Monday, June 30, 2008


Poets at the Torture Survivors' Vigil

Many thanks to poet Joe Ross, left, for arranging for several of us to read at the 24-hour vigil in support of torture survivors organized by Torture Abolition Survivor Support Coalition (TASSC). It was a great privilege to be there with those who have witnessed and survived so much.
Joe has posted a brief report with pictures on his blog at: Thanks, Joe, and to Robert Waxman for the pictures.


Rare Video of Frank O'Hara Reading a Poem - art, life, love - it's all there

Art is good, but life is better - both together in this marvelous poem read by Frank O'Hara: With thanks to Edward Byrne for posting it.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Persis M. Karim's "Rumi’s Conversation with Shams on the Occasion of his 800th Birthday"

Persis M. Karim won 2nd place in the Split This Rock Poetry contest judged by Kyle G. Dargan for her poem, "Ways to Count the Dead." (Check it out - along with the other winners - here.) I hadn't been familiar with her work previous to the contest, so it was with great pleasure that I came upon "Rumi’s Conversation with Shams on the Occasion of his 800th Birthday" at Pedestal Magazine. Highly recommended - a good tonic for today.

Monday, June 23, 2008


Writing Workshop Leadership Training by Pat Schneider

A rare opportunity to study with the brilliant Pat Schneider in North Carolina. My first writing teacher, she changed my life forever.

Amherst Writers & Artists
Writing Group Leadership Training Program
August 20 – 24, 2008 Marshall, NC, Bend of Ivy Lodge

Have you ever thought about the possibility of leading writing groups? Learn the unique method developed by Pat Schneider, author of Writing Alone and With Others (Oxford University Press 2003). This intensive five-day training will teach you the principles that distinguish Amherst Writers & Artists from other approaches. Trainees will also learn:

Creating and maintaining a safe creative environment
Responding helpfully to group members’ writing
Leadership and group facilitation skills
Exercises and prompts to use with writing groups
How to structure a writing group session
Practical aspects of leading writing groups
Leading writing groups for traditionally silenced people
Facilitating the healing potential of writing groups

Here’s what some recent trainees have said about the AWA Training:

“So far from home, so far from what I expected, so far from the person I was when we started this training four days ago. I came to improve my skills and gain confidence as a leader. Who knew that I would be transformed? As a leader, yes, but also as a writer – and as a person…”

“It was an inspiring training, full of joy and promise. The support I received from everyone truly astonished me…”

“What I most appreciated about the AWA leadership training was the way in which it was led. The whole training moved seamlessly… The participants were immediately empowered to speak up with their writing voices and their trainee voices. There was just the right balance of writing and training…”

For further information, please visit our website at

Amherst Writers & Artists
P.O. Box 6011, Florence, MA 01062


An Honorable Way Out of Iraq

by Adil E. Shamoo, Foreign Policy in Focus

The Iraqis have reached a consensus — the U.S. should leave Iraq. Regardless of whether they are Kurds, Sunni, or Shi’a; regardless of political party, there is a general agreement that the United States should depart soon — within the year, or at most, three years. Yet some Americans, especially conservatives, are shocked that the Iraqis would show such a lack of gratitude to the United States...

Instead of negotiating a long-term presence, the U.S. should be negotiating a withdrawal. Both large portions of Iraqis and U.S. citizens are widely supportive of a timetable for withdrawal.

Read Shamoo's excellent 10-point plan for withdrawal at Foreign Policy in Focus here.

Friday, June 20, 2008


Announcing The Deep Music: A Collaboration Between Poet Sarah Browning and Children of Incarcerated Fathers

I am excited to announce the launch of The Deep Music, a project of poetry and discussion about the prison crisis in the District of Columbia and the country as a whole. This project is made possible in part with a grant from the Creative Communities Initiative of the Community Foundation of the National Capital Region.

The United States has the world’s highest incarceration rate, imprisoning over two million of its citizens. Washington, DC’s incarceration rate is four times the national average. These two million men and women are largely invisible: we do not know their stories, we have not heard their voices. The impact of incarceration on families is another untold story. As a society, how can we evaluate the effectiveness of a policy, if we do not know its impact?

Poetry has the power to humanize social policy, to give voice to those made voiceless by our society’s decision to lock up so many of its citizens. The Deep Music will tell these human stories, through poems written by incarcerated men, their children, and myself.

