asi, niño

esas cosas tan bonitas me dejan

mares y barras y el almanecer
y secretos que se enseñan con cada delicadez
artes practicados con paciencia sagrada
como regalitos dejados por quienquiera que los encuentre
luces y musica bajo techo de palmas
vistos y sentidos a una distancia
por la noche
el sonido de las olas reflejando
la primera luz grizazul del sol
pálido, desbelado
quemando nubes inocentes
como sabanas de algodon blanco
sobre el cuerpo de una virgen de dieciséis
tan lindos, estos pensamientos
que me quiero montarme en un coche
y largar me a mexico
donde me encontraría un muchacho superguapo
para bañarme en aguas saladas
y también en el mar


please go have so much fun playing with this

it has easy-to-use controls so you can play the frathole moment over and over...

p.s. UP YOURS!

in other amusing news...

invisible, impossible girl

sometimes i feel i am such a hurt little person
i want so much that i seem thin and hungry to myself
as if the air whistles easily around me
walking down ninth street - a lovely view at dusk -
surrounded by the speaking sound of dry leaves
sweeping along the pebbled concrete
gray spiderwebs of clouds caught up on the moon,

writing letters in my head to people i will never meet
dancing in my socks, safe in my room,
singing to myself in low voice
to poor dead jeff buckley and sad country shuffles
played by jersey boys in boston bars
about driving around teaneck in our parents' cars
to poems made of words i misheard or misunderstood
reading your lives
and recasting myself in them, dreamily,
like someone telling herself a story on a long walk, late at night.
i wish we could be healed lightly-
wounds pinched closed as one might seal a piecrust,
trust and hope melting together into sugar
and not this mess of improbabilities and contradictory desires
firing me till i crack or fuse into some new shape
that i am yet blind to
and which i still will not be able to explain to you...
but no girl is an isla.
hurdles to turtles, fumbles to miracles, amen

Bring on the plague years

check out the whole article at salon.com (follow link above - you'll have to watch a short ad...)

The presentations at last week's federal biodefense meeting moved seamlessly to connect the dots between serious science and surreal scenarios. Lawrence Kerr, the assistant director for Homeland and National Security at the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) summarized the president's manifesto, "Biodefense for the 21st Century."

The document is a case study in hubris, beginning with its "Pillars of Our Biodefense Program." The pillar of "threat awareness" requires us to "anticipate and prepare for novel or genetically engineered biological threat agents." Such a task would easily consume the entire federal R&D budget. But this is only the beginning. In a country where tens of millions lack basic health insurance, the White House offers us a comprehensive bioterror package that includes three initiatives: Biowatch, Biosense and Bioshield. Like Bioshield, the Biowatch and Biosense programs start with the assumption that the enemy has or will obtain highly advanced biological weapons of mass destruction. But when Kerr begins to discuss "dual-use biological research" the sense of a fantasy being carved into stone becomes overwhelming.

The enemy, it seems, may very well be us. The screen behind Kerr showed a collage of research publications in the world's most prestigious journals: Americans pushing back the frontiers of science. But, with biodefense as priority No. 1, the message from the White House is that university researchers need to recognize that their work could pose a threat to public health or national security. The biological community, we are informed, lacks an ethos of security. Given that 36,000 people died from the flu last year while anthrax (from an unknown source) has claimed a grand total of five lives, one must wonder if the White House lacks an ethos of reality.

As the presentations continued, the dots became harder to connect. We will construct "immune buildings" that sample the air every two minutes (a quarter-million times a year) and respond to a single weaponized spore by unleashing laser-guided micromachines that spew synthetic antibodies. We will re-glaze Washington and New York City with window panes that change color upon contact with airborne bioterror agents. We will develop long-range sensors that can follow and analyze clouds to determine if they are filled with pathogens. We will nanofabricate self-cleaning surfaces capable of removing every last microorganism and virus particle. These are phantasmagorical juxtapositions for a nation already plagued by decaying infrastructure and an array of other problems awaiting even low-technology solutions. Can we justify the construction of "immune buildings" when many of our schools, highways and bridges are literally falling down? Should we be re-glazing office buildings with biosensor windows when millions live in substandard housing? Should we develop materials that decontaminate theoretical bioweapons when we cannot rid our environment of common but deadly pollutants?

holy shit, the Red Socks won?!

From: Mckee, Nick [GRB]
Sent: Thursday, October 28, 2004 10:50 AMTo: Vanessa Soto
Subject: Prelude to the Apocalypse

With the Redsox first world series win in 86 years via a sweep of the Cardinals (the season's best team which hadn't lost four straight all year) I fear nature's delicate balance has been disrupted. Last night the moon turned blood red, geese are no longer flying south for the winter, it snowed near Las Vegas and my kids woke up this morning and did everything they were told without argument. This all points to something dreadful. God help us next Tuesday!

