Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Ichiro Watch: 3 hits this afternoon. Average .332.
Is every man a terrorist? Is every man a fool?
No surprise. Militiamen in Somalia took over a hospital. During these times of bombing mosques and burning churches, there is no sacred ground or place. So much is lost these days. My faith no longer has hands to lift me up. The world is too dark for light.
Lisa Page sent me copies of articles she has been writing for THE CRISIS magazine. The most recent one (May/June issue) is about Octavia Butler. Page also has written about the work of Zadie Smith.
Yesterday I received copies of Redmond's Drumvoices Revue. The mag is a box of chocolate, so much to taste. I'm happy my essay on Ahmos Zu-Bolton is included. This was the keynote talk I gave on November 10, 2005 at the University of Missouri-Columbia. One can order copies of the Revue for $10. Here is the address:

Drumvoices Revue
Department of English
Box 1431
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Edwardsville, IL. 62026-1431
(618) 650-3509

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Alternatives? I keep waiting. What about you?
Here is an upcoming conference - Campaign for America' s Future - TAKE BACK AMERICA CONFERENCE 2006, Washington, D.C. June 12-14, 2006.
For information, go to:

If you just want a side order of poetry go to the Writer's Center on Sunday, June 4th, from 2-4 PM. Poets Jeffrey Coleman and Elisavietta Ritchie will be reading.
For directions to the Center and other information check website:
I just put a call into Vertigo Books (Todd) and ordered a copy of Colson Whitehead's APEX HIDES THE HURT. I remember all the rave reviews Todd gave THE INTUITIONIST when it came out back in 1998. I first met Colson in October 2000. We were participating in the LIVE AT THE LIBRARY program that was part of the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville.
Also out there back then was Denise Chavez and Kevin Young.
Back from seeing the Meds. The first of two days of exams. Blood Pressure is back up. It most be the remains of those PoBoys I had in New Orleans. I need to watch the salt, excercise more and do all the don't and less the do.

I see where Anna Deavere Smith's latest project is writing the screenplay for Edward P. Jones's novel THE KNOWN WORLD. Wait for Race debates and mucho discussions about blacks and slavery when this baby is finished.
Can Ghana win the World Cup? This might be a nice way for the African nation to celebrate 50 years of independence. In a few days look for the change in fashion. Soccer outfits are in for the next 2 months. With so much nationalism kicking in the air folks will spend cash for it.

Rock throwing in Kabul. Whenever I see young boys running around doing this, I'm right back in the middle of Lord of the Flies. Geez. How much is it American occupation and how much is it pin the tail on the donkey. Hit the tank and get 5 pts.

Law and order is often a way of maintaining the status quo. Impossible to do in poor countries.
Redistribution of weath, land reform, economic development has to be placed on the agenda around the world. Then we have to look at the quality of life and cultural values. Do you want to live under Islamic law? What is democracy? What about the rights of minorities? If all this makes your head spin just thinking about it, then go outside and throw a rock. It won't solve anything and if it makes you feel good maybe you should be somewhere else making love. Put the rocks back and don't mess with the landscape unless you want to improve the quality of life.
Hatred is nothing but a bag of rocks.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Children's Studio School is having a fun night at Busboys and Poets tomorrow. 6 -8 PM
Celebrate the 29th anniversary of this institution which encourages young children of diverse cultures to explore. The school is located at 1301 V Street, NW right down the street from Busboys.

Talking about Busboys was that E and Ginger G having lunch there this afternoon? It looked like them. A good friendship is priceless. I wish them well.
Another nation in need of help:

Earthquake and tremors...a volcano about to erupt. Rain falling. Poor Indonesia. How many people around the world simply looking for a tent? Roll call of devastation:
Pakistan, Iran, oh and New Orleans.

Prayers won't change the climate but it can change your mind about things. I feel like a guy on a first date with Storm in that x-Men film.

We all might lose a home during our lifetime. We all might be survivors this year or next.
And we're going to have to serve somebody. Dylan in my head:

Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord.
The last two days I've been reading the 8 volume BUDDHA by Osamu Tezuka. Tezuka (1928-89) is considered to be the godfather of Japanese Manga Comics. Yes, the creator of Astro Boy.
For information on the BUDDHA series go to:
Don't miss Anu:

ANU==================================================================One-woman show `Capers at Busboys & Poets June 6th! “Like Anna Deavere Smith, Yadav inserts herself as a questioner/participant…with surprising ferocity.” - The Washington Post

OneDC Community Organizing and Popular Education Initiative presents'Capers a solo play about forced relocation and the human right to housing. Tuesday, June 6th 6-8PM@Busboys & Poets14th & V Street NW, Washington, DC$10 admission. written and performed by Anu Yadav, 2006 DC Mayor's Arts Award Winner for Outstanding Emerging Artist.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Ichiro Watch: 4 hits today. Average is at .327.
Ichiro Watch: 2 hits yesterday. He is leading the AL in hits with 66. Average is .316
"You might like to eat caviar, you might like to eat bread
You may be sleeping on the floor, sleeping in a king-sized bed
But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You're gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you're gonna have to serve somebody"
- Bob Dylan
Quake in Indonesia. On the front page of the Washington Post are two Muslims praying to God.
Nature will humble you. You look around for an explanation. Are you being punished because you didn't do right? Are you being punished as a challenge to your faith? Are you being punished because life makes everyone a sufferer? Are you being punished because maybe you should say your prayers six times a day instead of five? Are you being punished by the devil or by God?
Everybody has a prayer, everybody has an answer.
As I mentioned in E-Notes, the idea of a border is really becoming outdated. Be sure to read Moises Naim's essay in today's Washington Post (Outlook Section). Here is an excerpt:

"Governments and citizens are used to thinking of a real, physical place: a fence, a shoreline, a desert or a mountain pass. But while georgraphy still matters, today's borders are being redefined and redrawn in unexpected ways. They are fluid, constantly remade by technology, new laws and institutions, and the realities of international commerce - illicit as well as legitimate. They are also increasingly intangible, living in a virtual and electronic space."

Saturday, May 27, 2006

I received the latest issue of Black Issues Book Review. Hey - this mag needs to start all over again. Right now it's book-lite. I would only read it if I was on an airplane and didn't want to talk to the person sitting next to me. does prove one thing. There are many, many, awful black book covers out there. The art work on many of these jackets are one step up from the curb. Must be Ghetto Renaissance. I can only jump to the conclusion that the writing is bad too. The major problem with Black Issues is that they seldom introduce folks to "new or different" writers. I would buy this magazine if I saw A. Van Jordan, Giovanni Singleton, Honoree Jeffers, DJ Renegade, Cornelius Eady or Hank Lewis on the cover. I have issues with Black issues...and yes- that's my name on page 4 as a founding advisor. Well I have some more advice. Is anyone listening??
I went to the Nationals game this afternoon. FANtastic seat. I was a guest of the Sports & Entertainment Commission. Thanks Linda G. I was in the Mezz area next to the Press Box - front row. Plenty of food available. On the field the Nationals are playing well; making the plays. They lost however to the LA Dodgers.
Still it was good to be out and watching baseball in DC.

Oh -Did you read the Metro News story about the 5 teens who held up the Smoothie King in Montgomery County? It's always sad when young people get into trouble...but check this comment made by Pat E. a parent of a freshman at Whitman HS:

"I think children are often guilty of youthful indiscretions, and they make mistakes. Whitman has a stellar reputation as a stellar academic institution. You have five boys who did something stupid, and the school will play its role in helping them recover and move forward."

OK. Are the young people black or white? You make the call. Are we talking Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer? How many black kids are behind bars because of youthful indiscretions? Their lives are OVER. They can't move forward.

Now let's continue reading the newspaper article until we come to this statement:

"Although school officials say the students were never involved in trouble at school, at least three have police records."

So these kids have been getting into trouble before....same with some of those kids down at Duke. If you can get away with something the first time, you'll feel you can get away with anything in the future.

Is Mrs. E - aware of this?

So it's many years from now...these guys are CEOs. They continue to move foward with their lives...we pay the price. I hate reading race into things but people keep banging the drum.
Michael Moore having his Traverse City Film Festival again. July 31 - August 6.
Information: www.
It's not a clash of civilizations but instead a war between 2 worlds. How else to explain conditions in Mogadishu? What has happened in Somalia since 1991? Warlords like when you were watching an episode of Star Trek and they picked up life on another planet. Who is responsible for policing the Universe? We are talking about global warming as if this is one place. The earth isn't whole anymore in terms of time. Some people are living in the past while others have futuristic technology. So who are really the aliens these days? How do you save the spaceship?

Speaking of aliens...Michael Jackson will make his first public appearance in Japan at the MTV Japan's Legend Award. He is still working on his song about Hurricane Katrina. Does this guy work for FEMA now?

Friday, May 26, 2006

New show coming to Provisions Library:
Drawing Back-Cartoon Critiques of America, June 9- September 23, 2006
Opening reception is June 9th at 6PM
Cartoon Film Series, Friday July 7th at 7PM
1611 Connecticut Avenue, NW, 2nd Fl
Washington, D.C. 20009
I spent the evening relaxing and watching the Nationals defeat the Dodgers. The Nats are playing good ball right now. This looks like a wild card squad. I'm heading out to the RFK park for the Saturday afternoon delight.

He said he would turn her into Crisco if she tried to leave.
Fire in his eyes when he said it.
You-call the police and restrain his love.

In the store he found her and it was her that he wanted.
My mother cooked with Crisco,
did yours?

I remember how it would pop, sizzle and leap
from the frying pan and grab my mother’s

My mother wore Crisco bracelets that cut
her skin and left a mark. When I was little
she was the color of fried chicken.

At night I could taste her warmth.
During the day a hot strap left a taste
of tears in my eyes.

He pours his cries and anger over her
and sets her ablaze like Crisco. She hollers
and runs and spins from the store to the street.