In May and June of this year I am meeting for four Saturday mornings with young people involved with Hope House DC, a remarkable organization that serves incarcerated DC fathers and their families. Together we are writing poetry.

The Institute for Policy Studies is also a collaborator with us on the project, providing a place to meet and working space for me. They'll be hosting our public reading and exhibiting the young people's poetry. The oldest multi-issue progressive think tank in the country, IPS turns Ideas into Action for Peace, Justice and the Environment. I am very grateful for their support.

In the workshop the young writers write about everything young people are concerned with: their neighborhoods, their families, boyfriends and girlfriends, dreams, the future. Growing up in low-income communities, they also write about gangs and shootings and fear. In the coming weeks we'll be posting some of their poems and I'll be posting drafts of my own new work.

Please visit the project's blog The Deep Music DC at to read poems and post your comments.


Three Upcoming Events

Berger, Browning, Ross Read at Torture Survivors Solidarity Vigil
Saturday, June 28, 7:30 pm

DC Poets Against the War Sarah Browning, Rose Berger and Joseph Ross will read their poetry at TASSC's Anti-Torture Vigil, Saturday, June 28th 7:30pm, Lafayette Park, in front of the White House.

The Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition (TASSC) International ( holds a vigil every year near the UN International Day in Support of Survivors and Victims of Torture. This year the 11th Annual 24-Hour Vigil is at Lafayette Park in front of the White House, June 28 ,7:00 AM to June 29, 7:00 AM. Please come join the survivors, their friends, families, and supporters, in solidarity against the practice of torture.

Sarah Browning is the coordinator of DC Poets Against the War and Split This Rock Poetry Festival. Rose Berger and Joseph Ross were co-editors of Cut Loose The Body: An Anthology of Poems on Torture.

For more information about TASSC International, please visit If you have questions about the Vigil or how you can help, please contact or call TASSC's office at 202-529-2991.


John Murillo and Suzanne Zweizig at Miller Cabin
Tuesday, June 24, 7:30 pm

The Word Works is pleased to invite you to the 2008 Joaquin Miller Cabin Poetry Series hosted by Kathi Morrison-Taylor and Melissa Tuckey.

Tuesday, June 24, at 7:30 pm, the reading features John Murillo and Suzanne Zweizig

The reading is followed by an open mic and reception.

The Miller Cabin is located at Picnic Grove 6 on Beach Drive at the Military road Overpass in Rock Creek Park.

Rain location for this program: Sixth Presbyterian Church, 5413 16th Street, NW, DC
Enter through alley at the back of church
For more info, call Kathi Morrison Taylor at 703-820-8133

John Murillo is a Cave Canem fellow and graduate of New York University's MFA program in creative writing. His poetry has appeared in such publications as Ploughshares, Ninth Letter, Lumina, and the anthology, DC Poets Against the War. His awards include two Larry Neal Writers' Awards, a 2008 Pushcart Prize nomination, and fellowships from The New York Times and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Suzanne Zweizig's poetry has appeared in The Beloit Poetry Journal, Subtropics, and Niedergasse. Her creative nonfiction has been anthologized in Ticking Along Free, published in Switzerland. She received a MacDowell Fellowship for her poetry in 2008 and was a semi-finalist in The Nation/Discovery contest for emerging poets in 2004. She holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Florida and a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She works at the Swiss Embassy in Washington DC.


The Arts Club of Washington Presents: Sandra Beasley & Sarah Browning
Tuesday, June 24, 20086:30 pm

A reading by two Arts Club literary lights. Club member and Literary Committee Chair Sandra Beasley has recently made her debut with Theories of Falling, published by New Issues Poetry & Prose. Whiskey in the Garden of Eden, the first book of poetry by Sarah Browning, the club's administrator for the National Award for Arts Writing, was published by The Word Works in 2007. The evening is free and open to the public.

6:30 pm: Enjoy a glass of wine
7:00 pm: Program
8:00 pm: Reception and book signing

Cosponsored by Poets & Writers, Inc.