-----Original Message-----
From: Vanessa Soto [mailto:vanessa@iab.net]
Sent: Thursday, October 28, 2004 10:38 AMTo: Mckee, Nick [GRB]
Subject: Sorry about your Cardinals!

Who'd have thought the Sox would pull it off?


clem snide, 'exercise' lyrics, from 'your favorite music'

take it easy, or you'll hurt yourself
dance that couch across the floor
you'll sprain your wrist,
the rug will burn your knees-
is there an exercise for that?
find a way to brace yourself:
the heart's a muscle and that's all.
there's no way that love can help
your twisted ankles when you fall

to entertain a love that's always late
jumping jacks can ease your mind
folding sweatsuits with a knotted hand
...you can almost touch your toes
find a way to brace yourself,
your heart's a muscle and that's all.
there's no way that love can help
your twisted ankles when you fall

take it easy, or you'll hurt yourself
dance that couch across the floor
you'll sprain your wrist,
the rug will burn your knees-
cause there's no exercise for that...


very strange dreams last night, even for me.

shopping with my parents, i bought a beautiful black lace-net cocktail dress, which i was planning to wear to a reception. strangely, i picked it up at a sort of large discount pharmacy, like a cvs or similar, but in a pretty crummy neighborhood. there were a couple of very fine rough silk and embroidered lace skirts in butter yellow and deep teal green, but one was too small, and the other too expensive. anyway, i bought the black dress and some saline solution, which is what i had gone in there for in the first place. it was a tiny, cramped little place, and i irritated the cashier by changing my purchase at the last minute after making him price-check the clothes.
then i dreamt that i was living in this beautiful house in florence with gardens at the back terraced up a hill. it was in altr'arno, looking back over the valley towards the duomo and fiesole, and the gardens had a stream running over and under the plantings, and a little gazebo up at the top. The house was owned by an elderly couple, and I was staying with them while i lived in italy. at various points in the dream, however, i was different characters, switching back and forth during this section from myself to a young couple falling in love, from each of their points of view. when the girl was mistakenly arrested in a nightclub for drug posession after having been falsely accused, she/i wore the black dress from earlier in the dream to her hearing, at which we were aquitted when our accuser misspoke. the dress was a bit tight, but looked great.
at this point, the dream took a funny turn when i decided to take a walk in the hills. i followed a tributary of the arno for many miles, up hills and through valleys, pausing at one point at a broad and relatively shallow pool which was absolutely filled with fish, crabs, frogs and, (of course!) turtles and terrapins. I stepped onto the back of an absolutely massive turtle, and sat down on it's shell for a while as it cruised around the pond, looking at the buildings of florence though a deep v-shaped valley between the hills. eventually, the turtle climbed back onto the shore and i got off. it gave me a kind of skeptical glance and then returned to the water. i continued my journey, running into my parents and my grandmother in a car, we drove along a twisting road that more or less followed the path of the river. there were strange-looking rounded houses along both banks, some shops and some homes, and i though it quite odd, this architectural style, for the countryside. the car arrived at a series of locks and rolled right into the water, climbing up the riverbed in slow stages. i remember looking out at the river, seeing the long plants pointing in the direction of the current and the algae growing on the mechanisms. we pulled into a parking lot of some kind, to pick up our laundry, but much of it fell into the water and we lurched about wading in the hip-deep river fishing underwear and socks from the reeds and drains and grates.
