Monday, July 02, 2007


Spent most of the weekend working (Saturday clinic), sanding and varnishing the back door, puttering in the garden, and seeing "Sicko" (terrific movie) at Pacific Place.

I've also been reading Marvin Bell's new book of poems. I especially admire how he is unafraid of including the political in his poems. From Vietnam to Iraq, and more.

Here's a sample poem:

Homeland Security
by Marvin Bell

Two owls have perched at the property line,
and a scraping on the porch means the postman
is wiping his shoes before continuing
across the yards, three homes’ worth of catalogues
and ads, and the occasional letter, all cradled
in the crook of one elbow. I’ll be getting an offer
of money, a map to riches, a new future
that has come out of the blue. Today I finger
each envelope before opening, and I admit
I feel for wires and beads of plastic explosive
amid the saliva. The daily rags speak
of a dirty bomb. The government tells me live
in a wooden house with a hurricane lamp,
a gas mask, and flares, while it arms
an impervious underground temple from which
it can map the surface, choose a site
anywhere on the globe, and call down the rain.

3 comments:

Joannie said...

Thanks for posting that poem, Peter. It makes me want to get the book. I find it really hard to weave politics into poetry without ranting or sounding too preachy--and I'm always looking for good examples and inspiration.

Justin Evans said...

I've been reading this book, too.

I am so happy I am not the only one!

The Sublibrarian said...

The way it opens and the euphemistic ending (that gets the point across without ranting) reminds me of something he said in a workshop: "If you want to write about the world, write about your coffee cup."

Yet another book to add to my list.