She turns into Crisco.
Hair pulling her to heaven. She is the sun
blinding him even more.

- E. Ethelbert Miller
Statement from the historian Howard Zinn:

" The Democratic Party is pitiful. Not only are they not articulating a spiritual message, as Lerner says, they don’t even have a political message. The Democrats are tied to corporate wealth. And they are incompetent when it comes to understanding how to win elections."
Approximately 2, 400 veterans in Washington, D.C. were homeless in 2005. And nationally there were a nearly 195,000 homeless veterans last year.
According to the U.S.Conference of Mayor's 2005 Hunger and Homelessness survey, the leading cause of homeless throughout the country is "low paying- jobs.
Information from the latest copy of STREET SENSE (May 15th-June 14th):

- There are more than 9,000 homeless people on the streets of DC.
- 15% that use the city's homeless services are severely mentally ill. This consists of the following: schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, post-traumatic stress syndrome, and obssessive-compulsive disorder.
- 40% of people nationwide who experience chronic homelessness have substance-abuse disorders.
- 25% have some form of physical disability or disabling health condition.

How do we improve the conditions of these people? It's important that they not become invisible.
Opening - The Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center
3940 Broadway and 165th Street.
The Centor is located at the Audubon Ballroom, a building of historical significance since it is the sit of Malcolm X's assassination in 1965.
Upcoming PEN/FAULKNER 18th Annual Gala Celebration. Monday, September 25, 2006.
Call 202 636-8740 for information.
Readings by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Lisa Fugard, Jim Lehrer, William Henry Lewis, Richard Rodriguez, Roger Rosenblatt , et al.
The theme this year is "REVENGE."
New novel out from Marita Golden: AFTER
She is going to have a book party at BusBoys & Poets on May 31st at 6:30 PM.
I'm tinking with the "Crisco" poem. Will post another version of it over the weekend. Yesterday I attended a very good administrative meeting at IPS. This was followed by an excellent talk by Muhammad Adur Rahim on Islam. It was personal and informative. He provided a nice examination of some of the historical roots of the faith. Rahim is currently completing his Masters in History at Howard University. He reminds me of Mark Alleyne (from Barbados) who several years ago was a Rhodes Scholar and graduated from Howard. I think Mark might be teaching at UCLA these days. Rahim loaned me the spring issue of Islamica magazine. Must weekend reading.

I had a late lunch at the Olive Restaurant with Vineeta Gupta( who I simply adore). It was a meal mixed with laughter. Always so much to learn from her...

I headed to Politics & Prose where I read some Poet Lore packets. Doug Brinkley arrived around 7PM to promote and talk about his book THE LAST DELUGE. A full house. Doug makes one see history from the underside. It's people using what they have to make it. The Brink told many heroic stories of people fighting to live and survive in New Orleans. His book is critical and I think well written; it's one of those big books you can finish because you can't put it down. In his opening remarks Doug acknowledged me -making some Langston Hughes comparisons. I love the guy. He also saw Julian Bond in the audience. I spoke briefly to Bond, mentioning how I felt he had restored The Crisis magazine to a publication you want to read again.

I would go to more events at P&P except it's a long way home for me. I have to take the bus all the way downtown just to go back uptown. Geez- I felt like Vasco Da Gama sailing around Africa. Michael Dirda is going to be at the bookstore on June 13th.

Talking about upcoming events - PICASSO'S CLOSET a play by Ariel Dorfman is coming to the DC Jewish Community Center in June. You can reserve tickets on line or by calling (202) 234-9382. Tickets are $75, payable to IPS.

The play will be 3PM, Sunday, June 25th, at the DCJCC (1529 16th Street, NW).
After the performance there will be a conversation between the author and IPS Board Chair, E. E. Ethelbert Miller followed by a Cocktail reception.


Thursday, May 25, 2006


He said he would turn her into Crisco
if she tried to leave. There was fire in his eyes
when he said it. She believed it was best to
call the police to try and restrain his love that
was burning out of control. In the store where
she was shopping he found her and it was she
that he wanted. My mother cooked with Crisco.
Did yours? I remember how it would pop and
sizzle and leap from the frying pan and grab my
mother’s arms. My mother wore Crisco bracelets
that cut into her skin and left their mark. When
I was little I thought my mother was the color
of fried chicken. At night I would taste her
warmth and if I was bad a hot strap would
leave a taste that would tear the tears from my
eyes. He pours his cries and anger over her
and sets her ablaze like Crisco. She hollers
and runs and spins out of control from the
stove of the store into the street .
She turns into Crisco and her hair pulls
her to heaven. She is the sun blinding
him even more.

E. Ethelbert Miller
"Well, I think the problem is that artists are not a homogenous lot of people, and some of them are as rightwing and establishment as they can get, you know, so the role of the artist is not different from the role of any human being. You pick your side, and then you fight, you know?"
- Arundhati Roy

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Billy Collins reading this evening was great. He read a number of wonderful new poems. The Martin Luther King Jr, Memorial Library was packed. What a crowd. What a great program for the public library. Many thanks to the staff for inviting me to introduce Collins. Tomorrow night I'm heading over to Politics & Prose and listen to historian Doug Brinkley talk about the city of NO.

The Givens Collection sent me a list of the Charles Johnson items I recently donated. Hey...those folks work fast. I hope Charles gives the OK for me to also donate the letters I've received from him the last several years. I think they would help future scholars gain deeper insight into his life and work.

2 more submission packets for Poet Lore to read tonight. Tomorrow IPS business and some travel arrangements to make.
The battle for parking space outside churches will soon switch to educational battles around the city. The fight for good public schools will change the "color" of the school system. What was once broken will now be fixed. This was so predictable. With many young white couples moving into the city and becoming parents, look for more active parent groups and new principals around town. The first changes will take place at the elementary school level.The next DC Mayor will have to have an education plan. Check the Post today and you know that the "5" on the Black Hand side really don't have one. But maybe we can "tape" some of their ideas together and fix something. Here is how I ranked the candidates on the educational issue based on what's in the newspaper today:

Brown: 0. Back to school for him.
Cropp: She wants to increase funding to recruit and retain good teachers. ++
Fenty: Please don't appoint a deputy mayor for education. That's just giving 1 person a job. Use
the salary money to rehire the librarian at Coolidge.
Johns: She wants to expand UDC by building a career/technical campus in SE . ++++
Orange: He wants to put a laptop on every desk. ++++

Central LibraryEnoch Pratt Free Library. 400 Cathedral StreetBaltimore, MD 21201.Contact Information: Telephone: 410-396-5430. An Evening with John Hope Franklin. Mirror to America: The Autobiography of John Hope Franklin. Thursday, June 15th. 6 p.m.Central Library - Main Hall
R. David Paulison, acting director of Federal Emergency Management Agency recently said that people should take care of themselves if another hurricane hits. Hmmm. Well, I guess we did learn something from Katrina.
The World Cup starts June 9th in Germany. Who will be keeping score of racial incidents?
It's sad when an organization like the African Council in Germany has to develop a "no-go" area for people of color. You know you're oppressed when you have no "free" movement. Why do I need a white skin for a passport? Who created this game? Maybe I should be playing in the World Plate.
New book on June Jordan coming out in June:

Title: June Jordan: Her Life & Letters by Valerie Kinloch. ISBN: 0-275-98241-6Publisher: Praeger Press. Anticipated Publication Date: June 30, 2006.
I will be introducing former poet laureate Billy Collins at the King Library - 6:30 PM.
Collins last book is THE TROUBLE WITH POETRY (Random House, 2005)

"In the shadow of the statue,
I wondered about the others
who had simply walked through life
without a horse, a saddle, or a sword -
pedestrians who could no longer
place one foot in front of the other. "

- Billy Collins
Ichiro Watch: 2 hits again. Average: . 322.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

I attended the Henrik Ibsen Memorial Symposium at the Library of Congress. A wonderful event organized by my friend Bendik Rugaas (Counselor for Cultural Affairs at the Royal Norwegian Embassy). The Ambassador of Norway, H.E. Knut Vollenbaek opened the program. I listened to a couple of speakers talk about the importance of Ibsen's work. One was Jane Alexander, actress and former head of NEA. It was really nice to see her again. She spoke about Ibsen work from the perspective of an actress; very interesting.

At the symposium I also met Deanna Marcum who works as the Associate Librarian for Library Services. I liked her immediately and we both chuckled when I asked if the new poet laureate had been selected. Coming soon.

A small book SAID ABOUT IBSEN was handed out. It's a collection of essays by Norwegian writers on Ibsen.

I'm at the Provisions Library right now. Checking on Email and getting ready to train across town to a meeting with Lisa, Mike and Rachel about the Metro artwork/with my poem that will be placed in front of the Petworth Station (Green).

I spoke with Mwiza (Director of Information at TransAfrica Forum) who invited me to serve as Chair of the Arthur R. Ashe, Jr. Foreign Policy Library Anniversary Fundraiser. It will take place in October. More about this later...

Many thanks to Julia G. who sent me Brenda Mallon's A YEAR OF CREATIVITY: A SEASONAL GUIDE TO NEW AWARENESS. Where would I - E be without J? Thanks for the treat. Julia G. continues to work on editing a book of my interviews for future publication.

So no more Spurs. Thank God. I'm going with Dallas... All the way with Avery. I want to see how the Pistons play Wade this year.
Ichiro 2 hits. Average is .320.

Monday, May 22, 2006

This is what I keep telling folks. An excerpt from an interview with Galeano:

AMY GOODMAN: You don't believe in borders.EDUARDO GALEANO: No. I think that when the world -- perhaps one day the world, the world, our world, won't be upside down, and then any newborn human being will be welcome. Saying, "Welcome. Come. Come in. Enter. The entire earth will be your kingdom. Your legs will be your passport, valid forever." And for me, this is true also for words. I mean, the same thing with words, persons, words. I really believe in the universal dimension of human condition, not globalization, which is the universal dimension of money, but the universal dimension of our human passions.
I never learned how to dance because I always wanted to watch Dunham, now I'm left with Lena Horne singing "Stormy Weather" all by herself.