eventually i found myself approaching a sort of grand manor house in a bend in the river. i walked in, into the midst of preparations for a wedding with some highly eccentric (ha!) people walking around dressed, alternately, like turn-of-the-last-century nouveau riche and straggly arthurian knights and ladies. the interior of the house is like a junk shop piled two floors high. as the chubby vulgar gibson girls rush around getting ready to attend the wedding, i amass small ornaments in a basket and creep up to the second floor in a surprise attack on the 'enemy' knights, whom i proceed to pepper and bean with paperweights, old chipped porcelain hands and swans and so forth. eventually the princecharmingesque groom gives up and comes over to tell maidmaybemarian that he's real sorry, but that he is totally gay and would rather not get married. considering that my job is done, i leave the house, only to discover that there is some kind of bizarre performance-art peice happening on the front lawn, which is nestled by the river. there's a screen, where images are being projected, and a bunch of people are getting very high indeed on various and sundry exotic drugs, which they drink down and smoke with abandon. i join them, a bit suspiciously, (For this part of the dream, I am for no reason at all, Kurt Russell) and set about getting extremely wasted and participating in a bit of a halfassed orgy in one of those little electric corvettes that parents give their spoiled little kids. meh. the banks of the river are littered with incredible white spiral shells and their hermit crabs, and in my totally zonked state, i just stagger around under the strangely tropical foliage, until i discover a path that leads to a rather lovely pavilion by the edge of an enormous lake, with a sort of museum building a hundred yards further down the shore. teams of workers are restoring the pavilion and various visitors are scattered around the highly picturesque docks and benches and pilings, feeding bread to some truly enormous koi fish, who surge out of the water to nip to food from our hands (i'm not kurt russell right now) leaving traces of fish spit and wetly masticated dough on my fingers, which i cannot wash off because everytime i try to dip my hands in the water, the fish think i'm feeding them and nip at my fingers. i try to explain to the people sitting nearest me that koi are ornamental carp, but for some reason they just refuse to believe me. after a while i wander off towards the museum pavilion, where there is some kind of installation art show. the museum is part inside and part outside. among the installations, an open tibetan temple alongside the fence that gives out on a busy highway, the prayer-wheels and gongs contrasting with the buzz and whoosh of cars careening by a couple of feet outside the enormous hardwood arches and chain-link fence choked with bolting weeds. in another room, a beautiful bed, set at a forty-five degree angle to the walls. a huge room with walls covered in prints of art noveau and jackson pollacks and swaths of tulle. various rooms have human components, a dancer, a short-haied girl declaiming pretentious nonsense in a highly theatrical tone. several rooms have windows and doors which give on further installations, hedges and avenues outside. i am wrapped in a blanket, looking for some people who know the organizers of the show, but eventually i decide that it is time to leave.
by bridge and rollerblade and flying car, picking up another hippie traveler, who pilots for a while, as well as a ticket for rollerblading off the designated path, i make my way back to florence, where the story of the two young lovers is wrapping up. having won the court case, a celebration is taking place. in flashback, i see that the young man has decided to remain in florence and become a chef, having learned a great deal about the local cusine from various acquaintances of his hosts. (the food looks awesome) i see that the young man has lost patience at times with the elderly gentleman, who seems to be unhappy a great deal of the time, despite his beautiful house and loving wife. when his wife becomes ill, he seems to realize, with the young man's help that he should be appreciating what he has. cheese-ola. anyhow, the kids are celebrating in the terraced garden and the girl tries to interest he love in taking a walk with her, but he seems disinterested, as if he is going to bed. after he leaves, she looks down at her hands, thinking 'if there's one thing that have always really believed in, it's that there is some kind of connection between all of us, but if i could be so wrong about him... maybe i'm wrong about that, too.' as she says this, her hands flash strangely, as if with sunlight reflected from the water, and the young man appears at the top of the garden stairs. he has brought her dinner, and they go up the stairs together towards the gazebo to eat.

