Thursday, February 28, 2013


When this song comes out of nowhere, it stands me still.
From one of the best LPs of all time.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


                                                                            Rediscovered fragment

This sky over Paris purer than a winter sky lucid with cold
I have never seen such starry, luxuriant nights as this spring
When the trees along the boulevards are like shadows from the sky,
Foliage in rivers thick with elephants' ears,
Plane trees leaves, heavy chestnut trees.

A lily on the Seine is the moon at the water's level
The Milky Way swoons on Paris and embraces it
Mad, naked, sprawled out, its mouth sucks at Notre Dame.
The great Bear and the Little Bear growl around Saint Merry.
My amputated hand shines in the sky in the Orion constellation.

In this hard, cold light, flickering, more than unreal,
Paris is like the frozen image of a plant
Reviving in its ashes. Pitiful specter.
In unanswering line and ageless, the houses and streets are only
Stone and iron heaped up in an unbelievable desert.

Babylon and the Thebaid are no less dead tonight than the dead city of Paris
Blue and green, ink and pitch, its arches starwashed.
Not a sound. No passerby. It is heavy silence of war.
My eyes travel from the urinaries to the violet eye of the street lamps.
It is the only lighted space to which I can drag my uneasiness.

So it is that every evening I cross Paris on foot
From the Batignolles to the Latin Quarter just as I would cross the Andes
In the fires of new stars, ever larger and more overwhelming,
The Southern cross more stupendous at each step one takes
   toward it, emerging from the old world
Onto its new continent.

I am the man who has no more past. — Only my stump aches. —
I rented a hotel room to be truly alone with myself.
I have a brand new wicker basket filling up with my manuscripts.
I have neither books nor paintings, no esthetic geegaws.

A newspaper is yellowing on my worktable.
I work in my bare room, behind a frosted glass,
Bare feet on red linoleum, playing with balloons and a little child's trumpet:
I am working on LA FIN DU Monde.


(New Directions 1965)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


photo © bob arnold

Monday, February 25, 2013


[ In the beginning God created pole-vaulters,
exploding poets, and dirty old angels. ]

for Larry Goodell

There are magicians and quick shooters,

pick pockets and leprechauns. Lepers,

whores and bareback riders.

Zen gardens, granny goose and bastards.

Nose pickers, grave robbers, sunburst chanters,
dirty old angels,
pole vaulters, pilgrims, and sweet-ass'd

boogie woogies.

                             When I close my eyes

they dance on stage

throw roses into my ears

and sing until Tuesday. 



Sweet Ass'd Angels,
Pilgrims & Boogie Woogies
(Cranium 1973)



I think it's good for the Academy Awards that Quentin Jerome Tarantino won for best original screenplay — unlike the usual fare of a technically bright Lincoln script, fixed in a history lesson, we get the Tarantino modernized version of reviewing slavery. It may be a mess, a joke, and it may bubble up or shock open the realest answers. Sometimes a winner is what it can produce elsewhere, more than what it is. I see Tarantino as a derivative auteur with just the right amount of originality and just the right amount of bullshit. He fits exactly into this New World Order of things. Right, he's the joker. He couldn't balance a smooth portrait like John Ford (whom he hates) or the wise puzzlement of Jean-Luc Godard if his life depended on it. He's a channel ghost of a million films, a collagist, who then inspires original thought elsewhere, or even breaks some sound barriers. His choice of actors and assemblages is often wiser than his films.


Daniel-Day Lewis had the most telling line during the Academy Awards, “I really don’t know how any of this happens,” which addresses just how I felt, that something as half-baked as Argo could have won Best Picture. But then The Artist won last year, and how many of you have returned to watch that film? Nice touch having Jack Nicholson step back and allow Michelle Obama on a large screen deliver to the Best Picture winner. It's always awarding to see a thoughtful artist win something: Ang Lee, Michael Haneke and a few others. But if the Academy was going to do one "tie", and they did, but for the wrong category, last night was the golden moment to present it to the youngest actor ever nominated Quvenzhane Wallis, and the oldest Emmanuelle Riva. Now wouldn't that of been something.

Quvenzhane Wallis

Emmanuelle Riva

Sunday, February 24, 2013


I'm recovering from trying to find any empathy in myself for the caper film ARGO. A film I found almost totally worthless, and so does, evidently, the fact machine since nearly every move in the film seems dubious (except there were American hostages who scuddled over to the Canadian Embassy), but let's forget about the real hostages that suffered a year and a half in Iran. Nevermind Iranians who have suffered from Shahs and American power. You think those angry mobs at the American Embassy gates might have a beef? Typical fare for these days: let's caper, let's not deal with the real issues: health care, taxes, Americans hurting, the world hurting, environment hurting (that's all); and throw our money and whatever free time we think we may have onto bogus and empty-headed films, books, television and "news", which ain't much news. It hurt the most last night bearing up with the hip, and let's-get-drunk-at-every-table-with-a-big-bottle-of-Jameson's-whiskey-at-every-table Independent Film Spirit Awards to watch Beasts of the Southern Wild be totally ignored for one more Hollywood sure-thing movie. Now the Spirit Awards, the so-called "Independents", have been overcome. I realize I'm being unfair and unwise to think a film like Beasts, filmed on a bottom of a bucket budget, with nonactors galore, on a stage of set-free imagination and dirty Gulf water infrastructure, could possibly deserve a leg-up or an independent spirit of anything, but I'll try to get with it and join the ranks. Which headless line is it we're supposed to stand in?

