Monday, 27 August 2007

Anacondas

Anacondas

Chilean copper miners create the Guggenheim museum
in a pseudo-philanthropic pre-modern age
of in denial, megalomaniac, evangelical, obsessives

The code words change in Fortunes’ pages to

structural adjustment,
hedge funds,
leveraged buyouts

as the Old Rich sneer
while Mr Jones voyeuristically reads
about rich lifestyles in manipulative glossy magazines

and politically ambitious media monsters
compete to rule the world
bored accumulating unearned capital and workers’ souls

Victory to the Chilean Miners. !

Peter Burton August 2007

Longing

Longing

I long to be a father
I want to love a child
and care for my child

Through time and problems
We grow, laugh, talk, stay silent

My childs’ insecurity makes me feel needed
responsible, frustrated , sometimes angry

I try to let my child develop
not too strict , not too lack

I want to have a well-rounded
loving child

I want to be a friend to my child

Peter Burton August 2007

Slow Talk

Slow Talk

Will you talk a little slower ?
said the comrade to the Chair

There’s still half an hour to go
and the next speaker , I can’t bear

Peter Burton August 2007

Benefit Agency Interviewee

Benefit Agency Interviewee

Are you currently unemployed ? – Yes

Are you looking for work ?- Yes

Would you accept any reasonable offer of work ? – Yes

Do you have any savings ?– No

Wages owed ?– No

Bonds or shares ?- No

Pension due ?- No

Do you let out property or own property here or abroad ? – No

Any land ?-No

Any other source of income not mentioned here ?- No

Do you like Scotland ?– Eh Yes

Glasgow ? Yes

Is Sean Connery the best Bond – Yesh

Do you like me ?– Oh Yes

Do you like Rangers ( Nodding while asking)? Eh Yes
(fingers crossed behind my back so this disnae count)

Do you like Glasgows’ weather ?– eh NO !

Do you like violence on TV ?– NO

Do you mind being humiliated ?– No

Yes – well everything does seem to be in order Mr Burton
Your claim will be processed in due course.

Have a nice day !

You too !

(fucker)

Woodstock – the 30th Anniversary

Woodstock – the 30th Anniversary

Choose a $180 dollar ticket
or a $60 pay per view telecast

Get you’re $100,000 Woodstock
Platinum credit card here

Along with
embattled firefighters
wrecked speaker systems
burnt out tents
and inevitable riot police

Groovy Man

Sunday, 26 August 2007

Bio of Richard Wright

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAwrightR.htm

Between the World and Me
Richard Wright


And one morning while in the woods I stumbled
suddenly upon the thing,
Stumbled upon it in a grassy clearing guarded by scaly
oaks and elms
And the sooty details of the scene rose, thrusting
themselves between the world and me....

There was a design of white bones slumbering forgottenly
upon a cushion of ashes.
There was a charred stump of a sapling pointing a blunt
finger accusingly at the sky.
There were torn tree limbs, tiny veins of burnt leaves, and
a scorched coil of greasy hemp;
A vacant shoe, an empty tie, a ripped shirt, a lonely hat,
and a pair of trousers stiff with black blood.
And upon the trampled grass were buttons, dead matches,
butt-ends of cigars and cigarettes, peanut shells, a
drained gin-flask, and a whore's lipstick;
Scattered traces of tar, restless arrays of feathers, and the
lingering smell of gasoline.
And through the morning air the sun poured yellow
surprise into the eye sockets of the stony skull....

And while I stood my mind was frozen within cold pity
for the life that was gone.
The ground gripped my feet and my heart was circled by
icy walls of fear--
The sun died in the sky; a night wind muttered in the
grass and fumbled the leaves in the trees; the woods
poured forth the hungry yelping of hounds; the
darkness screamed with thirsty voices; and the witnesses rose and lived:
The dry bones stirred, rattled, lifted, melting themselves
into my bones.
The grey ashes formed flesh firm and black, entering into
my flesh.

The gin-flask passed from mouth to mouth, cigars and
cigarettes glowed, the whore smeared lipstick red
upon her lips,
And a thousand faces swirled around me, clamoring that
my life be burned....

And then they had me, stripped me, battering my teeth
into my throat till I swallowed my own blood.
My voice was drowned in the roar of their voices, and my
black wet body slipped and rolled in their hands as
they bound me to the sapling.
And my skin clung to the bubbling hot tar, falling from
me in limp patches.
And the down and quills of the white feathers sank into
my raw flesh, and I moaned in my agony.
Then my blood was cooled mercifully, cooled by a
baptism of gasoline.
And in a blaze of red I leaped to the sky as pain rose like water, boiling my limbs
Panting, begging I clutched childlike, clutched to the hot
sides of death.
Now I am dry bones and my face a stony skull staring in
yellow surprise at the sun....