well, there you have it.


saved, accidentally, by gregory again

the way he said the word
with such broken tenderness
that dark face with huge semitic teardrop eyes
a heart-shape in menstrual blood
traced on his guitar
marlboro reds and the unpleasant smell of ginger candles
the velvet coverlet across the bed
in patchwork squares of gold and blue and wine
that enormous instrument,
late-night dramatics, screaming from
california to brooklyn of such betrayals and rages,
wonderful and terrible conversations interchangeable,
he said-
never feeling so bad about anyone or anything
in my life-
what holdovers from nineteen ninety-five
when i was sixteen
and impossibly open-
so perfectly ready and unready to love-
when I was a thing that could be spoiled or kept,

not a person, with doors that have locks
and reasons which i will not excuse.
so waiting, a year ago on a rooftop
was the unmaking of the year (years) before
and the start of the next.
so, at molly's hoping that the yanks would score
breaths redolent with octoberfest sausages and butter and cold wine
caught suddenly and very, very reluctantly
in an embrace that changed everything from bad to worse
to well again
-just a bit late for a new year-
and then, gone
gone gregory again
just like the last time,
and it's just as well.

on how very, very much i want to marry jon stewart and have ONE MILLION of his babies

click text link above for video clip of entire interview!

Jon Stewart on Crossfire: "Stop, stop, stop, stop hurting America."
On October 15,
Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart appeared on CNN's Crossfire.
JON STEWART: ... And I made a special effort to come on the show today, because I have privately, amongst my friends and also in occasional newspapers and television shows, mentioned this show as being bad.
PAUL BEGALA: We have noticed.
STEWART: And I wanted to -- I felt that that wasn't fair and I should come here and tell you that I don't -- it's not so much that it's bad, as it's hurting America.
TUCKER CARLSON: But in its defense...
STEWART: So I wanted to come here today and say...
STEWART: Here's just what I wanted to tell you guys.
STEWART: Stop, stop, stop, stop hurting America.
STEWART: And come work for us, because we, as the people...
CARLSON: How do you pay?
STEWART: The people -- not well.
BEGALA: Better than CNN, I'm sure.
STEWART: But you can sleep at night.
STEWART: See, the thing is, we need your help. Right now, you're helping the politicians and the corporations. And we're left out there to mow our lawns.
BEGALA: By beating up on them? You just said we're too rough on them when they make mistakes.
STEWART: No, no, no, you're not too rough on them. You're part of their strategies. You are partisan, what do you call it, hacks.
CARLSON: Wait, Jon, let me tell you something valuable that I think we do that I'd like to see you...
STEWART: Something valuable?
STEWART: I would like to hear it.
CARLSON: And I'll tell you.
When politicians come on...
CARLSON: It's nice to get them to try and answer the question. And in order to do that, we try and ask them pointed questions. I want to contrast our questions with some questions you asked John Kerry recently.
CARLSON: ... up on the screen.
STEWART: If you want to compare your show to a comedy show, you're more than welcome to.
CARLSON: No, no, no, here's the point.
STEWART: If that's your goal.
CARLSON: It's not.
STEWART: I wouldn't aim for us. I'd aim for "Seinfeld." That's a very good show.
CARLSON: Kerry won't come on this show. He will come on your show.
CARLSON: Let me suggest why he wants to come on your show.
STEWART: Well, we have civilized discourse.
CARLSON: Well, here's an example of the civilized discourse.
Here are three of the questions you asked John Kerry.
CARLSON: You have a chance to interview the Democratic nominee. You asked him questions such as -- quote -- "How are you holding up? Is it hard not to take the attacks personally?"
CARLSON: "Have you ever flip-flopped?" et cetera, et cetera.
CARLSON: Didn't you feel like -- you got the chance to interview the guy. Why not ask him a real question, instead of just suck up to him?
STEWART: Yes. "How are you holding up?" is a real suck-up. And I actually giving him a hot stone massage as we were doing it.
CARLSON: It sounded that way. It did.
STEWART: You know, it's interesting to hear you talk about my responsibility.
CARLSON: I felt the sparks between you.
STEWART: I didn't realize that -- and maybe this explains quite a bit.
CARLSON: No, the opportunity to...
STEWART: ... is that the news organizations look to Comedy Central for their cues on integrity.
STEWART: So what I would suggest is, when you talk about you're holding politicians' feet to fire, I think that's disingenuous. I think you're...
CARLSON: "How are you holding up?" I mean, come on.
STEWART: No, no, no. But my role isn't, I don't think...
CARLSON: But you can ask him a real question, don't you think, instead of saying...
STEWART: I don't think I have to. By the way, I also asked him, "Were you in Cambodia?" But I didn't really care.
STEWART: Because I don't care, because I think it's stupid.
CARLSON: I can tell.
STEWART: But my point is this. If your idea of confronting me is that I don't ask hard-hitting enough news questions, we're in bad shape, fellows. [LAUGHTER]
CARLSON: We're here to love you, not confront you.
CARLSON: We're here to be nice.
STEWART: No, no, no, but what I'm saying is this. I'm not. I'm here to confront you, because we need help from the media and they're hurting us. And it's -- the idea is...
BEGALA: Let me get this straight. If the indictment is -- if the indictment is -- and I have seen you say this -- that...
BEGALA: And that CROSSFIRE reduces everything, as I said in the intro, to left, right, black, white.
