Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mary Oliver

I only imagine his glittering beak

tucked in a white wing

while the clouds—

which he has summoned

from the north—

which he has taught

to be mild, and silent—

thicken, and begin to fall

into the world below

like stars, or the feathers

of some unimaginable bird

that loves us,

that is asleep now, and silent—

that has turned itself

into snow.

Monday, August 30, 2010

I can't get enough of Nina Leen.


"To me, these days will never end. I am always there, in that room with her, or if not I, the imprint of myself -- my fossil-love." -J.W.


"My tongue will tell the anger of my heart, or else my heart concealing it will break."

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Of all...

"Of all that is written, I love only what a man has written in his own blood." -Nietzsche

The owl in the attic has swallowed the moon.

The Passion

"I say I'm in love with her. What does that mean?

It means I review my future and my past in the light of this feeling. It is as though I wrote in a foreign language that I am suddenly able to read. Wordlessly, she explains me to myself. Like genius she is ignorant of what she does. "

I feel in colour.

"I feel in colour, strong tones that I hue down for the comfort of the pastelly inclined. Beige and magnolia and a hint of pink are what the well-decorated heart is wearing; who wants my blood red and vein-blue?" -J.W.

Marcel and Maya

New Lagerfeld



"...and plunge it into your heart.

There is a faint pop, a sizzle

and through your own split head

you rise up glowing."


Saturday, August 28, 2010


If you build it, they will come...out of the woodwork.

Plans for the Cordoba House--a Muslim community center modeled after the YMCA and Jewish Community Center of New York City has been in the works for years now. Imam Feisal, one of the project's organizers, said the idea for an Islamic space near the former site of the World Trade Center was a way "to push back against the extremists." But while most people haven't heard of the Cordoba House, they've heard of the Ground Zero Mosque. Why? A New York Times article predicted last December that the project "could very well become a target for anti-Muslim attacks," a prophecy that's been fulfilled by the right-wing media response. Here's a round-up of some of the major scumbags and douchebags behind the hate.

Pamela Gellar - blogger of the right-wing Atlas Shrugs, is credited with fanning the flame on the media shitstorm that transformed the Cordoba Project into the "Ground Zero Mosque." Gellar's group "Stop the Islamization of America" began the project "Campaign Offensive: Stop the 911 Mosque!" causing Mayor Bloomberg's office to be flooded with emails. Gellar and SIOA planned the first protest of the mosque, and she's since been a go-to for trash-talking the mosque.

Laura Ingraham - Oddly enough, Ingraham originally interviewed Daisy Khan, Imam Feisal's wife, in December, stating "I can't find many people who really have a problem with [the Cordoba Project]...I like what you're trying to do." Ingraham's changed her tune though, and now argues for the "importance of assimilation," drawing a clear line between "American" and "Muslim" ('cause you know, there's no such thing as being both). She claims Muslims have a "deeply negative distrustful view of America and her citizens" (false) and that Khan "says if we object to the mosque, we're Muslim haters" (true). THEN Ingraham GOES there, and brings in theDisney worker who was not allowed to be a hostess because of her headscarf as evidence of the "Clash of Civilizations." I'm guessing the irony of Disney representing "American Civilization" is lost on Ingraham.

Newt Gingrich - It shouldn't surprise you to see Gingrich on this list, but his comparison of a Muslim community center to a Nazi presence is unforgivable.

Ron Ramsey - Who is Ron Ramsey and why should we care? He thinks this: "You could even argue whether being a Muslim is actually a religion, or is it a nationality, way of life, cult whatever you want to call it." Um, no, no you couldn't even argue that: Islam, or whatever you want to call it, is the second largest religion in the world. His comments were in response to some community members' concerns over plans to build a mosque and community center outside of Murfreesboro, a town near Nashville, TN (Note: NOT the past site of a terrorist attack). Later, Ramsey said that his opinion stems from the fact that "far too much of Islam has come to resemble a violent political philosophy more than peace-loving religion," which is funny, because that is what Islam has come to resemble...on Fox News.

a roadsign that says Future site of Islamic Center of Murfresboro has been graffitted over to read Not Welcome

Terry Jones - is an extremist Christian who's called for "International Burn a Koran Day." For a second you might wonder why the New York Times has bothered giving any press to a gun-toting eccentric who has even admitted having "no experience with [the Koran] whatsoever. I only know what the Bible says," and then you realize that International Burn a Koran Day has over six thousand fucking fans on Facebook.

And Sarah Palin, because Sarah Palin is a douche.