Saturday, February 23, 2013


Nanao Sakaki


If you have time to chatter

Read books

If you have time to read

Walk into mountain, desert and ocean

If you have time to walk

sing songs and dance

If you have time to dance

Sit quietly, you Happy Lucky Idiot

[ kyoto 1966]


Nanao, keep your knife clean

Nanao, keep your mind clean

Sea breeze is bad for a knife they say

Sea breeze is good for a mind they say

Sea breeze not bad for a knife

Sharpen your knife, that's all

Sea breeze neither bad nor good

The ocean a whetstone for mind

A clean knife mind

A clean mind ocean

Nanao, sleep well tonight

Blossoming cranium lily as a shelter

The coral sand beach as a bed

The Southern Cross as a pillow.

[Iriomote, Japan
Under the Tropic of Cacer
February, 1976]


Looking for firewood in snowy mountains

  Carrying back firewood
      Splitting firewood
         Listening to burning wood
            Watching for dancing flame

               So joyous
                  You forget yourself
                      You forget a serious appointment
                          You become a piece of firewood

                               Warming up
                                   Flaming up
                                      Singing up
                                          Dancing up

                                              You become ash.

[Feb. '80]


The United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem.
  — Walt Whitman

The government of the people, by the people, for the people.
  — Thomas Jefferson

You deserve a break today.
   — McDonald's

Where science gets down to business.
  — Rockwell International

Kick the letter habit.
  — Bell System

Crime hits everybody. Everybody oughta hit back.
  — Chicago Crime Commission

Without chemicals life itself would be impossible.
  — Monsanto

I think America's future is black, coal black.
  — Atlantic Richfield Company

Have a coke and a smile.
  — Coca Cola

Private property—No trespassing—Dead end road.

[Thanksgiving '79]


Because my stomach is empty,

Because my throat's itching,

Because my bellybutton's laughing

Because my heart is love burning.

[Mons Venus, NM
November, '79]


Carlsbad Caverns, then I moved to
White Sands National Monument.
Dr. Albert Einstein,
government officials and the Pentagon
all watched
the mushroom-shaped cloud
right here in the Chihuahua desert
25 years ago.

Jemez Springs, New Mexico,
I met a Christian priest.
At Tinian Air Base in Micronesia
he held a service for "B-29" pilots
who headed for Hiroshima,
August 6, 1945.

Izumi Air Base in Japonesia,
100 miles south of Nagasaki.
Three days after the Hiroshima bombing
I caught a "B-29" on my radar screen.
Due north. 30,000 feet high. 300 m.p.h.
Three minutes later
my soldiers shouted,
"Look, a volcanic eruption!"
In the direction of Nagasaki
I saw the mushroom-shaped cloud
with my own eyes.

Hiroshima. There,
one year after the bombing
I searched for
one of my missing friends.
As a substitute for him
I found a shadow man.
The atomic ray instantly
disintegrated his whole body,
all — but shadow alive
on a concrete wall.

Bandelier National Monument.
Beautiful ruin
of ancient people, the Anasazi.
Dead of night, the earth
quakes three times.
Not by Jemez volcano
but by underground nuclear explosion
in Los Alamos.
More ruins, more churches!

The Air Base ruin in Japonesia,
south of Nagasaki.
No more "Kamikaze pilots",
now 3,000 cranes soaring high
in the setting sun.

Northern edge of Chihuahua desert,
Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.
Sandhill crane, "Grus canadenis" : 1.7000.
Whooping crane, "Grus americana" : none.
As a substitute
for the extincting species
Mr. Kerr-McGee wants to dump
ever-existing nuclear waste
into "The Land of Enchantment".

[Sangre De Cristo Mountains
March 5, 1979]


 Sing a song






   Go away.

       [January, '81] 


Real Play
(Tooth of Time Books, 1983)

Friday, February 22, 2013


photo © bob arnold
"candy cigarettes" 


Photo: Ryan Aeronautical

The United States of Aftermath
   By William Rivers Pitt

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld: “ Stuff happens.”

Ten years ago on this day, my life was a blur of frantic activity. The week before, tens of millions of people had taken to the streets in more than 600 cities around the world to protest the looming invasion of Iraq, an attack that had been pursued with single-minded ferocity by the administration of George W. Bush. As the author of the book "War on Iraq", which had been published in October and argued Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction or al Qaeda connections to the September 11 attacks, I was one of the voices crying out in the wilderness of the "mainstream" news media trying to make it clear that the whole thing was a sham, and a disaster in the making. I did as many television, radio and print interviews as I could - at one point, CNN interviewed me in the gymnasium of the high school where I was still teaching, because that was the only time I had available - in an attempt to halt the calamity in its tracks.

One month later, I and every other person who tried to stop it encompassed the totality of our collective failure as we watched huge swaths of Baghdad be incinerated by the "Shock and Awe" bombing campaign that heralded the opening festivities of America's nine-year debacle in Iraq.

