Dear Followers, Friends, fellow Workers:

I have just begun a new blog/zine called
Chirot Zero Zine A Heap of Rubble--
Anarkeyology of hand eye ear notations
the blog is more exusively concerned than this one with presenting essays, reviews (inc. "bad reviews") , Visual Poetry, Sound Poetry, Event Scores, Manifestos, Manifotofestos, rantin' & raving, rock'roll, music all sorts--by myself and others--if you are interested in being a contributor, please feel free to contact me at
as with this blog, the arts are investigated as a part of rather than apart from the historical, economic, political actualities of yesterday, today, & tomorrow
as with al my blogs--
contributions in any language are welcome

Free Leonard Peltier

Free Leonard Peltier
The government under pretext of security and progress, liberated us from our land, resources, culture, dignity and future. They violated every treaty they ever made with us. I use the word “liberated” loosely and sarcastically, in the same vein that I view the use of the words “collateral damage” when they kill innocent men, women and children. They describe people defending their homelands as terrorists, savages and hostiles . . . My words reach out to the non-Indian: Look now before it is too late—see what is being done to others in your name and see what destruction you sanction when you say nothing. --Leonard Peltier, Annual Message January 2004 (Leonard Peltier is now serving 31st year as an internationally recognized Political Prisoner of the United States Government)

Injustice Continues: Leonard Peltier Again Denied Parole

# Injustice continues: Leonard Peltier denied parole‎ - By Mahtowin A wave of outrage swept the progressive community worldwide at the news that Native political prisoner Leonard Peltier was denied parole on Aug. ... Workers World - 2 related articles » US denies parole to American Indian activist Leonard Peltier‎ - AFP - 312 related articles » # Free Leonard Peltier 2009 PRISON WRITINGS...My Life Is My Sun Dance Leonard Peltier © 1999. # Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance - by Leonard Peltier, Harvey Arden - 2000 - Biography & Autobiography - 272 pages Edited by Harvey Arden, with an Introduction by Chief Arvol Looking Horse, and a Preface by former Attorney General Ramsey Clark. In 1977, Leonard Peltier... - # Leonard Peltier, American Indian Activist, Denied Parole And Won't ... Aug 21, 2009 ... BISMARCK, ND — American Indian activist Leonard Peltier, imprisoned since 1977 for the deaths of two FBI agents, has been denied parole ... - Cached - Similar - #

Gaza--War Crime: Collective Punishment of 1.5 Million Persons--Recognized as "The World's Largest Concentration Camp"

Number of Iraquis Killed Since USA 2003 Invasion began

Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator

US & International Personnel losses in Iraq &Afghanistan; Costs of the 2 Wars to US

Number of U.S. Military Personnel Sacrificed (Officially acknowledged) In America's War On Iraq: 4,667

Number Of International Occupation Force Troops Slaughtered In Afghanistan : 1,453


Cost of War in Iraq


Cost of War in Afghanistan

The cost in your community

flickr: DEATH FROM THIS WINDOW/DOORS OF GUANTANAMO--Essays, Links, Video-- US use of Torture

VISUAL POETRY/MAIL ART CALL Cracking World’s Walls & Codes Concrete & Virtual

Cracking World’s Walls & Codes Concrete & Virtual

No Sieges, Tortures, Starvation & Surveillance
Deadline/Fecha Limite: SinsLimite/ongoing
Size: No limit/Sin Limite
No Limit on Number of Works sent
No Limit on Number of Times New Works Are Sent
Documentation: on my blog
David Baptiste Chirot
740 N 29 #108
Milwaukee, WI 53208

Miss Universe Visits Guantanamo: 'A Loooot Of Fun!'

Miss Universe Visits Guantanamo: 'A Loooot Of Fun!'

The current 'Miss Universe' Dayana Mendoza (formerly Miss Venezuela) and 'Miss America' Crystal Stewart visited US troops stationed in Guantanamo Bay on March 20th, the New York Times reports. Here's Mendoza's account of the visit from her pageant blog last Friday. She says the trip "was a loooot of fun!"