The War Against the Trees

by Stanley Kunitz

The man who sold his lawn to standard oil
Joked with his neighbors come to watch the show
While the bulldozers, drunk with gasoline,
Tested the virtue of the soil
Under the branchy sky
By overthowing first the privet-row.

Forsythia-forays and hydrangea-raids
Were but preliminaries to a war
Against the great-grandfathers of the town,
So freshly lopped and maimed.
They struck and struck again,
And with each elm a century went down.

All day the hireling engines charged the trees,
Subverting them by hacking underground
In grub-dominions, where dark summer's mole
Rampages through his halls,
Till a northern seizure shook
Those crowns, forcing the giants to their knees.

I saw the ghosts of children at their games
Racing beyond their childhood in the shade,
And while the green world turned its death-foxed page
And a red wagon wheeled,
I watched them disappear
Into the suburbs of their grievous age.

Ripped from the craters much too big for hearts
The club-roots bared their amputated coils,
Raw gorgons matted blind, whose pocks and scars
Cried Moon! On a corner lot
One witness-moment, caught
In the rear-view mirrors of the passing cars.

The Permanent Delegate

by Yuri Suhl

My name is Jew. I come from the land of skeleteon. They beat me in Berlin, tortured me in Warsaw, shot me Lublin And I am still here -- the ash of my bones a glowing monument, a fiery headstone.

I am the scorched hair of a virgin's bright curls smoothed and patted by anxious hands I am a maddened mother's futile tears soothing in vain a hundred anguished hurts.

I am the spasm of a body convulsed in flames, the crumbling of a skeleton, the boiling of blood, shriveling of flesh, smoudering ash of six million -- ashes of body, of brain, of vision, of work -- ashes of genius and dreams, ashes of God's master stroke -- Man.

Count the limbs gentlemen -- match them if you can in pairs. It can't be done. For I am one ghost of six million. Out of all the ashses I have become one And the dream lies broken and spit on.

I am here to tell you, gentlemen it's a lie -- the world is not yet Hitler-free. Millions see it, condemn it, cry out my pain and warn you. But you are moved like a granite statue by a prick of a pin. Therefore I have come, uninvited, unwelcome bringing a message from the land of skeleton.

I am grafting my ash to your souls.
I am hanging my dreams around your necks.
I am blotting out the sun from your day
with my shadow.
I am tearing the quiet of your night
with shrieks of my tortures.
I will beat at your conscience
with the hands of a million dead children and
I will pick at your brains with my maggots

Yea, though you split the atom to infinity
you will see my face before your eyes.
I sit at all the round tables
At every conference I am a delegate,
my credentials signed by six million
from the land of skeleton and you will never get rid of me
until the world is Hitler-free.

I am a Black Woman

I am a Black Woman

I am a black woman
the music of my song
some sweet arpeggio of tears
is written in a minor key
and I
can be heard humming in the night
Can be heard
humming
in the night

I saw my mate leap screaming to the sea
and I/with these hands/cupped the lifebreath
from my issue in the canebrake
I lost Nat's swinging body in a rain of tears
and heard my son scream all the way from Anzio
for Peace he never knew....I
learned Da Nang and Pork Chop Hill
in anguish
Now my nostrils know the gas
and these trigger tire/d fingers
seek the softness in my warrior's beard


I am a black woman
tall as a cypress
strong
beyond all definition still
defying place
and time
and circumstance
assailed
impervious
indestructible
Look
on me and be
renewed

Robert Bly

http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/280

I Sit and Look Out

I Sit And Look Out by Walt Whitman.

I sit and look out upon all the sorrows of the world, and upon all
oppression and shame;
I hear secret convulsive sobs from young men, at anguish with
themselves, remorseful after deeds done;
I see, in low life, the mother misused by her children, dying,
neglected, gaunt, desperate;
I see the wife misused by her husband--I see the treacherous seducer
of young women;
I mark the ranklings of jealousy and unrequited love, attempted to be
hid--I see these sights on the earth;
I see the workings of battle, pestilence, tyranny--I see martyrs and
prisoners;
I observe a famine at sea--I observe the sailors casting lots who
shall be kill'd, to preserve the lives of the rest;
I observe the slights and degradations cast by arrogant persons upon
laborers, the poor, and upon negroes, and the like;
All these--All the meanness and agony without end, I sitting, look
out upon,
See, hear, and am silent.

