Thursday, February 27, 2003

Iraq, Iraq, Iraq
Iraq, Iraq, Iraq, Iraq, Iraq, Iraq, some more Iraq news, Iraq.
American Police arrest man for talking in library
Donald Rumsfeld lays down The Law
"I think Bush is out of control", the man said to a woman who he'd seen, in a library, wearing an anti-war badge. Shortly, police arrested him under the US's so-called Patriot Act and kept him in a police station for 5 hours. The man, understandably, is annoyed and intending to sue everyone concerned.

But how did they know he was at the library? Well, the Patriot Act, I understand, means that US law enforcement officials can spy on all sorts of things in their valiant lookout for Threatening People: library records, google searches (and with the recent takeover of Blogger, oh shit, my life's on the line too), student records, realtime phone communications, and christ, maybe even what you buy on Amazon, for all I know.

All I can say is, thank god its powers don't reach beyond US citizens! For now...

Meanwhile, this is what's going on in today's papers in Northern Ireland.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

September, Bush, Blair, Iraq

I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-Second Street
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.

Faces along the bar
Cling to their average day:
The lights must never go out,
The music must always play,
All the conventions conspire
To make this fort assume
The furniture of home;
Lest we should see where we are,
Lost in a haunted wood,
Children afraid of the night
Who have never been happy or good.

All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope at the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.

Defenceless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.

-- from September 1, 1939 - W.H. Auden

Sort of fitting. This should be next week's UN Resolution.

Monday, February 24, 2003

Get ready for it...
The picture is from - the caption isn't. :o)...whatever it might be., the US disaster-plan website, has been spectacularly parodied by many sites - best links here and here. Oh, how I laughed!

There is a serious undercurrent to all this, though. Just how many people in that massive country are going to be panicked beyond all reason by this so-called 'information drive'? Of course people should have information. The small question of useful timing seems to have been misunderstood in this case, I think.

Thursday, February 20, 2003

Keep it clean
Heheheee. :o)
Watch wine grow... It makes me reach for the corkscrew every time.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

COMMENT! Dammit.
You see those little 'comment?' links below each posting?

They WORK. They're there for a REASON. Bloody USE them. Grrrr, grrrrr. Growl. Am I being scary and persuasive enough? I don't care. But it'd be nice to have some evidence that people actually visited this site, and read it.

And you can see what you, and everyone else, has posted, too. Don't be shy. *sniffle*
Just thoughts in my head

Monday, February 17, 2003

Let it snow...
...let it snow, let it snow. As more than 20 (yes, twenty) inches of snow fall over Washington DC, the rest of America's East Coast is hit by severe snowstorms... again. And even the Chesapeake Bay is frozen.

Friday, February 14, 2003

Dammit, I felt like publishing something of my own today. Hope you enjoy. (Adobe PDF.)

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Consumer rights
Here's a message I just got from a friend of mine:

we've just bought some jaffa cakes in the office. on the tube it says "this tube should always contain 15 jaffa cakes" so when we had eaten all but one we phoned their customer complaints department to tell them there was only one left. i laughed so much i nearly wet myself.
I was leafing through an old diary today and came across this. Sorry it's so long, but hell. I was intense when I was 19! And not a little scary, looking back on it!

Wed. 30th July 1997

A rather slow day today. ... I need to be in touch with people. And that works both ways.

Poetry. Nothing much on that front. Why call yourself a poet when you aren't one? Is being a poet thinking about things poetically, or is it just a craft? I suppose it depends on the individual, on their commitment, on how much they write. Anne really is a writer - ever since I've known her she's always had something on the go and always something searching in terms of personality or people - or the self. I'm not a poet of anything in particular - I wonder if I ever will be?

The cover of the catalogue to 'Sublime Inspiration'In the afternoon went to an exhibition in the Abbott Hall Art Gallery in Kendal - Sublime Inspiration. The artistry of mountains, paintings and photos. A couple of superb Turners. Then back here.

The gatehouse, Pembroke CollegeWatched Morse in the evening - set in Pembroke College, Oxford. No shots filmed near the set of rooms I occupied for a night. Then I went out for a walk in the raining darkness. Dad says there have been a couple of guys hanging around here today with a notepad. They came up to the steps apparently, hanging round the car as well. Hope nothing happens - I'm not entirely sure it will but am sure that it's mostly unlikely - at leasst tomorrow. Gaytime TV starts in less than 5 minutes so will have to go. Back soon maybe.

-back- Dad doesn't want me to watch Gaytime TV - he hasn't said so but is uncharacteristically going to watch a film which is on at this time - and is avoiding my gaze. Bugger. And I thought he'd progressed a bit on that front. He seemed fairly relaxed about about my sexuality when it was touched upon earlier this week. He's just shifted in his chair, and is fiddling with things - sure sign that he's bored but his foot is going round and round so he doesn't want me to know. The time is past for that kind of limitation - it passed years ago in my opinion. That didn't stop him limiting at all, though.

How Head, for years 'our' cottage in Ambleside, Lake DistrictThis place seems so different from a year ago... Anne said in her letter that sometimes she thinks that she loves me and other times she knows she must not. I think I shock a lot of people. Anyway. No more now.

Monday, February 10, 2003

100 Poets 3 published
nthposition have just published the 3rd Edition (pdf) of their ever-more-famous-by-the-second poetry chapbook. You know what to do.

I hope!
Old friends...
I've been sitting with a lot of old friends recently. They've all come over visiting from London to live with me, and it's really great to see them all again. They're books, before you think I've suddenly become popular.

The World Atlas of Wine: pure enjoyment since the early 70s.

One of the best and most treasured is this one, pictured above and expanded upon here. If you're into wine, buy it. If you're into reading, find it in a bookshop and leaf through it and then buy it. If you're into both, of course you already have it so you don't need me to tell you. And if you're not into either wine or reading... why the hell have you got this far??

Thursday, February 06, 2003

New Edition
100 Poets Against The War, Todd Swift's eBook mentioned in my last post but one, is out in a new edition which I've added to my server. Get it, and the original, from the sidebar (above the blogrolling links)!

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

Hobbit Love
So, Merry and Frodo are in love. Really. There are pictures, and comment. When will they come out?

It might just be rumour, and a matter of chance.

Saturday, February 01, 2003

You can't hide a poet behind a bush.
A few days ago, America's First Lady Laura Bush was forced to cancel one of her White House poetry symposiums because my American friends were threatening to use their poetry to make a stand against war.

The Guardian quotes Mrs Bush's spokeswoman: "While Mrs Bush respects the right of all Americans to express their opinions, she, too, has opinions and believes it would be inappropriate to turn a literary event into a political forum."

What does Mrs Bush think literature is?? In my opinion, she is bordering on being openly stupid if she truly believes that any poet worth their salt will sit politely at a nice afternoon gathering to talk about poetry when aggression is in the offing and must be questioned.

Luckily, an enterprising poet and publisher, Sam Hamill, has set up a website, Poets Against The War, and Todd Swift has published an eBook filled with contributions by established poets from all over the world.

The eBook is hosted on this website in Adobe pdf format - download it from the link in the lefthand bar, copy it to serve from your site, print it and leave it in coffeeshops... up to you!