Some Poetry & Some Politics

I was pleased to find some political poetry, specifically about Fukushima today.  It’s fitting for this blog, anyway.  An excerpt:

 

Fukushima Man

by Jon Rappoport

So there I was
in one of those giant discount stores
trying on a new pair of pants in the dressing room

a cool neutral voice said
“changing your underwear is politics
and by the way when was the last time
you cut your toenails
wearing or not wearing a watch is politics
that mole near your left knee is political
the calcium deposit on your right ankle is political
the way you look at yourself in the mirror is political
those three years of your life in the 60s we can’t account for
are political”

The curtain brushed aside and a tall naked woman walked in
she ran a black instrument over the new pants
-a loud buzz-
“they’re radioactive,” she said “testicular cancer in three months
try the pink drawstring sweat pants instead”
she withdrew

the neutral voice picked up…
“you’re a month late on your appointment for a dental cleaning
you haven’t changed your oil in a year
your health plan will be canceled next week”

Read the full poem.

 

I can only imagine the fear people living in Japan might feel as a result of the Fukushima disaster.  No one can be happy about the dangers of removing the fuel rods, either.  The second in Reactor 4 pool will be removed today.  No one’s really talking about it. And no one’s really talking about the disaster and the plume that’s making its way to North America.  There seems to be a media blackout. Perhaps, now that the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is there, we’ll hear more.

A team of 19 experts from the IAEA and other bodies will tour the plant on Wednesday and evaluate Tepco’s fuel extraction process at the No. 4 reactor and its handling of contaminated water. It concludes its review on Dec 4.

“They must look into Tepco’s overall management of the site,” Masashi Goto, a retired Toshiba’ nuclear engineer and critic of Tepco. “They shouldn’t just look at each little issue. They should look at the organizational challenges at Tepco that have created the recent string of incidents.”

I hope we hear more about creating a nuclear-free world where disasters such as this can never take place.  Going with alternative energy sources would be a wise start.

Renewable energy could change the energy business. While some large-scale organizations will always be part of the energy industry, we are seeing the start of decentralized, distributed generation of energy. Although the conventional wisdom tells us that solar power, battery technology, and smart grids are far in the future, we are only a breakthrough or two away from a new age of decentralized energy technology. While none of us can predict the future, and technological breakthroughs cannot be assumed, the risk of nuclear power is not difficult to predict.

The price of solar energy continues to come down, as the number of solar cells continues to grow. Breakthroughs in nanotechnology have the potential to shrink the size of these cells, making it possible to imagine smaller, more inexpensive installations of solar arrays. While some of the discussion of solar technology imagines utility-scale centralized power stations, my own view is that improved solar cells coupled with improved battery technology makes it possible to imagine a far more decentralized approach to energy generation.

Let’s do it, ok?

WTF? A Poem?

WTF?

A bunch of racist sexist homophobic nutbarsGOP nazis
spreading shit like this is somehow okay
in the land of the free, home of the brave?

Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA) pretends
to prevent race-based abortions, steals from
the civil rights legacy to curb choice

and slams Planned Parenthood in its bid
to serve adherents of white supremacist ideas.

How interesting that Malcolm X and MLK
supported women’s reproductive freedom.

 

c. 2012-02-06 Politics’n’Poetry

The perfect blend of politics and poetry

Phil Rockstroh gives us this piece of beauty and politics and reality. A Journey to the end of Empire:  It is Always Darkest Right Before it Goes Completely Black.  P’n’P shall simply bask in it.

 

A Journey To The End Of Empire

It is Always Darkest Right Before it Goes Completely Black

by Phil Rockstroh / February 1st, 2012

When the poet stands at nadir the world must indeed be upside-down. If the poet can no longer speak for society, but only for himself, then we are at the last ditch.

— Excerpt from, The Time of the Assassins, a study of Rimbaud, by Henry Miller

There is no reality-based argument denying this: The present system, as defined by the neoliberal economic order, is as destructive to the balance of nature as it is to the individual, both body and psyche. One’s body grows obese while Arctic ice and wetlands shrink. Biodiversity decreases as psyches are commodified by ever-proliferating, corporatist/consumer state banality.

But the raging soul of the world will not be assaulted without consequence. Mind and body are intertwined and inseparable from nature, and, when nature responds to our assaults, her replies are known to humankind as the stuff of mythic tragedy and natural catastrophe.