BEGALA: Well, it's because, see, we're a debate show.
STEWART: No, no, no, no, that would be great.
BEGALA: It's like saying The Weather Channel reduces everything to a storm front.
STEWART: I would love to see a debate show.
BEGALA: We're 30 minutes in a 24-hour day where we have each side on, as best we can get them, and have them fight it out.
STEWART: No, no, no, no, that would be great. To do a debate would be great. But that's like saying pro wrestling is a show about athletic competition.
CARLSON: Jon, Jon, Jon, I'm sorry. I think you're a good comedian. I think your lectures are boring.
CARLSON: Let me ask you a question on the news.
STEWART: Now, this is theater. It's obvious. How old are you?
CARLSON: Thirty-five. STEWART: And you wear a bow tie.
CARLSON: Yes, I do. I do.
STEWART: So this is...
CARLSON: I know. I know. I know. You're a...
STEWART: So this is theater.
CARLSON: Now, let me just...
CARLSON: Now, come on.
STEWART: Now, listen, I'm not suggesting that you're not a smart guy, because those are not easy to tie.
CARLSON: They're difficult.
STEWART: But the thing is that this -- you're doing theater, when you should be doing debate, which would be great.
BEGALA: We do, do...
STEWART: It's not honest. What you do is not honest. What you do is partisan hackery. And I will tell you why I know it.
CARLSON: You had John Kerry on your show and you sniff his throne and you're accusing us of partisan hackery?
STEWART: Absolutely.
CARLSON: You've got to be kidding me. He comes on and you...
STEWART: You're on CNN. The show that leads into me is puppets making crank phone calls.
STEWART: What is wrong with you?
[APPLAUSE] CARLSON: Well, I'm just saying, there's no reason for you -- when you have this marvelous opportunity not to be the guy's butt boy, to go ahead and be his butt boy. Come on. It's embarrassing.
STEWART: I was absolutely his butt boy. I was so far -- you would not believe what he ate two weeks ago.
STEWART: You know, the interesting thing I have is, you have a responsibility to the public discourse, and you fail miserably.
CARLSON: You need to get a job at a journalism school, I think.
STEWART: You need to go to one.
The thing that I want to say is, when you have people on for just knee-jerk, reactionary talk...
CARLSON: Wait. I thought you were going to be funny. Come on. Be funny.
STEWART: No. No. I'm not going to be your monkey.
BEGALA: Go ahead. Go ahead.
STEWART: I watch your show every day. And it kills me.
CARLSON: I can tell you love it.
STEWART: It's so -- oh, it's so painful to watch.
STEWART: You know, because we need what you do. This is such a great opportunity you have here to actually get politicians off of their marketing and strategy.
CARLSON: Is this really Jon Stewart? What is this, anyway?
STEWART: Yes, it's someone who watches your show and cannot take it anymore.
STEWART: I just can't.
CARLSON: What's it like to have dinner with you? It must be excruciating. Do you like lecture people like this or do you come over to their house and sit and lecture them; they're not doing the right thing, that they're missing their opportunities, evading their responsibilities? STEWART: If I think they are.
CARLSON: I wouldn't want to eat with you, man. That's horrible.
STEWART: I know. And you won't. But the thing I want to get to...
BEGALA: We did promise naked pictures of the Supreme Court justices.
CARLSON: Yes, we did. Let's get to those.
BEGALA: They're in this book, which is a very funny book.
STEWART: Why can't we just talk -- please, I beg of you guys, please.
CARLSON: I think you watch too much CROSSFIRE.
We're going to take a quick break.
STEWART: No, no, no, please.
CARLSON: No, no, hold on. We've got commercials.
STEWART: Please. Please stop.
CARLSON: Next, Jon Stewart in the "Rapid Fire."
STEWART: Please stop.
STEWART: So I don't worry about it in that respect.
But let me ask you guys, again, a question, because we talked a little bit about, you're actually doing honest debate and all that. But, after the debates, where do you guys head to right afterwards?
CARLSON: The men's room.
STEWART: Right after that?
STEWART: Spin alley.
STEWART: No, spin alley.
BEGALA: What are you talking about? You mean at these debates?
STEWART: Yes. You go to spin alley, the place called spin alley. Now, don't you think that, for people watching at home, that's kind of a drag, that you're literally walking to a place called deception lane?
STEWART: Like, it's spin alley. It's -- don't you see, that's the issue I'm trying to talk to you guys...
BEGALA: No, I actually believe -- I have a lot of friends who work for President Bush. I went to college with some of them.
CARLSON: Neither of us was ever in the spin room, actually.
BEGALA: No, I did -- I went to do the Larry King show.
They actually believe what they're saying. They want to persuade you. That's what they're trying to do by spinning. But I don't doubt for a minute these people who work for President Bush, who I disagree with on everything, they believe that stuff, Jon. This is not a lie or a deception at all. They believe in him, just like I believe in my guy.
STEWART: I think they believe President Bush would do a better job.
And I believe the Kerry guys believe President Kerry would do a better job. But what I believe is, they're not making honest arguments. So what they're doing is, in their mind, the ends justify the means.
BEGALA: I don't think so at all.
CARLSON: I do think you're more fun on your show. Just my opinion.
CARLSON: OK, up next, Jon Stewart goes one on one with his fans...
STEWART: You know what's interesting, though? You're as big a dick on your show as you are on any show.
CARLSON: Now, you're getting into it. I like that.
CARLSON: OK. We'll be right back.


