Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Coalition Partners;Janet Malcolm

For the perished-
Coalition Partners
C 2011 by E.M.Kabak

Ordinance, shrapnel
Depleted uranium
Cesium, strontium
Creeps in the cranium

Rocketing weapons
Rampant radio-

Cores of reactors fueled now with Mox
Atomic dust seeps into our timed clocks
Anti-aircraft guns, bombs’ thunderous noise
These are our coalition partners’ new toys

Nuclear reactors built on a fault
Human but seismic in greed and gestalt
Truth is briskly washed out to sea
Daily regimen- catastrophe

Tsunamis and earthquakes ,plutonium spewing
It’s unsafe to eat or do what you’re doing
Our coalition partners- don’t hold your breath-
Disease, deceit, destruction and death

Janet Malcolm, the fearless New Yorker writer who specializes in a rarefied prose combining astute reporting with fine edged character study and more than a touch of psychoanalysis and the craft of a fine novelist, has just published her latest, Iphigenia in Forest Hills,(Yale University Press).

It is an expansion of her celebrated article in last year's New Yorker on the trial of Mazoltuv Borukhova, the Forest Hills Uzbeki doctor who was tried and convicted for engaging a relative to murder her estranged husband/dentist in cold blood in front of her daughter, shortly after suffering what appears to have been a totally unjust decree of losing custody of the child.
Malcolm, who is also the subject of a long interview in the new issue of Paris Review, casts a broad net, catching human folly in the family court system, in the conspiracy rantings of one of its representatives, in the Uzbeki community,male- dominated as it is, and in the judiciary, among other places.
No one escapes the scalpel. Here she is on the trial judge:

"[The Judge] is a man of seventy-four with a small head and a large body and the faux genial manner that American petty tyrants cultivate."
Here again-
"The court documents do not reveal what was actually going on between Borukhova and malakov during the dissolution of their marriage.The documents are a crude allegory of ill will peopled by garishly drawn, one-dimensional characters. But some truth leaks out of every court document, as it does out of everything written or said."

In the stable of fine writers deployed by the New Yorker,including such stalwarts as Lawrence Wright, Janet Malcolm may well be the lead horse.You can also pick up her recent book on how Gertrude Stein and Alice B Toklas escaped the Holocaust without leaving France, as well as her earlier works on Plath and Hughes , the Jeffrey McDonald murder trial, and her "In the Freud Archives", the subject of a long and ultimately unsuccessful libel suit by Jeffrey Masson against the author.

One rarely finds an author whose characterizations are so apt and prose so accurately and unforgettably etched.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Nuclear meltdown: A Premonition and Past prophecy

The nuclear meltdown in Japan this weekend and our continuing blindness to the risks of nuclear power and nuclear weapons reminds one of the Ferlinghetti poem
American Roulette, first published in pamphlet form 35 years ago, even before Chernobyl and Three Mile Island- Here is an excerpt:

If things go on like this
cockroaches will inherit the earth
they are actually just waiting
upsidedown in hidden corners
for us to fuck up even worse
And when we do
they'll just throw off their disgusting disguises
and come right out in the open
larger than life
and march down the boulevards
like live tanks
spraying stored up DDT
which was sprayed at them for years
and which they've saved up
for just such an occasion
as the end of the world.....
when for instance
the Jupiter effect triggers California earthquakes
far worse than 1906
which naturally cause every nuclear plant West of the Rockies to crack their reactor cores
and leak live white death
over all
which really shouldn't bother anybody at all
for after all weren't we assured it wouldn't happen
by the SF Chronicle and
{several named corporations}and dozens of other multinationals
who contributed a total of at least
$$$$$$$$$$$$million dollars
to defeat the California anti-nuclear proposition
and hide from us the facts
that there is still no known and approved
method of storing atomic waste and that
pure plutonium really isn't dangerous at all
and that live reactors can't really leak at all
especially in the San Andreas fault
Any anyway the fault lies in our stars
and not in our selves at all

Two and a half weeks ago I woke from a powerful dream in which I was standing on the shore,inside of a large vertical glass cylinder to protect myself against large waves coming in to shore- Outside the glass structure an roundish owl-like flying demon with piercing eyes and a huge fire spitting dragon with a tremendous scaled wingspread rapped mercilessly against the glass

death- or resurrection by fire and water-

when we will ever learn? when will we e-ver learn?