Hold It All

Philosophy/Poetics/Politics

Category: Our Heroic and Ceaseless 24/7 Struggle against Tsuris

When We Were Young

The old days of Enneagram exchanges
The old days of “noisy contemplation”
The old days of Wendell Ford
The old days of the FSLN
The old days of Buzz Parsons
The old days of home-made spring rolls
The old days of 319 Idlewylde Drive
The old days of carpet burns
The old days of Corinto
The old days of Xela
The old days with you
When we were young

While Walking on Telegraph Avenue, It Hit Me

Thy eternal narcissism shall not fade,
Alas

–from novel-in-progress, Our Heroic and Ceaseless 24/7 Struggle against Tsuris

The Young Who Teach Us

Jim Zwerg left Madison Wisconsin
To be part of an intensive seminar
In American satyagraha
In Southern viciousness
In the ways power twists the human soul
In the ways the human soul resists power
He was one of the Freedom Riders

One of his fellow riders said
When Zwerg came off the bus at the terminal in Birmingham
The mob that had gathered acted as if it was possessed
“They couldn’t believe there would be a white man who would try to help us”
From a hospital bed
Zwerg said with matter of fact calm
“Segregation must be stopped
It must be broken down
Those of us on the Freedom Ride will continue…
We’re dedicated to this
We’ll take hitting
We’ll take beating
We’re willing to accept death”

Read the rest of this entry »

Nothing Special

I don’t aspire to the New York Times op-ed page
Or The New Yorker
I’d be pleased if Eileen Mosher “likes”
One of the free verse mind flows I write to and for her

My CV is one of the least impressive you’ll read
When it comes to professors who’ve been at it for 15 plus years like me
But I’ve had a fun time doing what it is I do
(People ask quizzically, “What do you do?”) Read the rest of this entry »

Breakdown Precedes Breakthrough

Graham earned enough to be under the taxable limit
Because he didn’t want to pay for war

He couldn’t say “No” when someone asked
“Would you help us fight back?”

He gave and gave and gave some more
Rarely drank, but smoked like it was the 50s

He said his “career” was resistance
He said he’d been arrested 17 times

His world was often crowds, noise, speed
A friend told him to take a day off

“But the poor and the Muslims can’t take a day off”
And he kept on going Read the rest of this entry »

Bella Levenshteyn Engages with Her Critics/1

“Why are you people here?
Why are you making this fuss?”

“Sir, people are suffering, that’s why.”

“But people are suffering right here, too
I’ve got buddies who were sprayed
Why don’t you think of them or lobby for them?”

“Sir, if you know of any specific actions
we can involved in to care for our veterans harmed by Agent Orange”—-
Bella has the most poignant conviction pervading her face—-
“Let me know and we’ll join you”

The septuagenarian stood silent
Then Bella continued Read the rest of this entry »

Refuge

The budget for an already hyper-bloated Pentagon is being increased
I take refuge in Henry Nagler

The sneering sarcasm toward Palestinians struggling for freedom seems ubiquitous
I take refuge in Safa Khalidi

The people busy inflicting wounds on others act as if it is a exciting avocation
I take refuge in Bella Levenshteyn

–from work-in-progress, Our Heroic and Ceaseless 24/7 Struggle against Tsuris

How To Generate a Draft for a Book on Walking Adventures USA

Start out on a walk, with water, digital recorder, notebook and pen

G Start out on a walk, with water, digital recorder, notebook and pen

Go an hour, noticing what ever catches your eye and ear and nostril and recording on digital

Stop after an hour (or 42 minutes), and write for 20 minutes about the time peregrinating

Walk another half hour, more recording, when anything arises

Stop and write 10 minutes about the past half hour, anything goes: weather, pavements, feelings, dog threats, snatches of overheard conversation, people who detain you pleasantly or ominously for ten minutes

Make it a point (although you do this quite unthinkingly I know) of smiling or “hello”-ing 2 to 5 people while strolling

Repeat as inspired to do so  or as rigorously scheduled by you aforethought

Do variations on this in eight cities in USA over the next year

200 hours walking 200 hours writing

Type everything up over a fortnight

Reread and every ten pages recite Kerouac’s mantram–“You’re a Genius all the Time”

–from work-in-progress, Our Heroic and Ceaseless 24/7 Struggle against Tsuris

Gloria Emerson’s Rage, according to Cal

Dear Carla

Cal keeps sending me stuff
I keep sending it to you
With my slight adaptations…

Perry

I endorse her rage
I approve of it
Even though the Buddhist masters say
Anger is a poison

They’d tell Gloria Emerson
To cultivate such expansive compassion
That would include even
Secretary of “Defense” Robert McNamara

I  say, Fuck no
She was spot on in the decades after the war
When she had a vision
of how justice should be meted out to him

Because it would be unprecedented
Never has a U.S. war criminal
Been held accountable
Ever Read the rest of this entry »

Preparing for “Hope and Holiness”–A Letter from Andrew Wimmer

Dear Friends,

John Gabriel wrote last week that he plans to meet with the archbishop to gain clarity.  As I pointed out in my email to faculty on January 11, there is nothing ambiguous about the position of the archdiocese.  They laid it out last spring in a document entitled Hope and Holiness.  You would do well to read it.

I sum up the document in one word.  Abuse.  Why?  The powerful (or so they would fashion themselves) tell the disesteemed how they will experience reality, how they will name themselves, and how they will be lovingly cared for in their disorderedness.
Read the rest of this entry »