for memorial day

Stumbled on this by accident, from an Emerson College film student. I’ve seen/read a lot this MemDay weekend and written a little, and posted our friend Millay again at WVFC. But this old song – I think it was part of my soundtrack for my play “Too Many Martyrs” – tore the scab off justContinue reading “for memorial day”

of time warps, and beside-the-point ANSWERs to worlds that can wait

a little rant, about something that’s none of my business.

The months reading/writing about the “Vietnam years” made me feel more strongly than ever about trends I’m seeing in some of these newer veterans’ groups — stuff I keep TRYING, in good journalistic fashion, to shut my mouth about so that I can just watch it happen in real time. It’s about the perpetual dance between dissenting veterans and groups of the sectarian left, for whom the latter are sort of a dream date.

always with the unoccupied space: thank you, Katherine McNamara!

Katherine McNamara started crashing people’s expectations early – peeling off to Paris in the middle of a Cornell history Ph.D. and learning she was a poet, striking out for Alaska just as the oil boom was ending; founding one of the first prestigious literary magazines published entirely on the Internet. And ever since we metContinue reading “always with the unoccupied space: thank you, Katherine McNamara!”

Matthis Chiroux gets to the hard stuff

I promised an update to the Hempstead 15, though the first update is that I’ve been spelling Matthis Chiroux’s name wrong all this time and none of my so-called colleagues have bothered to correct me. Mea culpa, sir, and bravo for your fortitude in following in the footsteps of that Fort Hood Three (see myContinue reading “Matthis Chiroux gets to the hard stuff”

back to the future: Janis Karpinski speaks truth to power

Last night, it was a little disorienting to put up the post below at my other shop; when I started blogging in 2004, there was no subject on which I spent more…. virtual ink.  (Except when London had that screaming across the sky.) Five years ago, revelations of the torture of prisoners in Iraq atContinue reading “back to the future: Janis Karpinski speaks truth to power”

two pictures, old hope

Images  found this week at the Swarthmore College Peace Collection, now in dim photocopies.  I’ll scan both as soon as I can, and provide substitutes in the meantime: #1: June 30, 1966.  A room at NY Community Church on 35th Street, filled to bursting for a press conference. To the left of the table, aContinue reading “two pictures, old hope”

poetry friday a day early

cause that’s how it feels sometimes. The Author to her Book Thou ill-form’d offspring of my feeble brain, Who after birth did’st by my side remain, Till snatcht from thence by friends, less wise than true, Who thee abroad expos’d to public view, Made thee in rags, halting to th’ press to trudge, Where errorsContinue reading “poetry friday a day early”

six years on, we are all conscientious objectors

A month or so since I posted and I’m still speechless. More soon, I promise. Meanwhile, there are all sorts of important things to say on the sixth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, but for now I think I’ll just let a poet say it, again. In 2003 I quoted Yeats, but now let’sContinue reading “six years on, we are all conscientious objectors”

call it love or call it reason

More flotsam from my life-on-Mars phase: I didn’t know this video existed, until now. I wish I had a clip of Ochs’ performance at the first Winter Soldier (two years later than this TV appearance) but this is good enough  for now. Knowing that the vets in Detroit heard Ochs’ anthem, just before four daysContinue reading “call it love or call it reason”

can you hear me major tom?

So I’ve been of late calling myself “Billy Pilgrim,” when people ask me how I am; digging tenaciously through those mad years we call “the Vietnam era,” which I subtitle as “When Everything Blew Up and Everything Grew.” What, she’s not done yet? Not yet, not when I spent nearly three weeks with the likesContinue reading “can you hear me major tom?”