today i have dreamt restlessly
of your hands and eyes

of my own feet
of the creeping vowels of 'love'
and the terrible questions
i ask and ask and ask
and the elusive answers,
like schools of silver anchovy
beseiged in their storm clouds.
-the bellwether feels the sharks coming on-
my indifference and persistence
and stubborn resistance to the lunging truths.
you make me work so hard for you
you never made me doubt

i am the house on a cloud
i am the busy shape
i am a singularity of desires

today i have dreamt of love,
in keeping with tradition.
the chaos of overcast
a confusion of rows and rows of flowering trees,
and closed roads,
the long golden staircase turning in right angles
to the center of the earth,
are the outside of the asylum.
and inside
i sleep with the fishes,
the shining rim of the worlds above and below
divided by my wishes.


And Death Shall Have No Dominion
Dylan Thomas

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan't crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.



nothing's ever easy
this is one of those things the sisters of the sacred heart
should have made me write five hundred times on the blackboard
instead of 'i will not speak out of turn'
till my arm burned
(talk about lessons i completely internalized)
someone might've pointed out
while moving about the stations of the cross
learning about what happened to poor jesus
flagpoled in his 33AD BVDs
because pilate and the heathens and the pharisees
weren't quite ready to believe that
nothing's ever easy
one of those things you say
rather bitterly under your breath,
but loudly enough so someone might hear
which goes to show that you could go on practicing
till the big crunch bell rings
and the obvious lesson won't sink in:
no one ever said life was fair
though i heard something about how discretion's the better part of valor
(an assignment from the sisters of the pragmatic catechism)
and that applies to everything,
when you think about it
knowing the difference between
time to shift into high gear
and time to put an egg in your shoe and beat it
so let's laugh off that line about
the tough getting going when the going gets tough
and have a drink or two
trading stories with friends
(i sure will)
about how the money's never enough
or will i ever find true love

or how it's been really rough
since you and what's-his-face broke up
here's an old saw that's still mighty sharp;
(Axiom; maxim; adage; proverb; truism; dictum)
ignorance is bliss.

hilda, hilda! get me a map of everything!

well the best news of the day so far is that arie and dan got together.
woo! love conquering things!

he got her three sets of pajamas and a toothbrush and told her to come over. next weekend they're koshering his kitchen! so they have some stuff to work out, but it is so good to hear. better you should believe in each other and disagree on god, after all, the big fella is not going to rub your back when you're sad or sick, and he's definitely not going to hug you back and squeep merrily when you grab his hiney.

time to go take my chuck russert personality and iq test. argh.

listen, seriously there's nothing to be learned from asking me what shape-with-attached-squiggle comes next in a sequence comprised of shapes with sqiggles attached to them. i could have told you, chuck old pal, that me and spatial relations are not friends. heck, anyone in the Associated Supermarket on Fifth Ave. yesterday afternoon could have told you that after i loudly (and unwittingly) destroyed a very tidy display of jars of marinara sauce. furthermore, and adding to my disdain for the whole business, the 'personality' segment of the test was craptacular, featuring such not-at-all-transparent questions like "To get a project done on time, you must sometimes cut corners. Agree/Disagree/Unsure" and "In a competition, the most important thing is Winning/Participating/Unsure." "I would rather be seen as a successful person than a nice person A/D/U." Well, inaugurez du mon réflexe de vomi, monsieur, avec une petite cuillère, s'il vous plait. One more thing to lose sleep over will surely not inspire me to unimagined heights of productivity.

Really, nothing short of a raise would do that...


woo! i'm worth a mint!
Political Animal on the Cheneys' reponse to Kerry's comments on their daughter Mary's sexual orientation.

"They were upset because according to the propaganda the knucklehead Religious Right gobbles down, homosexuality is caused by a). Child abuse b). Lax over-liberal parenting c). Satan d). Democrats e). Poor parenting.
What it is not supposed to be is completely beyond an individual's choice. I know, I've argued with the Greater Scaly Trolls on the Guardian boards on this issue.
So, the Cheneys having a gay daughter should provide their base with a hefty measure of cognitive dissonance.
I give credit to Schieffer for putting the question about gay rights in this form. Either you're an ignoramus/bigot and think it's a matter of choice, or not a complete moron and avoid saying something so stupid.
All Kerry did was make it perfectly clear that sexuality was beyond partisanship or choice. Bush's base needs some acquaintance with the truth on this. Even Bush himself avoided saying it was a choice. I believe in his heart he knows that the choice explanation is rubbish."

"Osama bin Laden is sitting in the hills of Afghanistan right now, trying to figure out a way to purchase some of those nuclear weapons North Korea built under Bush's watch so he can disintigrate a major American city, possibly the one you're living in. And, apparently Bush isn't too worried about him. But so what?

i'm so tired of everyone being so pissed off about things that don't really matter at all that they forget about common sense and kindness and for fuck's sake decency, at least. after roughly twenty-four hours of listening to people call each other hipsters and deny that they're hipsters and make fun of people's sisters, and complain about the most inane, useless, timewasting bullshit, all i can say is- what are you people so angry about?

is the the antiblog backlash? should i down a thousand prozacs with some iced green tea and turn out the big light?

