Wednesday, June 21, 2006

 

Poetry Events and Rumsfeld

Dan Vera has a very nice report from Sunday Kind of Love's Gay Pride reading last Sunday, including a photo. A terrific line-up. Because the theme was queer love, we were treated to a variety of wedding and anti-wedding poems, including the marvelous "Uncivil" by Venus Thrash (I'll ask her permission to post the poem, which she sent me several months ago), as well as out-and-out love poems (as it were), and anti-love poems. Barbara Orton's tight, dark visions were a sometimes-disturbing treat. Read some in an on-line chapbook by The Literary Review here.

Friday night several poets from the Wartime Issue of Beltway, which I had the honor of guest editing, read at the Takoma Park Community Center, at the opening of the display, Faces of War, created by Youth Objectors United to End War, a group of committed young people who had come from California to exhibit their work. (Special thanks to Jose Dominguez, who set it up. Read more about them here: http://www.mustangdaily.org/index.php?p=display_article&article_id=381.)

The display consists of hundreds of dog tags hanging from a large metal frame. On each dog tag is a photo of an American servicemember killed in the war in Iraq. Some of the soldiers are in uniform. Other photos are from high school graduations or proms. All I could think was how young they looked, how they were almost all just babies, just some mama's baby. And for what? asked Fred Joiner, as we looked together. For what?

Get on over to the TP Community Center to have a look, if you get a chance. If you need a reminder of the personal cost of this insanity.

Which brings us to Rumsfeld -- on page A15 of yesterday's Washington Post, on the Federal Page, which is usually reserved for news of interest to federal employees (changes in pension funds, etc.), we read how Rumsfeld thinks of himself as the War Guy, not the Procurement Guy. So, the Air Force "nearly squandered $30 billion leasing several hundred new tanker aircraft that its own experts had decided were not needed." Rummy doesn't remember whether he authorized the deal or not. $30 billion. Read the article yourself here, then send me your ideas for how we might spend that money instead. (Really, the article was precipitated by a report questioning $850 billion in procurement -- that's buying weapons systems -- that was essentially wasted. OK, $850 billion. Is that where all the money to drive up housing costs in DC is coming from, the Pentagon?? Who else could afford these house prices!?)

Comments:
Hi Sarah,
The photos from the reading (I took a number of each reader) are up on my Flickr page at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/danvera/sets/72157594171472579/
You'll have to copy and paste that link into a browser to see them online.
 
Blog on!
 
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