This week, Guantánamo!!! It was an incredible experience...All the guys from the Army were amazing with us. We visited the Detainees camps and we saw the jails, where they shower, how the recreate themselves with movies, classes of art, books. It was very interesting. We took a ride with the Marines around the land to see the division of Gitmo and Cuba while they were informed us with a little bit of history.

The water in Guantánamo Bay is soooo beautiful! It was unbelievable, we were able to enjoy it for at least an hour. We went to the glass beach, and realized the name of it comes from the little pieces of broken glass from hundred of years ago. It is pretty to see all the colors shining with the sun. That day we met a beautiful lady named Rebeca who does wonders with the glasses from the beach. She creates jewelry with it and of course I bought a necklace from her that will remind me of Guantánamo Bay :)

I didn't want to leave, it was such a relaxing place, so calm and beautiful.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Waterboarding and Poetry: from Francois Villon to Poems from Guantanamo & the "New Extreme Experimental American Poetry"

(Note: a revised version of this essay and images will be appearing in this/net week's forthcoming issue of Wordforword)

(images here and below & this text from: Danse Macabre: Francois Villon Poetry and Murder in medieval France by Aubrey Burr)

These are the procedures used on the 15th Century French poet Francois Villon.

In the early 21st Century, the USA produced its first truly Extreme Experimental Poetry--the military censored Poems from Guantanamo, writing produced by tortured detainees held as "enemy combatants" in a War on Terror based on among other things, the "16 words" of the forged "Italian Letter" and the transcribed ravings of a desperate alcoholic would-be Iraqui immigrant to Germany (Curveball.)

The translations have also been an issue for some, in that they are by "non-literary" translators assembled by the lawyers who made the book possible in the first place.
(The lawyers and translators and Iowa University Press who published the book, have long shown great courage in the face of the military and governmental extreme restrictions and censorships.)

Thank you to Joseph Parsons, Acquisitions Editor of Iowa Press, for providing the following details:

Just as the habeas attorneys must pay their own way to Guantanamo to
meet with their clients, the "nonliterary translators"--as they've
come to be known--were hired by these attorneys so they could
communicate with the detainees. In many cases the original Arabic or
Pashto versions of poems were deemed too sensitive and not released by
the Pentagon's privilege review teams, though the translated forms
were. By "released," I mean the attorneys could not even keep copies
as they worked to represent their clients. All of this left Marc
Falkoff and the Press to make do with translations rendered without
benefit of the range of tools (dictionaries and other reference works,
in particular).

By basing reasons for War on Terror on Error--forgeries, invented "evidence," to be furthered by "embedded reporters" and the propaganda and disinformation filling he media thanks to near total use of the former Israeli Intelligence member co-founded MEMRI as "sources," "reports," and "news"--everything that follows becomes contaminated, turning Language into Lies, Weapons of Mass Destruction of "critical thinking" and "poetics," reading and writing and producing immense Walls of mirrors, which are taken to be windows into a world of "Open forms" and "radical resistances" of phoneme and morpheme to "closure" and where, to paraphrase the title of memoir by Lynne Cheney, "the skies are not cloudy all day."

The skies of Empire--the open forms of the "open range" "where the deer and the antelope play" and

Seldom is heard
a discouraging word
And the skies are not cloudy all day."

Along the way this New Extreme Experimental American Poetry has included the sky writing of 9/11 in NYC, eerily echoing the CIA backed Coup's bombing of the Presidential Palace in Santiago, Chile 9/11 1972, the Photographic Atrocity Exhibit of Abu-Ghraib and a "disappeared" CIA library of waterboarding torture videos.

This new Waterboarding Extreme Experimental Poetry (WEEP) permits the USA to accomplish something dazzling: not only to forge into the Unknown of the 21st Century, but to simultaneously travel into the period of the 15th century just prior to and including Columbus' "Discovery of the new World." By opening the Future of American poetry, America has also been able to reverse the colonization process and begin to establish "outposts" in 15th Century Europe, and so, beating Europe to the punch, "Discover the Old World" prior to its discovering of the "New."

