organization serving creative writers is proud to announce that its 2008 Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award will be given to writers in Washington, D.C.

If you could share this information with your constituency of writers, we would be most grateful. We want to make this opportunity available to as many of Washington D.C.'s poets and fiction writers as possible.

I've attached a flyer, press release and the application for the contest. If you have any questions about Poets & Writers or the Writers Exchange Contest, please don't hesitate to call me at 212-226-3586, ext. 225 or e-mail me at bmarcus@pw.org.


Bonnie Rose Marcus
Director, Readings/Workshops (East) and Writers Exchange

Garnett to the Celtics. Well now we have another team the Wizards won't be able to beat. Of course many teams look good on paper. I would like to see Ray Allen in the NBA Finals.
The Vick case looks like a trapped Falcon. No way the Atlanta QB can avoid jail time. I can't see him playing football anytime soon since it looks like he might have lied to the NFL. When should we have suspected something was wrong? Let's look at the language - Bad Newz Kennels. Here is where dumb spelling will get you in trouble. Behind the spelling of words there is an attitude and a way of seeing... But mess with the language and the language will mess with you.
Something from the Weaver:


Monday, July 30, 2007

Quote of the Day:

Parking on city streets today is a cinch compared with the 1930s, when free, unlimited parking was considered every American's constitutional right. Just as their grandparents had tied their horses to the general store's rail, American drivers expected handy curb space for their cars when they went to town. By the 1930s, however there were too many cars and too few curbs.
The result was chaos. Employees of downtown businesses hogged spaces for whole days; some merchants deliberately parked their cars in front of competitors' stores. Other drivers circled the narrow streets waiting for a rare free space. Trucks loading or unloading double-parked. In most cities, there were no marks on curbs to delineate spaces. In the few timed spaces, enforcement by chalking the tires was easy to beat. And the art of parallel parking was in its infancy.

- Cynthia Crossen in The Wall Street Journal (7/30/07)
Bill Walsh - gone.
I loved those 49ers.
The man turned that team into Gold.
My friend Demetria's new website:


Look for a contribution from her in an upcoming E-MAG.
Is this stuff real?
Read about Salvinia molesta in the New York Times today.
In East Texas it's just taking over.

"The United States Geological Survey calls Salvinia molesta one of the world's most noxious aquatic weeds, with an ability to double in size every two to four days and cover 40 square miles within three months, suffocating all life beneath it."

This sounds like a B -movie.
Whoa, Nellie! Did you see President Bush driving that golf cart yesterday with Gordon Brown?
Is this how our country is being driven?

"Through football may Iraq forget its disputes and woes, and bring rejoicing close."
- Azzaman (Baghdad's daily newspaper)

Iraq defeated Saudi Arabia 1-0 to win the 2007 Asian Cup.

All 22 members of the Iraqi soccer team have suffered from the sectarian killings.

"Our happiness depends on these guys who played in Asia; I wish they would come and take over the Parliament, for they are the ones who really represent us."
- Murtada Sabbar
Building archives. Here is the link to my papers at George Washington University:


My son's team (Widener U) won again yesterday. They will be going to their summer league playoffs. They are 7-2. It looks like they will be playing for first place next week.

Ichiro became the third-fastest player in major league history to reach 1,500 hits.
In Japan he had 1, 278 in nine seasons.
How many players make it to 4,000 hits in a baseball career?
How hot will Ichiro be in August? A key month if he is to win the AL batting title.

Congrats to Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn.
Bright Moments at d.c.space:

Ascension # 42
February 24, 1979
Ishmael Reed, Greg Tate and Mary Lou Reker

Ascension # 53
July 25, 1980
Alvin Aubert and Jerry Ward

July 26, 1985
Ascension: THE BIG READING - 100 Black Poets.
After the IPS Salon, Beth took me over to the 9:30 Club. It was the 30th Anniversary of d.c. space. Yep that cool place of culture once located on the corner of Seventh and E Streets. Bill Warrell was the founder of the place. I had a nice chat with him outside the 9:30 Club around 8 PM. The event was also a benefit for Tom Terrell - an old HU buddy from those 70s days. T2 is fighting prostate cancer- doctors are happy with his progress. T2 was looking like he had just walked out of one of those movies where he was the star. The only thing missing were 2 tall women wearing diamonds and much less. The Club was filled with old faces that made you want to look at an old college yearbook for names. I was happy that I didn't see anyone I had dated.
Whew. I did talk to a woman I had a serious crush on... So- I just read a few poems and escaped. I had a nice time. The McKay twins were there (with sister) - the remaining twin towers? These guys are from Long Island - yes- just like Whitman. Anyway - the 9:30 Club was jumping inside and outside. Not often you will you see so many talented people in one space - musicians, poets - and I didn't even stay around to hear Chuck Brown. Yes - I know -shame on me. But what's an Ethelbert to do? I'm getting older and I'm not really a performer - so it's best for me to walk into that humid DC air and disappear. I did that before it turned dark. I stopped in at Busboys and purchased Dyson- COME HELL OR HIGH WATER. The rain had stopped and U Street had a New Orleans feel to it. Could it be something in the air? Maybe with DC changing so quickly - not only is d.c.space gone but so are the memories of so much more. What was the name of that woman who kissed me back at the club - Katrina?
IPS News.

Yesterday we had our 3rd IPS Salon. Here is a report by Beth Schulman:

Just got home from today's salon and want to publicly congratulate Sena, Ethelbert and Andy for making it a lovely occasion. Kudos are also due to our incredibly gracious hostess, Denese Lombardi, and her daughter, Elena (who was a high school classmate of Eden Raskin's!).

The topic was DC Vote-- Andy led a discussion that included extended remarks and a long Q & A with Alir Zherka, ED of DC Vote. The crowd was exactly the right size for the space. Lots of information, lively exchanges, and some specific requests for IPS to lend some policy analysis power to the DC Vote arsenal.

Special thanks to Miriam, Robin, Nancy Lewis, Galen and Liz who helped ensure that IPS was well-represented. Aviva Kempner, who serves with Andy on the DC Vote Board of Directors, was also there and was clearly pleased at (what feels to her like) a long overdue embrace of DC Vote by IPS.

Denese and Elena invited some of their friends who are thrilled at the prospect of becoming regular salon attendees... so the buzz that Ethelbert promised is emerging... we are on a roll.

Next Salon will feature a discussion we are calling "the Future of Planet Earth" led by Daphne. Date TBA. We may make it the inaugural IPS event at the Shirlington Busboys.Congrats to Sena for making this happen.

I'll post the time and place for the next IPS Salon in my E-Notes. I hope you will be able to attend.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The new Writer's Chronicle is out (September 2007). Good to see an essay by David Harbilas on Kenyon and Akhmatova. Congrats.

The 2008 AWP Conference will be in New York January 30-February 2, 2008. This will be the last one I'll be attending. Next year will also be my last year on the DC Commission on the Arts.
It's time to close a few doors. By next year almost all the correspondence, flyers, and items associated with my literary career will be in three different archives.
Time to do new things - move forward or die.

I don't give readings, no although I have recorded three of my collections, just to show how I should read them. Hearing a poem, as opposed to reading it on the page, means you miss so much - the shape, the punctuation, the italics, even knowing how far you are from the end. Reading it on the page means you can go your own pace, taking it in properly; hearing it means you're dragged along at the speaker's own rate, missing things, not taking it in, confusing 'there' and 'their' and things like that. And the speaker may interpose his own personality between you and the poem, for better or worse. For that matter, so may the audience.

Larkin interview in Paris Review. The complete interview can be found in REQUIRED WRITING by Philip Larkin. Univesity of Michigan Press, 1999.

Saturday, July 28, 2007


Donations may be dropped off at the Used Book Store in DuPont Circle:
1417 22nd Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20037

Monday 10-6
Tues, Wed & Thurs 10-9
Friday & Saturday 10-6
Sunday 11-5


I was just thinking about you
sounds like something Lester Young
would play. I'm alone everyday of my life.
Your face a puddle after the rain.
Nothing sounds like your voice
or the bed touching the wall. I sit
with legs apart, a saxophone in my hands.
This is how the music forgets me.
I know you'll never call.

- E. Ethelbert Miller
I'm back to listening to Bob Dylan's "Spirit On The Water."
I love this song.
Silly "political" discussions keep getting lower. We now move from $400 haircuts by Edwards to Hillary's cleavage. Can you imagine if Hillary pulled a Janet Jackson during one of the debates?
Is America ready for a sexy president? Can you be pretty and rule? What's a neckline without a foreign policy?

Talking about hell's headlines - Who's Your Caddy?
I was walking on U Street and saw the poster for this nonsense. Are the actors wearing coon wear? Can you imagine rehersals? Doing the same sad lines over and over.. This film money could go to Darfur or even the NAACP. Where is Tiger Woods to lead us in protest?
Jesus please walk on water again, too many of us are drowning and are afraid to swim.
Time to ask the Lenin question again?