As the ten-year anniversary of the invasion approaches, all the news networks will carve out some time to report on the decade of war endured by the people of Iraq and the people of America. Rachel Maddow recently broadcast an hour-long documentary on the selling of the war by the Bush administration. Maddow's program began with the attacks of September 11 as the reason for the Iraq invasion, a starting point that in all probability will be repeated by the other networks, but that starting point is not factually correct. The roots of the Iraq war trace back to the founding in 1997 of a Washington DC think-tank called The Project for a New American Century (PNAC).

The core mission of PNAC was to establish what they called "Pax Americana" across the globe. Essentially, their goal was to transform America, the sole remaining superpower, into a planetary empire by force of arms. A report released by PNAC in September of 2000 entitled "Rebuilding America's Defenses" codified this plan. Author Norman Podhoretz, a PNAC signatory, quantified the other aspect of the PNAC plan in the September 2002 issue of his journal, "Commentary." In it, Podhoretz noted that the Mideast regimes "that richly deserve to be overthrown and replaced, are not confined to the three singled-out members of the axis of evil. At a minimum, the axis should extend to Syria and Lebanon and Libya, as well as 'friends' of America like the Saudi royal family and Egypt's Hosni Mubarak, along with the Palestinian Authority, whether headed by Arafat or one of his henchmen." At bottom, according to Podhoretz, war against Iraq was about "the long-overdue internal reform and modernization of Islam."

PNAC was the driving force behind the drafting and passage of the Iraqi Liberation Act in 1998, a bill that essentially turned their desire for war into American law. PNAC funneled millions of taxpayer dollars to a group called the Iraqi National Congress, and to the man they intended to be Iraq's heir-apparent, Ahmed Chalabi, despite the fact that Chalabi was sentenced in absentia by a Jordanian court to 22 years in prison on 31 counts of bank fraud. Chalabi and the INC gathered support for their cause by promising oil contracts to anyone who would help overthrow Saddam Hussein and put them into power in Iraq.

After the Supreme Court gifted the presidency to George W. Bush in December of 2000, the members of PNAC - once on the outside looking in - soon found themselves walking the halls of power and holding positions of enormous influence. Among these members were Vice President Dick Cheney; Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Cheney's chief of staff; Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld; Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz; National Security Council member Eliot Abrams; Undersecretary of State John Bolton, who also served as America's ambassador to the UN; and Richard Perle, chairman of the powerful Defense Policy Board.

On September 11, 2001, as America and the world watched in horror, these men went to work implementing their plans for war against Iraq. That day presented, for them, the opportunity of a lifetime, and they wasted not a moment. Within a year after the 9/11 attacks, Paul Wolfowitz and Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith had established the Office of Special Plans (OSP) in the Pentagon, ostensibly to deal with raw intelligence on the state of Iraq's armaments. In truth, OSP's main task was to manipulate that evidence to exacerbate the threat posed by Iraq, and to quash any information that augured against the necessity for war. Those who spoke out against this manipulation of evidence were dealt with harshly; former ambassador Joseph Wilson penned an editorial in the New York Times trashing the Bush administration's claim that Iraq had sought "yellow cake" uranium from Niger. Soon after, the Bush administration retaliated by blowing the cover of Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, a CIA operative tasked with tracking weapons of mass destruction, ending her career.

George W. Bush, during his State of the Union address in January of 2003, looked solemnly into the television cameras and told the American people that Iraq was most assuredly in possession of 26,000 liters of anthrax, 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin, 30,000 munitions to deliver the stuff, mobile biological weapons labs, and uranium from Niger for use in their "robust" nuclear weapons programs. One month later, Colin Powell stood before the United Nations and fleshed out these claims in an address that will go down in history as one of the biggest bag-jobs ever perpetrated by anyone, ever.

A year after the attacks of September 11, Osama bin Laden had gone from being enemy #1 to being Mr. Who Cares About Him, and six months after that, "Shock and Awe" was unleashed. Maddow and her friends in the "news" media will, in the coming weeks, give us their various interpretations on how it came to happen, but none of them will bother to delve into the question of why it happened. The answer to that is too simple, and cuts too close to the bone: the war in Iraq cost more than three trillion dollars ($3,000,000,000,000.00) to execute. Every bullet fired, every bomb dropped, every MRE eaten, every helicopter shot down, every missile fired, every truck destroyed by an IED, every oil well guarded, every uniform worn, and every body bag filled translated into a slice of that money going to a company connected to the PNAC members of the Bush administration, who lied us into that war as an expression of their personal principles and in fulfillment of their dreams. Halliburton, KBR, United Defense, the Carlyle Group, independent military contractors like Blackwater and a crowd of American oil companies are still counting the riches they earned from their participation in the carnage.

Truthout needs your support to produce grassroots journalism and disseminate conscientious visions for a brighter future. Contribute now by clicking here.

The profit motive behind why the war happened is not limited to the corporations that directly cashed in on the conflict. The "mainstream" media went along for the Bush administration ride with a bull-throated roar, pitching everything the administration was selling with graphics and music, gleefully aware of the money they were making thanks to increased viewership, and be damned to contrarian voices. Phil Donahue's show on MSNBC came and went like a summer storm entirely because his pre-war contrarian views cut against the network's martial grain. I summarized the reality of America's pre-war media landscape in an October 2002 article titled, "I See Four Lights":

One of the main reasons the dismal truths of business and economy in present-day America go unreported is the fact that we have us a war coming on. CNN, MSNBC and Fox have crafted various permutations of a 'SHOWDOWN WITH IRAQ' graphic, coupled with suitably dramatic music. This is a boon to the media - stories of financial ruin and stock schemes that bilked investors of billions are complicated. Compared to grainy images of explosions, fluttering American flags, and stalwart American troops preparing to step into harm's way, the economic news is plain boring. People were changing the channel back in July and August because it was too painful, and because it was not sexy. Now, with the war graphics in full cry, they are back. CNN's viewership increased by 500% after September 11th, and you can bet the executives down in Atlanta noted that well. War is good for the media business.