When the poet lives his hell, it is no longer possible for the common man to escape it.

— Excerpt from, The Time of the Assassins, a study of Rimbaud, by Henry Miller

But take heart. As the saying goes, it is always darkest right before it goes completely black.

Rejoice in this: Seeds of futurity require the darkness within soil to dream.

To go into the dark with a light is to know the light. /To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,/ and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,/ and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.

— Wendell Berry, To Know The Dark

What “tangible” and “constructive” things can a poetic sensibility contribute to everyday existence? Here’s one: The atomized denizens of neoliberal culture are in dire need of a novel yet durable sensibility, one bearing the creativity and stamina required, for example, to withstand the police state rebuffs inflicted by the ruthless authoritarian keepers of the present order…as is the case when OWS dissidents initiate attempts to retake, inhabit, and re-imagine public space.

Yet, while it is all well and good to be politically enlightened, approaching the tumult of human events guided by reason and restraint, if the self is not saturated in poetry, one will inhabit a dismal tower looking over a desiccated wasteland.

The crackpot realist’s notion that poetry has no value other than what can be quantified in practical terms emerges from the same mindset that deems nature to be merely worth what it can be rendered down to as a commodity. The trees of a rain forest can be pulped to paper cups. A human being is only the content of his resume. The underlying meaning of this sentiment: The value of one’s existence is derived by the act of being an asset of the 1%.

Resultantly, the tattered remnants of the neoliberal imagination (embodied in lofty but content-devoid Obama speechifying and the clown car demolition derby of Republican politics) spends its days in a broken tower of the mind, insulated from this reality: The exponentially increasing consequences (e.g., economic collapse, perpetual war, ecocide) created by the excesses of the present paradigm will shake those insular towers to theirs foundations, and, will inevitably caused the structures to totter and collapse.

The bells, I say, the bells break down their tower;
And swing I know not where. Their tongues engrave
Membrane through marrow, my long-scattered score
Of broken intervals…And I, their sexton slave!

– Hart Crane , excerpt from The Broken Tower

We have been “sexton slave” to this destructive order long enough; its lodestar is a death star.

In polar opposition, a poetic view of existence insists that one embrace the sorrow that comes at the end of things. The times have bestowed on us a shuffle to the graveside of our culture, and, we, like members of a New Orleans-style, second line, funeral procession, must allow our hearts to be saturated by sorrowful songs. Yet when the service is complete, the march away from the boneyard should shake the air with the ebullient noise borne of insistent brass.

Often we’re not so much afraid of our own limitations, as we are of the infinite within us.

— Nelson Mandela (from an interview from his prison cell, conducted by the late Irish poet and priest, John O’Donnahey)

In this way, we are nourished by the ineffable, whereby unseen components of consciousness provide us the strength to carry the weight of darkness. Therefore, to those who demand this of poets: that all ideas, notions, flights of imagination, revelries, swoons of intuition, Rabelaisian rancor, metaphysical overreach, unnerving apprehensions, and inspired misapprehensions be tamed, rendered practical, and only considered fit to be broached in reputable company when these things bring “concrete” answers to polite dialog–I ask you this, if the defining aspects of our existence were constructed of concrete, would not the world be made of the material of a prison?

Moreover, is this not the building material and psychic criteria comprising the neoliberal paradigm? Is it any wonder that the concept of freedom is under siege?

Carl Jung averred, when a disconnect occurs between the inner life of the individual and the outward exigencies of daily life that “the Gods […] become diseases.” One way, this assertion can be taken is: There are multiple forces, tangible and intangible, in play in our lives and the trajectory of events; e.g., the personal, in the form of the ghosts of trauma that haunt individual memory, but there exist, as well, extant and within, the collective spirit of an age. Tragically, in our own time, within the precincts of power, our national house of spirits has become a madhouse.

Yet beneath the gibbering cacophony of the insane asylums of past eras, beneath the haze of pharmacologically induced stupors of the institutions of the present, there exists much pain. This is the toll taken by a manic flight from honest suffering. At present, this is what we’re given in our age of cultural and political disconnect and its attendant sense of nebulous dread.

Paradoxically, while the forces of nature are impersonal, the dilemma feels very personal. Therefore, on this journey to the end of empire, when impersonal elements are in play, one can become alienated from the dehumanizing trajectory of the times. Likewise, as exemplified by the U.S. political system, what process is more impersonal than the process of decay? Apropos, the air is permeated with a reek of putrefaction.