Dancer Katherine Dunham Dies at Age 96
> By SAMANTHA GROSS, Associated Press WriterMon May 22,
> 1:19 AM ET
> Katherine Dunham, a pioneering dancer and
> choreographer, author and civil rights activist who
> left Broadway to teach culture in one of America's
> poorest cities, has died. She was 96.
> Dunham died Sunday at the Manhattan assisted living
> facility where she lived, said Charlotte Ottley,
> executive liaison for the organization that preserves
> her artistic estate. The cause of death was not
> immediately known.
> Dunham was perhaps best known for bringing African and
> Caribbean influences to the European-dominated dance
> world. In the late 1930s, she established the nation's
> first self-supporting all-black modern dance group.
> "We weren't pushing `Black is Beautiful,' we just
> showed it," she later wrote.
> During her career, Dunham choreographed "Aida" for the
> Metropolitan Opera and musicals such as "Cabin in the
> Sky" for Broadway. She also appeared in several films,
> including "Stormy Weather" and "Carnival of Rhythm."
> Her dance company toured internationally from the
> 1940s to the '60s, visiting 57 nations on six
> continents. Her success was won in the face of
> widespread discrimination, a struggle Dunham
> championed by refusing to perform at segregated
> theaters.
> For her endeavors, Dunham received 10 honorary
> doctorates, the Presidential Medal of the Arts, the
> Albert Schweitzer Prize at the Kennedy Center Honors,
> and membership in the French Legion of Honor, as well
> as major honors from Brazil and Haiti.
> "She is one of the very small handful of the most
> important people in the dance world of the 20th
> century," said Bonnie Brooks, chairman of the dance
> department at Columbia College in Chicago. "And that's
> not even mentioning her work in civil rights,
> anthropological research and for humanity in general."
> After 1967, Dunham lived most of each year in
> predominantly black East St. Louis, Ill., where she
> struggled to bring the arts to a Mississippi River
> city of burned-out buildings and high crime.
> She set up an eclectic compound of artists from around
> the globe, including Harry Belafonte. Among the free
> classes offered were dance, African hair-braiding and
> woodcarving, conversational Creole, Spanish, French
> and Swahili and more traditional subjects such as
> aesthetics and social science.
> Dunham also offered martial arts training in hopes of
> getting young, angry males off the street. Her
> purpose, she said, was to steer the residents of East
> St. Louis "into something more constructive than
> genocide."
> Government cuts and a lack of private funding forced
> her to scale back her programs in the 1980s. Despite a
> constant battle to pay bills, Dunham continued to
> operate a children's dance workshop and a museum.
> Plagued by arthritis and poverty in the latter part of
> her life, Dunham made headlines in 1992 when she went
> on a 47-day hunger strike to protest U.S. policy that
> repatriated Haitian refugees.
> "It's embarrassing to be an American," Dunham said at
> the time.
> Dunham's New York studio attracted illustrious
> students like Marlon Brando and James Dean who came to
> learn the "Dunham Technique," which Dunham herself
> explained as "more than just dance or bodily
> executions. It is about movement, forms, love, hate,
> death, life, all human emotions."
> In her later years, she depended on grants and the
> kindness of celebrities, artists and former students
> to pay for her day-to-day expenses. Will Smith and
> Harry Belafonte were among those who helped her catch
> up on bills, Ottley said.
> "She didn't end up on the street though she was one
> step from it," Ottley said. "She has been on the edge
> and survived it all with dignity and grace."
> Dunham was married to theater designer John Thomas
> Pratt for 49 years before his death in 1986.
Here is a link to Susan Larson's article which appeared in the New Orleans newspaper yesterday:
So there was my son sitting in front of the television yesterday wearing his LeBron James jersey. I think it was the one Buddy Bev gave him. Poor son. I told him the Pistons were going to win before I went downtown to the DCJCC concert. I was wondering when the Pistons were going to remove the James red carpet to the basket. Do you think if you're still biting your nails you're ready for the NBA finals? Oh, and when will folks stop talking about the Jordan comparison. You have to win some championships in order to be close to Jordan. It's not about dunking and looking good going to the basket. It's about the will to win and the win. Oh, and look for the Pistons to defeat the Heat. Riley is so overated. Magic Johnson made this guy a winner. Magic wore the shorts while Pat wore the suits. Nothing but style. Nothing but hype.
Oh - and when will CC on the Clippers get some MVP points? Please send Nash and Duncan home tonight while I'm watching Jack take down the President on 24. Is Jack Democrat or Republican? And was that our First Lady with a gun in the last episode? I guess no one wants to select the White House china anymore.
Thank Papa for better Cuban/US relations. 20,000 documents relating to Ernest Hemingway are being sent by Cuba to the US to restore and digitize them. Efforts are being undertaken to restore the Museo Ernest Hemingway in Cuba.

Gilbert Sorrentino, poet and novelist died on Thursday. He was 77. The author of MULLIGAN STEW.
"The political system like the environment is nonlinear."
- Al Gore
So Bonds hits another home run. He passes Ruth and then that's it. Maybe 10 more home runs. No DH in the AL. Maybe some perjury charges are dropped, etc. Bonds will claim his body won't let him play another year. A good excuse for him. Maybe even Godfather Willie Mays is happy - this way Hank Aaron's record stands. Bonds historical place is between Aaron and Ruth. Do you think folks are going to remember him years from now? Nope. The steroids scandal will be a baseball footnote until maybe Pujols comes along and passes Bonds. This way everyone is happy. This is how the game is played off the field.

How will the game be played in New Orleans? So you've just been elected mayor - what are you going to do? Ray Nagin has been to Disneyland and back, so now he has to do something. What is he going to do? Walk the walk or talk the talk? Is this guy going to work or just be Pretty boy Ray? One can't do anything in NO without federal support. One can't do anything in NO unless you turnover a "chuck" of the city to developers and maybe Tulane University. Maybe Nagin might be good for the black middle-class that surrounds black politicians. Folks who might eat PoBoys but won't really think about the poor.
Look at how that other LA LA politician Jefferson put a scam on Africa. If you go back to old E-Notes, right after Katrina hit and folks started seeing behind the American poverty veil, I mentioned how we were confronted with the Unfinished Agenda of the Civil Rights Movement. Return to King's last year and noticed how he was trying to organize poor people. This is what Nagin needs to do. NO should be built from the bottom up and not the top down. It might mean looking for new Tourism equations. If you're working as a waiter, cook in some big hotel, or any other business you need to be able to invest in the company. Black folks in NO need some serious health coverage too. I suspect more hotels might be built in NO. A special training program in hotel management should be developed. Oh, and let's do the Booker T. thing. A generation of young black people must be ushered into construction jobs, and all those vocational skills that will help people build things. Along with these vocational classes that Xavier, Dillard, and Tulane could offer...there should be special Spanish classes and courses on the Black disapora. Why? So that a generation of young black people can work alongside immigrants from Spanish speaking countries without building walls of racism.
But what will happen in NO? Look for the criminal element to have a field day. Corruption as serious as the type one can find in Iraq. Reconstruction comes with a price. Too often - it's black and poor people who get stuck with the bill.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Morning board meeting at The Writer's Center in Bethesda. We are having an afternoon Open House on Saturday, June 3rd. Please come.

I came back home and watched the Nationals defeat Baltimore. Beltway baseball. Soriano looking good but for how long? This club could climb in its ranking when some key players return. I really like Zimmerman at 3rd base. The kid is good. Escobar looks too lost to play centerfield. Geez. Nationals don't have a golden glove in the outfield...not one. What could happen this year is that the Nationals might play their best ball after the All-Star game. No reason why they can't push the Mets and Phillies out of the way. That just leaves Atlanta to beat. A good 8- 10 game win streak is what this team needs.

In the evening I had a Windows & Mirrors program at the DCJCC. We featured a wonderful evening of music: Hasidic New Wave and the Yakar Rhythms. Folks had a great time. Frank London and Greg Wall had folks clapping and a few folks jumping up and dancing in the Carnegie building at 16th & P. The Yakar drummers are from Senegal. These guys are masters.
Joining the music groups on the stage was pianist/composer Marilyn Lerner. Whew. I had a chance to speak with her afterwards and I think we just simply connected. I purchased her CD -Luminance. Lerner's music moves into that area that defines description. She's one person I hope to see and hear again.
First things first. Ichiro - 3 hits. Average is now .314.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

In A Time of Cholera. Bad conditions spreading in Angola. Contaminated drinking water and poor sanitation. Cholera is caused by bacteria found in bad water. Eating fish caught in contaminated water can spread the disease as well. Most people who are infected never show symptoms, but for those that do, the combination of diarrhea and vomiting can cause dyhydration and death. Treatment of cholera focuses on reversing the effects of dehydration.
This is very, very, cool:
Every year the DC Area Writing Project has a wonderful Awards Reception. I was the first writer they honored back in 2003. The following years it was Eloise Greenfield and then Ishamel Reed. Last night it was Sharon Bell Mathis, the award-winning author of children's book. It was great seeing her again. I love this woman. It's also good to be in a room full with people who are serious about education, teaching and writing.