Over the last few years, MSNBC refashioned itself as the progressive news alternative to networks like Fox and CNN by giving Keith Olbermann an opportunity to do actual journalism on television for a few years, and by putting people like Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz front and center. Even Chris Matthews, the human weathervane, appears to have gotten the memo. But I remember a phone call I got from an MSNBC producer in February of 2003. Hans Blix and his weapons inspectors had not been in Iraq for 100 hours when this woman called me on my cell, told me she'd read my book, and asked me to appear on the network. There was, however, one caveat: she told me I was expected to argue that Blix and the inspectors were doing a terrible job and should be ignored, which just happened to be the exact line being peddled at the time by the Bush administration. I told the producer that I did not agree, that the inspectors needed to be given time to do their jobs, and that undermining them might lead to a devastating war. The MSNBC producer chuffed a cigarette-roughened laugh into my phone and hung up on me.

That happened - I remember the details not only because of how gruesome the conversation was, but because when she hung up on me, I almost lost control of my car and nearly wound up in the Charles River - and the fact of it tells you everything you need to know about MSNBC and the rest of the alphabet-soup cohort that is America's "mainstream" news media. I did not do what that MSNBC producer asked me to, but you can bet all the money you have that she found someone who would a few phone calls later. You might have even seen it on TV.

MSNBC and the rest of the "news" networks can level a finger of blame at the Bush administration until the sun burns out, but the rock-bottom fact of the matter is that every one of those networks are equally to blame for the catastrophe that was, and remains, the war. No questions were asked, no push-back was offered; when the war cry went up, they made that cry their own, and they have as much blood on their hands as Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the rest of that PNAC crew.

The war against Iraq, in the end, was nothing more or less than a massive money-laundering operation that took American taxpayer dollars, soaked them in blood, and redirected them to Certain Friends In High Places. It was, as I said years ago, a smash-and-grab robbery writ large, aided and abetted by an American "news" media which had its own profit motive, and which made a nifty sum off the whole deal.  Even better for them, today they get to enjoy the ratings and advertising dollars to come when they broadcast their somber "documentaries" about how terrible it all was, how many lies were told, how many mistakes were made, and all without ever looking inward at their own enormous complicity.

They say the war is over now, but Halliburton is still getting paid to "rebuild" Iraq, the military contractors are still there, bombs are still going off all over the country, the hundreds of thousands of civilians who were killed are still dead, the hundreds of thousands of civilians who were wounded and maimed are still scarred, and many of the millions who were displaced are still not home. Almost 5,000 American soldiers are still dead, nearly 40,000 more are still scarred, and the VA is utterly incapable of dealing with the aftermath.

Three trillion dollars of taxpayer money was laundered away, and today we have squadrons of politicians who voted for the war and made sure it happened now talking about cutting Medicare, about cutting Social Security, about how we can't afford decent health care or the United States Post Office, without even a blink of acknowledgement toward their own overwhelming share of blame for what has happened to the nation.

Ten years ago, they used 9/11 against us, with the happy help of the "news" media, to unleash butchery for a payday, and broke the country in the process.

So you remember, so you never, ever forget, this is how they did it.

"Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction."
- Dick Cheney, Vice President
Speech to VFW National Convention

"There is already a mountain of evidence that Saddam Hussein is gathering weapons for the purpose of using them. And adding additional information is like adding a foot to Mount Everest."
- Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
Response to Question From the Press

"We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."
- Condoleezza Rice, US National Security Adviser
CNN Late Edition

"Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons."
- George W. Bush, President
Speech to the UN General Assembly

"Iraq has stockpiled biological and chemical weapons, and is rebuilding the facilities used to make more of those weapons. We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons - the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have."
- George W. Bush, President
Radio Address

"The Iraqi regime ... possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons. We know that the regime has produced thousands of tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas, sarin nerve gas, VX nerve gas."
- George W. Bush, President
Cincinnati, Ohio, Speech

"And surveillance photos reveal that the regime is rebuilding facilities that it had used to produce chemical and biological weapons."
- George W. Bush, President
Cincinnati, Ohio, Speech

"After 11 years during which we have tried containment, sanctions, inspections, even selected military action, the end result is that Saddam Hussein still has chemical and biological weapons and is increasing his capabilities to make more. And he is moving ever closer to developing a nuclear weapon."
- George W. Bush, President
Cincinnati, Ohio, Speech

"We've also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas."
- George W. Bush, President
Cincinnati, Ohio, Speech

"Iraq, despite UN sanctions, maintains an aggressive program to rebuild the infrastructure for its nuclear, chemical, biological, and missile programs. In each instance, Iraq's procurement agents are actively working to obtain both weapons-specific and dual-use materials and technologies critical to their rebuilding and expansion efforts, using front companies and whatever illicit means are at hand."
- John Bolton, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control
Speech to the Hudson Institute