Yet the earth is kind, for one can use putrescent material in the process of renewal. The loam of earth is enriched by the rancid…just don’t swallow it down whole…doing so, will cause you to become ill.

Importantly, because a cultural breakdown is occurring, and culture carries the criteria of psyche, the acts of social engagement through dissent, cultural re-imagining and rebuilding can have a propitious effect upon individual consciousness, an endeavor James Hillman termed “soul-making”. Remember to disguise yourself as yourself when approached by ghosts of calcified habit and gods of tumultuous change. This is essential: Because what takes hold and brings about the collapse of an empire…is a loss of collective soul; e.g., the type of loss of meaning and purpose evinced when only a meaningless, zombie-like drive remains, because, even though, the culture is dead, it refuses to accept the shroud of the earth’s enveloping soil…to have its decomposing remains broken down and returned to the cycle of all things.

As circumstances stand, at present, for the 1%, their refusal to accept the inevitable has yielded grave ramifications for the people, fauna, and flora of the planet. Although, due to their seemingly vacuum-sealed insularity, ensured by vast wealth, the economic and political elite have yet to be touched by the consequences of their actions, much less forced down to earth.

Of course, this behavior defies logic, is in breach of the law, and is an affront to any workable code of ethics–as well as stands in defiance to the laws of nature, including the force of gravity. But you can count on this, “the unseen hand of the market” (actually the buckling backs of the 1%) can’t hold up the 99%’s swaying tower of hubris for much longer, and when it comes down, stand clear, for there are no bystanders when an empire crumbles.

“That’s just the way it is.”

As exhibited by the often bland, “normal” outward appearance of a serial killer, when the apologists and operatives of an exploitive, destructive system appear to be reasonable, they can go about their business without creating general alarm. By the same token, while many present day Republicans are zealots–barnburners raving into the flames of the conflagrations created by the militarist/national security/police/prison industrial state–Barack Obama and the Democratic Party serve as normalizers of the pathologies of late empire.

In this manner, atrocious acts can be committed by the state, with increasing frequency, because, over the passage of time, such outrages will have been allowed to pass into the realm of the mundane, and are thus bestowed with a patina of acceptability.

In nineteenth century Britain, the sugar that sweetened the tea of oh-so civilized, afternoon teatime was harvested by brutalized, Caribbean slaves, who rarely lived past the age of thirty, as, for example, in our time, in our blood-wrought moments of normalcy, we trudge about in sweatshop sewn clothing, brandishing i-Phones manufactured by factory enslaved teenage girls who are forced to work 14 hour plus shifts.

“That’s just the way it is” might be one of the most soul-defying phrases in the human lexicon.

Contrast this with the OSW slogan, “The beginning is near.” Hold both sentiments in your mind and discover which one allows your own heart to beat in sync with the heart of the world, and which will grant the imagination and stamina required to remake the world anew.

Phil Rockstroh is a poet, lyricist and philosopher bard living in New York City. He may be contacted at phil@philrockstroh.com and FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000711907499 Read other articles by Phil, or visit Phil’s website.

I’m singing in hell

I’m singing in hell

This is a place where my City Councillor invokes
UN property rights instead of human rights
for the 130 people evicted
from a rundown apartment block
destined for demolition,

where the Mayor, hell-bent on the erection
of Pat’s Palace and a domed stadium
over social housing, believes he’s a big man,

where the Province slowly slits the wrists
of the homeless shelter in North Battleford
eases its way out of funding social programs,

where the country is led by a Stalinist who bullies
women, environmentalists, blames First Nations
communities, the victims of a system of Apartheid
for their own poverty and who decimates the lives
of those who dare to challenge his decrees,

(Think nuclear: Linda Keen. Think military:
Richard Colvin. Think tarsands: Andrew Frank.)

I’m in a place where I know the world wants better
but is blocked
and expected to kiss the ass of the corporate brass
who own our governments,
who know the score,
pay the piper
and call the tune.

But be damned if I’ll sing that song!
Hell no! I’m singing
We shall not be moved,
Solidarity Forever,
Give peace a chance.

