Saturday, March 15, 2003

It's the small things that make you turn. A good plate of homemade adobo. The fragrance of a blooming orchid as I walk by. The bright sunlight pouring in the morning. And an email from Thomas Fink regarding my chapbook, "My life as a duwende". Included in the chapbook is a poem I wrote during Eileen's one and only writing workshops, based on Tom's painting, "Ticket of Admission VII." But, he doesn't have to like it just for that poem:

Thank you for sending me MY LIFE AS A DUWENDE, and, of course, thank you for writing a poem on my painting, "Ticket of Admission VII." My favorite poems in the chapbook are: "That Island," whose elegant spinal form powerfully emphasizes the disillusionment with the actuality of the not-so-gold mountain of the U.S., "The New Year," in which there is a strong juxtaposition of vivid images and an excellent stanzaic and
typographical effect, and "Fingers," whose box structure is a very salient formal innovation that permits the trenchant emphasis of both metaphorical and metonymic effects.

You can check out what he's talking about at the link above. It's available there as a PDF document for FREE! Or if you prefer to hold something in your arms, feel the caress of 50% post-consumer paper on your skin, you can buy the hard copy and ponder the blank sprinkled red cover, will trade for cash or other chapbook and/or poetry books.

I made the chapbook, cuz like yesterday I was feeling stuck. I needed to let these poems free to let others come in. Sometimes you have to break ties to create new ones.

Today is a good day for a walk, or even better a march. They say this'll be the last chance to march before military actions commence. When the diplomats start leaving the country, you know something is a brewing. I've read some columns that don't believe in the marches, that instead they should concentrate on voting peace people into power rather than marching. Personally, I don't believe these are two mutually exclusive things. I believe that if all the people in the marches registered to vote and went to the polls to vote for peace and vote people for peace, that would make a difference.

Marches are good, because it gives people satisfaction that they're doing something today. But we can't go back to our amnesia. Will the American public "forgive" Bush if the "war" is as quick as he says? Will we no longer regard the United Nations when we go after other "rogue regimes"?

One political analyst on KTVU commented that Americans just want to go to war to "get it over with." Yet with or without this war, there will still be tons of people out of work, the public schools won't have teachers, and the national deficit will be increasing exponentially.

OK now I'm angry. Anger can be a good thing. It makes you more alert, gives you energy. Now it's a matter of trying to find ways to focus the energy into something constructive like working on a campaign to vote in peace, or buying less oil dependent cars or taking public transit.

I watch the news on the troops in the Middle East. They showed the 101st Airbourne. The troops all wore the standard khaki camoflauge. I look for brown skin. I look for my cousin. His father served in the Philippine National Police, one of the few not part of graft. My cousin serves too for a country he immigrated to only a handful of years ago. He no longer has to be just the "cook" or the "laundry boy." He gets a gun and boots and khaki camoflauge just like everyone else. They get extra pay for being in the "combat zone." It's a job. Better to have a job in a combat zone than being unemployed here. It's supply and demand for him. The news tells me the troops are ready. They will be the first ones in. They're the 101st. I pray for peace, I write for peace, I march for peace, I vote for peace, so my cousin can come home and watch his daughter grow up.

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