Monday, May 31, 2010

Another thing I need to do, when I'm near the end of the book, is sleep in the same room with it.

    - Joan Didion

" I want to rise so high that when I shit I won't miss anybody."

Let's see how long it takes for the Obama Administration to respond to the situation in the Middle East.
No nation is always right. Israel must play by international rules. No exceptions. At the end of the day we need to resolve the Palestinian question. We must have the courage to promote do nothing is to open the door to failure. From the gulf to do we survive?
Truth is a pathless land

   - Krishnamurti
After all, we are our language. We live and die based on our ability to articulate. And speech in our culture has become corrupted by the forces that do seek power...

   - Paul E. Nelson
Yes, and the flesh is outside in the branches    
            rubbing shoulders with the odors
            of cherry blossoms.

      - Michael McClure                                                                                                   
It's important to connect our tongues to our hearts.

2 RACE KOANS looking for the Buddhist Charles Johnson residing in Seattle on the last day of May in our Lord's year 2010.


Is capping the Gulf oil leak the equivalent of combating the kink?


Is there a philosophical link between the black oil spill in the Gulf and our attempt to "swim" beyond blackness?

 - E. Ethelbert Miller
THE LITTLE e-NOTE: The 1 Question Interview

BARBARA BERMAN. She is the author of The Generosity of Stars.

The Question:Why did you decide to publish Lee Howard's poetry back in 1980?

Lee Howard's poetry was original, skillful and heart felt without feeling manipulative.  She had an extraordinarily mature and humane way of looking at the world. There was a beautiful urgency in the way she told the stories in her poems.   I LOVE being brought back to the sense of discovery when I first heard her so many years ago and I am delighted that her work is being published again.   NO ONE IS EVER AT THE WHEEL and THE RAPE OF DONA are true classics.   I hope the cover of the new volume does her justice.  I was so happy with the cover of Anemone's edition.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Ichiro Watch:

2 hits in last game.
Average at .342

bp and not BP? The lowercase letters will always find someone slipping out the door.  Do you really trust someone with little letters to fix a big oil spill?  bp ran that full page ad again in The New York Times.
Let's look at it. The photo looks like something leftover from the Jackson's Victory Tour. Remember when they posed for that album cover?  Does bp have a lead singer?  When the criminal charges are handed out who is going to get one? According to bp they have a commitment to the environment. Really?  Then why are they drilling? These guys are talking out of butt holes. They also have a commitment to the people of the Gulf. Really? You can't measure assistance in money when people are losing their way of life. How many people will suffer from depression? How many cases of domestic abuse might be linked to this oil spill?  How many people will die from some strange lung disease caused by the clean-up chemicals? The list goes on. bp says they will get things right. What's "wrong" with this statement?

Somebody needs to put a "cap" on it.

OK. Let's call these numbers:
These are hotlines 24/7.  Monitor...

To report oil on the shoreline: (866) 448-5816
To report impacted wildlife: (866) 557-1401
To make spill-related claims: (800) 440 -0858  (Notice how this is the 800 number).
We don't depend on love
Love depends on us
And if we've gone as far as we can
And touched as deep as our reaching will allow us to go
Then we've a need to turn our love and put it elsewhere
And hope it grows

    - from "Summer Carol" by Lee Howard
Lord yes, I've been married
Been married so much and so long
I don't know what single means
That don't mean I don't know about lonely
Ain't nobody knows as much about lonely as married people

  - from " Washed Free" by Lee Howard
I spent much of the afternoon reading HARVEST OF FIRE: New and Collected Work by Lee Howard. This book will be coming out soon. It's edited by George Ella Lyon, who sent me the manuscript last week. Barbara Berman and I published Lee's first book THE LAST UNMINED VEIN back in 1980 when we ran Anemone Press. Lee's work coming out of the hills of Kentucky had a enormous impact on my own voice and what I saw as the possibilities of poetry. White and lesbian - Lee introduced me to the wonders of storytelling. I was forever grateful. Gosh, I just loved listening to the sound of her voice and the patches of humor that punctuated the air whenever she was around. Lee died in 2003. I refuse to count the years since her silence.
Academy of American Poets

May 30, 2010
Today's poem is from Yeshiva Boys, published by Scribner. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.
Read more about this book.

