Friday, August 31, 2007
Rove Rejects Craig as Stall-Mate
"But Rove's too nelly."
"So is Craig. I like 'em butch."
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Of Course He Isn't a Homo!
While seated, his foot falls asleep, so he stomps it a couple of times to wake it up. How was he to know that it was a signal among the cognoscenti? Then he stomps it again, and slides it up and down, accidentally moving it toward a foot in the next stall.
Then I'm sure he runs out of TP, so he sticks three fingers into the next stall in a mute request for toilet tissue. BAM! He's busted! And not a shred of paper anywhere!
Such a simple misunderstanding. I'm sure the Missus is behind her man a hundred per cent. His whole Senate career has been based upon the defense of family values. He doesn't want homos getting special treatment like the right to marry or the right to be a partner's guardian for health issues or the right to be considered for employment based on qualifications rather than their private lives.
And his guilty plea? He only did that because he assumed that he'd write a little check for his fine, and nobody outside the Twin Cities would hear a thing about it. Then it would all go away. He was so traumatized, being treated like one of those homos. And by a black cop! I'm sure you can understand his terror and confusion. I'm sure they don't have Those People in Idaho.
Of course, having given the matter some thought, he's quite vexed with the people who busted him! They're hearing from his lawyer now! Give 'em hell, Larry!
In the meantime, here's Larry with his date for the big barn dance. He'd have been glad to go with Rep. Foley, but Foley was too busy, being busy with the fight against child sexual abuse and mentoring kids and all. And Ted Haggard has had his percentages changed. So he had to settle for the tickly mustache.
Yoo-Hoo, It's Me... Still Me..
Rummy, Scooter, Karl, 'Berto... and the list will doubtless go on in the coming weeks, as if there were a vital difference between the so-called subordinates and their boss.
Dubya and that non-member of the Executive Branch, Dick Cheney, have called many tunes: to invade the privacy of Americans, lock them up incommunicado, deprive them of their franchise, and torture them within and beyond our borders, all in the name of the war on terror. Their subordinates have happily danced to them, even taking the fall as if keeping the ol' Commander in Chief were vital to our national security.
These crowd pleasing gestures are meaningless, however. Topple a Gonzales and install a Chertoff. There is always another loyalist who knows that ultimately Alberto will be taken care of by the party faithful and that he, too, can enjoy the aftermath of the administration through advancement in the old boy network that is Dick and Dubya's.
In the meantime members of the press dash about as if Gonzales's departure were some radical act. My own good Senator Patrick Leahy offers Junior some counsel on acceptable nominees. In the meantime GWB and snarlin' Dick are holed up, deciding the next outrage.
You can't get a leopard to alter his spots, nor can you expect Dubya to change his checks.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Serve 'm Up
She must have been so proud to see 'Berto rise to the top of his profession, to be seen chumming it up with the President of the United States.
Now he's served up, little cherry that he is, on the top of a big, fluffy White House sundae that spins the "unfair attacks" on him rendering him ineffective in carrying out the duties of his majestic office into so much tainted whipped cream.
Things have come to a pretty pass when the nefarious deeds of Gonzales have turned John Ashcroft into a sympathetic character, helpless in a hospital bed while Berto tried to get him to sign on to the further shredding of the Constitution.
There was ample reason for Dubya to choose him as the next AG: he knew that he could count on his henchman mentality to further erode constitutional principles. He would be that hungry, that gratified by the insider status that would accompany it. Besides, his initials would be right. AG the AG.
So to Alberto's mama, should she still inhabit this earth, I say that I am sorry. Your son truly fell in with the wrong crowd.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
If you have never read a short story (or twenty) by Grace Paley, one of life's great pleasures still awaits you. If you have read them, you'll doubtless want to read them again. Her output was dwarfed by her political activism; she nonetheless is undisputedly one of our greatest short story writers.
I hadn't heard of Grace till the 80s, when writer, teacher, and then coordinator of Women's Voices Marcy Alancraig invited her to speak to and with us at that workshop. Marcy emerged from her call to Grace grinning. "We were trying to work out a date, and I mentioned one and she said, 'I can't come that day. I have to go to jail.'" It turned out she'd gotten busted at a peace march for pouring blood on the White House lawn. When I first read her books, The Little Disturbances of Man and Enormous Changes at the Last Minute, I couldn't believe the fresh voice, the fresh view. She was not only a great activist; she was an amazing writer.