Arts Club of Washington
2017 I Street, NWWashington, DC
Farragut North, Farragut West Metros

Sandra Beasley works as an editor at The American Scholar. She is the Literary Chair of the Arts Club of Washington, and coached the Virginia State Champion in the 2007 Poetry Out Loud competition. She has also served as a board member for the Word Works, a local literary non-profit, and as the Editor-in-Chief of Folio. Theories of Falling received the 2007 New Issues Poetry Prize, selected by Marie Howe. Other awards include the 2008 Maureen Egen Exchange Award from Poets and Writers and the 2006 Elinor Benedict Poetry Prize from Passages North, at Northern Michigan University.

Sarah Browning is the author of Whiskey in the Garden of Eden (The Word Works, 2007) and coeditor of D.C. Poets Against the War: An Anthology (Argonne House, 2004). She administers the National Award for Arts Writing at the Arts Club of Washington and is director of Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness. A recipient of an artist fellowship from the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities and a Creative Communities Initiative grant, she also hosts the Sunday Kind of Love poetry series at Busboys & Poets in Washington, DC.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Foreign Policy in Focus in Yes Magazine

Getting to Yes

by John Feffer, Co-Director, Foreign Policy in Focus

I was on Wisconsin public radio last week, being interviewed on the state of U.S. foreign policy. All the callers were in perfect harmony. We all agreed that the last eight years have been a disaster for the United States, that we must move away from militarism and toward diplomacy, that we must, well, you get the drift. I commented to the host that the country would be in better shape if Wisconsin were in charge.

Then a fellow called and said, "What kind of bubble do you all live in? We face a threat in Iran just as dangerous as Nazi Germany. Talking with the Iranian leader isn't going to do squat."I was happy that he called. It's no fun just talking with folks who agree with you. I spent a couple minutes discussing the false analogy between Iran and Nazi Germany. But in retrospect, I should also have talked about the bubble.

We've seen a lot of bubbles in recent years. There's been the Dot Com bubble. The real estate bubble. The stock market bubble. But no one has talked about the foreign policy bubble. Let me define the foreign policy bubble this way. We Americans think we live in the greatest country on earth. We think this because we never go anywhere else to test this proposition, except to places like Club Med or on cruises to the Caribbean (talk about bubbles!). Because we're the greatest country on earth, we have the right to disregard the opinions of other countries, which aren't as great as we are. And we can impose our values on everyone else - after all, why should anyone complain about having greatness thrust upon them? In this perfect bubble, our self-regard builds on itself, higher and higher, until the estimate of our worth far outstrips its real-world value. Then, all it takes is a little pinprick for the bubble to pop.

The Vietnam War was one such pinprick (oops, we lost, how could that happen to such a great and powerful country?!). The Iraq War is shaping up to be another bubble-burster. What I should have said to that fellow on the radio is: America is a big bubble right now. If you can, try to listen to what people outside this bubble are saying to us. I know it's difficult. During the real estate bubble, it was hard to resist the urgent recommendations to buy, buy, buy. It's not just that the world is fed up with U.S. foreign policy. We have become blind here in the United States to our relative decline. Check out the public transportation system in Japan. Consider the health care on offer in Canada. Sample the schools in Finland. They put us to shame.

According to the latest UN Human Development index, we're number 12, down four slots since 2006. It's hard to see all this inside our foreign policy bubble.The caller was right, of course. Many of us currently inhabit a different bubble: a bubble of hope. We think that it is still possible to change the course of American foreign policy. We think that we can tame the rogue elephant that the United States has become and make it cooperate with the rest of the world. We think we can turn around the persistent no's of Washington - no to Kyoto, no to arms control, no to negotiations - and finally get to yes.

In that spirit, Foreign Policy In Focus and the Institute for Policy Studies, our parent organization, worked closely with YES! Magazine on its recent issue on U.S. foreign policy. I look at how we can transform the way America relates to the world in The Way to a Just Foreign Policy. "

Social movements have in the past mobilized the American public behind dramatic shifts in U.S. policy," I write. "The civil rights movement and the women's movement have both remade U.S. society. The successes of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama would have been inconceivable a mere generation ago. They are remarkable people, but they also stand on the shoulders of powerful social movements. Today, we need a different kind of social movement-one that focuses on U.S. foreign policy. Such a movement, drawing heavily on the peace and global justice efforts, would aim for nothing less than a transformation of the U.S. role in the world. This would be no mere change of politicians or adjustments to a few policies. It would be a change of truly global proportions."