Friday, July 27, 2007

August coming. It must have a G in the middle. Ginger G returns from Harlem?
I can read Ebony Magazine (again). Well - Mo'Nique is on the cover of the August issue. So yes- I borrowed this copy. But once you get beyond the Mo-cover, the publication has found its soul (again). But editors -please consider placing Adia Millett on your cover next time. Mo-Better Issue. No need for this artist to be profiled on the back pages of Ebony. If you want to change the magazine - don't change and have your slip hanging. That's just being colored and not ebony.
Push yourself into the future.
I was reading about a recent police bust in DC for drugs. A number of people were arrested. What caught my attention was everyone's age. They were not in their early 20s. They were all in their middle 40s. Sad. You can almost see folks having no skills - no work - no other outlets by which they can make a living. If you're selling drugs on a corner and you're 40 - there is no way you're going to be Al Pacino in Florida and screaming - "Say hello to my little friend." You don't have the makings of being a kingpin or drug lord. It's small time crime that is going to end in failure and jail time. Only living for the moment can explain this nonsense. This is not economics 001. It's ghetto mess without BET. This makes me want to weep.

Another thing that will bring tears to Kwame Nkrumah's eyes took place today on the S bus up 16th Street. S2 -S4 - I can never tell unless I'm going to Silver Spring and don't these buses arrive at the same place in Baghdad? Anyway, I was just checking the distance that seems to appear between West Africans and Ethiopians. Some diversity training is needed between these groups. I wonder how many West Africans visit East Africa every year? Should we have cultural exchange programs? The clash seems to be cultural on so many levels. Who said Pan Africanism was easy? One can feel a disgust like humidity in the air. Is this a black thing I don't want to understand? Help me Rasta. I thought all hands stretched out towards Ethiopia? I thought Garvey had my back. Marcus should return as a bus driver- call it the New Black Star Line.
Or as Zora was known to say - "My People, My People."
This afternoon folks from The History Makers will come and interview me. They claim to be the nation's largest African American video oral history archive.

One thing I have to do this weekend is read the manuscript Nancy James sent me to blurb.
The book is Madame Jeanne deLa Mothe Guyon: Selected Works. This will pull me back to the 16th century and what was known as the Quietist movement. Is self-abandonment the surest path to union with God?
I wish more mornings could be like today. Naomi and I sitting in Dos Gringos talking about poetry and life. Laughing over Belgian waffles and then walking down Columbia Road. Naomi talking in Spanish to the woman giving me a haircut on 18th. Hair falling all around me in the beauty salon. Naomi laughing and the woman cutting my hair says -Oops. Now I'm looking into the mirror without my glasses and its funny and has nothing to do with the shape of my head - it's just one of those moments when friendship is nothing but days like this. Naomi rubs my head like she is going to get three wishes. This is what poets do when they are not writing poems.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Interview with Gary Snyder in the new issue of The Bloomsbury Review (July/August 2007). In it he made reference to a book I would like to read: The San Francisco Renaissance: Poetics and Community at Mid-Century by Michael Davidson. Snyder also says the following:

We live in a society that demonizes death. We have a medical system that feels evey time somebody has died it has failed. They can only think about keeping you alive; they can't think about helping you die. And if the question of death goes beyond that, they hand it over to religious people who don't know how to handle it very well, or who have a kind of ideology that they translate it into.
Playing the Eurythmics album - Touch.
Yes, here comes the rain again.

So what are we to do with these new tales about obesity? What do your close friends look like?
Can one avoid becoming fat by not having fat friends?
You are who you associate with. That has an old Elijah Muhammad ring to it.
Something in the news everyday.
Who's That Girl?
I spent the afternoon reading my New Orleans folder (various clippings) and trying to outline my lecture for September. I also decided to take a look at Sidney Willhelm's book WHO NEEDS THE NEGRO? Do you remember this text? It came out in 1970. It seems one could ask a similar question today - Who Needs The Poor Black People From New Orleans? Where is the housing, health care, etc, for Katrina sufferers? Does anyone care after 2005 and counting?

The "Virginia Tech point guard Munson granted release" story is located at http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/story?id=2949417

Wow...I didn't expect this. I thought Nigel would be playing for Virginia Tech in a few months. He's a gifted player. I watched him and my son play together for a couple of years with the DC Warriors (AAU team). Those were fun times. I wonder if Nigel will go to Mason or Maryland?

Letters written in suport of Haleh Esfandiari can be sent to:

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Pasteur Ave
Tehran 13168-43311

and to the Iranian section at the Pakistani embassy here in D.C.


Updates about the situation are atwww.wilsoncenter.org
Space Is The Place:


As you know, I'm not really from here. I don't even own a dog.
On Hold:

No Starbucks in India yet. The Seattle Company has placed on hold the opening of stores in India. The stores are suppose to open in New Delhi and Mumbai.
Hot Hot Hot
Quote of the Day:

"It's all tied into the hip hop culture, the image and projection of a dog as an extension of your manhood. The pit bull is the ultimate accessory."

Quote of the Day:

"Beware that your happiness does not overshadow the happiness of others."

Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey

Love-Hate Friendships May Raise Blood Pressure
Content provided by Reuters
Saturday, July 21, 2007

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Friends who are critical, unpredictable or unreliable may literally be hard on your heart, a study published Monday suggests. The study, reported in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine, looked at the short-term cardiovascular effects of being with an "ambivalent" friend -- someone with whom you have a love-hate sort of relationship.

Researchers found that merely being in the presence of such a friend tended to elevate study participants' heart rate and generally put them "on edge." Moreover, discussing a negative event with an ambivalent friend tended to send up people's blood pressure.

It's not clear what these jolts to the cardiovascular system might mean in the long run. But if such relationships are pervasive in a person's life, they might start to take a health toll, according to Dr. Julianne Holt-Lunstad, an assistant professor of psychology at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and the study's lead author.

Ambivalent friends are the types who leave you uncertain about whether they'll offer support or indifference, understanding or criticism. But they are also people we like and care about, making them distinct from that neighbor or co-worker you actually dislike and avoid.

These mixed emotions may make it difficult to relax around such a friend, and especially hard to find comfort from him or her when something goes wrong, the new study suggests.

The findings are based on tests with 107 healthy young adults who were asked to list up to 10 friends and then rate each of them on a series questions designed to gauge whether the friend was generally supportive or ambivalent.

The researchers then asked each participant to pay a second visit to the lab and bring a particular friend -- in some cases a supportive friend, in others an ambivalent one.

During this second visit, each pair of friends sat in a room together while their blood pressure and heart rate were monitored as they sat quietly and as they had several discussions.

One discussion was "neutral," centering on an everyday routine. The other discussions revolved around an event in the study participant's life, either positive (like getting a job promotion) or negative (like getting fired).

Overall, the researchers found, participants who were with an ambivalent friend showed higher heart rates from the beginning, even before they'd started talking. And when it came time to discuss a negative event, they had a greater spike in blood pressure than participants who were with a supportive friend.

Many studies, Holt-Lunstad told Reuters Health, have found that support from family and friends can buffer people from the effects of stress. But ambivalent friends may not only fail to offer such support, but also be a source of stress themselves, she explained.

So what's the solution? It's probably difficult, if not impossible, to cut off all the ambivalent relationships in our lives, Holt-Lunstad pointed out. In the current study, for example, more than half of all the friendships could be classified as ambivalent.

Then there are those family members, co-workers and neighbors we may not be able to separate from, even if we want to.
Perhaps the best thing to do, Holt-Lunstad suggested, is to spend as much time as possible with the positive people in our lives.

SOURCE: Annals of Behavioral Medicine, June 25, 2007.
Copyright 2007 Reuters Limited
Also in the issue of the Boston Review is an essay by Glenn C. Loury. Remember him?
The title of his article is "Why Are So Many Americans In Prison?" Some interesting facts here.
Yesterday's Mailbox:

Charles Johnson sent me a copy of the latest Boston Review (July/August 2007). His essay "Whole Sight" is included in it. Johnson examines art and passion.

An excerpt:

Art, then, is a daily reminder of this mystery. Obviously, the mystery is us. After I complete each new story, essay or lecture, I marvel at and am thankful for the strangeness and beauty of bottomless passion that leads to work across so many related disciplines. And sometimes, late at night, around 5 a.m., when I am finishing a new piece, I remember the famous Chinese poem by P'ang-yun:

How wonderful, how marvelous!
I fetch wood, I carry water!
Subject: Washington DC African-American Writer's Guild Planning Meeting
July 25, 2007

Good Afternoon All,

We have wonderful news!

The Washington DC African-American Writer’s Guild (AAWG) is in the process of reemerging as the home base for African American writers working to realize their creative projects. As you know, the DC/Metro area is populated with a number of talented writers of diverse disciplines who are in varied stages of completing their works. Part of the DC AAWG’s mission will be to organize and provide workshops, access to a network of peers and collaborate with local artists and businesses. We need the assistance and guidance of former DC AAWG members as well as newcomers residing in the DC/metropolitan and surrounding areas.

Please confirm your availability to attend an August, 2007 Washington DC African-American Writer’s Guild Planning Meeting by sending us an email. Once the time and location of the meeting are confirmed, more information will be sure to follow. Also, the Agenda will be distributed at the meeting.

This will be an awesome year! We look forward to growing exponentially with you and the DC African American Writer’s Guild. And we certainly are excited about the journey ahead.