i just had lunch with my bitter, broken old friend who regaled me with a tale of such woe - a J-date gone wrong ending in this fellow looking down at the bald head of the pretty girl who was busy fellating him - her wig came off in his hand. sheesh. i needed to hear this? of course, i laughed, i mean, who wouldn't, but... meanwhile, lawrence and sarah lewittinn have been the subject of some pretty nasty slams on that piece of shite, jason mulgrew's site, some blogs are better than others and while i, too, take occasional offense at the too-cool-for-schoolsterism and self-important huffery of brother lawrence's blog, it cracks me up most of the time, and i also know that lawrence is a decent, if crotchety and contrary, person who has been my friend for ten years. we never even had an argument until last night, and we still managed to laugh it off right around the time i closed out my response to P.O.S.J.M. with a cheery "Vote Kerry!"

but even before that i spent three hours in Molly's Shebeen on third avenue eating checken pot pie and drinking and listening to ariella talking about dan mcsomething. she loves him, he adores her, but because she's an orthodox jew and he's a devout catholic, never the twain shall meet. we toasted to our respective handsome irish men and came to no conclusions. after all, who am i to give relationship advice? (sure, listen to the starry-eyed optimist. great idea...)

geez, kare.

let me reframe this for you: arie and dan have a problem. someblogsarebetterthanothers et. al. have a personality disorder.

seriously, folks, can we can the bad assitude? don't we have bigger fish to fry than each other? we're all kittens of a similar stripe and we're all being drowned in the same puddle, so unless you've got yourself some big solution to war and world hunger, why don't you lay off Spin's editorial staff and the occasional coupla grams of back fat. jesus. could you be more superficial? stop wasting your time! create beauty and quit crapping on each other. no matter how awesomely superior you think you are, you're not going to live forever.

may a pink unicorn poop a rainbow on your day...


Quando leggemmo il disiato riso
esser baciato da cotanto amante,
questi, che mai da me non fia diviso,
la bocca mi baciò tutto tremante.
Galeotto fu il libro e chi lo scrisse:
quel giorno più non vi leggemmo avante.

"One day for our own pleasure we were reading
Of Lancelot and how love pinioned him.
We were alone and innocent of suspicion.


Several times that reading forced our eyes
To meet and took the color from our faces.
But one solitary moment conquered us.
When we read there of how the longed-for smile
Was being kissed by that heroic lover,

This man, who never shall be severed from me,
Trembling all over, kissed me on the mouth.
That book — and its author — was a pander!
In it that day we did no further reading."

-Francesca DaRimini, La Comedia Divina, Inferno, canto V, vv.28, 50
Durante Alighieri, detto 'Dante'

dying for a trip back to Italy after reading this

more, much more than this

i admit i am
ridiculous, and quite fragile
racked with sneezes
blunt and indiscreet,
overly-sensual and
grown squashy around the middle,
but still eating cinnamon ice cream
i'm the also one with my face pressed close to the dirty window of the N train
absolute in the belief that
if i stare long enough at the steel web of the brooklyn bridge
over the dark gray waves of the east river
cutting the low clouds and fogs
piled there like the painted baseboards of the sky
then i
will succeed in pulling it all in,
all that mad, damask beauty,
wicking into me and filling up my vague spaces
with crystalline matrices
a silent education in the secret persistent pattern of the world
which i want so much to percieve


Nuisance Nuance
Bush was for reducing terrorism to a nuisance before he was against it.
By William Saletan
Posted Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2004, at 4:14 AM PT

"Now just this weekend, Sen. Kerry talked of reducing terrorism to a 'nuisance'—(laughter)—and compared it to prostitution and illegal gambling. (Booo!) Our goal is not to reduce terror to some acceptable level of nuisance. Our goal is to defeat terror by staying on the offensive, destroying the terrorist networks, and spreading freedom and liberty around the world."
—President Bush, Victory 2004 Rally, Morrison, Colo.,
Oct. 11, 2004

"Nor can we think of our goal in this war in the way Sen. Kerry described it yesterday in the New York Times. 'We have to get back to the place,' he said, where terrorism is 'a nuisance.' ... This is naive and dangerous."
—Vice President Cheney, Victory 2004 Rally, Batavia, Ohio,
Oct. 11, 2004

"Now Kerry says we have to get back to the place where terrorists are a nuisance like gambling and prostitution; we're never going to end them. Terrorism—a nuisance? How can Kerry protect us when he doesn't understand the threat?"
—Bush-Cheney television ad,
Oct. 10, 2004

"These fights that we are having against Mugtada militia [in Iraq] are not stretching us thin at all. They are pretty much street thugs with weapons. They don't present much of a military threat. They're a nuisance. They're a harassment. And sadly, as you can imagine with street thugs with weapons, sometimes they kill and wound our soldiers. But in engagement after engagement, they have not been able to stand and fight."
—Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, Deputy Director for Coalition, [Iraq] Coalition Provisional Authority Briefing,
May 17, 2004

"The Taliban can kill innocent civilians in small numbers, and be a nuisance, and be a distraction, but it cannot and will not be allowed to be a force, a political force in Afghanistan."
—Adam Ereli, Deputy Spokesman, Department of State, New York, N.Y.,
Jan. 14, 2004

