Here I parse the meaning of the lengthy first line of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.Continue reading “You Say Constitution, I Say Country”
It’s been three months since I’ve posted here. My wife Andrea Carney and I have separated; she’s in Minnesota near her son Alex and his family while I remain in Denver, moving next month from Central Park to the neighborhood named after Sloan’s Lake, the city’s largest body of water, at its western border. Like many places here, its working-class roots show while the peroxide of gentrification blandly bleaches.1 Gentrification can be seen as rejuvenation, giving youth to the old. But it’s a kind of death.Continue reading “Deaths”
At about the time that Finland and Sweden were welcomed into the NATO follies, YouTube pushed my way a tune by Canadian band Martha and the Muffins, their hit “Echo Beach.” I in turn recalled getting Martha Ladly’s first solo single in 1981, “Finlandia.” It was anthemic, the sleeve graphics imperial.
Oh Lordy.Continue reading “Finlandia, Insania, Tasmania”
Just shy of twenty years ago the then-named Dixie Chicks were pilloried for daring to criticize W for his impending Iraq invasion. They responded with their masterpiece of resistance, “Not Ready to Make Nice.” I bought that album for my wife Andrea Carney, who liked the now-named Chicks. She converted me. Rick Rubin’s impeccable production was akin to what he’d done with Donovan’s Sutras and Johnny Cash’s several American Recordings: let the people play!Continue reading “I’m not ready to make nice”
On August 30, 2006, I received a “don’t break the chain” email from a relative, apparently by mistake. Appropriately it had no subject line because it had no substance. Nevertheless its sentimentalism compelled my response. I offer this as a snapshot in time with which to compare the present discourse.Continue reading “False Flags”
Saturday night, the Fall of Kabul, the Choppers of Cong, the mendacity of “Why didn’t we see this coming?” All I can think about is a poem I heard by chance on KPFK seventeen or eighteen years ago. Haunted then as I am now, remembering little, I wrote to the writer, Los Angeles poet Jan Wesley, asking for a copy.Continue reading “Delightfully Brutal”
I was annoyed Tuesday when the Biden-Harris tribute to the 400,000 fallen included that old, mm…, warhorse “Amazing Grace.” I muttered to my wife Andrea Carney, “Well, as long as they don’t trot out ‘Hallelujah’…,” which of course they did. “Amazing Grace” showed up time and again during the inaugural spectacle. Continue reading “The Old Normal”
There were varied responses to an earlier pandemic, and I first read the following poem in a 1989 collection, Poets for Life: 76 Poets Respond to AIDS. David Kalstone was James Merrill’s friend whose study of Elizabeth Bishop, Marianne Moore, and Robert Lowell was cut short by his death in 1986. Caro is an Italian endearment.
There were varied responses. What are our varied ways today? How to be in solidarity in a time of distancing? Continue reading “Death be not proud: We’ve Been Here Before”