Abundant Blessings,

Majeedah Johnson and Abdul Ali

Should you have any questions, please contact:

majeedah: majeedahjohnson@hotmail.com

Abdul: poeticnoise1984@aol.com

Sekou Sundiata Praise Day
at the Bowery Poetry Club
Saturday, July 28 3-5pm


Gather to praise share further remember forget bring up stories recite poems perform dreams discover new loves energize yourself continue invent greet tolerate lie dance

We’ll play Sekou’s CDs and watch his videos, and there will be as many poems for him as there is room for.

Donations may be made in the name of Sekou Sundiata to the New York Organ Donor Network or to the National Kidney Foundation.

Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery (Bleecker-Houston)
#6 to Bleecker B,D,F,V to Broadway-Lafayette

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

That Little Red Lobster is going upscale. That will leave Ruby Tuesday for poor folks. Check the story in the New York Times today. They want to present healthier-looking food. Freshness is in. When was it out? Red Lobster was a place I never went to until it was introduced one holiday by in-laws. The one in Silver Spring seems popular. I try not to visit RL too much. The food seems like it's belly food for men. It's fried shrimp and a paunch. If you find you're with a woman who has trouble getting into the booth, she shouldn't be there either. Will diabetes and hypertension be on the new menus? I'm seeing red which means I should stop.
The Browning of America ? Abdul Ali's interview with Sarah Browning:

Quote of the Day:

Nothing makes you feel older than seeing the most popular group of your youth perform at a small venue with at least one original member missing.

- Sarah Godfrey - reviewing a show by Boyz II Men in today's Washington Post.
One book I've been waiting to read is finally out - MISSING PAGES: BLACK JOURNALISTS OF MODERN AMERICA - AN ORAL HISTORY by Wallace Terry. Terry died in 2003 after a distinguished career with The Washington Post and Time magazine. He also produced the classic -BLOODS: AN ORAL HISTORY OF THE VIETNAM WAR BY BLACK VETERANS. This book was published by Random House in 1984. In MISSING PAGES Terry shows how Black journalists reported for news organization even before the Civil Rights Movement. There are 20 stories told in this book. Included are words from Ed Bradley, Carl Rowan, Chuck Stone and Karen DeWitt. I wonder if my friend Karen still knows the words to "Banks of the Ohio."
Wallace Terry's book is published by Carroll & Graf. It sells for $16.95.

Dear Friends:

As many of you know, Ebony Magazine has launched an initiative to update and revitalize its publications. As part of that program, I have signed on to write a bi-monthly column at ebonyjet.com .

I'm happy to be working with an editorial team that first coalesced way back in the ancient days of the early 90s at ONE magazine in DC.

I'll be covering some of the same ground as I did in my Africana.com work along with some new twists and topics to keep things interesting. You can check out my first piece on the implications of the Supreme Court's recent decision regarding race and school admissions. http://www.ebonyjet.com/politics/national/index.aspx?id=174

Come back often; I think we have an irreverent, intelligent, provocative set of original black voices. So if you don't know, now you know!

Jelani C--

Ed Ochester's UNRECONSTRUCTED: Poems selected and new.
Autumn House Press
During my Bennington days, Ed and I would team teach a workshop. It was fun and we all learned so much. I can see him between sessions standing outside Tishman Hall, wearing shorts and smoking. A deep laughter and then a cough - the man was filled with jokes and a wit you can mine in every poem he writes. When I think of Pittsburgh, I think of Clemente and then Ochester.

This book is a meditation on identity, culture, and healing in children separated from original family. John is a good man doing good.

July 20, 2007
The cover is priceless. 3 women in 3 different forms of dress.
The statement here is that the average woman is trapped between two conservative religions.
What's slick is how they are all hiding behind either a veil or glasses. The women in the middle is wearing sunglasses - the best way to block everything out?
Be sure to read "Muscle Memory" by Ben McGrath. It's about the new generation of bionic prostheses. Claudia Mitchell is the real bionic woman- and she's a woman of color.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I'm heading over to Theater J this evening(DC Community Jewish Center) with my friend Miriam. We plan to catch the production of "FROM TEL-AVIV TO RAMALLAH: A BEAT BOX JOURNEY by Rachel Havrelock. Performed by Yuri Lane. Video projections by Sharif Ezzat.
Nominated for a 2004 Charles MacArthur Helen Hayes Award for Best New Play.
Suggested reading:

"The Other War" by Chris Hedges and Laila Al-Arian
Military Veterans Speak on the Record about attacks on Iraqi Civilians.
THE NATION - July 30/August 6, 2007. Page 11.
John Edwards in 2008.
It seems so clear that he's the only candidate really talking about the issues.
Becoming president of the US should not be a popularity contest.
Think about your vote. Vote Edwards in 08.
Martin Espada on Bill Moyers:

What's a Noriega to do?
I'm still waiting for someone to interview this guy. When he gets out of a US prison this year will he be sent to prison in Panama or France?

What's going on in Mogadishu?
Poor Somalia. How long will this nation suffer?

A math question. How many mosques have been destroyed around the world during the last 5 years? How many new mosques have been built?
Are you pregnant? Foods to avoid:

Raw fish and shellfish

Large predatory fish like swordfish, shark

Undercooked or raw meat, poultry and seafood

Unpasteurized milk and soft cheeses

Hot dogs and deli meats, unless cooked until steaming hot

Refrigerated pates, meat spreads and smoked fish

Raw sprouts

Herbal teas and supplements


See NY Times today - Personal Health section.
Ichiro will need a hot August in order to win the AL batting title. Ordonez in Detroit is having an MVP year.

Trade deadlines. I would part with Chad Cordero. The guy is not the dominant closer anymore.
Can he still hold a one run lead in the 9th inning? Questionable without the heartburn.

Look for Bonds to break Aaron's record this week. But must we see former girlfriend Kimberly Bell's nipples in the November issue of Playboy magazine? Poor Bonds won't be able to eat his Thanksgiving turkey after the Bell rings (and tells all) in November. Might this magazine with photos and an article force Bonds into retirement? Bell didn't get her money from Bonds - that's what's behind this. Folks will open their Playboys in November and just say - tush, tush.

Where are the people who sent all those hate letters to Hank Aaron? Did the FBI compile a list?
Might these letters one day be edited into a book? A documentation of racism in America?
Did someone destroy all the letters?

More than hair? Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers signed a four-year contract extension for $30.19 million. He is the highest-paid player in team history. More francs than Franco.
Forthcoming in April 2008:

A new collection of poems from A.B. Spellman. Look for THE FIRST SIXTY to be released by Coffee House Press. Spellman is a well know poet and music critic. From 1975 to 2005 he worked at the National Endowment for the Arts. His book FOUR LIVES IN THE BEBOP BUSINESS is a classic. It's now available as FOUR JAZZ LIVES from the University of Michigan Press.

Monday, July 23, 2007

New transportation to New York:

RT fares are $40.
Barbados - the land where the Ethelberts come from.

ASWAD conference inBarbados in October 2007:


Friends and Family,I am really happy to tell each of you that I've started writing a blog about single mothers for parents.com.

I'm grateful to the Meredith Corporation, whose books have had a long standing commitment to families, for offering me this opportunity to bring women together to talk about our lives, our challenges and our triumphs--and to stand with and for each other, even if it's around a kitchen table that's only virtual.

The hope is that this will be a space to expand and complicate the voices that are out there talking about what it means to be a mother and a woman in the world. The blog will mean nothing without you insight and offerings. We just did a soft launch last week and are still massaging the site in places, but please take a moment sooner rather than later to stop by and visit http://parents.com/onourown. So looking forward to hearing your thoughts and sharing in your experiences.


World Events:

US and Iran will hold talks tomorrow in Baghdad. This has to be good news.

Bad news is the US considering the use of military forces in Pakistan. Do we need another war like a hole in the head?
I went with Andy Shallal over to the new Busboys located in the Village at Shirlington (VA).
Andy has a great place. He gave me the tour - and things look great. He has an excellent location. If this was Bizzaro World I wouldn't want to leave 14th & U. However the new Busboys is not the "Old Christine." It seems to be a place that will have it's own unique personality - it will however know that it's Daddy is Andy Man. Busboys II will open in August. Will the new place be Twice As Good? I suggested to Andy that we "bus" the poets from the old Busboys to the new location.
More Sekou:

Fresh Air from WHYY, July 20, 2007

Poet Sekou Sundiata died this week at age 58; the cause was heart failure. Sundiata, who taught literature at New York City's New School University for many years, was considered one of the fathers of the spoken-word movement. He wrote the plays Blessing the Boats, The Circle Unbroken is a Hard Bop, The Mystery ofLove, Udu, and the 51st (dream) state. His albums include Longstoryshort and The Blue Oneness of Dreams. We remember him with excerpts frominterviews that originally aired in May 1994, April 1997, and November2002.http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=12122622
This morning I'm heading over to Northern Virginia with AndyMan (Shallal) to see his new Busboys restaurant/cafe/bookstore. Can you clone success? Andy continues to be change agent in the DC Area.

I'm feeling better after the short trip out of town yesterday. It was fun sitting in a gym with my son - looking at some basketball games, talking about his team for next season. Our children grow up so quickly. From hoop dreams to college.
Back from Chester, PA. I watched my son's basketball team win another game. They are now 6-2 in their summer league. Good for a second place slot. If they win their next game they will go to the August playoffs.