And I’m not alone

Hell no! We’re singing together,
back to the future, into the next seven generations
because we will not be moved,
because our solidarity will last forever
because we will give peace a chance
until this hell transforms

and we’re living our dreams of living in
a sustainable global society founded on
respect for nature, universal human rights,
economic justice, and a culture of peace.”1

——
1 From The Earth Charter and recorded by Carolyn McDade & Friends on the CD, My Heart Is Moved

Radioactive Leak @ US side of Lake Erie

Lots going down on the nuclear front.  I stumbled upon a pair of poets plugging Caldicott’s book at their blog, On the Wilder Side.  Nice to see other poets in the nuclear-free movement.

I almost missed the piece below; it was trying to hide itself in my inbox.  Reading it makes me wonder.  Why is Finley pushing for another reactor on Lake Irie?  How does the US nuclear industry’s regulation compares to ours?  And, will our regulations be forced to change because of the GNEP and the SPP?

Radioactive water leak found at Ohio nuclear plant on Lake Erie
January 7, 2008 – 21:08
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
AKRON, Ohio – Workers found a small radioactive water leak inside an Ohio nuclear power plant on Lake Erie, plant operator FirstEnergy Corp. said Monday.

The leak was on a weld that held two pieces of cooling pipe inside a reactor containment building at the Davis-Besse nuclear plant, FirstEnergy said in a report filed with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The amount of water from the pipe was so small when discovered Friday that it was not quantified in the report, said FirstEnergy spokesman Todd Schneider, who described it as “moisture.”

“It involved water from the reactor, so it is radioactive water but it is within the containment building and nothing was released. Our workers were not affected,” he said.

The Davis-Besse plant, about 50 kilometres east of Toledo, had been scheduled for shutdown in February but FirstEnergy moved it up to the end of December when the NRC expressed concerns about the durability of certain kinds of welds at nuclear plants in general.

Schneider said the company was in the process of strengthening 16 welds when the leak was discovered at one weld. He didn’t speculate about what could have happened if the leak had gone unnoticed.

“The situation did not exist while the plant was operating,” he said.
“We do inspections and we would have caught a situation like this.”
A message seeking comment was left Monday with the Earth Day Coalition environmental group in Cleveland, which has criticized FirstEnergy’s safety claims in the past.

NRC spokeswoman Viktoria Mitlyng said it’s possible stress from the welding reinforcement, called an overlay, may have caused a crack.

“It’s not a big concern,” Mitlyng said.
“What FirstEnergy is going to do is get an understanding of the nature of the crack, then it will have to propose a solution for fixing it. Then our inspectors will review it.”

Schneider had no estimate on how long the evaluation of the leak may take or how long the plant will remain shut down.
The Davis-Besse plant was shut down for two years starting in 2002 after inspectors found an acid leak that nearly ate through a steel cap on the reactor vessel at the plant. It was the most extensive corrosion seen at a U.S. nuclear reactor.

By the time the plant returned to full power in 2004, FirstEnergy had spent $600 million making repairs and buying replacement power. The NRC required the plant improve its safety procedures.

FirstEnergy is the fifth-largest investor-owned utility in the United States

Thx, JimBobby

Writing Poetry = A Terrorist Act?

Here’s what happened to a young poet in the UK because of their new anti-terrorist legislation.

2pm GMT update

‘Lyrical terrorist’ sentenced over extremist poetry

Read the poetry penned by Samina Malik

Claire Truscott and agencies
Thursday December 6, 2007
Guardian Unlimited

Samina Malik
Samina Malik, who called herself the ‘lyrical terrorist’, is the first woman to be convicted under new terrorism legislation. Photograph: Metropolitan Police/PA

A 23-year-old former Heathrow shop assistant who called herself the “lyrical terrorist” and scrawled her extremist thoughts on till receipts has been handed a nine-month suspended jail sentence. Samina Malik became the first woman convicted under new terrorism legislation after writing poems entitled How To Behead and The Living Martyrs.

“The Terrorism Act and the restrictions it imposes on the personal freedom exist to protect this country, its interests here and abroad, its citizens, and those who visit here. Its protection embraces us all. Its restrictions apply to us all, whatever our personal religious or political beliefs.”

He told Malik that if she had been convicted of the more serious charge of possessing an article for terrorist purposes – of which the jury cleared her – she would have faced a jail term. But he said, while a custodial sentence was merited, she had already faced “extremely rigorous” bail conditions which were “tantamount to house arrest”.