Afterwards I sat in the Ellis Island restaurant in NE with my friend Sandra (an active member of DCAWP). We talked about the changes in the DC school system, the closing of schools the termination of jobs, etc. Many folks are angry. Alot has to do with how decisions are made. Too often they are done in such a way that the Lincoln and Kennedy assasination theories can't compete. School closings never made any sense to me. Children should have as much learning space as possible. Every child should be able to walk to school -wherever possible. Growing up in the South Bronx, my first school was across the street from my house. I think class size should always be small. Find the money to repair the schools that need fixing - don't close them. Don't lump 900 kids with another 900 kids, just because it looks good on paper. Oh...and let's begin to talk about education. I never hear folks in this city talk about education. Folks might as well be plumbers the way they talk about "fixing" school buildings and seldom what's going on in the class room besides test scores. We need to rethink education. Actually, school buildings and classrooms are outdated. Every DC child should own a laptop and have access to an endless amount of information/knowledge and teachers. New types of learning groups (modules) might developed out of what I would call a city without schools. Yep. No schools. This is simply moving beyond concepts like schools-without-walls. The entire city is responsible for the education of every child. Each child is connected on line to friends, teachers, librarians, politicians, etc. A key focus would now be community service. Taking the knowledge one learns and putting it into practice. Academic mentors would be available to help young people learn whatever they want to learn and when they want to learn it. Every child would be ranked, and their learning development measured by "the school system." The system would simply monitor each child on a yearly basis to see that he/she is learning the proper " core" level of knowledge. The "school building" now returns to being a child's block or neighborhood. This links back to the concept of the village being responsible for education. The global village is an old McLuhan idea built upon the new electronic information era. So far we've only used the rhetoric without realizing that the idea calls for the abolishment of old structures. The educational problems in DC are an outgrowth of the fact that folks are trying to embrace reform and not revolution. Do you recall when a certain female mayor with a broom didn't want to give any money to the school system? She felt it was like throwing money down the drain. If she had mentioned something like "throwing tea into the sea" it would have been revolutionary. Did we miss our historical moment? Are we going to remain stuck in the 19th and 20th century? After the Civil War, African Americans helped to shape the ideas behind public education in the United States.
Today we should be doing more not less.

In New Orleans
Brenda-Marie Osbey sits in the lobby
of the Omni Royal on St. Louis street.
Outside Don Cherry is talking to the whales.

- E. Ethelbert Miller

Friday, May 19, 2006

Vietnamese women in the US have cervical cancer rates five times higher than whites.
- Vitality magazine, Issue 2, 2006.
Blake (Cleveland ) is leading the AL league with a .370 batting average right now. Ichiro is at .311. Look for them to meet around the end of June at about .345. Ichiro should win the batting title this year if he gets over 200 hits again.
Association for the Study of African American Life and History.
91ST Annual Conference
September 26 - October 1, 2006
Hilton Atlanta Hotel
Atlanta, Georgia
(404) 221-6328

Visit website for info:
Memorial day coming up. The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans:
A network of community -based groups and government agencies that provide housing, food and legal aid to homeless veterans.

How do I keep reading Mary Anastasia O'Grady's column in the Wall Street Journal without laughing?
Where does she get her facts from?

Check this in today's paper:

"Bolivia has now become a virtual Venezuelan colony flush with Cuban agents."

The use of the word flush here must mean some serious shit. Could I be wrong?

Oh, and last night I'm waiting for the bus down near 16th and U. It's another sad "Fanon Moment." You know...a black person talking to themselves but wanting to talk to you. You're black too, so you listen. But the song sung tonight is one of mental illness and the outgrowth of racism and the inability to cope with daily economic mugging. It's the darkside of black history where the blues don't even go. So tonight this old black woman is lashing out against Gay people and how the white man is responsible for AIDS in Africa and you think about that space ship Farrakhan visited over Mexico. Maybe tonight it will land near Military Road. It's either you or the black woman getting on board. Either you're crazy or she's sane. The bus comes and you use your smart card. The black woman squeezes pass the white people on the bus. She's mumbling because she can't find a seat. You look at Black Skin/ White masks...another "Fanon Moment" on a bus to nowhere but you think it's home.
I had a lovely dinner last night with folks from the Poetry Foundation. Thanks for the invitation Emily Warn. Emily is the Editor for
Checkout their site. It was fun to sit next to my buddy Sarah Browning. Ms. B continues to lead the poets into battle for peace and an end to war.

Earlier in the day I had conversations with two writers. One was Shuja Nawaz. Shuja is looking for a new publisher. His first collection of poems JOURNEYS was published by Oxford in 1998.
He also is completing research on CROSSED SWORDS a historical analysis of the Pakistan army and its place in Pakistani politics. I also smiled into my cell phone at Super Buddy Susan Stinson.
Susan just published the provocative essay "Friendly Fire: The War On Terror" in the latest issue of Arts & Letters. It's about her experience as a lesbian and serving in the military. When I read a draft of this essay I told her it had to be published. Glad to see it in print. It will speak for many. I simply adore Susan. I love her dad too.
Here is the link to the website for Arts & Letters:
Martin Lammon continues to do fine work as editor. I'm happy to serve on the editorial advisory board.

The House of Representatives on May 18 agreed by voice vote to increase appropriations for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) by $5 million each. The bipartisan amendment co-sponsored by Reps. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Christopher Shays (R-CT), Norm Dicks (D-WA), David Price (D-NC) and James Leach (R-IA), was introduced on the floor by Slaughter. After brief comments of support from Shays and Dicks, the floor manager for the Interior Appropriations Bill, subcommittee chair Rep. Charles Taylor (R-NC), accepted the amendment and it was passed.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Why wait baby? Ichiro 4 hits. Average .311.
So how long will the Nats keep Frank as manager? I think as soon as they reach last place. I like Frank but only the Florida Marlins can save him. Look for the hook soon.

My guess is that Bonds hits 2 home runs in one game...a quick way to silence the fans and take away BondballBeaning from catching on. Shucks...

Please find a way for Larry Brown to leave the Knicks - it's the only way to get Marbury to smile and Thomas out of the front office. Is this the same Thomas who wanted to run the NBA minor league? Maybe that's the Knicks. Hmmm.

So LeBron James might be the real thing? No comment until the Pistons stop.
I guess I was wrong about NJ. That's the team I picked when the season started. Like poetry, teams always look good on paper.
Ok...So let's go from Hoffa to Hillary. Maybe we should hide her campaign before it starts. I've never understood the excitement around Hillary. She isn't a great speaker. She is never out front on the issues. She seems to be another media darling who knows how to use it. Who wants her to be nominated for President? It must be closet Republicans who know she just can't win.
Who is going to run with her? What regions of the country can she really win? Yonkers?
This is so sad. We are in the middle of 2 wars (Afghanistan/Iraq) and no help from someone who might have the vision and the will to end them. No wonder people want President Palmer from the old 24 television show. Hey -maybe Jack Bauer needs to be trying to figure out how to keep Hillary's image alive for another 24. Don't count on it.
Is that Hoffa back in the news? If you wanted to know where the guy was all this time...just go to Dan Moldea's website:

I spoke with Dan this morning. I guess folks will be going back to read his book THE HOFFA WARS.
Another note from New Orleans:

Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Jarvis DeBerry

When a friend e-mailed me several months ago to inquire about my well-being, about my mental and emotional health post-Katrina, I sent back "Life is Fine."

I was confident that my correspondent would understand that I wasn't being terse and emotionally detached, but was making an allusion to a poem of the same name by Langston Hughes.
Contrary to what the title might suggest, the narrator of "Life is Fine" is not oblivious to the hardships of his life. In fact, the problems he's had with his woman have forced him to think long and hard about ending it all. He jumped in the river to drown himself, but he found the water too chilly for a suicide. He stood on a ledge 16 flights up and decided to jump, but 16 flights? Above the ground? You've gotta admit: That's a little too high.

Then there's an epiphany: "So since I'm still here livin', / I guess I will live on. / I could've died for love, / But for livin' I was born."

That was the point -- well, it was one of the points -- I was trying to make to my friend who wanted to know how I was getting along down here among the ruins. I had fully embraced the blues: not the sadness and the despair that are exposed in the opening stanzas of blues masterpieces, but the sense of triumph and ironic optimism that follow.

My life may not have been fine at the moment I was writing my e-mail, but I knew that, eventually, it would be.

When poet and self-described literary activist E. Ethelbert Miller spoke at the main library in Metairie last week, he talked about Hughes' fascination with everyday folk and their speech patterns, especially those in his adopted home of Harlem. He talked about Hughes' goal to write in ways that would reveal his appreciation not only for the blues, but also for other black music traditions such as jazz and gospel music. Miller also said what so many other scholars have said, that Hughes had a way of making everything he wrote look easy. Then again, that trait is common to geniuses. They make great art look effortless.

Miller wondered if some of Hughes' poems about oppression, about poverty, about the vast chasms separating the haves from the don't-haves couldn't be applied to our present-day predicament in New Orleans. Not since the great migration of the 1920s and '30s -- when so many poor black Southerners went north seeking work -- have so many Americans had to adjust so quickly to new environs. Just like the people Hughes wrote about, many of the people currently displaced from here are poor and unskilled. However, America is a tougher place for the unskilled laborer than it was 70 years ago.

Like a concertgoer who thinks that an Aretha Franklin performance is incomplete if she doesn't perform "Baby I Love You" or that James Brown has to sing "Papa Don't Take No Mess," I was somewhat disappointed that Miller left "Life is Fine" off his list of Hughes poems that speak to our current situation. I know the poem isn't his most popular, but its existence helped a certain columnist cope and resolve to make the best of an outrageously bad situation.

The narrator never mentions the name of the person who hurt him so, but it might as well be Katrina. If only in my mind, the poem will be henceforth be about the storm, its aftermath and all the people who seemed excited at the thought of this great city's demise: "Though you may hear me holler, / And you may see me cry -- / I'll be dogged, sweet baby, / If you gonna see me die."
. . . . . . .
Jarvis DeBerry is an editorial writer. He can be reached at (504) 826-3355 or at
We Wear The Mask. I slept with mine last night and my head feels great! Sleep apnea is a serious problem. Many folks don't realize they have it. Once you do something about it your entire life is back on track. No falling asleep in meetings, etc. Concentration is better. I'm a new Bert.