In other sports news - are the New York Yankees making a statement? Look out Boston.
Bucky Dent Lives!

Sunday, July 22, 2007


Derrick Fisher returns to the Lakers.
This is good news for Kobe.

Monday, September 24, 2007.

The 19th Annual GALA Celebration to benefit The PEN/Faukner Award for Fiction

TWILIGHT ZONES with reading by:

Chris Abani
Amy Bloom
Lynn Freed
Allan Gurganus
Helon Habila
Amy Hempel
Walter Kirn
Jenny McPhee
Melissa Pritchard
David Rakoff
Richard Rodriguez
Anna Deavere Smith

Roger Mudd, Master of Ceremonies
For advance reservations and information please call 202 636-8743
Quote of the Day:

I don't oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is a cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and hardships borne.

Barack Obama, October 2002 at the Federal Plaza in Chicago.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Nats won 3-0. Good pitching and defense. I went to the game with my friend Linda. It's something we've been doing the last 2 years. It's always fun watching the game with her. She always gets us good seats. Today we sat a few rows behind the Nationals dugout. I could even see the back of Nook Logan's head.

After the game I went up to Silver Spring for dinner. Because I had a couple of letters to mail I made a detour and found myself on Ramsey Avenue (8700 block). Yum - I went into the Mi Rancho/Tex-Mex restaurant. The best Mexican food in the area by far.. The place was doing big business. Large families and laughter. Women with large busts and children crying to be held. The food made you want to dance while you licked your lips.
Well you know Barry Bonds is close to breaking Aaron's record. How else can you explain Jesse Jackson suddenly in the picture? Photo-Ops. So Bonds breaks the record in SF next week. Will President Bush call him? What about the folks running for president? Who will want their picture taken with Bonds? Will someone throw the homerun back onto the field? Will that person be on Jay Leno that night? So many questions but will we care about this in December?
Maybe the best thing going for Bonds right now is Michael Vick.

Football season is getting ready to start. Please let's not talk about the Redksins going to the Super Bowl. I really want to see how good QB Campbell is. I'm not a believer yet.

I wanted Ichiro to make a run at hitting .400 this season. Maybe he can still win the AL batting championship and lead Seattle into the playoffs. Of course he could get Hot Hot Hot in August and defy all critics.

Look for those movie stars to disappear from around the Lakers. Poor Kobe.
A very good interview/profile with Elizabeth Edwards in The Wall Street Journal weekend edition. The word remarkable should be used when talking about this woman.
It's Saturday and I'm getting ready to go out to RFK Stadium and catch some baseball. Nationals against the Rockies. This is the first game I' ve gone to all season. Maybe I'll see anyone before the end of August.

I started looking at my research pile on Katrina. I have a working outline for my September presentation in Norway. My desk needs to be put in order over the weekend. I have 2 files on Clarence Major and Amiri Baraka that I need to ship to the Givens Collection.

Several boxes (outside my upstairs office) of personal files are ready for pick-up by George Washington University. Glad I'm taking care of these matters. I'll also give GW the material poet Chasen Gaver left with me prior to this death.

Next week looks like a busy one with meetings and getting together with folks. I had a nice lunch at Busboys yesterday with fiction writer Hank Lewis. Glad to see this guy living in DC.
How long will I be living here?

Friday, July 20, 2007

Front page of The New York Times today - a detention center in Baghdad run by the Iraqi police. The picture looks like one of our airports this summer. Flight cancelations? Men sitting around with no luggage. Everybody and everything on hold. No hearings. These are the men who were arrested in raids. In the old days we would confuse it with late registration. No class for you. No way all the men in this picture could be bad guys. If they are - how many good guys are left in Iraq?
Be sure to read Ann Patchett's essay in the fiction issue of The Atlantic - "The Love Between Two Women Is Not Normal." It's about her visit to Clemson University; the response to her book TRUTH & BEAUTY. Patchett was a good friend of Lucy Grealy. Grealy died at 39 but wrote the moving memoir -AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A FACE. Patchett talks about how folks in South Carolina were upset about the contents of her book. Have we heard this before?
NEW RELEASE from Prince next week.
"Planet Earth" is out on Tuesday.

Queen Latifah and John Travola together. Too much for me. Why should I get hairspray in my eye?
Nike Inc. has suspended the release of a shoe endorsed by Falcons QB Vick.
No Air Zoom Vick V.

Zoom - I'll like to fly away from here too.
Growing up in the South Bronx I remember staying away from the crazies who were cruel to animals. I guess many of these guys went on to other things. Domestic violence? Assault?
Rape? Football? Before there were cameras in the streets I was all for "watching" guys who tied firecrackers to the tails of cats. I thought saints were people who picked up birds with broken wings, and tried to make they fly again by making soft bird sounds. Hearing about Michael Vick and his involvement with dog fighting sounds worse than steroids to me. Destroy your own body but don't bite the dog. Will there be a wider investigation? Where are our black leaders? No bow wow from them on this? Vick's seems to be going backwards and losing yards. Is this big Vick being as dumb as little Vick? Show me the DNA.
From IPS:

The Expansive National Security State:
Colonizing the World Abroad and the Academy at Home

Speaker: A. Carl LeVan
Date: Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Time: 12:30-2pm
Institute for Policy Studies Conference Room (1112 16th St. NW, Sixth Floor)

The Institute for Policy Studies invites you to attend and participate in a discussion on the ‘National Security State,’ addressing its colonization of lands abroad and minds at home.

The War in Iraq illustrates a model for ‘truth’ that serves the interests of the National Security State. Typically the model goes unchallenged but rising skepticism about the war represents a broader shift toward both a more democratic and scientifically principled approach to citizen-information. Carl LeVan will outline different knowledge paradigms and open up discussion on what he argues is a bifurcation of ‘truth’ in the realm of popular culture, on the one hand, and foreign policy, on the other. Professor LeVan will engage the possibility of creating ‘new ways of knowing’ suitable for both the academy and public at-large, which now faces the growing secrecy of the ‘National Security State.’

Please join us for this timely discussion on Wednesday, July 25, from 12:30-2pm at the Institute for Policy Studies, located at 1112 16th Street NW, Sixth Floor, Washington DC 20036. To RSVP or if there are further questions, please email Joshua Frens-String at josh@ips-dc.org.

About the Speaker:

A. Carl LeVan is a professor at American University’s School of International Service and former legislative director for Congressman John Conyers (D-MI). He is also co-author, with Marcus Raskin, of In Democracy’s Shadow: The Secret World of National Security (Nation Books, 2005).

The Institute for Policy Studies is the nation’s oldest multi-issue progressive think tank.
Nelson Mandela Celebrated his 89th Birthday by forming a "Council Of Elders."

Humanitarian Nelson Mandela spent his 89th birthday with other world leaders, Nobel Peace laureates and peace experts to create a "council of elders" whose purpose is to create peace and resolve global crises.

Noted members of the Elders include President Jimmy Carter, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.The new alliance will be called the Elders and is the brainchild of British innovator Richard Branson and musician Peter Gabriel, former lead singer of Genesis.

Branson was a factor in the raising of the $18 million in funding over the next three years for the alliance.

Other members of the Elders include Ela Bhatt, an Indian women's rights campaigner; former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland; Li Zhaoxing, a former Chinese envoy to the U.N. who worked in Africa; Mandela's wife, Graca Machel, a longtime campaigner for children's rights; former Irish President Mary Robinson; and Bangladeshi micro-credit pioneer Muhammad Yunus.

An empty chair stood for Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi who was invited but is currently under house arrest by the country's military junta.
My haircut is $13. Did you really want to know this? I'm tired of the media talking about the price of John Edwards haircut. Can't we talk about poverty in the US? Yes, poverty -Not how much money the presidential candidates are raising. That's not going to help us solve the problems in our society. No wonder we keep having bad hair days. It's the news media.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Be sure to pick-up The ATLANTIC magazine. The Special Fiction Issue. On the newsstands now.
The last article in the magazine is "Where Great Writers Are Made" by Edward J. Delaney.
This article will give you the ratings of the creative writing programs around the country. Are you interested? What's your assessment of the top graduate writing programs?
Weather forecast?
If it rains today Rihanna won't be under my umbrella. How can this woman have a hit record?
Is she trying to purr while saying um brel la?
Where is the talent scout? Instead of singing in the rain some of these sisters need to sing in the shower. By themselves. Rihanna sounds like a fish that can't swim.
Yesterday's Mailbox:

I received the latest issue of 5 AM. This is the fun poetry magazine edited by Ed Ochester and Judith Vollmer.
Website: www.5ampoetry.com
People I know in this new issue include: Chris Green, Tim Mayo, Alicia Ostriker and Liam Rector.

From Pete Davis - a new CD- SHORT HAND, TOWARD ORANGE
Website: www.Artisnecessary.com
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band is what this sounds like to me. Listen to "Everything."