We all fell in love with Grace when she arrived in Santa Cruz on the bus and joined us for a discussion about writing. For one so celebrated, she was unpretentious about her gifts and informed us that many of her drafts looked terrible in their early stages. It was important to take risks, she told us, "Sometimes you just have to hang out there and look stupid." She was adorable. She didn't adopt ladylike poses in her folding chair, and she listened very intently, very respectfully to us all.
When I left Santa Cruz and moved to Vermont, there was Grace. I would see her in the parking lot at the co-op, at the puppet show in the art gallery. She was easy to spot in the community with that wonderful, soft mane of fluffy white hair. "Amazing Grace," I would say, loud enough for her to hear, then I would scurry shyly away. I have never been good at chatting up famous people.
Grace maintained that poetry and short stories were kindred forms, and she published a couple of collections of her poems. Here's one:
Here I am in the garden laughing
an old woman with heavy breasts
and a nicely mapped face
how did this happen
well that's who I wanted to be
at last a woman in the old style sitting
stout thighs apart under
a big skirt grandchild sliding
on off my lap a pleasant
that's my old man across the yard
he's talking to the meter reader
he's telling him the world's sad story
how electricity is oil or uranium
and so forth I tell my grandson
run over to your grandpa ask him
to sit beside me for a minute I
am suddenly exhausted by my desire
to kiss his sweet explaining lips
Monday, August 20, 2007
Un-fair to Remember: Karl's Search for Tomorrow
KARL: I hate to bother you at work, but you haven't been answering my calls.
K-FED: You answerin' the nanny ad? The position's filled. Get outa my mosh pit.
KARL: Not so fast. You may not know it, but there is also an opening for K-Fed's Biggest Fan. I saw it in Daily Variety. I have a lot of biggest fan experience.
K-FED: Yeah? Like what?
KARL: I could help you Swift-Brit your ex. When we get finished with her, she'll be answering your nanny ads, and paying you to place them.
Meanwhile, his former flame callously flaunts his lifestyle in Winnamucca, Nevada.
DUBYA: I got us the bridal suite.
ABDULLAH: Wonderful. It's near the ice machine?
DUBYA: Yer gonna need an ice machine. That little pointy beard tickles, y' know.
ABDULLAH: You never know where it will point next!
(beat) Are you still sad?
DUBYA: About Turd Blossom? A little. Nobody's ever loved me like that except my mama. And she didn't love me like that.
DUBYA: Mmmm. Is that a oil well under yer skirts, or are you just glad to see me?
ABDULLAH: I will ride you like a camel in a sandstorm!
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Don't Do Us Any Favors
I'd rather pull weeds than listen to the candidates right now.
It isn't that I don't want a shiny new president for 2009... but I'd rather not have them dive-bombing me like so many mosquitoes in the summer of 2007.
It's a lovely Sunday here, and we've biked a rail trail and taken our Maddie-dog over to hike the local wildlife refuge. We did intone the Gospel According to Frank Rich and an extremely well-written piece, also in the NY Times by a group of sergeants serving in Iraq, but I'd otherwise prefer not to think about all those presidential wanna-bes wearing out their shoe leather and welcomes.
It never fails to amaze me that people so want to rub elbows with the person(s) who may be the next president of the United States as to shove up their primaries to unimaginable dates. Do they, really? I guess the magic is still there for some people. It sure isn't for me. It's been sad to watch Obama sink to the snarky level of his peers, to read that Dennis Kucinich won't take any vacation from his campaign, to read that Hillary has fixed Obama with a cold stare since he declared for the office. I don't want to hear Hillary referred to as Bush Lite. I don't want Dennis to campaign himself into pulp. I want Hillary to smile at, not smite, her fellow Dems. We and they don't owe her, or any of them, the nomination. I understand that in order to run for the presidency you have to have an ego the size of several Great Plains states, but still... I just don't need their company all that much. Not now.
I have always found that taking time off (not the 400-plus days that Junior has spent in Crawford) can freshen the perspective. Doing not-teaching activities had the common effect of bringing me new insights for the classroom. Sometimes we have to get out of what we are doing in order to get more out of what we are doing.
Summer is much too fine to waste on other people's state fairs, and barbecue is too good to be pissed away merely on political fund raisers.
How lovely the garden is this time of year. The roar of the crowds deafens the ear to the beauty of the cricket songs that remind us that too soon this season will come to an end.
The garden is sacred. Campaigns are profane.
