Sunday, January 02, 2011

Endless War

[click photo]
The disasters numb within us
caught in the chest, rolling
in the brain like pebbles. The feeling
resembles lumps of raw dough

weighing down a child’s stomach on baking day.
Or Rilke said it, ‘My heart. . .
Could I say of it, it overflows
with bitterness . . . but no, as though

its contents were simply balled into
formless lumps, thus
do I carry it about.’
The same war

We have breathed the grits of it in, all our lives,
our lungs are pocked with it,
the mucous membrane of our dreams
coated with it, the imagination
filmed over with the gray filth of it:

the knowledge that humankind,

delicate Man, whose flesh
responds to a caress, whose eyes
are flowers that perceive the stars,

whose music excels the music of birds,
whose laughter matches the laughter of dogs,
whose understanding manifests designs
fairer than the spider’s most intricate web,

still turns without surprise, with mere regret
to the scheduled breaking open of breasts whose milk
runs out over the entrails of still-alive babies,
transformation of witnessing eyes to pulp-fragments,
implosion of skinned penises into carcass-gulleys.

We are the humans, men who can make;
whose language imagines mercy,
lovingkindness we have believed one another
mirrored forms of a God we felt as good—

who do these acts, who convince ourselves
it is necessary; these acts are done
to our own flesh; burned human flesh
is smelling in Vietnam as I write.

Yes, this is the knowledge that jostles for space
in our bodies along with all we
go on knowing of joy, of love;

our nerve filaments twitch with its presence
day and night,
nothing we say has not the husky phlegm of it in the saying,
nothing we do has the quickness, the sureness,
the deep intelligence living at peace would have.

“Life at War” By Denise Levertov, from To Stay Alive

Lindsey Graham calls for permanent US military presence in Afghanistan
We can see everything
America's Empire and Endless Wars Are Destroying the World, and Ruining Our Great Country


  1. Just for purposes of staying in-character, I have to point out that I hate Truthout too. I'm a very, very bad "progressive".

  2. I forget where I first came across the op-ed, but it was somewhere even less desirable which was linking back to Truthout.

    I used to include Truthout in my daily rounds, but haven't been there but once or twice in the last 2 years, then only when some link lead me there.

  3. I think we should call them Goo-out.... I don't use the status bar on my browser, so mostly don't know where a link will land me. Occasionally I end up at Truthout and whenever it's been worth reading it was a repost from somewhere else. I think they have Jason Leopold running it now, and so it's even worse than before, if possible. The guy drives me nuts because he is a suck-up, Mr. Sweet, to people, which almost unerringly causes them to think his journalism isn't shit... except I've caught him all the way out about five times and STILL his "faithful" progressivetude gets him places with "progressives". It's SICKENING. They're flippin' party hacks EVEN when they criticize the party. Papantonio is driving me NUTS that way too... probably the more because I respect his legal acumen and don't think someone of that caliber as a litigator could possibly be such a sellout in the face of CLEARCUT betrayal... but anyway... I'm getting madder and madder about it all over the place.

    It's as though everyone's gonads have been flash-frozen and large segments of their brains sucked out.

    I think I'm in a coma somewhere, having the longest nightmare in human history.