American reviewers and commentators on the Poets of Guantanamo have so far found exactly what they were looking for: "bad" poetry in Formal terms, written by "bad" people and translated by "bad" (i.e. "non-literary") translators.

Since, ironically, the translation procedure is not unlike some advocated by such luminaries of American "radical" "experimental" poetries as Charles Bernstein, one might posit the Guantanamo works as simply "bad" Experimental poems by "bad" people, "untrained amateurs," and relegate it to the dustbins of history along with a lot of other "poetry of witness."

Due to their methodologies of reading and writing, American reviewers, commentators, have missed the hidden In Plain Site/Sight/Cite nature of these "purloined letters."

That is, that the poems are the production of American language, American readings and writings and "mistranslations" (non-literary) and the most advanced and most medieval techniques of the "discipline of Writing."

In effect, the writing has not yet been recognized as American.

But what looks back at American eyes from the poem's letterings on the page--is the writing produced by years of American training, discipline, censorship, forced and tortured words further tortured along their restricted and supervised journey to the page in a book published only in these versions in the land of the torturer.

So--of course, the torturers are very happy and self-satisfied in reading these works and finding them lacking in poetry.

It is a sign of the "rightness" of their cause--and of their Security--from there being any "good" poetry to issue from these "enemy combatants," "Islamo-Fascists" and "terrorists."

The sign of a major defeat for the American reader and writer is that their distance from Language has become so great they cannot recognize their own writing staring them back in the face.

But then--this is for the better, is it not?--For it absolves the American reader and writer of all responsibility, of recognizing any "hand in the matter."

Robert Pinsky, former Poet Laureate, while acknowledging the situation of poetry in a raw state of the Guantanmo poems--also remarked--"No Mandelstams here." How comforting for the uneasy American readers and writers to be so reassured!
But then Stalin's Gulags contained far more millions of prisoners than Guantanamo.

Rejoining the 15th Century, as also the 21st is forged into--
a few words from a Contemporary, Maitre Francois Villon, born 1431, the year Jeanne d'Arc was burned at the stake by Occupation forces during the One Hundred Years War. --An early ancestor of the War Without End on Terror.

In many ways the poem below by Villon finds echoes in the writings from Guantanamo.
But then--Francois Villon was a "bad" man.
Probably a far worse "bad" man than the great majority of those in Guantanamo.

(Villon, already twice sentenced to hanging, several times imprisoned and tortured, was banished from Paris in 1463--from which he'd already absented himself twice, for five years of self-imposed exile-- & "vanishes from history.")

from "Ballade"

(aka "Ballad of the Hanged Men"; translation by Galway Kinnell)

Brother humans who live on after us
Don't let your hearts harden against us
For if you have pity on wretches like us
More likely God will show mercy on you
You see us five, six, hanging here
As for the flesh we loved too well
A while ago it was eaten and has rotted away
And we the bones turn to ashes and dust
Let no one make us the butt of jokes
But pray God that he absolves us all . . .

The rain has rinsed and washed us
The sun dried us and turned us black
Magpies and ravens have pecked out our eyes
And plucked our beards and eyebrows
Never ever can we stand still
Now here, now there, as the wind shifts
At its whim it keeps swinging us
Pocked by birds worse than a sewing-thimble
Therefore don't join in our brotherhood
But pray God that he absolves us all

Prince Jesus, master over all
Don't let us fall into hell's dominion
We've got nothing to do or settle down there
Men, there's nothing to laugh at
But pray God that he absolves us all

---d-b chirot

from Iranian Underground--"ironic commentary" on international anti-grafitti laws

--d-b chirot


Andy Gricevich said...


This "page" is remarkable.

If I ever extract it from flawed video recordings, I'll have to get you our performance of my friend Rick's translation of Brecht's "Threepenny" version of the Villon poem.


More on this later; I'm currently stunned.



Sean Bonney said...

Yeh I'll second that. This is really great.

Love from another 'very bad man'.