When I read that Obama took his family to the Iowa State Fair, that Dennis K. won't take a few days off, that Mitt is taking a few days at his vacation place to work on strategy after purchasing the Iowa caucuses, I think, for God's sake, smell the goddam flowers. I don't have anything in common with Sam Brownbeck other than the conviction that a few days out on a hiking trail is a good place to be.
We will endure the messages of all these folks in advertising blitzes that will make us wish that they would all go away, during the holidays, no less, thanks to all these shoved-up primaries. Perhaps if they did go away for a few days of sun and very fresh air, they might choose better words and ideas with which to regale us when winter winds howl and we are ready to listen.
Friday, August 17, 2007
In the Midst of Sorrow, Joy!
Even though Karl Rove is deep in dejection over the severing of his dailiness with the Love of His Life, one of his proteges is going to marry into the family. Isn't that almost as good?
America's First Bride-to-Be was glimpsed today at Mr. Yum Wu's Offshore Bridal Emporium (see poster on worker's rights just behind Ms. Bush) trying on this lovely gown, made from rejected condoms.
"I'd like to be a green bride," Miss Jenna was overheard saying to her mother. "I'm gonna have nothing but organic vodka and maybe this dress."
The dress comes with its own disembodied hand to be carelessly thrown on the wearer's shoulder, rather like a sash, only more personal.
Jenna won Mr. Hager's heart in an arm-wrestling contest on Wet T-Shirt Nite at Lorenzo's Libations, a popular Republican watering hole.
I know that my friends at Live at the Gay Agenda and I will be awash in festive preparations in the months ahead. I hope that something as minor (okay, major) as our basic political differences won't stand in the way our most fundamental belief: Any Excuse for a Party.
I'm fairly a-twitter, except for the yucky reproductive possibilities.
Un-Fair to Remember: There's Just No Accounting for Taste
LITTLE TICK: I'm chomping on the Pres-i-dent! So who've you done lately?
BIG TICK: I've been sucking on his Brain. I just hopped over to say hi.
LITTLE TICK: Don't be ridiculous. For one thing, he doesn't have one. For another, if he did, it would be tucked away in one of those big, thick skulls.
BIG TICK: Not that brain, stupid. His real one. The smarmy, nasty, lying, no-account one. Anyway, it's his body, which has more brain in its fat little finger than the Pres-i-dent has in his whole body, as the saying goes. And this guy is loaded with body. See how big I've gotten?
LITTLE TICK: (drawing himself up proudly) Still, I have been sucking on the Pres-i-dent of these Yoo-nite-ed Stayts.
BIG TICK: I think my guy would like to be doing that, too.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Un-Fair to Remember: Freddy Flirts With Karl
FRED: Hello there.
KARL: (sniffles a little. Wipes his eyes.) Hello. Why are you wearing that funny collar?
FRED: I'm a candidate-in-waiting. I'm being coy. I could use a fella like you, if I decide to run. Which I might. Or I might not.
KARL: It's just so hard to get over ... things. Would you mind putting on a leather bomber jacket and some blue jeans?
FRED: No go. I like pleated pants, when I wear pants. But I could let you wear my ruffle for a while.
KARL: (brightening) Really? You got it.
Un-fair to Remember: Karl Weighs Playing the Field
KARL: He's so much smarter than you guys even know. He's really well read. And he can play the organ.
LIEBERMAN: Yes, we have sat and discussed the fine points of the Torah on many a winter's eve. But that's in the past, Karl.
RUSH: Those effete snobs! They don't understand you, or your sweetheart. But it's time to move on, Karl. I'd tickle you with my best cigar, if only you'd say you'd be mine. Come lie with me and be my love!
LIEBERMAN: Remember, Karl, happiness is a guy named Joe.
KARL: You're both very kind, but it is way too soon. My heart still belongs to a cute little floppy-eared guy who can't pronounce nuclear.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Another Tender Scene from 'Un-fair to Remember'
As you may know, I'm not a screenwriter... just a humble blogger and maybe-novelista. I'm sure that at some point Woody will have to step in and play script doctor, Lola will have to serve as dialogue coach, and Bobby will have to work on the timing... Pursey continues to be the Muse.
With the help of my blogger pals, who know? We're goin' down the aisle!
The plethora of images of our star-crossed lovers continues to feed me:
DUBYA: Don't cry, TB. You know it loosens your bowels. You smell like you've got a load in there already.
KARL: I'm ... just.. so.. overcome. This is hard.
