Postmodern Collage Poetry

A blog about writing collage poetry, post modern poetry, multi lingual poetry

Monday, December 26, 2005

Merton-Silliman-Munich-An Eye for An Eye

Yesterday was Christmas day and today a free day so I have some time to read and to
think. Just when I decide I am not going to read Ron Silliman's Blog again he pulls me back in like a drunk to the Bourbon.

I always have this overwhelming feeling when I read Ron's Blog that I am listening to my Mother lecturing me-- Ron is about her age with the same kind of sense- and then he intrigues me.

He mentioned a new book of correspondence between Thomas Merton and Jonathan Greene. I agree whole heartedly about Merton's exclusion from so many poetic anthologies is so unjustified and I think motiviated by bigotry against Catholics which is rife in poetryland.

I think Merton is one of the great minds on the last half of the 20th century. He was one of the first Catholics to have dialogue with Sufism, Buddhism, Martin Buber, the poetry world, artists and of course he remained within our Catholic tradition- keeping the unbroken line of Catholic intellectual excentrics that began I think with St Paul and went through people as diverse as St Jerome, Cassiodorus, John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, Gerard Manley Hopkins, St Francis and Dorothy Day, all people that many in our current Church would rather not remember they were some sort of shamed drunk uncle.

Merton has always been a lodestar for me- I read the Seven Storey Mountain as a 17 year old College Freshman and fell in love with him and his books. Merton was an intellectual, a Catholic, a Mystic, a poet and a great questioner all things something that I aspire and aspired to. Merton was and is the essential link between us and so many others of good will. I wish many poets and anthologists could get around their inbread prejudice against religious people and Catholics and see this man for what is was. I wish many Catholics so quick to run back to bigotry would listen to what he said... Merton was a great Monk and a great Poet and a person of deep strength.

Munich- I went to see Steven Spielberg's Munich today- to say it is wrenching is so say an understatement. We exist today I think amid a field of lies. I wish that our president would simply be honest and say that freedoms need to be curtailed and here is the reason why.... but no one is interested in listening and being honest. We all have to pretend and pretending is pretense. the great canard is that violence does not work. the truth is that I can list here the times that non violence worked; South Africa, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King/ Civil Rights, Mohandas Gandhi in India, but so many other solutions have been violent and no one wishes to remember them we ignore the blood on our hands and judge others.

An Eye for an Eye makes the whole world blind-Mahatma Gandhi

Monday, December 19, 2005

Evo Morales in Elected President of Bolivia

Evo Morales is Elected President of Bolivia

The person I am today begins with my time and formation in Bolivia. I lived in Cochabamba for all of 1994 all of 1995 and part of 1996 and the work I did and the place fills me to this day. I worked as a volunteer in a men's prison and the work profoundly changed me as to scour away much of my ignorance and narrowmindedness and opened my eyes to the reality of our Americas.

I first met Evo Morales by accident a the Post Office in Cochabamba. He saw my wooden Tau cross and called me Hermano, as in Brother or Friar it was the greatest compliment I have yet recieved.

I got to know Evo Morales during my work in the jail most of the members of my fraternity in the jail were minor coca leaf offenses. Most of the men I worked with had lost everything for trying to feed their families.

Evo Morales was the leader of the Cocaleros. The justice of their cause, opposing eradication of Coca leaf and trying to help poor people to get out a cycle of poverty that resulted in death for so many destroyed my faith in many things I once held dear.

Evo Morales said simply "no" to the desire of the Americans to eradicate coca a plant that has grown in the Andes for 20,000 years and he demanded that America deal with their demand not destroy the Andes and its people because Americans wanted to buy Cocaine. He is not loved by the US but he is right and we are wrong.

Evo Morales is an Aymara a member of one of the three largest indig. groups in the Americas over 2 million people speak Aymara in the Andes, 6 million Quechua and over 5 million Guarani these are the last places in the Americas where there are
the traditions and languages that predate the Spanish and Portuguese in these numbers. The people of the Andes are not Hispanic and they are not Latinos they are the Children of the Inkas and Tiuanaco and they bear witness to survival.

I say that as we approach the longest day of the year in South America we ask the Pachamama and Virococha to bless Evo Morales and help him to be just and to give voice to those who are ignored by so many. I also hope that God in his wisdom will protect him and let the people I once worked with in Bolivia have hope in their future.

Paz y Bien

Saturday, December 17, 2005

AJAX, CHRISTMAS, 2005, & War

Ajax-John Tipton

I went a few weekends ago to see a new translation of Ajax read by John Tipton, Chicago poet. I was prepared to hate it I find allot of the Hyde Park crowd a little pretentious and elitist but i must say the translation rose above all of that stuff.

John did a great job, the play, which I never liked came alive and it was without pretention. Amina Cain read some parts, all I can say is if someone were to read my work aloud I would want Amina to do it.... Peter O'Leary was Peter O'Leary reading well with a touch of sarcasm which is part of his raison d'etre. Eric Elstain did well except for the many times he had to kiss his new girlfriend...but on whole it was a great performance. Not too many of the poeticos at the reading.

Some performance artist did something before the reading that was unspeakably bad.
Jen Karmin did a really silly act where she held up a sign that said Herodotus was the first historian to some bad music the performance was not as good as Ajax.


Lots of the normal Christmas kvetching. Secularists want to say Happy Holidays, others Merry Christmas. What i am thinking is that we ought to move the winter holiday. Let Christians have Christmas, but lets move the gifts and the vacation until February, a dreary time we can call it Giftevus!

I for one think that Christians ought to stop giving gifts on Christmas it gets in the way of what is important about the Holiday (Comes from Holy Day by the way) . God is with us Immanuel. God chose to become human and to live with people. God sanctified every human person with this act and whenever anyone hurts another human being he is hurting Jesus who is incarnate... most stupid Christians do not get this- it was not faith in Jesus as your personal savior that Jesus cared about what he cared about was a transforming revolutionary faith in love and care for all people


Was a good year the White Sox won the world series, other good things happened.
I wonder what 2006 with bring? Maybe Ron Silliman will mention me on his blog?
Oh how I pine for this! I heard that some poets are going to put Ron's blog on the big screen at bar on New Years so that his first post of the new year will be running at the same time as the Rose Parade!


A young man from my hometown, Matthew Kaiser died in Iraq last week. I went to High School with his brother. I still do not understand why he had to die? Sometimes I think that we ought to mind our own business and take care of our own people but then I remember that we need to send our Children to die. I was born on May 14, 1967 455 Americans died on that day in Viet Nam and for what did they die?