Kendra Kopelke, co-editor of Passager Books (in Baltimore) sent me a copy of IMPROVISE IN THE AMEN CORNER by Larnell Custis Butler. This is a book of poems and portraits. On the back of her book, Butler writes:

I am hearing-impaired, but I'm good at looking at people. I see a nose here, eyes there, I remember my mother's friends, and I put itall together. I love the styles of the forties, so I'll draw lace, a brooch, a hat...
My mother was a fine seamstress and seed all her clothes by hand. Her stitches were perfectly straight and all the same length. I try to imitate her stitches in my drawings. I was born with the divine gift of "sight and touch" - a blessing that can clean or destroy.
THE E TUBE CAN NOW BE SEEN: www.eethelbertmiller.com/etube

Send comments to: emiller698@aol.com

On June 23, 2000 at the Howard Community College Television, Columbia, Maryland, I conducted a 30 minutes interview with Sekou Sundiata. This program was made possible by the Howard County Poetry and Literature Society (HoCoPoLitSo) and was an edition of The Writing Life series. The interview provides a wonderful overview of Sekou's career. If you are interested in obtaining a copy contact - information@hocopolitso.org or visit their website at

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Must reading in The New Yorker - "A Bolt From The Blue" by Oliver Sacks. What a strange but interesting article. A guy gets knocked down by lightning and suddenly a few days later his head is filled with music. This made me think about this morning when I was down on K Street at the Neurology Center. There I was getting my head and body checked out -- a tune by Donovan lingering inside my soul. What's wrong with me? More tests to take. It looks like my brain will have to sweat under a doctor's eye in August. Or is it just something China in my diet?
Don't you just love those polar bears and penguins on the cover of THE NEW YORKER (July 23). I remember those hydrants in the South Bronx. This was before someone put those silly little sprinklers on them. The "bad" kids in the neighborhoods would open a hydrant and get a beer can and shoot the water up against the buildings across the street. The pros could target any kid and bop a spray on his head like they were breaking up a Civil Rights demonstration in Birmingham instead of a street in the Bronx. One kid who wore an Iroquois haircut caught me one day and I cried and wet my pants but everything was also wet so why tell until now. Oh - the heat of it. The summer before the Supremes wore wigs.
I can't keep a straight face when I watch Fran Townsend on television. She's the president's homeland security advisor. This woman sounds like one of those presenters on the first floor of a hotel when you can't find the restroom. You pass an open door and you see people sitting, listening to this woman talking. Someone turns around and winks at you. It's another way of saying I wish I was in the the hall too. Townsend seems to be struggling with presentations that someone helped her write behind the curtain. No way you want this woman talking to you on 9/10 or 9/12.
DARK CLOUDS - Get Back! DadahdoodahDa!

The sun fell down today and we lost Sekou Sundiata. May his voice and poetry give us the strength to place the sun back where it belongs. Sekou's work gave birth to brightness. Let it comfort us as we struggle with the darkness we now find ourselves in.

"Deep, dazzling and down to it,
the spectacular poet,
Sekou Sundiata,
lifts and carries you
a visionary way away
on the wings of this utterly distinctive, new
and furthering-the-tradition
gifts of beautiful poems
landing on holy ground"

- June Jordan

In my files there is a letter Sekou wrote to me back on March 13, 1990. In his last paragraph he said, "I hope things on your end are cool. I know you are as busy as ever. I heard you are no longer just a black man, that you've finally incorporated yourself as a force of art." I want to remember my brother Sekou Sundiata as a FORCE OF ART. I want his art to breathe forever in our lives. Farewell Sekou, Farewell. As Smokey once said in a song - YOU MUST BE LOVE.
Terrorist Attack in DC?

Check the front page of the Metro Section (B1). Read the article "Hummer Owner Gets Angry Message." Gareth Groves's Hummer was parked in the 3400 block of Brandywine Street. It was OK until two masked men took a bat to every window and knifed the tires. They also scratched into the body of the car "FOR THE ENVIRON."

Masked men? What type of features were they hiding? Why isn't this a terrorist act?Why are some of the neighbors happy this took place? Who do we associate with Hummers? It seems folks like to bash if they believe they have a right to bash. What if KKK or a Swastika was written on the Hummer? What would be the response? It's like when abortion clinics were bombed. No one wanted to mention it was terrorism.

So what if I decide to harm the pork in the Supermarket this afternoon? Will the vegetarians applaud?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

In sickness and in health?
I read about the new blood pressure medicine I'm taking. It's a good thing I'm not a pregnant woman. Taking these pills could result in birth defects. OK- what's on the next line? Oh- possible damage to one's kidney too. Hmmm. Who makes this stuff.?I'm certain after three months of taking this stuff my inside will rust. Is orange urine another symptom of something wrong? We take so many risks trying to stay well.
Poet Lore Note:

The last issue of Poet Lore magazine was so popular that we only have 5 archival copies left.
Be sure to get the next one: http://www.writer.org/
From Elaine Elaine:

From Bret Primack:

It was forty years ago today that John Coltrane died, yet his influence remains profound. A new film by Bret Primack, "Like Sonny" -- part six of the ongoing Sonny Rollins Podcast series -- celebrates the life and music of this remarkable creator by detailing the story of Trane's unique friendship with Rollins. The film's title is from a song Coltrane wrote about Rollins, taking the melody from a phrase he heard Sonny play.

The thirteen-minute documentary features interviews with Sonny Rollins, Jimmy Heath, and Paul Jeffrey; an excerpt from a 1960 radio interview with John Coltrane; and video performances by Trane and Sonny.

Bret Primack produces performance and documentary videos that are all over the web: on artist/label websites, his video Blog Bird Lives, and YouTube. He also syndicates his videos to blogs and other music sites. As of July 1, 2007, Bret has posted one hundred and forty videos with over one million combined views.
View "Like Sonny"
Check out Bret's Other Videos
Visit Planet Bret
You have to love this woman. A First Lady for sure: Elizabeth Edwards.
Comment made about Senator Clinton in www.Salon.com:

On the issues that are important to women, she has not ... well, healthcare, that's enormously important to women, all the polls say, and what she says now is, we're going to have a national conversation about healthcare. And then she describes some cost-saving things, which John also supports, but she acts like that's going to make healthcare affordable to everyone. And she knows it won't. She's not really talking about poverty, when the face of poverty is a woman's face, often a single mother. She gave that speech on abortion a few years ago [saying abortion should be "safe, legal and rare"].

Look, I'm sympathetic, because when I worked as a lawyer, I was the only woman in these rooms, too, and you want to reassure them you're as good as a man. And sometimes you feel you have to behave as a man and not talk about women's issues. I'm sympathetic -- she wants to be commander in chief. But she's just not as vocal a women's advocate as I want to see. John is. And then she says, or maybe her supporters say, "Support me because I'm a woman," and I want to say to her, "Well, then support me because I'm a woman." The question is not so much how she campaigns -- that's theater. The question is, what does her campaign tell you about how she'll govern? And I'm not convinced she'd be as good an advocate for women. She needs a rationale greater for her campaign than I've heard. When she announced her candidacy she said, "I'm in it to win it." What is that? That's not a rationale.
Maybe the best thing going on with the current campaigns are the music videos. I like the Obama Girl. Her encounter with Guiliani Girl is clever too.
Tune to: www.barelypolitical.com
National Security:

The recent earthquake in Japan and the damaged to the nuclear plant in Kashiwazaki should put increased attention on the need for nuclear safety around the world.

According to an article in the New York Times today there is a backlog of 2.9 million passport applications. Whew...
More sports:

Congrats to Griffey who hit his 587th homer. He is now in 6th place on the career list.
I thought G would be injured by now. It would be nice if he could play the entire season.

Bonds is talking about tired legs.
Ah- the drama. BB was hanging out with JJ (Jesse Jackson).
JJ said:

"Sometimes we fall down. Sometimes we're knocked down. But the ground is no place for a champion. So we rise up."

Jackson can sound like Ali one moment and Angelou the next.
Will the big television hit this fall be - BIONIC WOMAN?
Checkout on NBC- September 26th. 9 PM.

Ichiro Watch:
Ichiro didn't miss a game. 2 hits yesterday against Baltimore.
Peace Talks?

Shouldn't we have been looking for a political solution in Iraq - months ago???
Shouldn't we have been holding Palestinian/Israeli/US talks- months ago???
The World must be a Cub fan.
So you didn't sleep well last night. There's only one question on your mind. What do the terrorists want? Well, you look across the bed and you realize it's not your wife or husband.
You're not a rich person, so it can't be your money. You don't live near any borders so you know it can't be Texas the terrorists want. So you slap your head or maybe bang it against a wall - now what? Well, let's see. The terrorist's trap is bigger than Iraq. Right now the bad guys seem to be hanging out in Pakistan and Afghanistan. But as we too often know in our own neighborhood - every block has a bad guy or somebody walking around without an elevator in their heads. But let's put the jokes aside and get down to some simple basics. The kind of stuff those television pundits never seem to want to discuss. We are in a struggle with Islam. You can define the type, branch, the historical roots, etc. Islam is as popular today as it must have been during the Crusades. At times Islam embraces nationalism but too often it just skips around like someone doing a Google search. The faith is one of the largest in the world. Today it seems as if a small minority has "hijacked" this religion. Embracing Islam is an easy way to oppose the cultural imperialism of the West. You don't have to be a very pious person to reach the conclusion that maybe some of the movies coming out of Hollywood might contain negative images. So now you understand why it might be a good idea to pray five times a day. Six if you have to look at some of the stuff on cable. Many terrorists would like everyone to live under Islamic law. This is close to bringing back Divine rule and hail to king. It's almost going with the one book - and that would be the Quran. Some Muslims feel that Islamic law would clean up the mess we are in. But what about the restrictions? No soccer in Somalia? Knock down the Buddha monuments in Afghanistan? It's not a pretty picture. Let's not even talk about sex. Pleasure might be reduced down to saying prayers. But out of respect - maybe this is how some people might want to live.
No problem there. But here comes a Jihad or two. Now - someone wants you to obey certain Islamic laws. It's like a big kid taking away your marbles at the end of the day. You sit on the corner crying for democracy and your daddy is across town at work. Back in those days you believed in comic books and superheroes. You knew Captain America would save you - just as you knew your name was Bucky. Right?