(To JS/07/M/378 This Marble Monument Is Erected by the State)

(To JS/07/M/378 This Marble Monument Is Erected by the State)

He was found by the Bureau of Statistics to be
One against whom there was no official complaint,
And all the reports on his conduct agree
That, in the modern sense of an old-fashioned word, he was a saint,
For in everything he did he served the Greater Community.
Except for the War till the day he retired
He worked in a factory and never got fired,
But satisfied his employers, Fudge Motors Inc.
Yet he wasn't a scab or odd in his views,
For his Union reports that he paid his dues,
(Our report on his Union shows it was sound)
And our Social Psychology workers found
That he was popular with his mates and liked a drink.
The Press are convinced that he bought a paper every day
And that his reactions to advertisements were normal in every way.
Policies taken out in his name prove that he was fully insured,
And his Health-card shows he was once in hospital but left it cured.
Both Producers Research and High-Grade Living declare
He was fully sensible to the advantages of the Installment Plan
And had everything necessary to the Modern Man,
A phonograph, a radio, a car and a frigidaire.
Our researchers into Public Opinion are content
That he held the proper opinions for he time of year;
When there was peace, he was for peace; when there was war, he went.
He was married and added five children to the population,
Which our Eugenist says was the right number for a parent of his generation.
And our teachers report that he never interfered with their education.
Was he free? Was he happy? The question is absurd:
Had anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard.

-- W. H. Auden

Monday, 20 August 2007

The Miners' Strike in Films and Books

The UK miners' strike was the background for the critically acclaimed 2000 film Billy Elliot. Several scenes powerfully depict the chaos at the picket lines, clashes between armies of police and striking miners, and the shame associated with crossing the picket line.

It is also involved in the background to the plot in Brassed Off, which is set ten years after the strike when all the miners have the lost the will to resist and accept the closure of their pit with resignation. Brassed Off was set in the fictional "Grimley", a thinly disguised version of the hard-hit ex-mining village of Grimethorpe, where some of it was filmed.

The satirical Comic Strip Presents episode The Strike (1988) depicts an idealistic Welsh screenwriter's growing dismay as his hard-hitting and grittily realistic script about the strike is mutilated by a Hollywood producer into an all-action thriller starring Al Pacino (played by Peter Richardson) and Meryl Streep (played by Jennifer Saunders). The 1984 episode of the 1996 BBC television drama serial Our Friends in the North revolves around the events of the strike, and the scenes of clashes between the police and striking miners were re-created using many of those who had taken place in the actual real-life events on the miners' side. In 2005 BBC One broadcast the one-off drama Faith, written by William Ivory and starring Jamie Draven and Maxine Peake. It viewed the strike from the perspective of both the police and the miners.

A 2005 book called "GB84" by David Peace combines fictional accounts of pickets, union officials and strike-breakers. Graphic details are provided of many of the strike's major events. It also suggests that British intelligence was involved in undermining the strike, including in the alleged suggestion of a link between Scargill and Gaddafi.

As mentioned above, in 2001, British visual artist Jeremy Deller worked with historical societies, battle re-enactors, and dozens of the people who participated in the violent 1984 clashes of picketers and police to reconstruct and re-enact the Battle of Orgreave. A documentary about the re-enactment was produced by Deller and director Mike Figgis and was broadcast on British television; and Deller also published a book called The English Civil War Part II documenting both the project and the historical events it investigates (Artangel Press, 2002). Involving the reenactors, who would normally recreate Viking battles or medievals wars, was a way for Deller to situate the recent and controversial Battle of Orgreave (and labor politics themselves) as part of mainstream history. See http://www.artangel.org.uk/pages/past/01/01_deller.htm

G.Mckie's poem Ode to Heseltine was written after the announcement to close 31 collieries in 1992, which betrayed previous promises to miners who had worked on during the strike.

http://www.strike84.co.uk An online collection of photographic images taken during the dispute.

Popular songs about the Miners' Strike
The strike has been the subject of songs by many music groups. Of the more well known; the band Pulp recorded a song "Last day of the miners' strike", Funeral for a Friend wrote a song called "History", the folk-rock band Steeleye Span recorded the song "Blackleg Miner", and Ewan MacColl wrote the song "Daddy, What did you do in the strike?". Newcastle native, Sting, recorded a song about the strike called "We Work the Black Seam" for his first solo album, The Dream of the Blue Turtles, in 1985.

The folk song "The Ballad of '84" contains the view that David Jones and Joe Green died as a result of the police's handling of events. U2's song "Red Hill Mining Town" from their Joshua Tree album is about the strike, according to lead singer Bono. On July 7, 1984 the anarcho-punk band Crass played their final show in Aberdare, Wales at a benefit for striking miners.