"Iraq could decide on any given day to provide biological or chemical weapons to a terrorist group or to individual terrorists ... The war on terror will not be won until Iraq is completely and verifiably deprived of weapons of mass destruction."
- Dick Cheney, Vice President
Denver, Address to the Air National Guard

"If he declares he has none, then we will know that Saddam Hussein is once again misleading the world."
- Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
Press Briefing

"The president of the United States and the secretary of defense would not assert as plainly and bluntly as they have that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction if it was not true, and if they did not have a solid basis for saying it."
- Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
Response to Question From the Press

"We know for a fact that there are weapons there."
- Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
Press Briefing

"The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production."
- George W. Bush, President
State of the Union Address

"Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent."
- George W. Bush, President
State of the Union Address

"We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more."
- Colin Powell, Secretary of State
Remarks to the UN Security Council

"There can be no doubt that Saddam Hussein has biological weapons and the capability to rapidly produce more, many more. And he has the ability to dispense these lethal poisons and diseases in ways that can cause massive death and destruction. If biological weapons seem too terrible to contemplate, chemical weapons are equally chilling."
- Colin Powell, Secretary of State
Address to the UN Security Council

"In Iraq, a dictator is building and hiding weapons that could enable him to dominate the Middle East and intimidate the civilized world - and we will not allow it."
- George W. Bush, President
Speech to the American Enterprise Institute

"So has the strategic decision been made to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction by the leadership in Baghdad? I think our judgment has to be clearly not."
- Colin Powell, Secretary of State
Remarks to the UN Security Council

"Let's talk about the nuclear proposition for a minute. We know that, based on intelligence, that has been very, very good at hiding these kinds of efforts. He's had years to get good at it and we know he has been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons. And we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons."
- Dick Cheney, Vice President
"Meet the Press"

"Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised."
- George W. Bush, President
Address to the Nation

"Well, there is no question that we have evidence and information that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical particularly ... all this will be made clear in the course of the operation, for whatever duration it takes."
- Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
Press Briefing

"One of our top objectives is to find and destroy the WMD. There are a number of sites."
- Victoria Clark, Pentagon Spokeswoman
Press Briefing

"I have no doubt we're going to find big stores of weapons of mass destruction."
- Kenneth Adelman, Defense Policy Board Member
Washington Post, p. A27

"We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat."
- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
ABC Interview

"We still need to find and secure Iraq's weapons of mass destruction facilities and secure Iraq's borders so we can prevent the flow of weapons of mass destruction materials and senior regime officials out of the country."
- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
Press Conference

"You bet we're concerned about it. And one of the reasons it's important is because the nexus between terrorist states with weapons of mass destruction ... and terrorist groups - networks - is a critical link. And the thought that ... some of those materials could leave the country and in the hands of terrorist networks would be a very unhappy prospect. So it is important to us to see that that doesn't happen."
- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
Press Conference

"But make no mistake - as I said earlier - we have high confidence that they have weapons of mass destruction. That is what this war was about and it is about. And we have high confidence it will be found."
- Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
Press Briefing

"Were not going to find anything until we find people who tell us where the things are. And we have that very high on our priority list, to find the people who know. And when we do, then well learn precisely where things were and what was done."
- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
"Meet the Press"

"We are learning more as we interrogate or have discussions with Iraqi scientists and people within the Iraqi structure, that perhaps he destroyed some, perhaps he dispersed some. And so we will find them."
- George W. Bush, President
NBC Interview

"We'll find them. It'll be a matter of time to do so."
- George W. Bush, President
Remarks to Reporters

"I'm absolutely sure that there are weapons of mass destruction there and the evidence will be forthcoming. We're just getting it just now."
- Colin Powell, Secretary of State
Remarks to Reporters

"We never believed that we'd just tumble over weapons of mass destruction in that country."
- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
Fox News Interview

"I'm not surprised if we begin to uncover the weapons program of Saddam Hussein - because he had a weapons program."
- George W. Bush, President
Remarks to Reporters

"U.S. officials never expected that 'we were going to open garages and find' weapons of mass destruction."
- Condoleezza Rice, US National Security Adviser
Reuters Interview

"We said all along that we will never get to the bottom of the Iraqi WMD program simply by going and searching specific sites, that you'd have to be able to get people who know about the programs to talk to you."
- Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense
Interview with Australian Broadcasting

"It's going to take time to find them, but we know he had them. And whether he destroyed them, moved them or hid them, we're going to find out the truth. One thing is for certain: Saddam Hussein no longer threatens America with weapons of mass destruction."
- George W. Bush, President
Speech at a Weapons Factory in Ohio

"They may have had time to destroy them, and I don't know the answer."
- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
Remarks to the Council on Foreign Relations

"For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction (as justification for invading Iraq) because it was the one reason everyone could agree on."
- Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense
Vanity Fair Interview

"The President is indeed satisfied with the intelligence that he received. And I think that's borne out by the fact that, just as Secretary Powell described at the United Nations, we have found the bio trucks that can be used only for the purpose of producing biological weapons. That's proof-perfect that the intelligence in that regard was right on target."
- Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
Press Briefing

"We have teams of people that are out looking. They've investigated a number of sites. And within the last week or two, they have in fact captured and have in custody two of the mobile trailers that Secretary Powell talked about at the United Nations as being biological weapons laboratories."
- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
Infinity Radio Interview

