Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thanks, Among Others, China & The United Nations

Awful, just awful. It's disheartening to read this. I'm not sure I will watch the documentary tonight, it sounds horrible, yet I have complete trust in the filmmaker & her movie. I'm just not sure that watching it will make me any less furious at what is happening. I'm just tired of the horror I've seen in my life. From watching Jack Ruby murder Lee Harvey Oswald live on a black & white teevee, to Boom Boom Mancini punch Duk Koo Kim to death, again, on the teevee. There were the body counts on the night news during the Vietnam war, the dogs in Selma, the wrecked families after Reagun fired all the air traffic controllers. & of course, the Nintendo war of Bu$hCo I, the state murder in America (in the name of the law!). I work with kids who have been, for varying reasons, removed from the pubic school system. As you can imagine, many of them have a rough life, & I used to think, being the good, knee-jerk liberal that I am, if only I could take them home. I overcame that urge, but still, I feel helpless in thinking about these women in Africa. I write letters, of course, send money to make sure that women in this country won't suffer the same fate. Although that is something that hasn't completely happened yet. It's just tough, but I would urge my loyal four readers to watch it & I will watch it as well. It will be hard, but it has to be done.

Here's a poem by Carolyn Forche.
The Colonel

What you have heard is true. I was in his house.
His wife carried a tray of coffee and sugar. His
daughter filed her nails, his son went out for the
night. There were daily papers, pet dogs, a pistol
on the cushion beside him. The moon swung bare on
its black cord over the house. On the television
was a cop show. It was in English. Broken bottles
were embedded in the walls around the house to
scoop the kneecaps from a man's legs or cut his
hands to lace. On the windows there were gratings
like those in liquor stores. We had dinner, rack of
lamb, good wine, a gold bell was on the table for
calling the maid. The maid brought green mangoes,
salt, a type of bread. I was asked how I enjoyed
the country. There was a brief commercial in
Spanish. His wife took everything away. There was
some talk of how difficult it had become to govern.
The parrot said hello on the terrace. The colonel
told it to shut up, and pushed himself from the
table. My friend said to me with his eyes: say
nothing. The colonel returned with a sack used to
bring groceries home. He spilled many human ears on
the table. They were like dried peach halves. There
is no other way to say this. He took one of them in
his hands, shook it in our faces, dropped it into a
water glass. It came alive there. I am tired of
fooling around he said. As for the rights of anyone,
tell your people they can go f--- themselves. He
swept the ears to the floor with his arm and held
the last of his wine in the air. Something for your
poetry, no? he said. Some of the ears on the floor
caught this scrap of his voice. Some of the ears on
the floor were pressed to the ground.

May 1978

& here's a YouTube of her reading the same poem.

1 comment:

Us said...

well i am going to go cry myself to sleep now. dd