Other Lehman Poems
A Little History
A Quick One Before I Go
Shake the Superflux!

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Academy of American Poets
584 Broadway
Suite 604
New York, NY 10012

French Movie
by David Lehman

I was in a French movie
and had only nine hours to live
and I knew it
not because I planned to take my life
or swallowed a lethal but slow-working
potion meant for a juror
in a mob-related murder trial,
nor did I expect to be assassinated
like a chemical engineer mistaken
for someone important in Milan
or a Jew journalist kidnapped in Pakistan;
no, none of that; no grounds for
suspicion, no murderous plots
centering on me with cryptic phone
messages and clues like a scarf or
lipstick left in the front seat of a car;
and yet I knew I would die
by the end of that day
and I knew it with a dreadful certainty,
and when I walked in the street
and looked in the eyes of the woman
walking toward me I knew that
she knew it, too,
and though I had never seen her before,
I knew she would spend the rest of that day
with me, those nine hours walking,
searching, going into a bookstore in Rome,
smoking a Gitane, and walking,
walking in London, taking the train
to Oxford from Paddington or Cambridge
from Liverpool Street and walking
along the river and across the bridges,
walking, talking, until my nine hours
were up and the black-and-white movie
ended with the single word FIN
in big white letters on a bare black screen.

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After she met someone else,
she sent back my letters and cards.
She kept the books and the gifts that
had lost their glitter or had crawled
to the back of her closet. There were things
still wrapped in silk and promises.
Our memories like spoiled sex
dangled from hangers. I had become an
acrobat of the heart. She folded her net
the day I left. She caught someone else.
Every clown loves a circus.

-  E. Ethelbert Miller

Recommended reading about relationships:

Modern Love - Modern Love - Our Way of Saying Goodbye -

May 30, 2010 ... Modern Love. Our Way of Saying Goodbye. By LAURA FRASER ... Laura Fraser is the author of the memoir “An Italian Affair. ...
Quote of the Day:

BP is a corporation, it's going to protect its bottom line. But where are the government agencies who are supposed to protect the health and safety of our citizens?

    - Tracy Kuhns, The New York Times, May 30, 2010.
It's going to be a hot day. I love the heat. I just came back from a short morning walk up the street toWalter Reed Army Medical Center and back. I wonder what the Reed site is going to look like in a few years.  Right now there are discussions regarding the re-use of the area.  For additional information visit:
May 30, 2010
Tricycle Daily Dharma
The Path of Supreme Optimism

Buddhism is a path of supreme optimism, for one of its basic tenets is that no human life or experience is to be wasted or forgotten, but all should be transformed into a source of wisdom and compassionate living. This is the connotation of the classical statement that sums up the goal of Buddhist life: "Transform delusion into enlightenment." On the everyday level of experience, Shin Buddhists speak of this transformation as "bits of rubble turn into gold.

-Taitetsu Unno, "Number One Fool" (Spring 2008)