SP: "There are a hundred mosques already in New York. If the purpose of this mosque, as we're led to believe, is to um, create this tolerant environment to avoid anything like a 9-11 repeat, then you have to ask, why didn't one of those one hundred mosques already accomplish such a thing?"

And, before you chalk up all the bigotry to talking (shit)heads, keep in mind that these messages have truly frightening repercussions-- TPM reports that a recent poll shows that less than a quarter of American view Islam as "favorable," and hate crimes across the country are cropping up. Also via TPM, Edina Lekovic of the Muslim Public Affairs Council said,

The hateful rhetoric that is being spewed by people like Newt Gingrich and then being amplified by mainstream media outlets poses a grave danger to the safety and well-being of everyday Muslim Americans like this cab driver, an innocent person...If there's blood on anyone's hands, I think part of that blood goes on Fox News' hands, and the kind of round-the-clock news cycle that is just amplifying the hysteria rather than having an intelligent conversation about matters where people have differences of opinion."

The cab driver was Ahmed H. Sharif, who was stabbed in the face, neck, arms, and hand by 21-year-old college student Michael Enright, who got into Sharif's NYC cab, gave him an Arabic greeting, asked him if he was Muslim, and with Sharif's affirmative, attacked him saying "Consider this a checkpoint." There's theIslamophobes mosque-protesters in New York with signs reading "Mosque Supports Hamas" and "Islam= Slavery." And before you believe that bigotry is limited to New York or "red states," hate crimes in Madera, California have also happened recently, where an Islamic center has had a window smashed and hateful signs reading "No temple for the God of terrorism at Ground Zero" were left by the "American Nationalist Brotherhood."

a sad-looking man crouches next to a crudely made cardboard sign that reads No temple for the God of terrorism at Ground Zero

And now, a real moment of zen--Russell Simmons' loft overlooking Ground Zero:
a brick New York apartment building. In each of the top floor windows, a different religious symbol is placed to spell out COEXIST overlooking the Ground Zero site.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Lena Horne

On the aloof persona she cultivated:

I disconnected to shield myself from people who would sway to my songs in the club and call me [the n word] in the street. They were too busy seeing their own preconceived image of a Negro woman. The image that I chose to give them was of a woman who they could not reach and therefore can’t hurt.

I am too proud to let them think they can have any personal contact with me. They get the singer, but they are not going to get the woman.”

-Lena Horne


Old Man River

Specifically toward to the end, her voice absolutely soars.

Click here to read an article on her newly discovered, "Lost Tracks":

Anouck Lepere for Elle Belgium

by Pablo Delfos

Just because you feel it doesn't mean it's there.

Why so green and lonely?
And lonely
And lonely

Heaven sent you to me
To me



Haunted by Congo rape dilemma


By Anne Mawathe
BBC News, Goma

''The rebel leader asked me two things: 'Do you want us to be your husbands? Or do you want us to rape you?'"

Congolese mother-of-eight Clementine speaks in a quiet and hesitant voice:

"I chose to be raped."

She explains: "I told myself, if I tell them that I want to be their wife, they will kill my husband. I didn't want my children growing up saying the one that made our father die is our mother."

But that sacrifice was not enough. Her husband left her for another woman.

"After they raped me, my husband hated me. He said I was dirty. I often ask myself: 'Surely, I gave up my dignity for him, how come he can abandon me this way?'"

Margot Wallstrom, the UN's special representative on sexual violence in conflict recently said the Democratic Republic of Congo was the "rape capital of the world".

A host of different armed groups roam parts of eastern DR Congo and all are accused of horrific violence against women.


Clementine says she will not marry again: "He is the husband I chose when I took my vows in the church. If God wills, he will return.''

It seems to be a forlorn hope.

Jocelyn Kelly, a researcher with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative's Gender-Based Violence programme, says the men that have survived these attacks on their families are extremely traumatised themselves:

"They say: 'I can no longer look at my wife.' And every time they see this woman, they see someone they were not able to protect. They feel like failures and the only way they can deal with it is to reject their wife and start over."

This is part of the damage that has been caused by people like Emmanuel, a former child soldier who is now 22 years old.

He fought with the CNDP rebel group.

Emmanuel says that they raped to show their anger with the authorities for neglecting them.

"Soldiers or rebels usually rape because we stay in isolated places and we don't get our pay - even if it can come, it doesn't come on time.

"After living for a long time in the forest, you don't see women and so if one woman shows up then all of us, we profit."