DUBYA: What's hard? You got a boner, there? I'll get someone to bring you your briefcase.
KARL: It's not that kind of hard. I'm... just... remembering. Remember the first time we stole those votes in Florida? That was really special.
DUBYA: Yes, it was. I never had anybody steal votes for me like that before.
KARL: And Ohio. What about Ohio. I did my magic, and all those votes disappeared.
DUBYA: That was slick, all right. Then when you bought me those Swift Boaters for m' birthday. That was real nice.
KARL: And all those prosecutors. They meant a lot. I don't know if you know how much!
DUBYA: I could never torch the Constitution with anybody else quite the same way, Karl. You know that.
KARL: But what about Dick?
DUBYA: With Dick it's all business. This is special, you and me.
KARL: I just can't bear to go, Mr. President. There's still so much to do.
DUBYA: Now Karl, we've been over that. You gotta get out of here. Leahy's breathin' down yer neck, and Washington is small. Texas is big. Real big.
KARL: Big like ... ?
DUBYA: Yep, that big. Now git. And put on some fresh boxers on the way out. Be sure ta stand upwind from m' legacy.
To Pursey, with Love
Lola, of course, can't bear to see this done to Cary Grant, whose children she doubtless would have loved to bear... Pursey issues a primal scream of sorts--will somebody photoshop this?
Alas, I am more of a photoshopper than I can bear to admit on most days, so I apologize to Cary and Lola (and hope that she will treasure sharing a coordinating conjunction with him in this sentence) and offer this up on the altar of friendship to Pursey, along with a little bit of "Un-fair to Remember" (a nod to Woody).
DUBYA: I have a corsage for you.
KARL: How thoughtful. I don't believe that I recognize the flower, though...
DUBYA: It's a turd blossom! Pulled it right out of a cow pie. Kinda made me thinka you.
KARL: You were thinking of me? (giggles nervously) Gosh, thanks!
DUBYA: Kin I ask ya somethin kinda personal?
KARL: Anything, Mister-Going-To-Be-President-Someday!
DUBYA: Isn't yer head kinda big for yer body?
KARL: I'm packing brains for two, dear!
KARL: (coyly) I'm expecting!
DUBYA: Well, it sure ain't mine.
KARL: Oh, never mind. Just don't make any dates to meet me at the top of the Empire State Building.
DUBYA: Where's that?
Tingling with Anticipation!
Here I was hoping that Karl Rove would head out on a hunting trip with the Dickster after his departure from the White House...
...and how does Krazy Karl plan to celebrate his newfound family life?
Why, by dove-hunting, of course! Am I tuned into this guy, or what? (Must be traces of my long-ago Republican upbringing.)
What better way to celebrate a legacy of war and destruction than to plug a few symbols of peace and reconciliation that have just been released from a cramped cage?
They won't be coordinated enough to stumble far from Rove's shotgun, and he can emerge with lots o' victims, the big bwana sportsman that he fancies himself to be.
Just be sure to include Dick Cheney in the hunting party, and don't forget to give him several Lone Stars before setting out.
Monday, August 13, 2007
So We'll No More Go a-Roving...
Yes, he's going and gone. One less prevaricator at the White House. And, isn't it sweet? He's going to spend more time with his family! Those Republicans are so darned dedicated to their families! I guess that's where all those values come from.
I suppose his departure will make him more difficult to rein in when it comes to Senate hearings on his role in the firing and hiring of U.S. attorneys... like Harriet Miers, he can choose not to return to town.
And then there's always his next new, as yet undiscovered flame: Karl is said to have fallen for a young Dubya in a bomber jacket when he was in his twenties. The perfect presidential candidate someday, he just knew. A political kind of love at first sight. That's a long time to go steady.
What dampens my enthusiasm is the likelihood that Rove will make his own special Turd Blossom contribution to the '08 campaign, once he finds his new boyfriend. More distortion. More dissembling. His kid is going off to college, so you know that Rove won't sit by the hearth for very long.
So enjoy the time off, Karl. Perhaps you and Dick can slip off to some ranch to shoot at penned up animals. That ought to fortify you for your next big project.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Leaked Campaign Document Reveals Heavy Brylcreem Contributions, Use
"This man has the potential to bring back the wet look," the staffer acknowledged. "The president not only sets domestic and foreign policy' he also mirrors the nation's values on what constitutes attractive hair."
Brylcreem dominated hair preparations in the 1950s.
Brylcreem, a little dab'll do ya,
Use more only if you dare.