How long will it take for BP to stand for Black People?  The Gulf is a mess and someone has to be blamed for this. Be sure it's not going to be the corporations. Is anyone talking Halliburton yet? Has anyone seen Cheney?  Of course not. Is Jindal talking about less government these days? Of course not. Oh, and who is going to get the blame for this mess. BP?  That's correct. Black people. The Oil mess is Obama's mess.
He is responsible for all this oil spilling because he didn't act too soon. Well, let's look at the logic - even if he had started to do something on day 1 - what could he have done?  BP can't stop the oil from flowing into the ocean; it looks like they don't even know how. It's just a matter of time before Obama becomes a Tar Baby for the Right. Hold the oysters! Throw him into the Gulf. And you thought folks would stop at TEA?
So yesterday I went to the movies  (after an awful meal ) in Silver Spring and saw JUST WRIGHT. This is a good movie for the "larger" black woman. All you had to do was listen to folks in the audience talking back to the screen. Oh, and they did. Paula Patton's character is right out of the fairy tales. She's a beautiful witch/bitch - slender and seductive. She has one goal and that's to be an N.B.A. wife. It was funny seeing this image of black women being depicted on the screen. No uproar about stereotypes here. As Queen Latifeh  says in this movie - "I'm not one of those salad eating chicks."  Everyone likes chemistry in the lab and the movies. This film give us Common and the Queen. They interact well. There are hugs and kisses - and off screen love making. The Queen shall show no nipples if she wishes to remain Queen. Is this movie about finding true love or is it a long promotional advertisement for the Nets basketball franchise? One wonders if Dwayne Wade who is in the movie (with a speaking part) will be changing his jersey in a few months.The Nets are winners in this film. I was surprise not to see a Stern face in a cameo. Overall- JUST WRIGHT is the right movie if you're still out there looking for Mr. Wright. It's also a film every rookie entering the N.B.A. should see.  No reason to get dunked on for your money. Yes, we know that's wrong but we haven't gotten it right yet. Have we?  There are many material girls out there - black and waiting for their lotto ticket.

Lakers against the Celtics. David Stern must be doing a jig.  A return to the old movies. So how many times will we see Magic and Bird on television?  Too much. This is like Bill Clinton talking about the White House to a young intern. I'm happy for Kobe who has a chance to win another ring without Shaq. Being a "little brother" should come with a stopwatch. I'm also happy for all the "old" guys on the Celtics. I'm beginning to love Rondo's game -so I might just sit back and hope the series goes 7.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Ichiro Watch:

2 hits last night.
Average at .338

Like Ichiro I'm trying to get out of a slump.  Much work to do over the holiday weekend. I did slip by the public library yesterday and pick-up two movies ( American Splendor and Persepolis) and the new biography of Paul Robeson written by his son Paul Robeson Jr.  I spent last night reading about the early 1950s and the Robeson passport fight.

Heading out this morning to a Bar Mitzvah in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Friday, May 28, 2010


If the new estimate is accurate, as much as 30 million gallons of oil may already have poured into the gulf over 37 days- nearly triple the amount spilled when the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Alaska in 1989. But that amount is still smaller than the nearly 140 million gallons of oil spilled into the gulf over nine months by the Mexican rig Ixtoc I in 1979, the world's largest accidental release of oil. That fact, however, will do little to allay fears that a massive cloud of oil swirling below the surface of the gulf will continue to wreak environmental and economic damage for months, if not years to come.

 - The New York Times, May 28, 2010 

  1. KONCH MAGAZINE: Ishmael Reed Publication

Highly Recommended Reading:

" Is Sarah Palin Porn? by Jack Hitt in the latest issue of Harper's Magazine/June 2010.
Once you are into the life of writing, you are never really rid of the inner voices, and they are certainly not all your own.

      - Barry Hannah
Define Corexit.

Answers In Waiting:

  1. Sky NewsWorry About Dispersant Rises as Men in Work Crew Complain of ...‎ - 13 hours ago
    Last week the Environmental Protection Agency asked BP to stop using the dispersant, known as Corexit, and find a safer alternative. ...
    New York Times - 278 related articles »

  2. COREXIT® Technology - Nalco Company

Did I miss something?  When did the TEA Party become a real political party? Is there a logo next to a TEA Party candidate when you go vote? Or are these TEA Party candidates running below our political radar? Please tell.