I went to Mocha on U. I read my paper and made some lecture notes for my George Mason class. I'll pull my files on Thomas Ellis and The Dark Room Collective. I want to examine African American poetry from 1960 to the present.

I went around to Busboys to a meeting for the Out-On -Site project. Upcoming in September.
For three days, three ad trucks -moving billboards- driving through and around our Washington circles. One truck will be a poetry truck. I'm serving as a curator to the project; selecting the poems that will be displayed. It's fun meeting with Welmoed Laanstra, Nora Halpern, Lisa Kolker and Derya Samadi. Our meeting was filmed by Stephanie Slewka who should be placed in a movie instead of making one. She has what a man might call early Brooke Shields beauty - remember that name. It's also fun sitting across the table from Derya. She holds back chuckles like they were M&Ms. During the meeting we discussed the routes the trucks will be taking; also some of the legal permission stuff. So far I've picked a few poems - work by Reetika Vazirani , Rumi, Essex Hemphill... If you want more info on this wonderful project go to:

DC Arts Commission meeting at 4 PM.

Dinner with the folks from the Poetry Foundation at the Labanese Taverna.
This should be very good:

Roger Guenveur SmithWho Killed Bob Marley?Hosted by Ruby DeeJoin Obie Award-winning collaborators Roger Guenveur Smith and Marc Anthony Thompson (A Huey P. Newton Story) for a work-in-progress performance of Who Killed Bob Marley? – Smith's new multimedia meditation on the power of water, scored by Thompson. Smith journeys to hurricane swept Jamaica to make a film about a suicidal American poet. His fiction then reveals a strange and dangerous truth.Wednesday, May 24, 2006, 7:30pm; $10 (Members $8.50)Aaron Davis HallCity College of New YorkWest 133rd and 135th Streets on Convent AvenueFor more information visit:

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

A productive day. I went down to WHUT and recorded an Evening Exchange television show with Kojo Nnamdi.
I always love sitting down with Kojo. One of the best interviewers around town. I believe the show will air in June. I read about 4 poems from my forthcoming book ON SATURDAYS, I SANTANA WITH YOU. Kojo asked a number of excellent questions about my work and life. It's a good show.

Folks from the Moorland-Spingarn Center came up to the Resource Center and took Stephen Henderson's personal papers and files. I also gave them the early tapes (video and audio) of the Institute for the Arts and Humanities. This stuff is priceless. Interviews, recorded conferences, etc. It's critical that Moorland begin to get tons of money to fill staff positions. They really need their own space. The city should give them one of those schools they are closing.

Many people coming to town for the Book Expo. On May 31st, Lee Briccetti the Executive Director of Poets House is going to be at Chapters Bookstore reading her own work. Yes - Sweet Lee is not just a custodian of poetry but a talented renaissance woman. Poets & Writers or one of those lit mags should put her on the cover of a future issue. It would be nice to read a long interview with her. LeeTime. So check her on the 31st at 7PM. She will be reading from her book DAY MARK. Now if you're been reading the E-Notes you know that I know where Chapters is, but here is the address again: 445 11th Street, NW. Support Lee...also ask her about the new Poets House. Keep Stanley Kunitz's dream alive.

Sala Thai on U this evening. I had a nice dinner with Toni B (from California). We talked about life and oh -those marriages. Good food and conversation. Then we saw the bike bandit on U.
Speeding on the sidewalk wearing a blue helmet. With the help of a cell phone we zapped her off her bike and pulled her into Sala Thai. Is was none other than the talented Anu, looking fantastic with a new hairdo. I'm an Anu fan. I think she's going to have a wonderful career. I always wish her well. I love listening to her say -"Yeah, Yeah, Yeah."

Hey- be sure to come hear Muhammad Abdur Rahim on May 25th at Noon. He will be giving a talk at IPS on his Islamic experiences in the US. Muhammad was born and raised a Muslim. His parents were in the Nation of Islam, they became orthodox Sunni muslims around 1975. One of the things I've been trying to do since becoming board chair of IPS is to examine issues connected to the Islamic faith. I think it's impossible to run a think tank without looking at the Islamic presence in the world today. So come hear Muhammad, a wonderful young scholar at IPS at Noon on May 25th. IPS is located at 1112 16th Street. Suite 600.

Interested in Black films?

Here is the place to go:
Interested in Black films? Here is the place to go:
Poet Afaa Michael Weaver's website:
So we know Katie (NBC) is going to do "serious" news in the morning when she puts on her glasses. Geez. Is this another audition for the Evening anchor position? HomeGirl is trying to hard to look intellectual. Relax.

Oh, forget the polls about the Republicans being down and losing Congress. It's not even June yet. By late August watch how these guys will bounce back. It's the same game plan. The Repubs don't like to be out in front too early before an election. It's all about peaking at the right time, and that's just before the public votes. It's like not wanting to play an entire NBA season.
Just make it to the playoffs when the real games begin. The real political race begins in the fall.
The Dems are playing like the Nationals right now. Can these guys hold a lead? The answer is no.
So in DC the Mayor is going to support Cropp. This election might turn on endorsements. I'm waiting to see who the City Paper and Washington Post is going to go with. What if the election is very close between Johns, Fenty, Cropp and Orange? No mandate, no strong candidate. Will the next Mayor be able to govern the city? Running an election is one thing, running a city is something very different. It takes experience and one has to create a loyal political machine.
We might be electing a one term mayor.
Here are a few people who would be wonderful US poet laureates:
Gerald Stern
Naomi S. Nye
Brenda-Marie Osbey
Marilyn Nelson
Mary Magdalene (oh sorry- not a US citizen)
OK - do you want to know the real secret behind THE DA VINCI CODE or do you want to know who the next poet laureate of the US is going to be?

He He
I'll miss the big Cave Canem Pow Wow. I have to attend the Fourth Annual Awards Reception for the DC Area Writing Project (DCAWP), at the Metropolitan Day School, located at 1240 Randolph Street, NE. 6:30 PM on Friday. DCAWP will be honoring Sharon Bell Mathis. I still have that memory of Sharon stopping her car in the middle of a Brooklyn street one early Sunday morning and shouting at me and June Jordan. June and I thought she was crazy at first but it was big fun and hugs to go around like church. It will be good to see Sharon long has it been? I have her goddaughter's (Merrill D. Jones) play on my desk to read.
Cave Canem Poets - the gathering of the tribe on Friday, May 19th at 7PM at the Haskell Center (301 E. Capitol Street, SE).
Contact: Teri Cross Davis -

I plan to use the Cave Canem anthology (GATHERING GROUND) as one of my texts in a class I'll be teaching at George Mason University. Here is a key question we should ask ourselves:
What are African American poets saying these days?
I think that's better than asking - "Who Speaks for the Negro?" Don't you?

I hope the poets honor or say something about Malcolm X and Lorraine H. I believe May 19th is their birthday. Check those b-dates and keep the tradition alive.
New book from Redbone Press:
edited by Winston James and Lisa C. Moore.
Judith Harris sent me her new collection of poems -THE BAD SECRET (LSU Press, 2006). We should send her a couple of book awards right away. This book has to receive some nominations for something. Harris has to be one of the best writers in the DC area right now. Inside this new book there are such gems as:
"My Father Throws His Camera Down the Grand Canyon, 1968"
"Thinking About How Babies Are Made"
"Man and Wife"

I read many of her poems aloud:

"Just thinking of you
can coax my flesh alive again,
as if that leaf could shiver air...

Harris is also the author of ATONEMENT and a book of critical work SIGNIFYING PAIN: CONSTRUCTING AND HEALING THE SELF THROUGH WRITING.
Hey...did somebody try to bean Barry Bonds? He He I was just waiting for this new game to start. Look for more balls to be thrown at him until the Bud steps in. Ah...America knows how to start a new pastime. The old beanball trick. Was this something started by the Klan? Hit the you know who?? in the head.
Ichiro had 2 hits last night. Average is at .299.
Well that didn't take long did it? Are we looking at .310 by Sunday?
My friend Adrienne helps with the construction of my website. There would be no E-Notes without her. A keeps wanting E to reply to folks who might read the E-Notes. Anyway, A disagrees with what I said about immigration. Here is my reply:

Hi AB,
This is not about opening borders. It's about understanding that borders no longer exist in today's world.
Do you have a cell phone? Do you want to go back to searching for quarters on a dark street just to make a call? The world changes and we have to adjust to new paradigms. We exist today in a world where folks want to be warlords. What century are they living in? We need to start honoring Simon Bolivar and not just George Washington. Bolivar had a much larger vision for this hemisphere. We can't move beyond the Monroe Doctrine.
Yesterday I spent almost the entire day down at Lincoln Theatre. I was a judge for POETRY OUT LOUD, the National Recitation Contest sponsored by NEA and the Poetry Foundation.
What a cool event. So wonderful to see young poems reading poems by Ai, Whitman, Ginsberg,
Shakespeare, Langston, Levine and others. Many talented young people around the country, making their parents and teachers proud. Now if only I could remember just one of my own poems. One young person who didn't win but that I liked was Fantasia Lonjose from the Santa Fe Indian School. She recited poems by Joy Harjo and Sherman Alexie.
During a session break I did an interview for The News Hour with Jim Lehrer.
So Libya is our friend again. Well, that didn't take long did it? Do you remember how long it took the media to figure out how to spell Gadhafi's name? When did we start using the G?
Oh, and all we need now is for Venezuela to sell planes to Iran. Now Hugo will replace Gadhafi as a bad guy. Meanwhile does anyone remember North Korea? I'm amazed by how quickly stories come and go. Poor Tsunami victims. I assume folks still need blankets and help in Pakistan. What about those earthquake victims in Iran? Did Taylor have his trail yet? Are the lights back on in Liberia? What happened to all those fires out west? And where is Aretha Franklin? I need to hear her voice...