The court heard that she also spent five months in custody after being arrested in October last year. Malik’s sentence was suspended for 18 months, with the condition that she be supervised for the whole period and undertake unpaid work.

Outside court Malik’s solicitor Iqbal Ahmed read out a statement on her behalf. He said: “The trial process has been a terrible ordeal for her and she is now relieved that it is all over. The jury found that she did not have the material for terrorist purposes which was an important part of her case. She now wants to get on with her life.”

Last month, Malik was found guilty of possessing records likely to be useful in terrorism by a majority of 10 to one. She cried as the verdict was read. Two female jurors were also in tears. The court heard that Malik stocked a “library” of material useful to terrorists at her family home in Southall, west London.

Now, I don’t know a whole lot about the Harperites’ new law-and-order legislation, but I sure as hell hope that it doesn’t contain provisions that will result in me being imprisoned for speaking my truth to power. [See Update, below!] I understand the Loyal Opposition aka the Liberals are supporting the law-and-order bill. As a Poet in Canada I rilly-rilly hope they’ve checked it out thoroughly because we already know that the Harperites cannot be trusted to act in the best interests of Canada. Can you say Bali?

UPDATE: “Proposed legislation will grant law enforcement and security agencies extraordinary powers to detain and question individual suspects accused of terror activities WITHOUT due process and evidence.”

Thanks to Lady Broadoak for the lead.

Thanks to Verbena-19 for the update.

CD Launch

My Heart is Moved

 

Photograph by Cherie Westmoreland

CD Launch


This project,
My Heart is Moved, is deeply local,
circles of women caring for the global and local
possibilities in their lands and communities.

~ Carolyn McDade


In early June 2007, seven Saskatchewan women traveled to Boston to record the vocal tracks for My Heart Is Moved, a new CD of music by Carolyn McDade & Friends. In all, 85 women from 10 different bio-regions of North America — many of whom had never before met — gathered to sing! All who were there brought with them the breath and life of their local communities, the voices of all in their circles, the amazing preparation and intention of the local group, into the focused work of rehearsals and recording. Songs shaped collaboratively in word and sound by beloved artists, given instrumental voice by exquisite musicians were further shaped as they were sung in community.

 

Please join Carolyn McDade & Friends and the Saskatchewan Singers of the Sacred Web to listen to, sing and celebrate this new release of songs that gives us an emotional entry into the profound and urgent wisdom of the Earth Charter.

7:30 pm Thursday, October 25, 2007
St. Andrews College
1121 College Drive
University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon


7:30 pm, Friday, October 26, 2007
Sunset United Church
177 Sunset Drive
Regina

 

 

 

This music, drawn from the heart and words of The Earth Charter, pulls us to where waters run. . . seep. . . pool. . . We need these songs if we are ever to rudder ourselves through the narrows to a deeper understanding of who we are as planetary and cosmic beings, intent on the wellbeing of the community of life of which we are inextricably a part. ~ Carolyn McDade


The Earth Charter is a global People’s document that addresses how we, Earth’s people, need to exist in relationship with one’s self, with others, with Earth, and the larger whole if we are to sustain human life on this planet. Current work on the Charter began in 1994 with Maurice Strong, Chair of the 1992 Rio Summit, and former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev, Founder of Green Cross International. The aim of the movement is to have the Charter officially recognized by the United Nations.

The project title, My Heart Is Moved, comes from an Adrienne Rich poem, Natural Resources, published in her1978 book, The dream of a common language.


My heart is moved by all I cannot save:
so much has been destroyed

I have to cast my lot with those,
who age after age, perversely,

with no extraordinary power,
reconstitute the world.


We invite you to let your heart be moved by this beautiful music, to cast your lot with ours as we move from the aquifer of our hearts and souls to reconstitute the world. If you are not in Saskatchewan, you may be able to take in other launch celebrations in Canada and the USA. CDs will be available for sale at the launches and can be purchased in Regina at Bach & Beyond or online.

For additional information, please visit www.carolynmcdademusic.com, email myheartismoved@yahoo.ca.

SK Budget ’07: Update to A Missed Opportunity

The Sask Arts Alliance has provided the following regarding monies to the arts in today’s budget. It’s almost as though the NDP want to lose the next election…

 

SAA Logo

March 22, 2007

2007 – 2008 Provincial Budget

Hon. Andrew Thomson tabled the 2007 – 2008 Provincial Budget: Making Life Better in the legislature today. In a pre-budget briefing, Culture, Youth and Recreation Minister Glenn Hagel spoke about his Department within the context of the Government key priorities: Keeping the Strong Economy Growing, Making Saskatchewan an Even Better Place for Young People, Increasing Access to Health Care for Saskatchewan Families and Seniors, and Building Highways and Infrastructure to Secure Growth.