"But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them."
- George W. Bush, President
Interview With TVP Poland

"You remember when Colin Powell stood up in front of the world, and he said Iraq has got laboratories, mobile labs to build biological weapons ... They're illegal. They're against the United Nations resolutions, and we've so far discovered two ... And we'll find more weapons as time goes on."
- George W. Bush, President
Press Briefing

"This wasn't material I was making up, it came from the intelligence community."
- Colin Powell, Secretary of State
Press Briefing

"We recently found two mobile biological weapons facilities which were capable of producing biological agents. This is the man who spent decades hiding tools of mass murder. He knew the inspectors were looking for them. You know better than me he's got a big country in which to hide them. We're on the look. We'll reveal the truth."
- George W. Bush, President
Camp Sayliya, Qatar

"I would put before you Exhibit A, the mobile biological labs that we have found. People are saying, 'Well, are they truly mobile biological labs?' Yes, they are. And the DCI, George Tenet, Director of Central Intelligence, stands behind that assessment."
- Colin Powell, Secretary of State
Fox News Interview

"No one ever said that we knew precisely where all of these agents were, where they were stored."
- Condoleezza Rice, US National Security Adviser
"Meet the Press"

"What the president has said is because it's been the long-standing view of numerous people, not only in this country, not only in this administration, but around the world, including at the United Nations, who came to those conclusions ... And the president is not going to engage in the rewriting of history that others may be trying to engage in."
- Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
Response to Question From the Press

"Iraq had a weapons program ... Intelligence throughout the decade showed they had a weapons program. I am absolutely convinced with time we'll find out they did have a weapons program."
- George W. Bush, President
Comment to Reporters

"The biological weapons labs that we believe strongly are biological weapons labs, we didn't find any biological weapons with those labs. But should that give us any comfort? Not at all. Those were labs that could produce biological weapons whenever Saddam Hussein might have wanted to have a biological weapons inventory."
- Colin Powell, Secretary of State
Associated Press Interview

"My personal view is that their intelligence has been, I'm sure, imperfect, but good. In other words, I think the intelligence was correct in general, and that you always will find out precisely what it was once you get on the ground and have a chance to talk to people and explore it, and I think that will happen."
- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
Press Briefing

"I have reason, every reason, to believe that the intelligence that we were operating off was correct and that we will, in fact, find weapons or evidence of weapons, programs, that are conclusive. But that's just a matter of time ... It's now less than eight weeks since the end of major combat in Iraq and I believe that patience will prove to be a virtue."
- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
Pentagon Media Briefing

"I think the burden is on those people who think he didn't have weapons of mass destruction to tell the world where they are."
- Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
Press Briefing

William Rivers Pitt is a Truthout editor and columnist.  He is also a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of three books: War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know, The Greatest Sedition Is Silence"and House of Ill Repute: Reflections on War, Lies, and America's Ravaged Reputation. He lives and works in Boston.

Senator Lindsey Graham on Drones: "We've killed 4,700"
    "Sometimes you hit innocent people, and I hate that'
       Jon Queally

Senator Lindsey Graham:  “Sometimes you hit innocent
people, and I hate that, but we’re at war.”

Becoming the first elected government official to publicly state an estimated number of targets and innocent bystanders killed in US drone attacks overseas, Sen. Lindsey Graham told a local crowd in his home state of South Carolina that "We've killed 4,700."

Speaking to a group of Rotarians at a forum in Easley, South Carolina, Graham responded to a question about drones by saying, "Sometimes you hit innocent people, and I hate that, but we're at war, and we've taken out some very senior members of Al-Qaeda."

His remarks, reported by the local Easley Patch, included a defense of the use of drones despite their propensity to kill innocent bystanders, including women and children.

“I didn't want him to have a trial,” Graham stated, refering to a US citizen, Anwar Al-Awlaki, who was assassinated in Yemen by a missile from a US drone in 2011.

“We're not fighting a crime, we're fighting a war," Graham said. "I support the president's ability to make a determination as to who an enemy combatant is. It's never been done by judges before. I support the drone program.”

Graham's remarks have since been picked up by national and international media due to the fact that he appears to be the first high-ranking US government official to put an exact number of the number civilians killed by the US practice.

As Al-Jazeera reports:

Several organizations have tried to calculate how many militants and civilians may have been killed in drone strikes since 2004 but have arrived at a wide range of numbers.

The figure cited by Graham matches the high end of a tally by the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism. It says the number killed in drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia is between 3,072 and 4,756.

The Washington-based New America Foundation says there have been 350 US drone strikes since 2004, most of them during Barack Obama's presidency. And the foundation estimates the death toll at between 1,963 and 3,293, with 261 to 305 civilians killed.

US intelligence agencies and the White House have refused to divulge details about the strikes, which are officially termed classified, but officials have suggested that few if any civilians have been killed inadvertently.

The comments by Graham set off speculation about whether or not the senator mistakenly cited official government estimates, and human rights advocates and civil liberty groups would be pleased to discover that such numbers actually exist given the Obama administration's refusal to release any details about the program which was initiated under President Bush but escalated over the course of the current president.

Micah Zenko, credited by many for breaking the story of Graham's comment at his CFR blog, said it's notable that Graham’s publicly stated estimate "nearly matches" the Bureau of Investigative Journalism's.