We seem to create these ambiguous groups with the help of the media and then we feed the "monster" our myths. Frankenstein without the walk. The real destruction is to American history. From TEA to Texas - notice how the narrative is being changed. This is nothing but a "Barack Backlash" if you want to create a new term. When was the last time you heard the media using the word backlash? It's obvious that much of this anti-government - bring back the 13 colonies nonsense is nothing but a political backlash to the changes the Obama Administration is trying to do. The mid-term elections will see some ugly stuff raise it heads. In a few more months look for voting fraud and media corruption in the form of stories circulating without any documented proof.  Explain to me how we can so quickly assume the Democratic Party is going to lose seats in the next election. What is this based on?  Polls?  Fox News Pundits?  Go back and just see how often the polls are wrong. Hey - just talk to Obama. Isn't the guy president or do you still want to check his birth certificate?  Do we hear the media discussing how Republicans might lose some seats?  Of course not. There has to be a Republican running for office that isn't going to be elected. What if I took that person's defeat as representative of what our nation was thinking?  It would be dumb foolish - yet we do this whenever a Democrat is defeated. What is the media trying to tell us or make us think?  One thing they don't want is massive organizing from the Left. That's not going to be a problem because the Left always fails to organize itself. The Left too often follows - seldom leads. If this would change, America would change and we would see more compassion - that's if the Left understands how important compassion is. It's not a sign of weakness but of strength. It's actually what King would call - the strength to love.

Greetings. I don't recall a direct conversation between us since the Jewish Music Festival a couple years back, though I'm sure I've seen you at some event or another since. I'm also sure I've meant to discuss one thing or another in these several years. Anyway, here's just a quick note on an old topic.

Two days ago I was interviewed by NPR on Esperanto, on the occasion of a nationwide Esperanto meeting in Bethesda this holiday weekend, which also marks the centenary of the 6th International Esperanto Congress in Washington in 1910, the first outside of Europe and the only occasion on which Dr. Zamenhof visited the USA, which from the distant perspective of an East European Jew, impressed him greatly. As NPR could only devote 3 minutes of airtime to this subject, my extensive conversation was whittled down to a couple of sentences. The archived program can nonetheless be retrieved at:

Marking The Centennial Of Esperanto Creator's Visit by Art Silverman
"All Things Considered", National Public Radio, Tuesday 25 May 2010, 5:55 pm EDT

Anyway, this Sunday I will contribute to the Esperanto conference in two sessions. In the poetry session organized by Esther Shor, who is involved in poetry at Harvard or Princeton or somewhere else I can't remember, I will recite my Esperanto translations of William Blake. More significantly, I will present a session on "Esperanto, Washington, and the World in 1910, in Esperanto but with reference to the press and a slide show, so with English-language sources. The press coverage and official involvement in 1910 was over-the-top, in huge contrast to 2010.

I'm still working on this at the last minute, but I began in the past year by beginning to cover an angle which nobody else has looked at before: how was Esperanto treated in the black press and is there any indication of early black interest or involvement with the language, and how far could it have progressed in Jim Crow America? Here are a few indications of my findings (still fairly embryonic):

I have more material from later decades, nothing specific to 1910 as yet. But close to that year? . . . My most interesting discovery was a very important historical figure:
. . . and more on Mr. Pickens.

I thought you might be interested in these historical tidbits.



Dear Ethelbert,

I just finished watching this video -- and I hope every American sees it.

Philippe Cousteau, grandson of famous explorer Jacques Cousteau, went underwater off the Gulf Coast to see first-hand what the Deepwater Oil Disaster looks and feels like. And the answer he came back with: "This is a nightmare."

Watch this video and share it with all your friends.

Watch the Video

We've seen the oil start to wash up on shore, and we've seen satellite images of the slick. But that's only the tip of the iceberg: Take a look at the underwater impact of the oil geyser and the dangerous chemicals BP is using to "disperse" it -- effects that could last for decades, even if today's risky "Top Kill" maneuver to plug the well works.

It's never been clearer: The consequences of our dependence on oil, from the Deepwater Oil Disaster to the climate crisis, are completely unacceptable.


David Boundy
Campaign Manager
Repower America


Treve de blues
- Leon Damas

Compassion is my art
 -Grace A. Ali

God makes stars. It's up to producers to find them.
- Samuel Goldwyn

My guest blogger today is  Alyssa McLendon.  Ms. McLendon was featured in the last E-MAG. She is a Howard University student visiting the Dominican Republic this summer.

Cold Showers, Mangoo, and a Ceiling Fan
So what’s it like living down here?

