Distribution Automatique

Wednesday, March 19

I'm feeling particularly fond of Canada these days, not only for producing the likes of Kevin Davies, Karen McCormick, Alan Davies and Steve McCaffery, but also for taking a strong stand in opposition to the second reich here in US-and-only-USland. A blogger in Victoria, B.C., Caterina Fake, seems to have very recently taken an interest in -fait accompli- (thanks for the link, Caterina) and she also very kindly discussed the catalogue to the "Poetry Plastique" exhibition, curated in 2001 by Jay Sanders and Charles Bernstein at the Maryann Boesky Gallery, which Caterina came across in a bookstore and recently purchased (!) there, as well!. Caterina noted my discussion of the paradigm transforming work of the British psychoanalyst D.W.Winnicott concerning the role of transitional objects in early psychological development, but also, significantly, in relation to such basic facts of cultural life as spirituality, art and poetry, universal cultural formations that Freud never seemed to have found a way to incorporate into his theory beyond a bare bones notion of "sublimation." I would be more than delighted if you might garner a moment to check out Caterina's lively and lovely site. (Like so many writers these days, Caterina is sleeping less and reading and writing much more). Links to your left at the sidebar, please. Hey, readers and bloggers, blogland is going international! (More about "Poetry Plastique" at the Electronic Poetry Center)

And while you're at the links bar, if you happen to have another few moments, be sure to check out on -Elsewhere- (he's back!) Gary Sullivan's latest, as always, completely absorbing musings, this time on drug culture. It appears the harried Gary had to squeeze quite a few moments out from his busy life to again edit, with Nada Gordon, another new and exciting upcoming edition of "The Poetry Project Newsletter."

I certainlly can't close without mentioning the anti-war reading at the Paula Cooper gallery tonight. Ramsey Clark gave a rousing speech that had the audience jumping up to applaud him (there would have been a lot more people except for tonight's demonstration at Union Square, but there were at least 60 people there, anyway.) His expressive, but quiet, thoughtful style came through in stark contrast to the violence during the Gulf War that he described with a welter of painful historical facts, such as the 3000 guided missiles that will be used during the first hour of this war, and the 11 year old girl he watched receiving an amputation of her leg without anaesthesia during the 1991 Gulf War ("it took 4 men to hold her down.") Thougtfully, he mentioned that she survived. He also mentioned the fact that 45 percent of Americans think, incorrectly, that Iraq was responsible for Sept 11. Since Iraq is almost completely without medicines or even bandages, he asked Bush and Kofi Annan if could we offer at least some medical supplies before devastating their country. During the Gulf War the water supply was deliberately destroyed during the first hours. Mothers, as a result, had no milk to offer their babies many of whom (at least 6000) died of dehydration. It is estimated that since the Gulf War 775,000 children have died there due to the combined effects of war and embargo. The speaker for A.N.S.W.E.R. mentioned that the full cost of bringing the world into the 21st Century in terms of basic needs would be 45 billion dollars. The cost of this war will be over 200 billion dollars. Ramsey Clark urges us to support the Vote to Impeach BushCheneyRumsfeldAshcroft. A few days ago 100,000 had signed the petition. It's already come to 200,000 by practically only whispering about the existence of www.VoteToImpeach.org (1901 Pennsylvania Ave.,NW, suite 607,Washington D.C.20006.)

All four readers-Ann Lauterbach, Anne Waldman, Michael Lally and Robert Creeley were excellent. Robert Creeley did a particularly affecting reading of Matthew Arnold's "Dover Beach" as well as some of his own anti-war poetry. Anne Lauterbach read the touching poem about Sept 11 she read on WNYC's recent presentation concerning Sam Hamill's "Poets Against The War"activities (check the audio link out on Laurable.com); Anne Waldman did a hypnotic, trance-inducing shamanic reading during which she seemed to be channeling Allen Ginsberg (she did sing Blake just as he did) as well as possibly some unnamed male and female Anastazi spirits-Anne W chanted beautifully and was emotionally and mystically transcendent on this occasion! Michael Lally read a very strong long poem in that personal, homespun style of his, enunciating so many offensive acts and policies of the far right that he made us understand that we have far too lightly critiqued these vicious movements for the past 50 years in this country, while endlessly muttering to ourselves- the audience seemed reluctant, even after 30 minutes, to allow him to step down!(I also got him to sign my precious copy of his rare, wonderful book "Rocky Dies Yellow." I learned that he's been living in New Jersey for the last few years, though we rarely see him at readings due to recent illnesses-he's better now-, and the fact that he is the father of two young children. We've got to get this charming, dapper, witty, lyrical and very smart poet to read around here more often!) Anne also suggested that writers gather at 11 am on Saturday morning at the Gotham Book Mart, 41 West 47 Street to join the overall march on March 22nd.