Sunday, July 29, 2007


For the moment, I think I am in a poetry paradise. The party is only beginning.

And then a swarm of police wearing bulletproof vests with badges on ropes around their necks like characters from The Shield illegally storm into this private art gallery. Without so much as a search warrant or even an explanation, five of them surround the DJ and demand he turn off Mark Morrison's "Return of the Mack." Issuing uncompromising threats, they force the DJ to announce over the microphone that without so much as a discussion EVERYONE MUST LEAVE THE PREMISES.

Like a scene out of Robocop, a small army, in ominous black jumpsuits with CHICAGO POLICE in big white letters across their chests, arm the exits as hundreds of literate citizens file out into the night. --CJ Laity,
A local publisher organizes to host Chicago poets at a privately owned gallery; and out of nowhere a mass of police enter, rudely shouting and intimidating those who were about to enjoy some music and a free meal.

Laity goes on to add, "This is America, not Afghanistan; and your taxes shouldn't fund the Taliban tactics that succeed in censoring the culture in this city. I wish I had my camera so that I could show you just how knuckle-headed these armed thugs looked barking threats at the peaceful publishers of Chicago literature."

In one of our famous, cultured cities, cops are roundly driving poets and publishers out the exits of an art gallery.

Can you believe it?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

copeland morris THE CANTOS OF WAR

"We used to wonder where war lived; is in this terrible loneliness of the combatants and the noncombatants, in this humiliated despair which we all feel, in the baseness that we feel growing in our faces as the days go by. The reign of beasts has begun." --Albert Camus


A curbside bomb. Your very own Book of the Junta.
You were fourteen, then nineteen, in someone's
Recollection, before lakes of crude oil had burst
Into scarlet and magenta. With her little jots
Of music at night, the mockingbird comforts me
With her twittering. I still remember the Picture
Book of War: Collier's Photographic History.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


The public pressure for impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney has increased, and is focused at present, on ways in which these leaders operate as a law unto themselves. By throwing caution aside, these men have abandoned normal restraint, through criminality, stealth and deception, brutality and violence. More than anything else, the public seems to have grasped the administration's contempt for justice. A White House without any sense of shame, run with irresponsible authority, is something most Americans had never dreamed was possible. The Constitution provides for Congress to enact the laws and for a President to faithfully execute the laws of the land. But when any president or vice president acts upon their belief that they can break laws, pass along illegal orders to their subordinates, and perpetuate criminality through their chain of command, they must be impeached.

By the terms of our Constitution no one is above the law. Justice is necessary; we cannot aspire to be "a nation of laws, not men" unless we begin impeachment. We cannot explain these times outside of justice and the need to establish justice. The Republic will die if our representatives ask us to go on living without justice, just clinging, hanging on as prisoners in isolation do, counting up our days by making scratch marks on the wall. Just waiting out Bush and Cheney until their terms of office expire will not do.

They have to go.

If we fail to respect our Constitution; our own liberties may fail, like those of the Roman Republic. There is no justice without full disclosure, not after these last six years of crimes in high office. Treason moves like a shadow behind a curtain of silence and secrecy; and we have seen with our own eyes how Mr. Libby has had his silence purchased by the President's commutation of his sentence.

Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney have spoken endlessly of freedom; but they meant, to be sure, a freedom to take advantage of the guileless, the poor, and the unprepared. They quickly discarded people who acted in good faith, or any others who ever believed in their lies. It's been a real bash for their bagmen, henchmen, mercenaries and war profiteers, for the assorted torturers, wiretappers, kidnappers, freebooting lobbyists and murderers. It's a pity we can't impeach them all and point out their contemptible mugs on TV.

Bush and Cheney have now instructed their employees and former employees to ignore congressional subpoenas and invest themselves in contempt of Congress. The two Mr. Bigs should be made to answer articles of impeachment; and if they are obstinate, they can prepare for their trial in the Senate. To have the option of resigning is a much better thing than either of them deserves. But let them resign if they want to
be saved the embarrassment.

Thursday, July 05, 2007


The young dead soldiers do not speak.
Nevertheless, they are heard in the still houses:
who has not heard them?
They have a silence that speaks for them at night
and when the clock counts.
They say: We were young. We have died.
Remember us.
They say: We have done what we could
but until it is finished it is not done.
They say: We have given our lives but until it is finished
no one can know what our lives gave.
They say: Our deaths are not ours: they are yours,
they will mean what you make them.
They say: Whether our lives and our deaths were for
peace and a new hope or for nothing we cannot say;
it is you who must say this.
We leave you our deaths. Give them their meaning.
We were young, they say. We have died; remember us.

copeland morris ENTWINED SONNET

Her shaded eyes, her necklace black velvet, onyx. Anguish she spoke; and he carried on, obsessed As only a young man could. An odd harm...