"Either Graham is a big fan of TBIJ’s work," wrote Zenko, "or perhaps he inadvertently revealed the U.S. government’s body count for nonbattlefield targeted killings."

And Anti-War's John Glaser adds:

It should be noted also that TBIJ, despite their rigorous methodology, was for a long time shunned by a mainstream media that refused to cite their casualty estimates, simply because it recorded the highest ones available. Newspapers and TV typically used the middle-of-the-road estimate, which was New America Foundation. Graham – with his seat on the Senate Armed Services Committee – is almost certainly privy to some secret government numbers on drone war casualties. The fact that he might of let it slip here – and the fact that it’s way higher than virtually anybody in the mainstream reports – should be something of a lesson, I think.

Graham also noted in his comments that in addition to his support for the drone war overseas, he supported further use of the technology within the US.

“I don't want to arm them, but we need drones along the border so we can really control illegal immigration,” Graham told his constituents.

thanks to Geoffrey Gardner

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Malcolm asked about it
I went & found it
feel better M & M!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013




cover image 5

Greg Joly and Bob Arnold holding forth in a public reading forum of their own devise to raise awareness and possible funding to send down post-Katrina Hurricane to New Orleans.
These readings lasted a few years, often begun on a whim or direct plan. The results were always contagious. This one is outside the post office in Walpole, New Hampshire. Anyone who passed by was welcomed to abide.



2012. Bob Arnold. I'm In Love With You Who Is In Love With Me. 168 pages. New and limited. Forty years with the same love, their family, same home and household, same location, same river.

Bob Arnold I'm In Love With You

: cover photograph is from a serene location I always liked from my boyhood home of the Berkshire hills, and the woman on the cover is the subject of all the book — 40 years of love poems. It is the second book in the trilogy "Woodlanders" and collects together innumerable smaller books, very limited, that have been issued from Longhouse and other small presses over many years.

2012. Ross Hair / drawings by Laurie Clark
. An Anthology Gathered for Shirley Collins. Three color unfolding concertina format with photographs and one long poem. New and limited

Ross Hair

: Ross Hair and I share an affinity for the music and time of Shirley Collins and his immaculate poem flower portraits, as homage, do garden this foldout booklet with an elegance. Laurie Clark pays another visit to Longhouse with her exquisite art work. Our thanks to Jeffery Beam for sending Ross our way.

2012. Louise Landes Levi. Early Poems. Three color unfolding concertina format with photograph and poem. New and limited. 

Louise Landes Levi

: 'early', as in many decades ago when the poet, translator, musician and traveler Louise Landes Levi was heading out on her search for the being of poetry, love, and fellowship. Many of the poems are earthed in India where her earliest travels took her. Selected by Bob Arnold from a vast array of the poet's earliest notebooks.

2012. Gerard Malanga. Janine Pommy Vega, 1942-2010. Postcard . Noted poet, photographer, archivist shares a companionable eye to an old friend, the poet Janine Pommy Vega. Three color approximately 4-1/4 by 6 card. Ideal for framing. New and limited.

Gerard Malanga

: a poem written by Gerard for our mutual close friend Janine Pommy Vega that I had heard about and went asking GM if we could reprint the poem in our series of postcards from the press called "Fabulous Futures". Typically, Gerard was more than obliging. Postcard came forth.

2012. Ed Markowski. Storefront Church. Three color unfolding concertina format with photographs and one long poem. New and limited.

ed markowksi

: from Detroit's native son Ed Markowski come poems from a rock 'n' roll center of poetry, family, auto workers, street hustlers, muggers, angels, and the very smallest things. Selected by Bob Arnold from 100s of poems, mainly short (Ed also writes prose poems, baseball haiku, long poem, elegies) and collaged with personal photographs from the poet's cache of neverending wonder.

2012. John Martone. 1013. Three color foldout sequence of poems folded into weaving pattern glossy wraps.

john martone 2012

: this all came about when John sent me his latest beauty Nehemiah Grew, a book off the land and midair where he lives and moves through in many places Illinois. I had picked up our week of mail in town and had some time to kill parked with the truck in the shade and began reading John's new book and was so taken by a section titled 10(13), and couldn't think of the sequence of poems being anything but a tiny booklet from Longhouse, so I immediately began to design in my head what we might be able to print up for John as a surprise booklet to send to him of this sequence. To simply move it further. We did this and await to hear what he thinks of this little stroke of independent-how-dare-you!

2012. Helen K. Nearing. Two Independent Maine Cats. Three color unfolding concertina format with photographs and one essay. New and limited.

Helen Nearing 2012.1

: a rare item indeed — an unpublished short essay from the legendary Vermont homesteader, after leaving the Green Mountains with her husband Scott Nearing for the rocky coastline of Maine and re-establishing a home place. . .two cats, independent, much like these two good earth builders, showed them the way in.

2012. Malcolm Ritchie. Some Small Lines on the Great Earth. Three color unfolding accordion booklet with thirty new poems. Poet, Buddhist and Japanese scholar, from the steward of the Arran Island of Scotland. New and limited.

Malcolm Ritchie 2012

: you're on the Arran Island of Scotland or you may also be in Japan but you are most definitely with the poet Malcolm Ritchie wherever he may be, humbled, gracious, receiving, sharing, and very learned. The first of what we hope to be more small booklets to come.