Well, looking out the airplane window while landing you see beautiful palm trees swaying, the blue ocean shimmering and you think you’ve just arrived in paradise. However as soon as you step out of the airport and into the humidity, your hair may tell you otherwise as it begins to frizz. It’s hot. And I don’t mean regular hot because normally I love the heat. I mean it is so hot that you may cool off some by sticking your head inside an oven. It’s sticky and humid to the point where you need to take at least two showers a day because when night time hits and you’re scratching your skin from all the mosquito bites, you can see the dirt piling up underneath your nails. But even with the extreme heat, I love it here! Mi familia that I am living with has to be the best host family ever (although my new friend Greg would probably beg to differ).

The abuela who I call my “Mama” has to be the sweetest lady I’ve ever met. She's no more than 5 foot tall and always welcomes me with hugs and kisses while pinching my cheeks and crying out “Que linda! Que linda!” (How cute!) She doesn’t speak a word of English but is extremely patient, kind, and loving to me despite my inability to understand what she is saying half the time.

There is mi hermana, DarJennie, who can sing her ass off! She is 14, skinny, and has a voice bigger than Christina Aguilera’s. I love her to death. It’s so easy to forget that she doesn’t speak English because she looks like a regular 14 year old American girl you would see in the States, Miley Cyrus fan and all. Then there’s the 2 year old boy, Hosea, and the 3 month baby boy, whose name I forget at the moment -honestly.

My room is WAY better than I expected. It’s bigger than my dorm room at school so that should speak volumes. I have a full size bed, a vanity dresser, a full length mirror, and (thank the Lord) a ceiling fan. By the end of the first day my head was pounding so vigorously from trying to understand all this Spanish being thrown at me I thought it was going to explode. When the working mom came home and spoke in English I almost cried in relief.

The next day, all of the students in the study abroad program had to take a Spanish placement test to see what level our Spanish is on for the classes we will be taking this semester. There are three levels: Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced. I was placed in Intermediate which isn’t so bad considering I haven’t taken a single Spanish class since high school.

After class, most of us bombard the computer lab to connect to our family and friends so they can know that we are alive and safe. I never saw the importance of social media until now (I always saw it as egotistical and narcissistic but that’s a different topic) but it really is an asset when out of the country and your phone company is trying to charge you an international fee of $3 per minute. There is another girl who is living in the same apartment complex as me named, Arcena, so we take a taxi that her host mom pre-paid for back to the house.

At my new house the family is very warm and receptive. Catering to me like I’m a hotel guest and they’re expecting tips, but I try not to make a fuss out of anything. Dinner was a traditional Dominican dish called Mangoo. Mangoo is mashed plantains with white cheese on top. The plantains tasted like mashed potatoes and the cheese was so thick I thought it was meat at first. It tasted alright. The water cuts off after around 8:30 ish so I took a shower (a COLD shower, no hot water fyi) and as soon as I hit the bed, I was knocked out! The sun wears you out down here so most people wake up early and go to bed early.

With so much stuff to take in I honestly have barely had time to do anything else but just that. Just sit back and figure out how everything operates down here and then after that I can spread my own wings and try to fly. But it’s only the beginning of my two months and so I have time to first observe from my branch on this beautiful, humid island.

Hasta lluego!

-The Girl with the Monkey Mind

Thursday, May 27, 2010

News Alert: Obama orders halt to operations at all 33 deep-water rigs in the 
01:19 PM EDT Thursday, May 27, 2010

Obama announces a halt to drilling operations at all 33 deep-water rigs in the 
Gulf of Mexico for 6 months or until a presidential commission completes its 
work. Some of the rigs are already drilling and will have to stop. Others were 
preparing to drill and will have to stop those preparations until the commission 
Juniper: Buddhist Training for modern life


It has been just over a year since we launched Juniper's Web
site. Our goal was to create a beacon for others to connect with
Juniper and to discover what we are doing. We have been delighted
with the results, and interest in Juniper's work grows daily. In
the past few months, we have also offered two introductory
courses on Buddhist training and meditation in our Redwood City
meditation hall, as well as ongoing meditations at 7 p.m. on
Tuesday evenings.