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I'll be downtown the entire day at the NEA & Poetry Foundation - POETRY OUT LOUD/NATIONAL RECITATION CONTEST. I'll be serving as a judge. The National Finals are at 7PM, Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U Street, NW.
202 682-5720
I went back and read my Marshall McLuhan last night. Do you remember this excerpt from THE MEDIUM IS THE MASSAGE:

"Electrical information devices for universal, tyrannical womb-to-tomb surveillance are causing a very serious dilemma between our claim to privacy and the community's need to know. The older, traditional ideas of private, isolated thoughts and actions- the patterns of mechanistic technologies- are vey seriously threatened by new methods of instantaneous electric information retrieval, by the electrically computerized dossier bank - that one big gossip column that is unforgiving, unforgetful and from which there is no redemption, no erasure of early "mistakes."

McLuhan also includes that wonderful John Cage quote in his book:

"The highest purpose is to have no purpose at all. This puts one in accord with nature, in her manner of operation."

After reading what Cage said I immediately began thinking about New Orleans again and the start of another hurricane season.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Eric Liu sent me two copies of his book GUILDING LIGHTS: THE PEOPLE WHO LEAD US TOWARD OUR PURPOSE IN LIFE. Eric is a cool guy. To learn more about him visit the following sites: or
Borders are so 19th century. I listened to the Prez this evening. No, not Lester Young - Bush.
Are we living upside down? Our world is changing. Electronic technology, internet, and just the flow of information is changing how we live and what we believe in. So maybe the next language of the US is Spanish. What were Native Americans speaking when Europeans landed? Things change and I'm talking about evolution and revolution. Look at how the food we eat has changed in the last several years. Talking about speaking English most of us sound like characters in BladeRunner. We speak a mish mish of sounds. Has anyone be on the 70 bus lately? We don't even write English without adopting the various changes in language. Just like yesterday in that A & The Bee movie. Akeelah uses the word dis and finds it in the dictionary. WhY? Because the dictionary expands to embrace the new language that we speak. We need to realize that in the 21st Century we might move beyond North, South and Central America. It's going to be just ONE America. The new language might just be Spanish. Already we see English speaking black people falling behind Spanish speaking Black folks. Soon we will be behind the people coming out of Brazil. Don't jump in front of the moving train and wave your hands. The train won't stop for you. Oh, and if you give one person a National ID card -you'll have to give everyone one. We knew this was coming. Smile at the camera and talk into your phone. The government LOVES YOU.
I shipped out about 1/3 of my Charles Johnson files to the Givens Collection of African American Literature at the University of Minnesota. I'll establish a link on my website so that scholars can find stuff.

I'm presently making arrangements to move some of Stephen Henderson's files to the Moorland-Spingarn Center at HU.

So much history to much history to make.
Sad news for poets, and poetry lovers:

Stanley Kunitz, former U.S. poet laureate and one of the founding members of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, died yesterday in his New York City home.

Kunitz was such a gentle and wonderful person. I keep a picture of him (in his garden) in my kitchen. Stan the Man...a poet for all seasons. Try and obtain a copy of the May/June issue of The American Poetry Review. There is a "Garden Conversation" between Kunitz and Genine Lentine. You might also want to order a copy of THE WILD BRAID: A POET REFLECTS ON A CENTURY IN THE GARDEN (W.W. Norton, 2005).

"I don't think language is the only means of communication. The warmth of one's body is a form of communication. The stroke of one's hand is a means of communication."
- Stanley Kunitz
Roads, schools and hospitals.
This is what President Rene Preval needs in Haiti. Preval is the new leader. He faces a nation where between 40-65% of children do not attend school. 1 in 20 is infected with HIV. Gangs are a problem. Did I say anything about poverty?
Other Ichiro notes:
He is leading the AL with 13 stolen bases.
He is 6th in the league in hits with 48. 200 again this year?
Jim Lemon dead at 78. He played for the Washington Senators and the Cleveland Indians.
Another guy whose baseball card I had back during the early 1960s. He hit 38 home runs in 1960.
Morning in DC and I walk into my Safeway and there is Doug Moore pushing his cart. Greeting folks with that city politician smile. It's always good to see the guy. I remember when he was running the DC City Council...
On the magazine rack the latest issue of Ebony. Howard U has close ties to the Johnson publications. So - no surprise to see Smokey Robinson on the cover. Smokey received an honorary degree from HU on Saturday. I still think Johnson Publications should give all Howard graduates a 1 year gift subscription to Jet. I'm certain folks at Starbucks or AOL would do something like that...don't you think?
It's a slick way to increase subscriptions down the road.
I walk across the campus of HU and I love this week after graduation. The emptiness of the place before it starts back up again. The Mecca they call it and I keep saying my prayers five times a day.
David Nicholson has a right to complain (see Op-ED of today's Washington Post) about Coolidge High School librarian Lynn Kauffman losing her job. Things like this make you angry. Some of our institutions are held together by one person (making a difference); until some bozo in a suit across town eliminates their position. Oh, and we always want to talk about schools, education, etc. Libraries and good librarians hold-up their side of the world. Too often the otherside is held together by rhetoric and people who don't work or give a damn. So what's going to happen at Coolidge? A key player is gone. I can see the DC school system trying to make a trade to bring back Kwame Brown from the Lakers. Call him a "computer lab coordinator" and stick him in the Coolidge auditorium during recess. Give him a basketball instead of a book. Yeah - that's how the game is played and folks think we're stupid.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Ichiro had 2 hits today. Average is .293. He should be hitting over .300 by Friday. A hot June might place him around .340 just before the All-Star game. In the Sports section of the NY Times today, Ichiro is listed # 1 as the player who could follow Ted Williams and hit .400.
I took my family to Maggiano's for Mother's Day. The place was crowded like most restaurants (on this day). We had a 2:30 PM reservation. Food, drinks and what my daughter calls "family time." Usually everyone is on the run going in different directions. Looking at the other tables - folks with infants --I saw Father Time sipping wine and winking back at me. Was that me balancing a child and a fork just a few years ago? Now I'm listening to both my kids talking about going to law school. After our meal we walked over to the Mazza theaters and saw the movie AKEELAH AND THE BEE. Not bad. It's a "sweet" film. Nice to see Latino and Black kids hanging out together. The Spelling Bee contest at the end was like watching George Mason make it to the Final 4. Everyone is cheering. Good to see this movie being a good crossover flick. Check that Starbuck sponsorship as soon as the lights go out in the theater. They have a winner here. The movie touches all the bases and looks better than Barry Bonds in the outfield.
Kevin Kelly's article in today's NY TIMES MAGAZINE is must reading for writers and librarians. Start scanning, baby! The creation of the universal library will change our civilization.
Now what will we do with all this knowledge?
A 1999 Justice Department survey found that 46 percent of prison inmates had at least one sibling, parent or child who had been incarcerated at some point.
Prison Information:

Prisons Foundation
1718 M Street, NW # 151
Washington, D.C. 20036

Twenty-three states and the Federal Bureau of Prisons still allow women to be shackled during labor, according to Amnesty Internatioanl.

Books published by the Prisons Foundation:

1. Prisons Help Sourcebook
2. Death Row Resource Guide
3. Prisoners Rights Resource Guide
4. Prisons Almanac 2006
Franz Wright's new collection of poems is reviewed today in the NY Times Book Review.
The title of Wright's book is GOD'S SILENCE. The publisher is Knopf. Price is $24.00
Hugo Chavez in Bolivia this week.
Look for Bonds to break Ruth's record this week.
DB Comes to DC:

Thursday, May 25, 2006, 7:00 PM. Douglas Brinkley, will be promoting The Great Deluge. POLITICS & PROSE 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW Washington, DC.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Back in town. Looking for the streets to reclaim me. I went to the bank and then down to the Mocha on U. Read the news. In the New York Times there was a good article about those sky high vet bills. Can your dog or cat afford to get sick? Yesterday my cat told me he was thinking about taking a job guarding the alley behind a Starbucks just for the healthcare they provide for part-time workers. MeOW. What's an owner to do? Check your budget. How much did you pay in pet bills so far this year?
Ginger G walked into the Mocha around 10:30 and we took a walk down 14th Street and had brunch on P. A cafe day with the Ginger always lifts my spirits. She loaned me two I'm listening to the soundtrack of CHAMELI right now. I'll be listening to it for the rest of the day and more tomorrow. Love it. I'll get around to KAL HO NAA HO by Monday.

I'll spend the rest of the day cleaning the desk again. Here are a few items that came in while I was in New Orleans:

PILGRIM JOURNEY by Naomi Long Madgett. This is her autobiography. Madgett one of our elder poets lives in Detroit. She is as important as Dudley Randall. Madgett is the poet laureate of Detroit and the founder of Lotus Press. So many of us are grateful for her publishing our poems. My book SEASON OF HUNGER/CRY OF RAIN is one of those early Lotus books. I met Madgett by way of May Miller. Madgett had just published May's book and with May's encouragement she took a look at my manuscript. One can order PILGRIM JOURNEY from Lotus Press, Inc. P.O.Box 21607, Detroit, Michigan 48221. The book is $35.oo.

Rehab by Quique Aviles is going to be at GALA on May 26, 27, at 8PM
GALA is located at 3333 14th Street, NW
Tickets are $15.

June 5-11, 2006
Complete schedule: or call 202 269-1600.

I have to attend the Washington 2006 World Philatelic Exhibition coming to the Washington Convention Center, May 27-June 3, 2006. It's free.
Floyd Patterson dead at the age of 71. He was the first boxer I tried to shadow box like...that old peek-a-boo style. It was Floyd until that young boy Clay told me I should dance -yes dance - or was it "Float like a Butterfly and Sting like a Bee." My daddy was into Kid Chocolate and Sugar Ray - all those fighters were sweet back then. Who needed Rocky?
Ichiro 2 hits last night. .290 average. He could be hitting above .300 by next week. This is a key weekend. If he can stay hot with multiple hit games it will begin to give him a nice cushion and start him down the road to the batting title and another 200 hit season.
Summer Alert:
Drownings for children under age 1 mostly occurred in bathtubs, buckets or toilets.
Alcohol was involved in 25% to 50% of adult and adolescent recreational water deaths.