Monday, July 16, 2007


"Iraq is better without Saddam Hussein than with Saddam Hussein. Without a doubt."
- Mario Vargas Llosa

All I can say is that I was in Iraq when Hussein was in power and I'm still here today. Geez.
Things were bad under Hussein but look at the country now. Look at all the people who are refugees. How many dead? How many wounded? Llosa should write fiction and let the Iraqi people speak for themselves.
Good neighbor Sam:

Sam Perryman
My interview with David Mura:

Quote of the Day:

Discrimination seems to act as a source of chronic stress the same way that marital conflict or strains at work do, increasing the stress hormone cortisol, raising blood pressure, and suppressing the immune system. High stress also has been linked to overeating or smoking.
When African-Americans are shown a racially provocative scene on television, their blood pressure and heart rates rise. A yet-to-be published study by Elizabeth Brondolo, a psychologist at St. John's University in New York found that racism experienced in the day led to elevated blood pressure at night, suggesting the body can't turn off its stress response.

Boston Globe - July 15th
New book from Samuel R. Delany:
Dark Reflections (Carroll & Graf) $15.95.

New book from Henri Cole:
Blackbird and Wolf (Farrar Straus Giroux)

Ichiro was injured yesterday. Hit by a pitch. :-(
How many games might he miss?

Good to see Chamique Holdsclaw moving beyond basketball. Happiness is more than 2 pts.

My son's team (Widener U) won yesterday. They are now 5-2 in their summer league.
Widener plays in DC on November 23/24 - mark your calendars.
Pound for pound and word for word, journalist Wil Haygood is the best. Checkout that profile of Simeon Booker "The Man From Jet" that ran in yesterday's Washington Post Magazine. The picture of Mamie Bradley (Emmett Till's Mom) will stop you too.

I'm glad to see John Edwards back in New Orleans and embarking on his southern tour that will try to put the focus on poverty. We have an unfinished Civil Rights Agenda. We need to go back and study King's last year (1967-1968). What was he trying to do? Poor People's Campaign. Yes - and that's why I've said in a couple of old E-Notes that we need "The March of The Saints" to organize people to walk from New Orleans to DC. To get Congress to act NOW not later.
While Edwards is trying to put the focus on poverty, the media only wants to discuss how much money candidates are raising. This makes it seem like nothing but a game. It's not about donors - it's about improving the lives of the many and not just the few.
Bill Moyers' eulogy for Lady Bird Johnson

Saturday, July 14, 2007

I'm back to reading Mabry's biography of Condoleezza Rice. Much one can learn from in this book.

6 packets of Poet Lore submissions to read today. A manuscript to read and blurb. I wrote a new poem today - so that's always a good feeling.


With no end to the war in sight
I've started doing old people things
Sitting and looking out windows for hours
Taking walks instead of jogging
Forgetting about sex before sex forgets about me
I pay more attention to flowers
and an occasional bird

I now do what the old folks do
I count my blessings
I shake my head when I watch the news
or when young people cuss and drive by
I know we didn't always talk this way
When did we become suicide bombers and terrorists?
When did the old world disappear?

- E. Ethelbert Miller
New Release from IPS:

Cool John Feffer pulled this baby together. John is the genius behind Foregin Policy In Focus:
Anyone running for president should read this publication. Everyone who plans to vote should read it too.
Contact IPS for your copy: www.ips-dc.org
Today we had the dedication of the poems that will be at the Dupont Circle Metro station. It was a nice affair. Council member Jim Graham wanted to honor the caretakers of people who have died from AIDS. Walt Whitman's poem "The Dresser" and my poem "We Embrace" were selected. Much credit has to go to Michael McBride who is the Art in Transit Manager working with the Washington Metro. The project should be completed next month.

While in the kitchen this afternoon (putting dishes away), I heard an excerpt of Bill Moyers comments at Lady Bird Johnson's funeral. Oh, Moyers words were so well crafted. Try to hear or read his speech. The writing was just fantastic. What a tribute to a former first lady. Do you remember when people wanted Moyers to run for president? The guy might be too smart for the office. I remember doing a poetry program with him in Washington; the guy is a gentle spirit. A good human being.

Poor China. Can China Be Fixed? This is the cover story of the July 23rd issue of Business Week. Who else will be executed? Someone needs to look into all this recent China trade in Africa. Might Africans be getting bad toothpaste too? Black communities are too often dumping grounds for bad products. Once again it looks like capitalism is walking around with a black eye and sore back.

In the mail today was Wiletta Ferdinand's KATRINA MADE ME WRITE IT. Wiletta wrote this book for the people of New Orleans. Her voice is the voice of many. The pictures she took of her home will make you cry. Still you will find the rebuilding here...the moving forward out of the storm. I'm slowly pulling together my research for my Katrina presentation in Norway in September. I need to have everything completed by the middle of August. If there are any books or articles you think I should read, drop me a note at : emiller698@aol.com

Well, I've been sick the last few days. A bad virus. I need to be more careful. Many thanks for folks checking on me - especially Julia G and Ginger G.

Nothing but resting come Sunday. God always has a good idea.

Friday, July 13, 2007


I'm still trying to raise money for the Reetika Vazirani tribute at the Vermont Studio Center.
We have yet to reach our goal of $5000.
If you can make a donation - please send it to:

Gary Clark
Director, Writing Residencies
Post Office Box 613
Johnson, VT 05656


A commemorative plaque with Reetika's name will be place in one of the new writing studios at the Vermont Studio Center. Help remember Reetika by making a donation. Some people made a pledge but have yet to send money. Don't forget.

July 16th will mark the 4th year of Reetika's departure.

August 9th is Reetika Vazirani's birthday.

Remember a friend and fellow poet.
More sports:

So the Lakers re-sign Luke Walton to a six-year deal. Well that's six more years Kobe won't see the NBA finals. Where is this team going to go with Luke? Pass the bible and pick another name.
It's Friday 13th...so where should I start?

Nook Logan leading off for the Nats is a bad joke.
How long will this guy be in the majors.

I was out this morning and bumped into Al Haig. Omen?
Go figure.

I arrived at Howard and discovered guys replacing old light bulbs in the African American Resource Center. Juneteenth in July? I was almost sitting in complete darkness. Does this mean the new HU president is on his/her way? Light at the top of Founders?

Artist Alexis Peskine has a big review in the NY Times today. Peskine had a show at Busboys last year. He's also the guy who painted my head that's in the HU Bookstore mural on Georgia Avenue. Congrats Alexis. The review in the NY Times is for the show "The French Evolution: Race, Politics & the 2005 Riots." The show is up until September 9th at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, 80 Hanson Place, Fort Greene, Brooklyn.
718 230-0492.

Good news this 13th:

I was invited to participate in the 2007-2008 Georgetown University Poetry and Seminar Series. The date of my reading will be March 11th at 8PM.

Mag Notice:

Fast Al (Gore) is on the cover of FAST COMPANY (July/August 2007).
I like this magazine.

Ichiro Watch on the 13th:
Bad news. Looks like a small slump. 0-4 last night against Detroit.
Must be that All-Star buzz buzz still in his system.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Poor Katie Couric. But what did you expect? Go back and see E-Notes for October 11, 2006.
Permanent Tribute
Engravings to honor HIV/AIDS caregivers
by Will O'Bryan
Published on July 12, 2007
Printer-Friendly version

Those volunteers and caregivers who have responded to the calls of the HIV/AIDS crisis will soon be getting a permanent tribute. On July 14, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities and City Councilmember Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) will dedicate the tribute, which consists of two engravings.

In the circular, granite entrance above the north entrance to the Dupont Circle Metrorail Station, will be engraved an excerpt from ''The Dresser,'' a poem by Walt Whitman, the famed gay poet who lived from 1819-92. Whitman's name is incorporated into Whitman-Walker Clinic, the D.C. clinic founded in 1973 initially as the Gay Men's VD Clinic. Graham, who initiated this project, has a long history with the clinic, having served as clinic president, executive director, and on its board of directors.

The second portion of the tribute will be a contemporary poem, ''We Embrace,'' written by Howard University Professor E. Ethelbert Miller. Miller's poem will be inscribed on the sidewalk above the station.

The July 14 dedication ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. at the station entrance at Connecticut Avenue and Q Street NW.
People keep saying that all hell might break loose if US troops withdraw from Iraq. Where do they think hell is?