Part of this change involves a shift in resources away from the defense budget and toward human needs. In Raiding the War Chest, Miriam Pemberton writes that "our country has a massive international-relations repair job ahead in the post-Bush years. This job comes down to acknowledging that our military-led response to 9-11 has made us less safe by creating more terrorists than it has defeated. Furthermore, we must convince the rest of the world's peoples that we are ready to engage with them in a different way. Whatever is said along these lines won't be credible unless, as the saying goes, we put our money where our mouth is."

We don't stop there. In this issue of YES! Magazine we take you around the world as Emira Woods looks at the militarization of Africa, Erik Leaver assesses the prospects of withdrawing from Iraq, Nadia Martinez describes a new policy toward Latin America, Stephen Zunes argues for an approach that is good for both Israel and Palestine, and Ben Manski and Karen Dolan chronicle some recent wins in the realm of municipal foreign policy.

It's a powerful collection of essays that combine idealism and realism, hope and skepticism. Get a copy of YES! Magazine or visit its Website as soon as you can.

Friday, June 13, 2008


What's Your Problem - Kathi Wolfe in City Paper

The Afflicted: Kathi Wolfe, 55, a Falls Church-based freelance writer and poet who’s been legally blind since birth.

Diagnosis: Idol strain. “Like everybody, I grew up reading about Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan,” says Wolfe. “But like a lot of women who grow up visually impaired, I always felt like I was under Helen’s shadow, because she’s seen as a saint, while I was just a regular person.”

Read the story here.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Grace Paley: The role model who keeps on giving

In an old issue of off our backs, the feminist newsjournal, I spot a remembrance of Grace Paley, the poet/fiction writer/activist who died last year, by Judith Arcana, her biographer. Judith's lovely piece ends this way:

"Grace is important to us readers, writers and activists struggling to be conscious, making real art out of what we know as real life, transforming real life into what we want it to be."

And there, under the story, is a large photo of Grace and two men holding a banner in front of a chain-link fence. Nuclear installation? Toxic waste dump? We don't know - we just see the word "This" on the banner. The men look serious, earnest, intense. Grace is short, of course. Her head just peeks out above the word This. She is grinning. This is what I want real life to be. This.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Cornelius Eady and Toi Derricotte to Receive Kray Award for Service to Poetry


From the South Bend (IN) Tribune:

SOUTH BEND — Cornelius Eady and Toi Derricotte will receive the 2008 Elizabeth Kray Award for service to the field of poetry. The prize, presented by Poets House, will be awarded Monday at the 13th annual Poetry Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge.

The Kray Award honors individuals whose service to the field of poetry embodies the spirit of Poets House co-founder Elizabeth Kray, who served as an innovative advocate of a greater presence for poetry in the United States.Eady is an associate professor of English and director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Notre Dame.

In 1996, Eady and Derricotte co-founded Cave Canem, a national community of African-American poets committed to the discovery and cultivation of new voices in African-American poetry. An initial gathering of 27 poets, Cave Canem has become an influential movement with a fellowship of more than 250 poets residing in 34 states.

Eady is the author of seven books of poetry, including “Hardheaded Weather”; “Brutal Imagination,” which was a 2001 National Book Award finalist; “The Gathering of My Name,” nominated for the 1992 Pulitzer Prize; and “Victims of the Latest Dance Craze,” winner of the 1985 Lamont Prize from the Academy of American Poets.

Eady’s work in theater includes the libretto for the opera “The Running Man,” which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama in 1999, and his play “Brutal Imagination” won Newsday’s 2002 Oppenheimer Award for the best first play by an American playwright.

A recipient of the Prairie Schooner Strousse Award, Eady also has won fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Guggenheim, Rockefeller and Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Foundations.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Bring Out Your Rodent Poems

Rodent poems sought!


call for poems

Calling all rats and rat-intrigued poets

To coincide with the beginning of the twelve year Chinese zodiac cycle, Poetry Macao takes this opportunity to announce an ambitious twelve year anthology project. The intention is to collect poems for an annual supplement based on the year of the reigning animal in the Chinese zodiac.

