Bill Nevins

Eliza Gilkyson
Red House Records

In these whirling times of burning forests, unspeakable human rights violations and stupid White House tweets, it can seem like our minds are being sucked down a numbing vortex, into a voracious black hole — “the centre cannot hold”. 

Could there be light at the end of these darkest of days?  Might we still feel joy and have hope, despite all pessimistic logic?

He fell in Afghanistan
Sometime the day before

The Major from the New Mexico National Guard
couldn't find my house
and it was a stormy night in Albuquerque
So we talked by cell phone instead--
No dress uniforms at my door--
It was a clean three shots
Straight through the heart
He was dead before he hit the ground

The Major was a father himself he said
I could hear his kid behind the phone
I could see my own son reaching up to his dad

The Major called back later
The government could fly me
the Major said
to the Dignified Transfer at Dover base

I asked where that was

“Belief in Winter’s iron music turns the lands of home to Spring.” Kenneth Patchen, “Nocturne for the Heirs of Light”

Even your blood
seems cold slush
we come, bearing
scientific warmth
and clean blades

Of faith and all
such crude early things
we moderns strive to sharpen,
your mystic heart alone
beats most desperate
beneath our lazer aim:
true tempered love
at gunship point
thrusts in you
bleeding you clear
in sha'Allah

by dread hand of
surgeon- drone,
bootkick- blessing,
your shabby portal

upon us

we ash-cross your brow:

Quique Cruz sums up the story of his long life journey towards the creation of an extraordinary work of art and human testimony called Archaeology of Memory: “The day after my nineteenth birthday, I was detained by Pinochet’s secret police and spent one month as a desaparecido in the Villa Grimaldi torture centre.

Push Comes to Shove

Music by John Hammond

Only Blues Music, 2007

12 tracks, $23.99

(For Specialist Mike Moriarty, Rahim Al Haj and all the Joes and Jills and all the Hadjis. This poem is inspired in part by the documentary film The War Tapes, which everyone should see.)

I Pledge Allegiance to Myself

Lizzie West

Appleseed Recordings <>

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