With Brylcreem the girls'll all pursue ya,
They love to get their fingers in your hair.
Brylcreem's place in the market was eventually eclipsed by Vitalis, whose ads featured a model wearing clean white gloves after having caressed her man's hair. The heyday of both products was eventually brought to an end by blow drying and hair gels. A comeback in the 80s during the Reagan era failed to revive the market for the former giant.
"This guy could really turn things around for us," said William "the Weasel" Wily, CEO of Brylcreem. Bush's hair was a little too bushy to work with our product, and John Kerry looked just plain dried out. Gore has that bald spot; my heart goes out to him. But this Romney guy, with his well tailored suits and slicked down look, he could be big. He's absolutely glossy, and there is no higher compliment I can pay a man's hair," he added solemnly.
The Romney campaign had no official comment on the Brylcreem presence. It has been noted that Romney's sons, prominent on the Iowa campaign trail, have tested positive for the product.
"I am sure that they are using it in moderation," a friend of the family said.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
It’s that Karl Rove’s quest for permanent Republican control is at the heart of the matter.
This isn’t a case just about rewarding Dubya’s political cronies. It’s about putting people into positions that could impair the will of the people to be manifested in the dirty business of campaigning and the actual casting of votes.
Greg Palast, the last of the great investigative journalists, came by his revelations on the Republican strategy to invalidate whole blocks of votes through a joke of sorts. John A. Wooden, the wag behind WhiteHouse.org and in the old days, GeorgeWBush.org, the latter having been purchased back by the Republicans for the current project of creating the George W. Bush Library. (Now if someone will just teach Dubya to read before the Grand Opening of the facility housing all those censored documents… but I digress.)
Because the campaign added GeorgeWBush.org to its list of addresses for sending emails regarding campaign strategies to the party faithful, Wooden was on the receiving end of voter lists selected for caging; names of voters from largely black neighborhoods whose votes would be challenged and discarded in national elections.
Overseeing this program was a Republican operative named Tim Griffin. He instructed Republican state parties to send letters to newly registered voters welcoming them to the franchise, only to seize the names and addresses for challenge at voting sites. The pretext was to present them as fraudulent registrations.
If the name Tim Griffin rings a faint bell in your mind, he’s the man that Karl Rove arranged as the replacement for the Arkansas U.S. Attorney, the one who quickly resigned when copies of his caging lists and other documents held by the BBC (Palast’s outlet for reporting, since his native land pretty much stifles his reporting) were requested by Congressman John Conyers.
Palast’s contention is that we should worry less about giving Alberto Gonzales the boot and concentrate instead on giving Karl Rove the orange jumpsuit.
The installation of party operatives in U.S. Attorney offices is less about championing an overturn of many of the civil liberties that progressives hold dear than it is about the effort to systematically deny millions of Americans the right to have their say in who carries out their wishes.
Gonzales is a sleaze--make no mistake about it—but his recent appearances in Senate hearings confirm that he hasn’t the lead in this dangerous dance. He isn’t bright enough. He is probably more on a par with his boss. The director of the fancy footwork is Karl Rove, and he should be the focus of this investigation.
Friday, August 10, 2007
Watch Out for Wet Turf... Indisposed
Musharraf, or Perv, as the in-crowd calls him, was Indisposed.
He couldn't figure out whether to declare his country in a state of emergency or not so that he could dissolve parliament and move into martial law and start wearing his general's duds again, instead of his Nehru jacket. To de-stress, he sought the council of his favorite playmates.
The dolls dig his Nehru jacket, but the red-head on the left does have a thing for men in uniform, or so she says.
I'm so glad that Dubya has such a faithful ally in the war on terror and the democritization of the Middle East.
As Sister Nancy Beth Eczema would say, Praise Him!
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Missing in Action, but Protecting Us All the Same
I know they find the Constitution a major inconvenience and will pounce on any pretext to weaken its protections for us just-folks. This they do ostensibly to protect us--as if we needed protection from our Constitution.* They are more bellicose than we progressives, and like to declare war whenever possible. (Just last week, after the collapse of the Minneapolis-St. Paul bridge, our own Dubya declared a War on Infrastructure.)