The years ahead are as follows:

2008 – rat
2009 – ox
2010 – tiger
2011 – rabbit
2012 – dragon
2013 – snake
2014 – horse
2015 – sheep
2016 – monkey
2017 – rooster
2018 – dog
2019 – pig

For Poetry Macao 2008 we therefore now open submissions for poems in any way connected with mice, rats, or rodents of any description or conception.

There are plenty of such poems in the history of Chinese literature and we may be presenting/discussing translations of (and responses to) same throughout 2008.

About Poetry Macao

As the on-line poetry organ of the Macao publisher ASM, Poetry Macao invites submissions of and about poetry from around the world. Poetry Macao does not publish reviews or literary criticism but it is interested in publishing theoretical work about poetry and poetics, dialogues between poets and poetic work that crosses generic boundaries (e.g. prose poems, visual poems). Publishing poetry from and about Macao (and neighbouring

regions) will always be a priority for the journal. Although translation is an important feature, Poetry Macao is primarily an English language journal and one of its key goals is to bring Macao’s Chinese and Portuguese language poets to an English-reading audience. Poetry Macao’s first number – in 2007 – coincides with the November 6 Australia-Macao poetry evening being held at the University of Macau. Therefore the first issue has strong participation by Australian poets, something Poetry Macao hopes to continue into the future.

In general terms, ‘Macao’ is the thematic focus of the journal. The idea is intended to be taken broadly. Macao is not just a single point on the map; associated with a long history of east-west communication (and confusion), Macao is a name suggestive of cultural crossing of all kinds, and of the accommodation of cultures for each other. Poetry Macao encourages contributions consonant with this idea and is especially interested in western engagements with (and responses to) Chinese culture, and the converse (Chinese engagement with the west).
Contributions of various kinds are sought – poetry of course but also dialogue, artwork, photography… Macao is an opening between worlds and following that idea, we – at Poetry Macao are open to suggestions.

Beyond this general call, Poetry Macao will make specific calls from time to time for themed supplements or for participation in activities such as dialogue or responses to particular poems or poets. The first of these specific calls relates to the animal rulers-of- the-years in the Chinese zodiac.

Send all contributions – in the form of a word file attachment – to:,
Please check by e-mail before sending anything other than a single word-file attachment.

Friday, June 06, 2008


Mickle Street Review

From Kim Roberts:

The newest issue of Mickle Street Review is available online!

The issue's theme is "Sights and Sounds." In addition to the critical essays, reviews, and poetry (including two poems of mine, I am proud to say), there are two special "rooms" that I highly recommend. The "Listening Room" has recordings of different people reading Whitman, from Ralph Bellamy (in 1943) to Orson Welles (1953) to Jesse Pearson with music by Rod McKuen interpreting "The Erotic Words of Walt Whitman" in 1970. The "Viewing Room" has educational films on Whitman that are really fun to watch--I love how the actors portraying Walt try to consciously sound "poetic." There's a fabulous film from 1972 in which Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. reads "O Captain!" to a montage of Kennedy and MLK images, conflating a series of fallen leaders. The "Viewing Room" also provides links to other "cinepoetic" postings elsewhere on the web, and those are extremely fun--don't miss the students in a "Video Biography" translating Whitman's experiences onto contemporary suburbia (the stroke scene is wonderfully weird, and the music chosen for the final credits is truly bizarre). There's also a link to Charles Sheeler and Paul Strand's Manhatta (1921) that is fascinating.

--Kim Roberts

Monday, June 02, 2008


More BEA Tidbits

Unpacking I found some more weirdnesses and wonders: Dilbert sticky pad (apparently we're celebrating 20 years of Dilbert this year); the fact that Dr. Ruth, celebrating her 80th birthday, has written a book for teens on sex, Dr. Ruth's Guide to Teens & Sex Today, which seems icky beyond belief (Steve, are you reading this?); a new book of Zen Questions, Daily Affirmations, Meditations, and Words of Wisdom from the Metal Gods entitled, Time Flies When You're in a Coma.

And far and away the best news from BEA this year, Lynda Barry's giant book of writing advice, What It Is (the formless thing which gives things form) from Drawn and Quarterly. Anyone needing a LARGE hint for what to get me for any old occasion, look no further. As Matt Groening so eloquenly put it, Lynda Barry is the Funk Queen of the Universe.