It seems as if in th 21st century we are moving from the old cold war curtain to the hot war veil.
Key nations to watch might be Pakistan, Algeria and Turkey. The battle is shaping up around how society is going to be govern. Keep an eye on how culture is handle in the middle of political and religious conflicts. If the artists are being targeted you know where the leak in the levee is.
Anyone not wanting to give young girls education need to be poked in the ribs. The separation of church and state is key if we are to maintain our identity as Americans. And then it all comes down to sex. Why do folks have such problems with sexual matters? Why do we want to keep hiding the body or showing too much of it? Why does sex have so much power? Why do some people feel they have to keep sex in check? Repressive societies always seem to have sexual headaches. What's wrong with pleasure? How many people still want to make love only in the dark? What year is this?
Quote of the Day:

When presidents have screwed up and want to console themselves, they think history will give them a second chance. It's the historical equivalent of a presidential pardon.

- Maureen Dowd
Bill Clinton has a new book coming out on September 4th. The title is GIVING: HOW EACH OF US CAN CHANGE THE WORLD. The publisher is Knopf.
Will this outline what he will do in the "new" Clinton White House? Will we call him Sir Bill or First Bill? Who will escort him to various social events?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

More Plutzik:

You are invited to a special screening of
HYAM PLUTZIK American Poet

Click Here for details.

20 West Broadway
Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania 18229
4:00 P.M.

Post-screening panel discussion and reception.
Edward Moran of Jim Thorpe

Bernie and Sarina Berlow
Karen Blomain
Miriam Kiss
Edward Moran

What's Going on?

Race and Class in Hip Hop and Theater
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Mead Theater at Flashpoint
916 G Street NW
Moderator: Yvonne Bynoe is an author and founder of Hip Hop Decoded, a monthly e-newsletter for people who use Hip Hop to educate and to empower. She is also a Senior Fellow at the Future Focus 2020 Center at Wake Forest University.

Panelists:Dr. Jared Ball, editor Journal of Hip Hop and Global Culture,Head Roc, artist,Marcella Runell, co-author-The Hip Hop Education GuideBook,David Dower, Artistic Associate-Arena Stage,Quique Aviles, poet, actor and community activist.
Ichiro Watch:

On an All-Star night when McCovey Cove was filled with kayaks hoping for a souvenir from hometown hero Barry Bonds, Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki stole the spotlight.http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118416962351463401.html?mod=djemFIX

I'm loving it.
While in Rochester I saw a few highlights from the 8 part series THE BRONX IS BURNING (ESPN). It's about 1977 in New York - The Yankees. John Turturro plays Billy Martin. Give this guy an award right now. Awesome.
So you want to be President of the US?

Here are questions we should be asking all of the candidates:

1. What is going to be our foreign policy after Iraq? Where should we place our focus?
2. Under what conditions would you send US troops back into war? Is it possible? Especially taking into consideration the present state of our military. How do we rebuild the US forces? Are there plans to develop a new playbook for combating terrorism? What did we learn from Iraq?
3. If there was another terrorist attack on US soil - how should our nation respond?
4. What if the next terrorist attack inside the US was linked to a Muslim group with no overseas ties?
5. How do we continue to fight terrorism while protecting American civil liberties and institutions?
6. Who would you select to be your secretary of state, defense and national security advisor?
7. Would you undertake a critical examination of the Bush Administration for national security reasons? What mistakes did the administration make? If the Bush Administration was misled by intelligence that wasn't accurate, how do we prevent this from happening again?
8. How should the US respond to the challenge of Islamic law and its advocates?

Well, I have more questions but I don't have a television or radio show. Do you think I could take Katie's place? The E doing Evening news? Nah - too many folks want the poetry and not the news these days.

Oh, I missed the funeral. Sorry. Did the N word have any close relatives? I didn't see Uncle MF
in the crowd. What is sad about all this is how the Black Middle Class will organize silly ceremonies when they don't know what to do. Folks still need housing in New Orleans and
someone is using wood for this? All I can say is N - please!
So back to Rochester. I had a nice flight out of DC last Saturday. I sat on the plane next to an 88 year old WW II Veteran. What a wonderful conversation we had during the trip. We talked about WWII, the US Navy, politics, etc. The guy was so sweet- the type of elder I would like to be one day. In Rochester (where one of the terminals is named after Frederick Douglass) I met Ed Moran. Ed was responsible for inviting me to Rochester to speak at the Rochester Jewish Film Festival. He was the literary researcher for the film about the poet Hyam Plutzik. You can learn more about Plutzik by going to the website: http://www.hyamplutzikpoetry.com/

After checking into our hotel rooms we went to a nearby restaurant and got some lunch. It was there that I ran into an old friend - poet Vincent F. A. Golphin. Vincent has a new chapbook out - LIKE A DRY LAND. The poems were an outgrowth of a trip he took to the Middle East. You can order the book from FootHills Publishing: http://www.foothillspublishing.com/pop/id127.htm.

After lunch, Ed and I went over to the University of Rochester and met with librarian and curator Phyllis Andrews. Phyllis is the person who handles the special collections. She pulled items from the Plutzik collection. There are about 37 boxes. Phyllis is the type of librarian you just want to tuck inside your heart. I think this woman just didn't have a halo because it was Saturday.

From the University - Ed and I went to visit Tanya Plutzik. Tanya is Hyam's widow. She is the star of the film HYAM PLUTZIK: AMERICAN POET by Christine Choy and Ku-Ling Siegel.
Walking into Tanya's home was like being in the movie. The woman is gracious, funny and super- lovely.

On Sunday afternoon the Rochester Jewish Film Festival - kicked off at The Little Theater.
A good gathering of folks - a success for Moran who worked hard at pulling everything together.
In the old days we would call this a Kodak moment.


Treve de blues
- Leon Damas



July 11, 2007
Dear Ethelbert,

I am just back from teaching at the yearly conference at Skidmore of The International Women's Writing Guild, which hundreds of women attend, and where an extraordinary array of workshops are offered. I want to let your readers know about my website, http://www.anyaachtenberg.com/. They will find useful discussion about the process and issues of writing, for writers across the genres, with one or more writing explorations suggested in every blog.

Here, I want to bow down to the power of the wrenching state of the world to pull out of us the very things that we must do. In this vein, after years of teaching and writing which have pushed me to bring together the most intimate workings of the creative process with a recognition of the deep hunger for peace and justice present in every part of the world and in every literature, I am, at last, beginning work on a book on writing for social change. Over the years I have developed and taught my Writing for Social Change: Re-Dream a Just World Workshops, so named with thanks to Nigerian writer Ben Okri, for in his novel The Famished Road, his main character and narrator says, after watching his father sleep for three days straight after a terrible wrestling match, "He was redreaming the world as he slept."

I never forgot that, and it was somewhere in the files of the heart/mind/soul, and popped out when I began to name the 3 sections of my writing for social change courses: Re-Dream a Just World; Place and Exile / Borders and Crossings; and Yearning and Justice: Writing the Unlived Life. I know that there are a million paths into writing that, in every word, holds a yearning for justice; writing that undoes itself and reforms itself into a performance of truth that must be listened to. Years of teaching that helped bring people into voice also helped me understand the subtle ways language can gather itself into repeating defeat, repeating ugliness, sealing itself up in history without even an exit wound. And this made me think more on ways to really galvanize our work for change, without ignoring the ugliest truths, without forgetting to celebrate the human spirit. Writing as the work of both the warrior and the healer; writing as resistance, as courage; writing as surrender to hope. Writing that rediscovers language and voice.

So what I did in my teaching is to place the craft and concepts of writing back in some historical and political context, back in a spiderweb of association that helped me see, and teach, the elements of poetry and story and voice, in a way that people could grab them as their own tools, perfect in the hand, at home in the heart, on fire with their truths. These workshops, which I have taught in many places throughout the country, are beyond “effective”. They open the voice, the story, the very activity of the brain and heart, to bring the writer fully into the world; to bring forward stunning and urgently needed writing. So, know that I will be writing a book that brings together the work I have been doing on writing for social change. I think this work is urgently needed, so please think about arranging a Re-Dream a Just World Workshop in your area.

By the way, I just read a fantastic review of Taproot, the latest book of poetry by Indigo Moor, a participant at Cave Canem and a friend of mine, at http://thepedestalmagazine.com/Secure/Content/cb.asp?cbid=5157. The review not only gave a sense of the book and its power, but also placed it within a larger context, giving a real sense of the larger literary and cultural world the poems are connected to. I'm waiting for my copy, and urge your readers to get their own (http://www.indigomoor.com/ for more information).

Please check my website, http://www.anyaachtenberg.com/. If you are interested in my workshops, or in working individually with me, please let me know: anya@anyaachtenberg.com

Bio Note:

Anya Achtenberg is an award-winning fiction writer and poet. Her last poetry collection was The Stone of Language, and she has recently completed a novel about the successive displacements from the land in the Midwest, and how history sits in us. Anya is working on her second novel, about a young Cambodian woman born of an African American father at the moment the bombing of Cambodia begins, and on a new collection of poems. She teaches creative writing and does manuscript critiques and individual consultations with writers. She does national workshops in fiction and memoir; on deepening characterization; and on writing for social change.