"We have a number of explosions that happen every other night. I mean, these are tactically insignificant mortar rounds being fired. We are not aware of any casualties, either civilian or military, that accompanied that. There was no attack on any coalition facility that we're aware of. These were nuisance bombings. They're clearly trying to go make a statement, a spectacular statement, but militarily, tactically insignificant."
—Kimmitt, CPA Briefing,
Nov. 17, 2003

"Chemical and biological weapons aren't going to affect the operational outcome on the battlefield, and I think the Iraqis know that. They can be a terror weapon, they can be a nuisance, they can slow certain elements, but they would never—they never had the potential to change the operational outcome, to stop the movement of forces."
—Army Maj. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, vice director for operations, Department of Defense News Briefing,
April 4, 2003

mama said

mapless places require a certain discipline i can't really muster
sometimes i wonder whether i should listen to my mother
when she tells me to keep my knees together
and my foolish heart on ice
until some fellow comes along and pops the question
and we shall exit church as everyone is throwing rice
or maybe i should concentrate on my career
and build a peerless resume
and invest prudently in 401Ks
and buy a home
and lock the door and throw away the key
and be as safe as anyone could be
i should run five miles four days a week
and order salads and drink vitamins with my skim milk
and be as slim and dull and silent
as someone in a women's fitness magazine
and wake up dead one day and wonder where i've been
or perhaps this safety that comes so highly recommended
are not the little deaths they seem to be
and the stubbornest, most foolish person here is me


"Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come."
Matt Groening


as you were?

no more, no more
blue television light in the middle of the night
bare feet race like mice across the kitchen floor
no more safe as houses
no more weak sun pressing in from the garden
when you put a cup of coffee in my hand
no growing more accustomed to you than i already am
love drops out of school and comes back home
creeping quiet as mold growing over cellar stones
into silence heavy with not-ringing phones
and here comes winter,
and i will spend the night alone with John and George,
(and maybe Paul and Ringo, I suppose)
putting the blue and lavender summer clothes away
replacing them with woolen skirts of green and heavy autumn gray
night, lights out, and press my cheek into the pillow,
so glad for the comfort that's in it,
but still, grieving all those wasted kisses
that i once listed down the center of your spine,
along the black silk hairs below your navel.
no more navy eyes, looking into mine.


nobody knows the trouble i've been

internal spaces, mouths and such,
some unmentionable others,
some preset conditions of mind,
inclining vision and reception one way or another
like an iron bird on a slanting rooftop,
all the blanks filled with sky.
orifices filed away behind cotton

and intervening manners and mannerisms
can fill up with sour or bitter or crushed
or marvelous aromas,

or undelivered messages,
voices trapped behind unopened telephones
such life beneath the skin that keeps in soul
and holds the world out
that shades the self in myself,
the me that i refer to,
the keen blades of 'needs' and 'loves.'
remembered dreams
realms and reams of reason

and occasional despair-
why are we always fighting to live without having to fight to live?-
are sewn up in me
like suit coat pockets
like the event horizon of a forgotten memory
like nobody knows but jesus


fight club

You had to give it to him: he had a plan. And it started to make sense, in a Tyler sort of way. No fear. No distractions. The ability to let that which does not matter truly slide.


already somebody's baby

listening to elliott smith and feeling grim
counting sheep
the messages all go out with no names
and they're all due last year.
trying to stay awake with worrying-
skin failure is imminent
gilson and gelles, nowhere to be found
ooghe's around: he chuckles when wesly cracks his gum
me? i'm gonna slap him in a minute
this isn't a poem
it's a cry for help
tonights the great debate
youth and beauty v. age and treachery
well maybe we were all liars once.
and maybe you'll be lonesome, too.
baby, just remember till there's home again,
you belong to we.
and before you ask-
oh, sure. i'm fine. no need for yellow smile-faces, right?


circulating a petition

fenchurch, five inches aboveground says:
dear god,

please send reinforcements.
we may not make it through the winter -
i don't like the way the other survivors are looking at us.
vanessa and gustavo

gpesoa says:

lonely floating persons
fall through the world like smoke through sunshine
making momentary patterns

half-acknolwledged painful certainties
sweetness in the mouth
the ageless green, the minute of gold
i could disappear before i touch the ground
crossing and re-crossing the ghost circles of my own footsteps
re-breathing the same breaths while
the light on the lake has gone from summer white
to an acute and slanting semolina yellow
and the air sings cooly over me.

I might go off the path there-
into the unknown nameless street just past that stone wall
or here, where the water rubs round black rocks-
more than enough-
green with duckweed under the trees,
slowly balding to dry bare branches.

I can run, run, run.