But why we should continue to believe that Republicans are the terror-proof party when their leaders have (a) ignored the intelligence that could have headed off 9/11; (b) dropped the ball on rooting out Al Qaeda terrorists in Afghanistan in order to put our troops in harm's way in Iraq; (c) declined to act on intelligence in 2005 when a major Al Qaeda meeting was taking place in Pakistan in order not to embarrass our "partner" in the War on Terror, Musharrif; and (d) most recently, lost track of over 100,000 AK-47s and 60,000 pistols we sent over to Iraq, this last according to the General Accounting Office.
Unfortunately, the disappearance of all those weapons happened under the watch of Gen. David Patraeus, Dubya's Great White Hope for the efficacy of the current surge. Whoops. If the man can't track guns, many of which are now employed by insurgents against our troops, I don't hold much hope that he can track our troops.
Dubya urges us all to wait for September, when that "straight shooter" Petraeus issues his report on the success of the surge. I can't have faith in his independence; if the pattern holds true, Petraeus's views on abortion (against), the Bush Presidency (for), and free markets (uphold) are more important than any military acumen.
To me, the itinerant guns say it all.
*Fortunately President Bush has appointed shiny new SCOTUS** justices who are happily dismantling these protections as quickly as possible so that we (we, in this case, being employers, managers, and other, powerful types) won't have to wade through all the inconveniences of liberty much longer.
**SCOTUS always makes me think SCROTUM, a far better descriptor of the current majority...
Monday, August 06, 2007
The Wisdom of an American Martyr
DeLay will also discuss his victories against the odds with the slimmest of margins; his passionate dedication to abused and neglected children; and his battle to fend off a ten-year barrage of malicious and frivolous allegations of wrongdoing, which ultimately led to his decision to resign from Congress.
DeLay, of course, doesn't really miss Congress. While he was licking his wounds he was called by God to save the Republican Party from the blows that voters have recently handed it. And God is so much more fun and more powerful than Jack Abramoff! You should see His new look!
God has taken corporeal dimensions: the Parrot Formerly Known as Spud has been infused with the Holy Spirit and advises Tom on day-to-day matters. He has given Tom a plan for the salvation of America, and for a mere $17.13 ($25.95 if you deplore discounts on books penned by True American Heroes) you can have it, too.You can use your next tax refund check to purchase this priceless treasure and wellspring of wisdom. It'll be like talking to the Big Guy Hisself.
About a year ago I received pictures of young people decked out in prom wear made entirely out of duct tape. I was duly impressed, but these fashion statements are so much more... well... practical.
Whereas duct tape will no doubt produce sweaty bodies and an agonizingly slow exit rate from the confines of clothes, the condom-frocks possess a merry oh-so-handy message to the young swains escorting their wearers. Besides, these designs are part of a UCLA exhibit called Dress Up Against AIDS. What a fashionable spin to put on safe sex!
Isn't progress ever on the march?! I love it!
Friday, August 03, 2007
Why Poetry Matters
Take my death shroud and
The remnants of my body.
Take photographs of my corpse at the grave, lonely.
Send them to the world.
To the judges and
To the people of conscience,
Send them to the principled men and the fair-minded.
And let them bear the guilty burden, before the world,
Of this innocent soul.
Let them bear the burden, before their children and before history,
Of this wasted, sinless soul,
Of this soul which has suffered at the hands of the "protectors of peace."
In a genre known for its slim volumes, Poems from Guantanamo (University of Iowa Press), Marc Falkoff, ed., borders on skinny. There are only 31 poems. The Pentagon has confiscated and destroyed many more, 25,000 lines from one poet alone, holding that poetry presents "a special risk" to national security because of its "content and format." The translations that appear have been done by linguists with top secret clearances; Falkoff notes that the grace of phrasing in the originals has been sometimes lost.
Detainees were denied paper and pen for the first year of their incarceration. They wrote on styrofoam cups using pebbles for pens. Most poems ended up in the trash. Once they were granted writing materials, many of their poems met the fate of the cup poems. Many more poems are being stored at the Pentagon, which fears that the poems contain codes to be interpreted on the outside by terrorists.
Handcuffs befit brave young men,
Bangles are for spinsters or pretty young ladies.
--Shaikh Abdurraheem Muslim Dost
It is interesting to note than only eight per cent of the detainees are accused of being al Qaeda fighters, and only five per cent were captured by U.S. forces on Afghanistan battlefields, and fewer than half are accused of committing a hostile act against the U.S. The author of the Cup Poem above was finally released in 2005 after being judged as not a threat to the U.S. When he and his brother began to publish their memoirs of his Guantanamo experience, he was picked up by Pakistani intelligence and hasn't been heard from since.