Saturday, July 22, 2017

Poetry WayBack Machine

"Night Beat" by Debra Hurd

in the palace of poisoned sunlight

these are all nothing more than
small stories without endings
and we are all something less than
we fist appear

and there are worse truths than
christ bleeding to death and
there is nothing more important than love

there is the world you know
and then the one that actually exists

the rape camps and the amputee camps and
even your idea of democracy
which will always be connected to wealth

my apologies
which are always born from fear

which begin to taste like ashes in these
first brutal days of January

this letter from a friend who says I've
run out of things to say
and the fact that i know he's right

the way anger becomes a
reflex and then a memory

is replaced by indifference even as orphans
crawl from burning churches only to be
machine-gunned by soldiers

even as priests force young boys
to their knees in curtained rooms

words spilling from their bitter lips like
so much bloodstained poetry



Thursday, July 20, 2017


When Trump Fans Say He’s “Keeping His Promises,” Show Them This List


Despite, you know, facts to the contrary, supporters of President Donald Trump remain steadfastly behind him.  They insist he’s accomplished so much in his first 180 days in office, though they can’t tell you exactly what those accomplishments are, nor how they’ve substantively impacted their lives. Still, they’re convinced that they, and the President, are winning.

When something may look like a defeat for the President’s agenda, they’re ready with the latest talking points shifting the blame elsewhere, distracting with false equivalencies to Hillary Clinton, or exonerating Trump all together.  Trump’s latest embarrassing defeat on TrumpCare illustrates the point.  His base supporters think they were betrayed by Republicans in congress – not played for suckers by an incompetent President who made wild campaign promises on issues he had no ideas how to solve.

Healthcare reform would be so easy, he assured supporters during the campaign.  “I alone can fix it,” he told a rousing audience at the Republican National Convention.  Despite offering no details, his supporters ate it up.

Famed political commentator Robert Reich is out to shatter that fa├žade of ignorance once and for all.  President Clinton’s Labor Secretary wrote a scathing column today, highlighting 12 promises Trump has broken and/or continues to lie to his supporters about.

Without further ado, we give you Mr. Robert Reich:

So after six months, has he delivered what he promised you?

1. He told you he’d repeal Obamacare and replace it with something “beautiful.” You bought it. But he didn’t repeal and he didn’t replace. (Just as well: His plan would have knocked at least 22 million off health insurance, including many of you.)

2. He told you he’d cut your taxes. You bought it. But tax “reform” is stalled. And if it ever moves, the only ones whose taxes will be cut are the wealthy.

3. He told you he’d invest $1 billion in our nation’ crumbling infrastructure. You bought it. But his infrastructure plan, which was really a giveaway to rich investors, is also stalled.

4. He said he’d clean the Washington swamp. You bought it. But he’s brought into his administration more billionaires, CEOs, and Wall Street moguls than in any administration in history, to make laws that will enrich their businesses, along with former lobbyists, lawyers and consultants who are crafting new policies for the same industries they recently worked for.

5. He said he’d use his business experience to whip the White House into shape. You bought it. But he created the most chaotic, dysfunctional, back-stabbing White House in modern history, in which no one is in charge.

6. He said he’d close “special interest loopholes that have been so good for Wall Street investors but unfair to American workers.“ You bought it. But he picked a Wall Street financier Stephen Schwarzman to run his strategic and policy forum, who compares closing those loopholes to Hitler’s invasion of Poland.

7. He told you he’d “bring down drug prices” by making deals with drug companies. You bought it. But now the White House says that promise is “inoperative.”

8. He said that on Day One he’d label China a “currency manipulator.” You bought it. But then he met with China’s president and declared “China is not a currency manipulator.”

9. He said he wouldn’t bomb Syria. You bought it. But then he bombed Syria.

10. He called Barack Obama “the vacationer-in-Chief” and accused him of playing more rounds of golf than Tiger Woods. He promised to never be the kind of president who took cushy vacations on the taxpayer’s dime, not when there was so much important work to be done. You bought it. But in his first 6 months he has spent more taxpayer money on vacations than Obama did in the first 3 years of his presidency. Not to mention all the money taxpayers are spending protecting his family, including his two sons who travel all over the world on Trump business.

11. He said he’d force companies to keep jobs in America. You believed him. But despite their promises, Carrier, Ford, GM, and the rest are shipping jobs to Mexico and China.

12. He said he’d create coal jobs. You believe him. He hasn’t. But here’s what he has done: Since 1965 a federal program called the Appalachian Regional Commission has spent $23 billion helping communities in coal states fund job retraining, reclaim land, and provide desperately needed social services. A.R.C. helped cut poverty rates almost in half, double the percentage of high-school graduates, and reduce infant mortality by two-thirds. Trump’s first proposed budget eliminates A.R.C.


Now we're diggin' where there's taters!!!!!!

Low - Ones and Sixes Cover.jpg

sweet jesus, is it awesome!


interstate, early autumn

 moving north through the
 wreckage of the 20th century

 past the collapsing barns
 and abandoned gas stations and
 endless stretches of nothing

 past the boulders spray-painted
 with three hundred years of hatred
 and if you ask for some small truth here
 i offer that i'm never fully at ease
 in the company of others

 i tell you that my anger
 feeds off of my fear
 and will therefore last forever

 and a man i have never met
 who has had half of his face blown off in
 a war fought for obscure reasons
 wants to bury me in his pain

 a woman in a town i will never see
 asks me to stop writing poetry

 asks me to explain the
 significance of four dead trees rising out
 of a pond of black water and i can't

 things exist for their own reasons

 the baby is born dead
 on a cold sunlit afternoon
 and the floor is stained with blood

 the shelves are thick with dust

 this is the world i know

 whatever beauty i find in it
 is too precious to just give away