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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

WE ARE 7 

Over a 7 year period the human body replaces all of its cells until -- 7 years later -- the body is completely new, a whole new body, a body which actually didn't exist 7 years ago. 7 years ago today we were not here as we are today. 7 years ago today when America invaded the sovereign nation of Iraq. Over a million people have been killed. Their bodies didn't make it here with us. So many people I'm never going to meet or see or know. I'm very sad today thinking about my new body, my luxury of a new body of cells over the past 7 years of war, 7 years of terrorizing people. This morning I went to the Kelly Writers House to hear Susan Howe give one of the finest Q&A's I've ever heard. And I almost asked her at the Q&A, "Susan, in your book THE EUROPE OF TRUSTS you write, 'Malice dominates the history of Power and Progress.' How do you feel about us stepping out of history today with today being the anniversary of the American invasion of Iraq?" But I didn't ask her that. She seemed so happy sitting there, and life is short, and here's this amazing elderly genius poet, and I thought, "Don't ask her that." So I didn't ask her that. Instead I asked her about her visit to Wallace Stevens's house, and how she had said that she couldn't believe THOSE poems came from THAT house, and I wanted her talk about HER poems being written where she writes them. Please tell us about the aura of space, is what I meant to say.
There's so much responsibility that goes into being a citizen, but somehow we have had the trouble of the responsibility removed from us. And it's the darkest thing, that removal. I'm not saying THAT I KNOW and UNDERSTAND the new bodies around me in the anniversary of America bringing UNIMAGINABLE suffering and agony to Iraq. I'm not saying THAT I KNOW but I do know some of the bodies in my proximity and how they fair. A week ago my new next door neighbor left the apartment with his girlfriend and dog, and said, literally said, "Well we don't have cable installed yet, so we're going to the park." He seemed sad about going to the park. The girlfriend said, "Yeah, the cable man didn't show, what a drag." The dog was the only one who seemed happy. And then the cable man came, and now, every single day, all day long I hear the television whenever I walk by their door. Canned laughter is what I hear sometimes. They're watching sitcoms or something and they're not laughing, just the canned laughter. And the dog is so annoyed that the cable man came, I'm sure of it. I'll always remember them leaving to go to the park, this very healthy young couple with their dog because they couldn't watch the television.
No, I'm not saying I understand what everyone's going through. Sometimes people watch a lot of television because they're depressed. But I'm not sure. And in Philadelphia we've been having Twitter Mobs (or some call them Flash Mobs), and part of me wants to say that I identify with these kids, today, on the anniversary of the American invasion of Iraq. Hundreds and hundreds of them meet up, and then each time something breaks loose and they begin beating on people, wrecking things, hundreds of them. And I want to say that I understand their anger. But I don't. I'm angry. I'm very angry. Every single day I'm angry. I'm living in a country that cares more about bombing people of color overseas and stealing their resources than putting kids through college. And the ad campaigns to make us FEEL OKAY like saying "MARCH IS AMERICAN RED CROSS MONTH" because WE'RE SUCH GOOD PEOPLE! We're such good people, here, in America, today, on the anniversary of bombing where there are many people who still hear the bombs in the middle of the night, and sometimes it's a dream, and sometimes it's not, because it's still a war, it's still not entirely a dream. But I'M ANGRY AT THESE KIDS for scaring me on the bus the other day when I found myself in the middle of a Twitter Mob WHILE ON THE BUS and the kids banged their fists on the sides of the bus as we drove down the street through the chaos. And Frank Sherlock called me to see if I made it home safely, he's a very good friend. I want to be SO ANGRY at these kids because I would never want to hurt anyone, just anyone, just any stranger. But yet we're living in a country which does that. We drop bombs on people's houses. And the animals in the zoos. The zoo of Baghdad and the apartments, and, and, and, we have new bodies this year.
There's never going to be a moment in this lifetime for us, THOSE OF US ALIVE NOW, IN AMERICA, PAYING TAXES, WHICH PURCHASE WAR, we will never be able to apologize enough to the people of Iraq, and we knew it. We knew it. We all kept saying we knew it, we knew that there were no WMD's, we knew it, everyone knew it. We kept telling one another days before the invasion, "I THINK THEY'RE LYING DON'T YOU THINK THEY'RE LYING YEAH I THINK SO TOO YEAH ME TOO THEY'RE LYING WE KNOW THEY'RE LYING EVERYONE KNOWS IT!" But it happened anyway, the bombing. The occupation. And now the genocide of HUNDREDS of gay man in Iraq as a direct result of the invasion and occupation, we are now responsible for this new genocide. Gay men tortured and murdered in Iraq. A year of genocide. A year at the end of seven years of American occupation. And we distract ourselves with LISTENING about the health care reform. Health care reform? What about the health of EVERYONE in Iraq? What about them? But we get to feel good. And it's AMERICAN RED CROSS MONTH. And I'm not being mean, but that's fucked up to be saying MARCH IS AMERICAN RED CROSS MONTH when America brings more need for bandages than any other country on the face of the planet right now, how do we do it? How do we get to feel this way? How? I'm so sad today. I'm not being mean, I'm sad. I'm an American citizen who has believed lies and now I know I will never vote Democrat again. Ever. There's too much responsibility behind giving killers your time and your vote. It costs so much. I feel that costs today. I'm sad.

CAConrad

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