Friday, May 12, 2006

I'm just back from New Orleans. The lyrics of Dylan's "Desolation Row" in my head or maybe it's "The Tombstone Blues." No way to describe the destruction...and this is almost a year later.
So where do I begin but at the beginning. I flew into NO on Wednesday afternoon. One step off the plane and the heat slaps you in the face like a prostitute asking for more money. As soon as I walked into the airport I smelled that wet carpet odor. I felt I was in the basement of someone's apartment as I headed to baggage claim. Waiting for me was Missy Abbott. I love that name.
She and Shannon Aymami, both librarians were my hosts. I was in NO to give a talk on Langston Hughes on Thursday at the East Bank Regional Library (Jefferson Parish). As we drove into the city Katrina introduced herself the way a woman flirts from across the room. You don't want to look but you keep turning your head. I was staying in the Omni Royal Orleans in the French Quarter. Tourism slowly coming back. The hotel as well as the airport was filled with small businessmen - everyone looked like they were making deals in the daytime and looking for a drink and a good time at night. If you're waiting for some of these people to turn the city around you might as well celebrate Mardi Gras as early as tonight. No way -many of these folks simply talk on their cell phones and stand around and look important. Meanwhile you look beyond the Quarter and the city has been reduced down to a nickel and in some places it ain't nothing but a washed up penny. I was never in the military service so I have no idea what war smells or looks like, but this looks worst than even what I could imagine. I think of storms and it's wind blowing off roofs. When Levees break it becomes biblical and you're Noah wishing for a dove. Missy and Shannon drove me around for about an 1 1/2 and what did we see? Block after block of homes halfway standing the way helpless starving children live in Sudan. On many streets there is no life. On others -a trailer home in front of a real home. If another hurricane was to hit many of these trailers would be gone too. The only way to save New Orleans is with major, major, major, federal help. But this from a nation that can't rebuild Iraq without someone running off with the reconstruction money. It's going to take years for this city to rebuild. Meanwhile there are some people who just shine and life is good because they walk into your life. Cities are people and not just buildings. So my first night in NO I had dinner with Susan Larson the Book Editor for The Times- Picayune. Susan wrote a nice article about my visit in the paper. We laughed and had great food - oh those oyters. New Orleans for me is also Brenda- Marie Osbey. If a person can make you feel like family it's this woman. Poet Laureate of LA; being with Brenda-Marie on location was like sipping her poems one by one. My last day we had breakfast at The Old Coffee Pot in the French Quarter, I could have sat there for days, and maybe that's why people will never turn their back on New Orleans. You fall in love with this city because of the people and the history. The music is in the bricks and you realize if you have to rebuild then the world will also watch you dance. Brenda Marie will pull you down the streets of the French Quarter and you'll start speaking Creole and count the spells in your hands. I thought of other friends while in NO. I could see Jerry Ward standing outside his wounded home and tasting a darker blues. I thought of the ghost of Tom Dent standing taller than a levee. At my library talk on Langston Hughes was Adella Adella, who was once married to Ahmos Zu-Bolton. We laughed and embraced and I realized we were both crazy for believing everything Ahmos told us. You never know what's in the gumbo. Right? Douglas Brinkley's book THE GREAT DELUGE was just out. I picked up a copy over at the Borders in Metairie. Was I now reading the book after watching the movie? Doug's book is must reading. I can't put it down.
It's going to take some time to digest my experiences. I do know the disappointment in our government has left a bad taste in so many mouths. It's expressed on the shirts for sale on Decatur Street- FEMA (Fix Everything My Ass), or FEMA Evacuation Plan: RUN MF RUN.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

"The purpose of art is to lay bare the questions which have been hidden by
the answers."

- James Baldwin
Talking about baseball, I just sent a check to Bennington College to sponsor the annual softball game. The game will be called the Miller Classic and will highlight those hard throwing poets against the big fiction writers. The money I sent will permit each participant to purchase a book of poetry from the Bennington Bookstore.
This could become the major literary event of the year. :-)
Ichiro 3 hits -.288
Can he make it to about .310 before the month ends?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

How can they suspend baseball player Delmon Young - 50 games for throwing his bat at the umpire? Some folks want a year suspension. What did the guy do- try to sell drugs to an undercover agent in a drug free zone??

Talking about hitting someone. LeBron James has yet to be tested with a hard foul.
Folks are being nice to him. It's also evident that the NBA Pistons are not the Bad boys of old.

I still think Bonds is going to retire without breaking the homerun record of Aaron.
But let's say he breaks the record. You're in the stands and you catch the ball. The camera is on you...Now you throw that baby throw the ball back and you make a protest for the purity of the game. It's a simple gesture but one that makes the ESPN highlights over and over. Suddenly there you are on Jay Leno and Oprah...explaining why you didn't want the ball and how you got the idea from reading E-Notes. And Jay or Lady O asks the question - "What are E-Notes?"
Good to see Venezuela giving oil to Haiti. The new president Rene Preval will be swore into office in Port-au-Prince on May 14th.

Also in the news is Mary Cheney with her memoir...
Here is a link to historian Douglas Brinkley's new book about Hurricane Katrina:

Monday, May 08, 2006

From Sojourners:

The lineup for Pentecost 2006 just keeps getting better and better. We're thrilled to announce that exciting new guests have recently confirmed their attendance at Pentecost 2006: Building a Covenant for a New America, June 26-28 in Washington, D.C.:

Sen. Barack Obama
Marian Wright Edelman, Founder and President of the Children’s Defense Fund
Ambassador Tony Hall, former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Agencies for Food and Agriculture
Rev. Sharon Watkins, General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Register Today!

This conference will bring together Christians and other people of faith committed to building the political will to overcome poverty in America and throughout the world. Register now for our special early-bird registration rate, and take advantage of our exclusive and affordable housing opportunities, available while they last. Also, a quick reminder: Deadline for scholarship applications is Monday, May 15 – so don’t be late! Visit our Web site at for more information about applying for scholarships or how to donate to the Pentecost 2006 scholarship fund.

Join us for:

Workshops that will empower you to raise your prophetic voice in the media and with legislators, and to organize in your own community.
Inspirational speeches from grassroots leaders, religious leaders such as Jim Wallis, and senators who will share real solutions to poverty.
Networking with the nation’s foremost anti-poverty leaders, as well as prominent activists from your neck of the woods.
Policy briefings and a Capitol Hill Day to learn about specific ways to overcome poverty and to ask our elected officials to make ending poverty a priority.
An Emerging Leaders Track for participants 30 and younger, focusing on how young people can raise their prophetic voices on campuses, in their careers, in faith communities, and in the world.
Register Today!

For more information about the conference, please visit our Web site at
Memo from IPS (

Our board chair, Ethelbert Miller, has brought to our attention the need to observe and understand how different forms of Islam are influencing various social movements around the world. To that effect, we have asked Muhammad Abdur Rahim to come to IPS to help us guide us through this process. He will be answering many of our questions, as well as helping us frame many others...

Please join us for a roundtable discussion in the conference room on May 25, at noon. Invite your friends.

Muhammad Abdur Rahim: Muhammad holds a B.A. in Middle Eastern and African History with minors in International and African Studies from the College of Charleston, Charleston, SC. In addition, he completed three years of Arabic language in the school's foreign language department. Presently, he is finishing up his Masters in History with a focus on the Middle East, Africa and the Islamic world at Howard University.

Muhammad has extensive travel experience through academic and research related matters throughout the Middle East and Africa. He has done field research throughout Senegal, Mali, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Gambia. Most recently, he spent the entire summer in Cairo, Egypt polishing his Arabic capabilities and conducting archival study on relevant issues in the Middle East.

His research interests seek to gain a historical foundation in looking at Islamic roots throughout the globe. This includes the presence of African Muslims in Lowcountry South Carolina. He recently completed an extensive interview and historiography of Shaykh Harun Rasheed Faye of Senegal, West Africa. Shaykh Faye is an adherent of the mystical branch of Islam called Sufism, his importance in the American landscape is that he is teaching the Islamic Science of Tasawuuf/Sufism. His importance and his community are not only important and significant in Islamic terms, but the fact that he has established a community in South Carolina, a state that imported a surplus of African slaves is profound.
OK, Please explain to me why Hugo Chavez would want to be president of Venezuela until 2031??? There must be other day jobs...

Talking about jobs, let's not try to encourage Al Gore to run again just because he makes a nice movie. AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH will be out but buy the popcorn without the Gore. Gore should take the Jimmy Carter path...
One can do more for society outside of the Oval Office. Being president of the US is going to be a position for ex-entertainers and sports figures; and maybe that's why we are going to face serious problems in the future.

The SURPRISE this week is Paul Simon's new album - the title is SURPRISE.
I think I decided to become a poet after listening to Simon singing "The Sounds of Silence."
From: Daphne Wysham
Subject: Radio special tomorrow on the life of Damu Smith:

Tomorrow, Tuesday May 9, WPFW, 89.3 fm in DC, will be airing a two-hour special on Damu's life and work. I will be hosting the first hour at 10 a.m. EST, focusing on his environmental justice work. Milagros will host the second hour, the show that used to be Damu's, called Spirit in Action, at 11 a.m. EST.
I will have guests on the line and in the studio discussing Damu. If you want to participate in the studio, let me know.
If you'd like to listen live and aren't in town, you can listen on the web at We should have our hour up on the Earthbeat website later in the day at
I am looking for testimonies, anecdotes, stories you want to share that celebrate Damu and his amazing life. You can try to call them in at 202-588-0893 or you can write, cc-ing me, and we'll try to read as many of them as we can on the air.