On the positive side, government is introducing supplementary eye care benefits and enhanced drug coverage for lower income workers (which we presume includes independent contractors). A Saskatchewan First procurement policy was adopted and Sask. Property Management Corporation will allocate 0.5% of capital costs to public art in public buildings. Minister Hagel again committed to bring the Status of the Artist Amendment Act to the spring legislature. The Building Communities Program for new construction, sustainable development and rehabilitation of community-created recreational and cultural infrastructure should also offer opportunities for arts organizations.

Overall though, the budget fell far short of expectations, particularly considering that Saskatchewan is experiencing great prosperity. Given recent government initiatives such as the Music Industry Review and Status of the Artist legislation, it appeared that Government recognized the value of the sector, and understood the demands it faced in terms of both increased costs and increased expectations to meet Government priorities. However, although there are increases in some areas, none are substantial enough to address the long-term pressures facing the arts sector let alone to provide for sustainable development. The Saskatchewan Arts Board allocation is far short of its needs (about 10% of their new money will be earmarked to address this year’s collective agreement and pay equity for their own staff). The Cultural Industries Development Council is still suffering from cuts to its funding that occurred in 2004, and Saskatchewan Heritage Foundation funding is so limited it is losing ground in its efforts to save our heritage.

Although disheartened with today’s budget results, its is a step, albeit a very small one, forward and Saskatchewan Arts Alliance remains committed to work on your behalf for sustainability of the sector.

Following are excerpts from the Culture, Youth and Recreation Estimates. 

Arts Related Estimates With Comparison to 2006-07 Estimates (in thousands of dollars)

Links to all budget documents can be found at http://www.gov.sk.ca/budget0708.

Poem: Fingering the dictionary

Fingering the dictionary

for Prime  Minister Stephen Harper on the occasion to celebrate International Women’s Day 2007

chattel

Main Entry: chat·tel
Pronunciation: 'cha-t&l
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English chatel property, from Anglo-French — more at CATTLE
1 : an item of tangible movable or immovable property except real estate and things (as buildings) connected with real property
2 : SLAVE, BONDSMAN

 

 

cattle

Main Entry: cat·tle
Pronunciation: 'ka-t&l
Function: noun plural
Etymology: Middle English catel, from Anglo-French katil, chatel personal property, from Medieval Latin capitale, from Latin, neuter of capitalis of the head — more at CAPITAL
1 : domesticated quadrupeds held as property or raised for use; specifically : bovine animals on a farm or ranch
2 : human beings especially en masse

capital

Main Entry: 3capital
Function: noun
Etymology: French or Italian; French, from Italian capitale, from capitale, adjective, chief, principal, from Latin capitalis
1 a (1) : a stock of accumulated goods especially at a specified time and in contrast to income received during a specified period; also : the value of these accumulated goods (2) : accumulated goods devoted to the production of other goods (3) : accumulated possessions calculated to bring in income b (1) : net worth (2) : STOCK 7c(1) c : persons holding capital d : ADVANTAGE, GAIN <make capital of the situation> e : a store of useful assets or advantages <wasted their political capital on an unpopular

cunt

Main Entry: cunt
Pronunciation: 'k&nt
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English cunte; akin to Middle Low German kunte female pudenda
1 usually obscene : the female genital organs; also : sexual intercourse with a woman
2 usually disparaging & obscene : WOMAN 1a

Landscape: Subject Matter or Technique?

A poem by Charles Wright has entirely captured and enraptured me. Thanks to Lorri for reading it aloud in the Severin Hall lounge at St. Peter’s Abbey one day last week.

THE MINOR ART OF SELF-DEFENSE

Landscape was never a subject matter, it was a technique,

A method of measure,

                    a scaffold for structuring.

I stole its silences, I stepped to its hue and cry.

Language was always the subject matter, the idea of God

The ghost that over my little world

Hovered, my mouthpiece for meaning,

                                   my claw and bright beak…

 

                                              --Charles Wright

 

I’d love to hear what others think of this concept of landscape as technique.