Chumbawamba recorded a song called "Fitzwilliam", which described the Yorkshire village after the strike. The village eventually saw around a third of its housing stock demolished due to the dominance of derelict properties. They also made a song called "Frickley" about the football club Frickley Athletic, which referenced the continued distrust of the police by those in mining areas after the strike.

Saturday, 18 August 2007

Parisian War Song

Parisian War Song

Spring is evidently here; for
The ascent of Thiers and Picard
From the green Estates lays
Its splendours wide open!

O May! What delirious bare bums!
O Sèvres Meudon, Bagneux, Asnières,
Listen now to the welcome arrivals
Scattering springtime joys!

They have shakos, and sabers, and tom-toms,
And none of the old candleboxes;
And skiffs which have nev... nev...
Are cutting the lake of bloodstained waters!

More than ever before, we roister,
As on to our ant-heaps come
Tumbling the yellow heads,
On these extraordinary dawns:

Thiers and Picard are Cupids;
And beheaders of sunflowers too;
They paint Corots with insecticide:
Look how their tropes de-cockchafer the trees...

They're familiars of the Great What's-his-name!...
And Favre, lying among the irisis,
Blinks and weeps crocodile tears,
And sniffs his peppery sniff!

The Big City has hot cobblestones,
In spite of your showers of paraffin;
And decidedly we shall have
To liven you up in your parts...

And the Rustics who take their ease
In long squattings,
Will hear boughs breaking
Among the red rustlings.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

IRAQ

IRAQ

A Classical Hollywood narrative of hope and redemption
Pentagon Disneyland for free market experimentation
falsely benign Fox misrepresentation

The birthplace of civilisation run by Haliburton and Bechtel
and their creative accounting fraudster friends

Criminals as Kings , theft, gang rape, kidnapping ,honour killings
all carried out in the name of Freedom

The Geometry of bad water, no power, mounting waste correlates
neatly with rising violence , despair and irredentist fundamentalism

Stereotypical Rae burn wearing GI’s with
their guns and pills and pop culture
seek “ Bad Guys” in an apocalyptic Pentagon theme park

as misogynist misery gangs resist the Occupodians
creating chaos to win

Disgruntled cynical working-class grunts
and Mercenary security firms guard
the boys in the bubble in the Green Zone
with their post-modern colonial Gap Gear
wraparound shades and Heckler and Kock MP 5 s

While crazy people roam amongst trash fires and diseased feral dogs
In Sadr City
Vietnam Street ,
Death to Spies and Collaborator conclusions
on walls
Sedans full of men and eyes on each corner

Military technology again substitutes poorly
for an absence of hearts and minds
In an awkwardly urban apocalyptic clash of cultures

Self-confident Ivy league Green Zone post-colonialists
construct fantasies in an air-conditioned oasis of
beautiful palm trees and manicured lawns
as carpet bagging “reconstruction” fraudsters
drain Iraq of its life blood natural resource .

Joes and Hagis
Saws and MRES
A Two Tier army
Tag teaming, $ 15 ficky fick, digital photo trades
Juicing on steroids, sleeping on valium, eating coffee granules
in a floating , escapist diazepam hazed rabbit hole


High noon patrols prowl the streets
in a Heart of Darkness wild west called Fallujah
as Apache Helicopter gunships circle and strafe
in this Iraqi Alabama at the end of the river
creating chaotic visual loops of orange

Parachuted incandescent flares descend
on night time blockades , house raids ,
Bound and hooded Iraqis , a dead child mistake

Panther Penis victims
Cancerous depleted Uranium victims
Lack of Medical supply victims
Sharia Lawlessness victims
Pray and spray shooting victims

Pre-Medieval self-referential autonomous
cells of women-hating men
Parasitic voyeurs
War Tourists
Cynical Grunts
Careerist freelancers
Nut jobs
Pilgrims
Neo-con fantasists and
In Denial Zealots

Neither Political Islam nor US Imperialism
cries the Left while young men rapped in Green
and Black flags fire AK-47s in the air
drawn to the lure of violence

While 13,000 souls anguish in a
ritualised nightshift humiliation inside
an Iraqi Andersonville with its towers and razor wire
Incessant sobbing, child shrieks and swaggering GI’S

NGO Groupies
Useless CMOCS
SUV Flames
IEDS and RPGS
Dawn to Dusk Curfews

All paths in the neo- con bloody circus leading nowhere
signifying the end of Planet America.

Peter Burton August 2007