Ichiro Watch:
MVP of the All Star Game. Nuff said. Inside the park homerun and he wasn't even running fast.
The guy is number 1 in my sports book.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Interview with Michael Moore about SICKO:
Things to Do:

The Cap Fringe Festival: July 19-July 29
Red Mosque down in Pakistan.
You keep wondering when things are going to fall apart in. A bad case of Pak man? Keep an eye on Islamic student movements around the world. Radical Islam coming out of the classroom/colleges and mixing with a dictator and we might move backwards in time. What could be taking place right now is the changing of borders and boundaries - where faiths collide.
Constantinople anyone?
New Music:

I'm listening to CIBELLE.

Thanks Lorrie for sending me this CD.
Quote of the Day:

I think people like me. I don't think people dislike me. I don't.

- Barry Bonds
News from my friend Sally Ashton:

We are pleased to announce the release of the Spring&Summer2007 issue of the DMQ Review featuring the poetry of Neil Aitken, Shurooq Amin, Arlene Ang, E. Louise Beach, Traci Brimhall, Christopher Cunningham, Dana Elkun, John W. Evans, Jody Helfand, Ron Klassnik, Jennifer K. Sweeney, Jennifer Wallace, and Joe Wilkins with artwork by Robyn York.

In collaboration with Peter Davis, editor of Poet’s Bookshelf: Contemporary Poets On Books That Shaped Their Art, Barnwood Press, 2005 (www.barnwoodpress.org), the DMQ Review is also pleased to present the work of poet Lisa Jarnot as Winter’s Featured Poet. This includes his Poet’s Bookshelf excerpt as well as a selection of new poems.

Poet’s Bookshelf is an exciting collection of responses from some of America’s leading contemporary poets discussing the 5-10 books most essential to their development. Each thoughtful response provides both young and veteran poet insights into the creative process and underlines the importance of reading in the life of any successful writer.

Check it out, www.dmqreview.com

Sally Ashton, Editor in Chief
Associate Editors: Mary Donnelly, Kelsea Habecker, Marjorie Manwaring,
Assistant Editor: Martha Kinney
Features Editor: Peter Davis

Monday, July 09, 2007

Well I'm heading back to DC today. Since Saturday I've been in Rochester, New York. I was here for the opening of the Rochester Jewish Film Festival and the screening of the movie about the life of Hyam Plutzik. More details when I get back home.

I read a good short story - "Traveling" by Grace Paley. It's in her new book (with Robert Nichols). HERE AND SOMEWHERE ELSE published by The Feminist Press.

All-Star game tomorrow. Ichiro time?

Saturday, July 07, 2007

June Jordan's birthday is July 9th. Be sure to read her poems and essays. Write the political poem.

Nothing but meetings during the rest of July. Where did the summer go? The only way I can complete work on my memoir is by going away. Retreat time?

Look for the next E-Note to be on Monday.

Now's The Time For A Sunday Kind of Love. Be good to yourself and others.

Friday, July 06, 2007

The Van Man Cometh:

Book party and reading - A. Van Jordan - QUANTUM LYRICS: POEMS
July 22.
4-6 PM
Karibu Books: www.karibubooks.com
The Mall at Prince George's
3500 East West Highway
Hyattsville, MD.

The event is a D-Man production.
Are they talking about me or talking about someone else?


Deja vu or black all over again?
I missed this conference but how much did I miss?
Some people like to paint the same wall black. But as my mother would say - "we mean well."
Well Bite My...

Rapper Shad Moss - Bow Wow - Lil Bow Wow is asking $1.4 million for a Georgia country club home. BW is selling so he can find a bigger home and accommodate his six cars.
This was reported in The Wall Street Journal today.
Excessive? You make the call.
I. Liewis Libby Jr paid the $250,000 fine for his conviction on perjury and obstruction of justice charges. The payment was made with a cashier's check. Libby paid the money out of his own pocket.
Do you have $250,000 right now? How long would it take for you to get it? Will you ever see $250,000 this year?

Looking for work? You make the call.
P.J. Carlesimo is back coaching. This time for the Seattle SuperSonics.
As an NBA coach Carlesimo was 36-103 with Golden State.
Could you find a new job with this type of record? Who would hire you?
Can you imagine working for the State or Defense Department with this type of record?
Who hires these guys?
After G-Day comes 07/07/07.
These numbers come once every century.
What should we expect tomorrow?
Yesterday I received a copy of DUENDE by Tracy K. Smith from the Academy of American Poets. Smith's collection of poems won the James Laughlin Award in 2006. Keep an eye on this writer - I first heard her read in New York at a celebration for Poet's House. It was outside where New Jersey keeps an eye on Chambers Street. Smith was reading with those bards - Espada and Stein and maybe even Willie Perdermo was there.

"There was a sea in my marriage,
And air. I sat in the middle

In a tiny house afloat
On night-colored waves."

DUENDE is published by Graywolf Press: www.graywolfpress.org
Note from Al Gore:

Dear MoveOn members,

I've got some exciting news:

With the help of our friends at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, "Mother Earth," a Live Earth-affiliated event, is coming to Washington D.C. tomorrow.

If we want to show our elected leaders that Americans want real action to solve the climate crisis—nothing will make that more clear than thousands of people joining me at the concert tomorrow morning.

I'll be there at 10:30 a.m. and then some special friends of mine, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, will each perform a song and the classic blues band Blues Nation will take the stage.

The day will also feature Native American rock, funk, punk, reggae, gospel and Andean music in addition to films.

Be sure to arrive early—you won't want to miss the opening acts.
Event Details: A FREE 7/7/07 concert near the Capitol

When: Tomorrow, Saturday, at 10:00 a.m.
Where: Outdoors on the National Museum of the American Indian's Welcome Plaza at 4th Street and Independence Avenue SW, facing the U.S. Capitol.

On Google Maps:http://www.moveon.org/r?r=2743&id=10762-8449446-XjGNz5&t=1
7/7/07 is going to be an amazing day linking together 7 continents, over 100 artists and 2 billion people to "answer the call" to combat the climate crisis.

I'm looking forward to seeing you there.

Al Gore
I received my flight information today from Norway. I'll be heading back there in September. This time it will be to attend an international literary conference in Stavanger. I'll be reading poems, introducing poets Toni Blackman and Martin Espada. I'll also be giving a 40 minutes talk on Katrina. It will be good to work on a new lecture. I have a number of ideas I need to pull together.

Yesterday I had a nice conversation with Keith Leonard (AU). Keith interviewed me for the Callaloo issue he is editing with Kyle G. Dargan. Their guest edited issue of the magazine is called "The Next Thirty Years of Callaloo."
And to think all this started back in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in December 1976. Congrats to Charles Rowell for being DuBoisian.
A profile of my friend Vineeta Gupta:



There are currently openings for volunteer newscasters, reporters and producers at WPFW-89.3FM. If you would like to be a part of a news team that is Progressive, Professional and Local, please contact WPFW News Director Askia Muhammad via e-mail at: muhammad_askia@wpfw.org

Happy Birthday Ginger-G.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Politics: Feed the Head

A good interview with Bill Sanders - Vice President of Marketing -BDA Sports, can be found in The Wall Street Journal today. See page B3A. Sanders is discussing the marketing of Greg Oden.
Here is a link to my friend Demetria Martinez's website:



Anne Becker, The Good Body (Finishing Line Press) http://www.finishinglinepress.com

Sarah Browning, Whiskey in the Garden of Eden (The Word Works) http://www.wordworksdc.com

Mike Maggio, deMOCKracy (Plain View Press) http://www.plainviewpress.net

Rosemary Winslow, Green Bodies (The Word Works) http://www.wordworksdc.com

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Ichiro Watch:

Tied for first in the AL in batting.
.369 average

Michael Eric Dyson is taking a position at Georgetown University. A good move by that school.
But what about Howard? Do they get draft picks? Any trades in the works? Miller to Mason?

Too many frequent flyer miles will give you those magazine points. So I decided to subscribe to VIBE. Yipes -the new issue arrived like strange gunfire down the street.There was nothing to read from cover to cover. Talk about a magazine that disappeared like a black person on U Street...
I remember when you could find an essay by Tate or Powell in those early issues. The current VIBE is 3/5th of a magazine. The return of slavery might be a subscription. Not a good vibe if you have freedom on your mind.


The political knowledge of the average voter has been tested repeatedly, and the scores are impressively low. In polls taken since 1945, a majority of Americans have beeen unable to name a single branch of government, define the terms "liberal" and "conservative," and explain what the Bill of Rights is. More than two-thirds have reported that they do not know the substance of Roe v. Wade and what the Food and Drug Administration does. Nearly half do not know that states have two senators and three-quarters do not know the length of a Senate term. More than fifty per cent of Americans cannot name their congressman; forty per cent cannot name either of their senators. Voters'notions of governnment spending are wildly distorted: the public believes that foreign aid consumes twenty-four per cent of the federal budget, for example, though it actually consumes about one per cent.

Excerpt from Louis Menand"s book review of THE MYTH OF THE RATIONAL VOTER: WHY DEMOCRACIES CHOOSE BAD POLITICS by Bryan Caplan.
The New Yorker, July 9 & 16, 2007.
Page 88.