Ultimately, Juniper's task is to extend into modern life a
Buddhist teaching lineage through which any person can engage an
authentic path of spiritual development. This path includes
meditation, study, self-discipline, and a collection of
visualization and healing practices. In the next phase of
Juniper's work, our goal is to enable any person anywhere to
learn these methods, and we are working on ways to accomplish
this through the Internet and other media.

We have also scheduled a retreat in Calistoga, California on May
11-15, 2011, where we can spend a few days learning and
meditating together. We will send more details about this soon.

Finally, Juniper's Lawrence Levy was recently interviewed by Ted
Meissner of The Secular Buddhist. In the interview, Lawrence
describes his own journey, the story behind Juniper, and
Juniper's plans for the future. If you would like to hear the
interview, it is available online at The Secular Buddhist's Web
site or through their iTunes podcast (Episode 12):

Online audio

iTunes podcast

We look forward to being in touch soon.

The Juniper Team

Reply to
Quote of the Day:

Everyone is a capitalist until a private company blunders. Then everyone starts talking like a socialist, presuming that the government can put things right...

- E.J. Dionne Jr.
"TOP KILL" - another dumb term that will become part of our vocabulary. No wonder our language is polluted.
News Alert: Gulf leak nation's worst spill; far bigger than Exxon Valdez 
10:51 AM EDT Thursday, May 27, 2010

ROBERT, La. -- New oil flow estimates by scientists studying the blown-out well 
in the Gulf of Mexico would make leak the worst in the nation's history, far 
bigger than 11 million gallons that spilled in the Exxon Valdez disaster. U.S. 
Geological Survey Director Dr. Marcia McNutt says the results are preliminary, 
but two teams using different methods determined the well that exploded April 20 
and sank two days later has spilled between 17 and 39 million gallons. 
What are the preconditions of ecstasy?

I've been watching BBC coverage of the oil spill in the Gulf. How can one not be angry and upset? For many people a way of life might come to an end. The fishing industry that employs Vietnamese workers will probably be hit hard. If you can't work - how can you keep a roof over your head? Drilling for oil comes with so many risks?  Might we encounter the same risks with the construction of nuclear facilities that might operate without any oversight? Once again our failure to control what large corporations do places our way of life at risk. BP will continue to be invited to drill wherever they want in the world. Imagine a world without enough oil? How much do we want to change our lifestyle? There is a tremendous "gulf" between the truth and lies these days. Who can you trust?  Who can you believe? The problem we face in the future is that some of the big corporations are slicker than the oil they drill for.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Here is a link to my friend Christine Walker's blog.

Upcoming Events

June 18 & 19
Memoir Workshop
Tell Your Story True
2-Day Memoir/Autobiography Intensive
Washington, DC

July 16 & 17
Fiction Workshop
A 2-Day Fiction Writing Intensive
Washington, DC

Marita Golden


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Ask Marita!

Dear E. Ethelbert,

On Thursday, June 3rd at 8pm (EST) I am hosting my very first ASK MARITA (No-Cost) Tele-seminar and I hope you're available to listen and learn. This information-packed call will be based on questions submitted by participants and will allow you to have YOUR most pressing questions answered.

Below are just a few of the questions I've already selected and will be answering on the call.  These are questions that I know many of you would like answered.

Question #1 - Is self-publishing a viable option?

Question #2 - Once my manuscript is finished what is the next step?

Questions #3 - How do I find the inspiration to write regularly?

Question #4 - How do I write a memoir with honesty and not anger or lose family and friends?

Question #5
- How do I find an agent?
ASK MARITA is a live 60-minute call where you determine the content and I answer as many questions as possible that will inspire you and jump-start your writing life.

During the call I will answer from 8 - 12 questions, so there's still time to send me your most important question.

I look forward to to answering your questions.
Computer, Paper, DeskYour Writing Coach,
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Marita Golden