2012. Eero Ruuttila. Today Poems. Three color unfolding concertina format with photographs and poems. Noted poet, activist and farmer shares his outdoor eye to many landscapes with poems and his photographs. New and limited.

Eero Ruuttila

: some years ago now I gave a reading at Eero's then courageous vegetable farm, spread as it was along the banks of the Merrimack River, same river Thoreau and his brother John once navigated with small boat and big minds. It was an autumn of flooding and the farm was sloppy with mudholes and plants itching to harvest. Another poet and I read in a greenhouse for a few stalwart souls that showed up, a few of those workers from the farm. Small Cambodian women as I recall. Eero did this every year for other poets and musicians and it seemed to help his good farm grow, plus make his own poems and photographs, of which I wanted to gather for a foldout booklet.

2012. Steve Sanfield. Doing Dishes. Postcard

: right in the middle of writing up this final leg of the Longhouse Bibliography, to get us at least through 2012 (and more to come), Steve sent over from his Sierra Nevada foothills nest a sheaf of poems tucked into a new book of poems. I guess I had asked to see some new work about a year ago and so here it was, better late than never. I read the new book before supper, then the sheaf of unpublished poems after dinner, and before bedtime we had the postcard poem designed and printed up. . .

2012. Steve Sanfield. From the Front. Three color fold-out

steve sanfield

: . . .then after Susan went to bed I typed up this small booklet of poems dedicated to a Marine from the Gulf War and we'd print this booklet up after breakfast the next morning. Strangely, it's the first booklet we have published by Steve after decades of loving his work and always being quite content in the many small books he has gifted us over the years. He seemed to have it all covered. Happy we snagged a postcard and a tiny book to send his way.

2012. Andrew Schelling. MOUNT BLANCA with UTE CREEK at DAWN. Three color unfolding concertina format with photographs and one long poem. New and limited.

Andrew Schelling 2012

: the most recent offering from the press by Andrew Schelling, and there have been many booklets over the years, drawing from the poet's personal notebook of poems, travel diaries, and translations. This booklet is a travelogue poem in the heart of the Rockies (where the poet has resided until recently) moving down ridge into New Mexican territory and the change and sweep of language, history and vista.

2012. Heathcote Williams. Being Kept By A Jackdaw. Three color unfolding concertina format with photograph and one long poem. Well known British writer, poet and activist puts his keen eye to Mother Nature. New and limited

Heathcote Williams 2012.1

: just to show how insidiously sweet some poets can come about — I had known of Heathcote's writings for years — something about a bad boy anarchist from the UK, which I also received as a likewise classical mind savior. Gerard Bellaart had been for some time sending me Heathcote's poems in one more and another handsome publication from his Cold Turkey Press, he then bought and asked me to send my book Yokel to HW as a gift, who in turn bought a copy and sent it to Malcolm Ritchie, a lovely skipping stones moment in time. Less about me, I hope, and more about the sharing and soldiering on of fellow poets. This unity amongst all of us in a bubble of time generated my enthusiasm to fetch at least three booklets from two poets and still wanting to nab some of the art pieces of Gerard's, which will come. For now, jackdaw, in all his splendour.

2012. Heathcote Williams. Mr. Eternity. Three color unfolding concertina format with photographs and poems. New and limited.

Heathcote Williams 2012.2

: after Heathcote's "Jackdaw" cry, came the kneeling writ on sidewalks and walls "Mr. Eternity", a true to life poet of the streets who left his mark in chalk wherever he passed through. A Heathcote Williams portrait as long poem and photographs. One more indelible moment in time.

2012. Yoshiro, Ishihara/ Hiroaki Sato, translator. Haiku. Three color unfolding concertina format with photographs and one long poem. New and limited.

Hiroaki Sato

: wretched, troubling, searching, surviving haiku by one of the forgotten or never known (here in the U.S.) at all WWII generation poets of Japan, translated by one of our very favorite thinkers and heaven/earth philosophers Hiroaki Sato. His Miyazawa Kenji translations have meant the world to me since first discovered five decades ago and found, with many other Japanese gems, in a myriad of small press journals and publications. Ishihara is one more. We first took on the haiku, and as of this writing we're devising how to tackle the more demanding tanka unit. It'll come.

2012. Yoshiro, Ishihara / Hiroaki Sato, translator. Tanka. Three color unfolding concertina format with photographs and one long poem. New and limited


: like the haiku foldout booklet of Ishihara, we are offering the poems in as fullest content as possible: meaning Hiro's English versions, with the original Japanese, and characters. It's just the width of the tanka and the lesser width format of our booklets that is holding us up on this one. We go out and work a little more in the garden or in the woods, and while in those sometime narrow passages, come back inside and creep a little closer at making a design for this booklet. It's planned for August. The Leo month.

: early October now issuing this so-far complete Longhouse Bibliography (1971-2012)— there will be more for 2012 which I will update by the end of the year. At least in the works are two books: a portrait of a backwoods Maine coast stalwart by the name of Jarvis Green as painted in no nonsense language by his neighbor Helen Nearing; plus a book of unpublished poems found in the notebooks of Janine Pommy Vega by her executor Bob Arnold. Kim Dorman will also select for us some years of his paper-only publication gleanings into a foldout booklet, spanning over his life and work living in three Texas locations: Austin, San Antonio and Houston.