Weapon of war

But Congolese women's rights activist and vice-president of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Marie-Claire Faray argues that men like Emmanuel are taking advantage of the vulnerability of women.

"What is their cause? This is nothing to do with women," she says.

"It doesn't make sense. They are getting some form of pleasure out of it and it has nothing to do with fighting for a cause."

Sexual violence is used as a weapon of war and with extraordinary brutality: Gang rape is commonplace; and objects such as gun butts are sometimes used.

At a centre in the main eastern Congolese town of Goma, where rape survivors are brought from various villages for medical attention, 57 women are singing and dancing to the beat of a drum.

Their ululations and agile dancing mask their fear.

Even though the worst has already happened.

Cold and emotionless

In one of the rooms, a heavy foul smell suffocates the air. At first impression, it gives the impression of a toilet that is not clean. It wasn't.

The smell was coming from the women themselves.

Some of them are suffering from fistula whose manifestation is the uncontrollable passage of urine and in some cases, faeces.

One 15-year-old is drumming as hard as she can.

Her experiences exemplify this complex war raging against women. She was abducted by 10 rebels from the Interahamwe group accused of carrying out the genocide in neighbouring Rwanda. They kept her for about a year as a sex slave.

''They would rape me in turns. It got to a point where I did not feel pain.''

They fed her when they wished and gave her water from their gumboots to drink. She soon became pregnant. The rebels said she would be set free once she had given birth.

''One day they tied me to a tree and tried to pull the baby out. The blood... it just kept flowing.''

She says she can no longer feel pain and relates all this in a detached manner - cold and emotionless - and then ties a colourful wraparound around her waist and walks away.


A former government soldier who is serving 20 years in Goma Central Prison says he attacked the first woman he came across after sneaking away from his post:

''I asked her to help me. I had this urge to have sex. She didn't want to have sex with me. But I forced her. I felt that if I didn't have sex then I would get sick.

"She left without crying but as she was leaving she said she would denounce me. I regret it now because I am in prison."

He is among the few to have been arrested.

Ms Kelly says that many soldiers view women as men's helpers.

"There is this attitude that it is a man's right to have sex and there's no way that a man cannot have sex."

Ms Faray despairs: "If they can't control themselves, then they are at the level of an animal. It is really just an excuse to legitimise the violence and they are living in a situation of impunity. It is an excuse to live a life of lawlessness."

Dr Lucy Kasereka of the Heal Africa Hospital says justice is hard to come by.

''Even when these suspects are arrested, there is no proper prison or even legal representation. For us Christians, the Ten Commandments are our judge.''

'They destroyed my life'

Provincial Minister for Justice and Human Rights Francois Rucogoza thinks that if DR Congo can rid itself of all the armed groups, rape will be a thing of the past.

But women like Yvone, 37, will never escape the past.

Her husband was made to watch while she was raped, repeatedly. Today, her husband wants nothing to do with her.

Yvone explains: "I am living with my husband in the same house but we are separated. He spends nights on his bed and I spend nights on my bed with the children.

"We cannot do the act of love. When I need him, I tell him, but he says 'No. Never.' 'He tells me to go back to my husbands, the Interahamwe, every time we argue.''

She says she begs her husband to understand her situation. He refuses to.

Only other women understand her.

Clementine speaks for them all when she says:

"I cannot forgive these rapists because they destroyed my life. Sometimes I feel like I don't have a desire to live on this Earth."

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Madeleine is Sleeping

"Stepping down, she approached a stout man sitting in the front pew, the collection plate balanced on his knees, and she touched his chest, with all the tenderness in the world. His stiff Sunday vest peeled away like an orange rind, and she grazed her fingertips against the polished, orderly bones of his rib cage. Beneath, she found a curled and pulsing bud, and when she blew on it, it began to unfurl its sanguine petals, one by one. His heart unfolded before her."

-Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum

Camille Clifford

Monday, August 23, 2010

I've had a good summer.


"Let me be, was all I wanted. Be what I am, no matter how I am."

Bonnie and Clyde

I am not afraid.

Prove it.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Have you ever said Yes to a single joy? O my friends, then you have said Yes too to all woe. All things are entangled, ensnared, enamored; if ever you wanted one thing twice, if ever you said, "You please me, happiness! Abide moment!" then you wanted all back. All anew, all eternally, all entangled, ensnared, enamored--oh then you loved the world.

Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis.

A Single Man


Sunday, August 22, 2010


I loved you, so I drew these tides of men into my hands and wrote my will across the sky in stars to earn your freedom, that your eyes might be shining for me.