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Thursday, March 20, 2003

Around the 20th


‘No beast is more savage than man when possessed with power answerable to his rage.’



This evening I passed by the American Embassy in Amsterdam. Outside of the heavily guarded compound a small group of mainly young protesters were rallying; beating their drums and clapping their hands, singing makeshift mantras. Strewn across the lawn in the outer enclosure of the Embassy building, lay their pamphlets; folded like paper planes, which had crashed into no man’s land.


Dear Pard,

Your letter explains why I saw two FBI agents watching a trout stream last week. They watched a path that came down through the trees and then circled a large black stump and led to a deep pool. Trout were rising in the pool. The FBI agents watched the path, the trees, the black stump, the pool and the trout as if they were all holes punched in a card that had just come out of a computer. The afternoon sun kept changing everything as it moved across the sky, and the FBI agents kept changing with the sun. It appears to be part of their training.

Your friend,

Trout Fishing in America


From the chapter ‘Trout Fishing in America with The FBI’

© Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan – Picador Books 1970


‘Marlow ceased, and sat apart, indistinct and silent, in the pose of a meditating Buddha. Nobody moved for a time. ‘We have lost the first of the ebb,’ said the Director, suddenly. I raised my head. The offing was barred by a black bank of clouds, and the tranquil waterway leading to the uttermost ends of the earth flowed sombre under an overcast sky- seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness.’


© Epilogue for ‘Heart of Darkness’ by Joseph Conrad – Penguin Modern Classics 1973



By Sergeant Joyce Kilmer – Killed in action at Ourcy France July 30, 1918


I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.


© From: Trees and Other Poems by Joyce Kilmer – George H. Doran Publishers 1914


posted by Walter at 3/20/2003

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

The 18th in shorthand


‘It may roundly be asserted that human ingenuity cannot concoct a cipher which human ingenuity cannot resolve.’

Edgar Allan Poe


The War on Terrorism aims to consolidate the Gulf War’s esthetic

Moving scripts where
They need them
Moving guns where
They feed them
Moving doors where
They lock them
Moving spirits where
They stock them

The War on Terrorism aims to extend the future


[The smell of color]

Red- a recently extinguished log fire

Blue- a plate of stale shellfish

Green- a clean kitchen

Yellow- a putrid ditch during high summer

Black- a wet dog


‘To retreat now I believe, would put at hazard all that we hold dearest: turn the United Nations back into a talking-shop, stifle the first steps of progress in the Middle East; leave the Iraqi people to the mercy of events on which we would have relinquished all power to influence for the better. Tell our allies that at the very moment of action, at the very moment when they need our determination, that Britain faltered. I will not be party to such a cause. (‘Hear, hear’ by most of the House) This is not the time to falter, this is the time for this House; not just this government, or indeed this Prime Minister; but for this House to give a lead, to show that we will stand up for what we know to be right. To show that we will confront the tyrannies, and dictatorships and terrorists who put our way of life at risk. To show that at the moment of decision, we have the courage to do the right thing.’

-An impassioned Tony Blair; addressing a packed House of Commons in London today-


The Volcano is Dark

The volcano is dark, and suddenly thunder
Engulfs the haciendas.
In this darkness, I think of men in the act of procreating,
Winged, stooping, kneeling, sitting down, standing up, sprawling,
Millions of trillions of billions of men moaning,
And the hand of the eternal woman flung aside.
I see their organ frozen into a gigantic rock,
Shattered now ….
And the cries which might be the groans of the dying
Or the groans of love-

-Malcolm Lowry-


From: Selected poems by Malcolm Lowry – © City Lights Books 1962


posted by Walter at 3/18/2003