I also found a note to myself that the murals painted on the rotunda ceiling at Griffith Observatory are by Hugo Ballin, from 1935. I googled them and found that they're called The March of Science Through the Ages, but I couldn't find any good pictures on the web - only washed out stuff from a distance. The observatory website doesn't seem to mention them. Sigh. Science trumps art. Read about Ballin here:


Lessons From Iraq: three events this month

Two excerpts from the book have been published online: Miriam Pemberton’s introduction and William Hartung’s chapter on war profiteering.

Wednesday, June 11
7:30pm to 8:30pm
Barnes and Noble
20852 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD, USA
Lessons From Iraq: Avoiding the Next War.
Join Miriam Pemberton and Ivan Eland at a book discussion about what we've learned from the Iraq War.

Tuesday, June 17
6:30pm to 8:00pm
New York University Puck Building
295 Lafayette St.
New York, NY, USA
Join William Hartung, Aziz Huq, Frances Fitzgerald, and Jeffrey Laurenti at a book discussion about what we've learned from the Iraq War.

Sunday, June 22
4:00pm to 6:00pm
Busboys and Poets
2021 14th St NW
Washington, DC, USA
Join Miriam Pemberton, William Hartung, and Andy Shallal at a book discussion about what we've learned from the Iraq War.

Foreign Policy In Focus is a network for research, analysis and action that brings together more than 600 scholars, advocates and activists who strive to make the United States a more responsible global partner. It is a project of the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) in Washington.


Iota schedule June-December 2008

From the indefatigable Miles David Moore:

Dear Friends,

Attached is the Iota Poetry Series schedule for June-December 2008.

All readings will take place at 6 pm at Iota Club and Cafe, 2832 Wilson Blvd. in Arlington. Admission free.

Sunday, June 8:
John Hoppenthaler
with musical guest Shannon Brown

Sunday, July 13:
Judy Neri
Prartho Sereno
with guest host Steven B. Rogers

Sunday, Aug. 10
Lenny Lianne
and expanded open reading
with guest host Mike McDermott

Sunday, Sept. 14:
14th Anniversary Celebration
featuring readers from the previous year
(no open reading this time)

Sunday, Oct. 12:
Anne Becker
Kathi Wolfe

Sunday, Nov. 9:
Grace Cavalieri
Jean Nordhaus

Sunday, Dec. 14:
Kathi Morrison-Taylor
David Salner


Grace Cavalieri's Recommended Summer Reading List - and Book Expo 08

Mark Doty, Marie Howe, Kathi Wolfe, Kazim Ali, and many more. Check it out:

Just back from BookExpo in LA - a confluence of two weird scenes: Stephen Baldwin signing some Christian weirdness! Magic Johnson! Andre Dubus! Nikki Giovanni! Stacks of free books, pens, chocolate, bags, posters, honey, chocolate, chili powder, aprons, books, manga masks, 3-D glasses, and did I mention chocolate?!

My high school friend Jack, who's lived out there for 20 years, works in The Business, and has a swimming pool in his backyard, says "In LA you're never far from a Baldwin." Very sweetly took me around to a bit of sightseeing, since it was my first time in LA, including to the spectacular Griffith Observatory, deco gem (and site of agonized scene in Rebel Without a Cause, if I'm remembering correctly.)

Yesterday before leaving I walked over to the Pueblo - early LA. As it was Sunday morning, many folks were out praying at the outdoor shrines, selling candles and rosaries, handing out flyers for sewing jobs at American Apparel. The church is a Sanctuary Church. Throughout the city bus stop benches quote JFK on how we are a nation of immigrants and must have a generous immigration policy.

In fact, I just Googled the quote. Here it is:

"Immigration policy should be generous; it should be fair; it should be flexible. With such a policy we can turn to the world, and to our own past, with clean hands and a clear conscience."

Turns out the city benches are part of a Legalize LA campaign, sponsored by.... American Apparel.

I took city buses - there are lots and they are affordable and run frequently. All the Angelenos I met said, Good for you! We don't even think about the bus... Meaning middle-class people don't. The buses were full of working-class people of color, of course. Fascinating city. Met a lovely reporter for the LA Times, originally from LA, who said she'd lived elsewhere briefly but came back, as LA is endlessly interesting, even if maddening and messed-up too. I said it sounds like DC, each in its own special way....

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