Sunday, May 07, 2006


I’m in the backseat of a car
sitting next to a guy with a hood
on his head. He stinks. He’s garbage.
His shirt and pants are filthy.
I don’t want his dirt or blood on me.

I have to go to school this afternoon.
I’m in the back of this car
because my friends had to make a stop
and pick-up something.
This guy next to me is the package.

We are taking him across town.
My brother’s friend is driving.
He is smoking and laughing.
He asks if I need a new cell phone
or a Playboy magazine.

I turn and talk to the hood.
The hood nods its head when I repeat
the word Playboy. I say it slowly
so I can practice my English,
as the car turns down the alley.

I think of how this man might dream
of a nude woman just before death.
I wonder if he could free his hands
just enough to hang himself
with her hair.

- E. Ethelbert Miller
The bell has rung again. bell hooks has a new book out. HOMEGROWN:ENGAGED CULTURAL CRITICISM with Amalia Mesa-Bains. The publisher is South End Press:
"The Education of Ali Al-Timimi" by Milton Viorst is an important article in THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY (June 2006). People are constantly changing, especially when it comes to religious and spiritual matters. How many people have been arrested since 9/11 just because of their religious faith and passionate beliefs in a way of looking at the world? How are we to protect the world from ideas we think are threatening?
How many Black people paraded around playgrounds with black berets talking about revolution in the 1960s. I still can't see black people coming out of the hills of West Virginia to takeover DC or Philadelphia. Unfortunately someone behind a desk in 1969 somewhere had a different idea. Everyday I hear rhetoric that is racist, sexist and simply mean...what if I had these people arrested for what they thought?? You don't want to put someone away for life because they are reading the Quran or the Communist Manifesto...not in our society. How do we prove some of these conspiracies?
Muslim paintball games in Virginia. Drills in Idaho by people who believe in removing all colored people from the world. Look for our government to apologize twenty or thirty years from now for locking folks up because of the fear that existed after 9/11. Why does this all sound Japanese?
Lisa Teasley is back with a new book. HEAT SIGNATURE published by Bloomsbury in August 2006. Lisa is the author of two books, GLOW IN THE DARK and DIVE.
Roses growing in my backyard. You can almost forget about these small signs of beauty. Buddy Bev and I had brunch on 8th Street, NE. So many places to eat around there. We went to the Starfish Cafe - not bad. Inside was my old friend Vicki Asservero who I hadn't seen in many years. Her poetry is included in my antholgy BEYOND THE FRONTIER.
After a wonderful buffet, Bev and I walked over to the Eastern Market,and the celebration of Market Day was going strong. Folks were eating, buying, and having much fun. Lori Tsang was there. Politics was in the air too. Many candidates out and about. I spoke briefly to Marie Johns. She seems to be having a stronger presence in the city. Is presence just signs? Hmmm. Let's wait and see. Johns has the business background going but she also has an ambassador smile like she could represent a small country - where the tourists are having fun and there are no kidnapping cases and human rights problems. Does that sound like DC?
Before heading home, Bev and I stopped at the local pet store in the area. In the back room were kittens and cats waiting to be adopted. Sad to see animals in cages and no homes. But who knows, maybe they were looking through their bars at me.
Don't miss Fred Kaplan's article about the war in the June issue of THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY. Kaplan is the national-security columnist for SLATE.
If you want to make sense out of what's going on, here it is. You can't argue with the basic type of information Kaplan provides. It should help us all better understand the war. Here are what I felt were some key points:

"...Forward Operating Bases, or FOBS. There are more than seventy FOBs scattered across Iraq, many of them elaborate renovations of Saddam Hussein's former network of military bases and presidential palaces."

"The larger bases are fortified chunks of Middle America, surreally plunked down in the desert, replete with Burger Kings, Pizza Huts, Internet cafes, first-run movie theaters, gy;ms and swimming pools. Camp Anaconda, built around two 11,000-foot runways and spread out over fifteen square miles, is home and workplace to 20,000 U.S. troops and 2,500 private contractors."

What does this mean? It means even if we demand withdrawal of troop immediately from Iraq, many soldiers are not going anywhere. We are still going to have these FOBs in the country.

Kaplan also mentions in his article that of the 130,000 American troops in Iraq, only about 25,000 are combat troops.

So, what we are going to see for many years is a policy of "enduring freedom and enduring bases." Meanwhile, Iraq will probably still be broken, like an old toy in someone's attic or basement. What is going to be the cost of all this? How many Americans will die during the next ten years? Twenty years? It will be sad to see Iraq fade from our evening news and our vocabulary. This happens so often in our society. Do you remember how just about a year ago we were talking about Syria?
Where did that go? Oh, and what about Korea? What about terrorist warnings in the US? What happened to all those terror alerts and code colors? Did they go the way of Jimmy Carter's sweater? Maybe like Lyndon Johnson we should pick America up by its ears. Who let our soldiers out? How and when will we bring them home?

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Students standing up at Gallaudet University. Involvement demanded in the selection of a new president.

Yes, the NAACP should leave Baltimore and move to Washington. This is where its National Headquarters should be. Sorry Cleveland.

Lisa Teasley has a new book out: HEAT SIGNATURE. She is the author of GLOW IN THE DARK and DIVE

Jimmy Winkfield was a black jockey. He won the Kentucky Derby in 1901 and 1902.
Because of racism he made his way to czarist Russia. For the full exciting story turn to Joe Drape's BLACK MAESTRO (William Morrow).


Lakers didn't make it. Basketball season is over for me. Do you really want to watch the Spurs?? Cleveland against Detroit might be a winner. I did take the Nets to win the East.
I believe in God, and I am attracted to mystery. I am befuddled by daydreams and death.
-Ruben Dario
A productive Saturday. Bank. Tasty treats for breakfast. Books returned to King Library. I borrowed three new ones: Billy Collins' THE ART OF DROWNING and QUESTIONS ABOUT ANGELS. I also took RUBEN DARIO'S SELECTED WRITINGS with me too. Outside the Cosi on G Street near Metro Center, I read all the Hurston/Wright manuscripts. I took the subway up to DuPont Circle and used the computer at Provisions to check email. Then it was down the street for some Thai and then Melody for 2 CDs: The Very Best of Asha Bhosle, The Queen of Bollywood and THE SEEGER SESSIONS by Bruce Springsteen.

I might watch Boston play Baltimore this evening. Clothes to wash, desk to clean off...
Copies of The Nation and The Atlantic came in the mail.
Now and then you meet people you like immediately. Yesterday it was Vineeta Gupta
who is the director of SHAII. Here is a link to her organization:

I'm heading downtown to the King library, will also find a cafe and do some work for the Hurston/Wright Foundation, later in the afternoon. There better be a game on tonight...

Interesting program coming up on the 17th of May:
THE FUTURE OF MUSIC with Pandora founder Tim Westergren.
7PM at 4215 Connecticut Avenue
Questions to be discussed include:
How is technology changing the nature of radio?
Is online radio here to stay or just a fad for tech enthusiasts?
What are the implications for intellectual property and licensing rights?
So there was Jonathan Tasini last night at Busboys, running as a NY Democrat for the US Senate. I hadn't seen Mr. T since the old National Writer's Union days. Tasini is a born politician. This guy might not beat Clinton but he has the look of a Congressman. So when will Mr. Tasini return to Washington? I would bet - very soon. If you want to join the Tasini team today, here is his site:
Historians might look back at the Bush II Era and consider the changes within the CIA to be even bigger than 9/11 or the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. National security, privacy, etc. These are issues that define our freedom and its protection. How do we adjust to a changing world? Who will control the technology that redefines the laws. What if privacy is a 19th or 20th century concept? What if we must always have an enemy and there is never going to be peace? Who profits? What is the difference between control, censorship and the abuse of human rights? What if freedom comes with a price tag and "how to assemble instructions" written in four languages? Do you close the box or look for the right tools? What if freedom falls apart after a two-day use? Do you call a friend? When a country is broken what do you do? Duct-tape?

Friday, May 05, 2006

Not a Supreme Court seat but just as important is the CIA directorship. Who will get this job? Will it be an inside or outside man?
Well, as I mentioned in one of my E-Notes...give Kobe 50. Look for another big game on Saturday. 50 more? This time with a win.

Ichiro in another slump. :-(
Blair troubles in England could be Bush troubles here in the States, later this year if not sooner.If Blair steps down as PM the US will lose a key war supporter.

Oh, and with the price of oil driving folks off cliffs, look for folks wanting to drill for oil near Alaska or anywhere up around the polar bears. Another battle again.
Venezuela and Peru just pulled ambassadors. Is this really necessary? Look at the picture in today's NY Times on page A3. Four Presidents of South American countries in a small circle...Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, and Venezuela. Keep the hugs and smiles warm and many. New World A Coming...
During your life how much will you change? How much will you try to change the world? Damu will be missed. His life changed our world.

May 5th, 2006:

Damu Smith passed away early in the morning of May 5th, 2006.

Funeral/Memorial information is not yet available.

The Life of Damu Smith is a testimony of consistency and commitment to social justice...
Something positive? Nepal declares truce with "rebels." The new government will no longer refer to the Maoists as terrorists.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The latest issue of The American Poetry Review came in the mail. Should I read it?
Fun at Lake Braddock HS today. I read new poems from my next collection. Thanks once again to MM. Evening meeting at the Urban Institute with several art advocates. Discussion around a Washington DC Cultural Vitality Score Card. Another way of measuring the quality of life in this city.

National Mall, May 11-14, 2006
Sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee
Boots and shoes honoring the casualties of the Iraq war... or 202 483-3341 X 301

While at Provisions Library I picked up some information about The Electronic Privacy Information Center, a public interest reseach center in DC. Started in 1994, to focus public attention on emerging civil liberties issues and to protect privacy, freedom of expression and constitutional values in the information age.