Thursday, June 30, 2011
Monday, June 27, 2011
by Robert Hass
Here is the poem I meant to write
Because you walked into my study
Without any clothes on.
I had just been thinking of how the Aegean sun
Must have lit up the faces of Troy's fallen heroes
When you walked into my study
Without any clothes on—
Walked in and stood there,
Holding a glass of sherry
Over your left breast,
Which looked soft and firm as Brie.
Your tone of voice this morning
Should have warned me
That you might walk into my study
Without any clothes on.
I should have lashed myself to my chair
And stoppered my ears with wax.
But I forgot.
And I'm glad I forgot
Because when you walked into my study
Without any clothes on
You sang sweetly, sang sweetly,
And I died nobly, like a man.
"Siren" by Robert Bernard Hass, from Counting Thunder. © David Robert Books, 2008
Friday, June 24, 2011
The Attack on the Middle Class
By Sen. Al Franken, Reader Supported News
23 June 11
Fighting for America's Middle Class, Netroots Nation 2011
n Saturday, June 18th, I was given the honor of speaking at Netroots Nation 2011 in Minneapolis, the 6th annual convention of progressive grassroots leaders and activists. I was the opening speaker at Saturday's Morning Keynote session, which focused on how to save the middle class and build progressive infrastructure. I had an amazing time at the conference and met a ton of passionate activists and progressives.
It was fitting that Netroots Nation was in Minnesota this year. Minnesota is the state that sent Hubert Humphrey to the U.S. Senate, where he cheerfully waged - and usually won - great battles in the name of the young and the old, the poor and the vulnerable, the oppressed and the disenfranchised.
It's the state where Walter Mondale rose to become the living embodiment of common-sense Midwestern progressive values. And it's the state where Paul Wellstone became my hero - and the hero of a generation of progressives who believed, as he did, that we all do better when we all do better.
These Minnesotans were instrumental in establishing the America we know and love today - from building the social safety net to establishing workers' rights to investing in our manufacturing sector - they helped build the middle class. And defending those progressive values is crucial to saving the middle class today.
My speech, entitled: "The Attack on America's Middle Class, and the Plan to Fight Back," laid out some ideas on what we can do to preserve these values that began as 'progressive,' but have become simply American.
The full video and text of my speech is below. Enjoy!
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Friday, June 3, 2011
Homage to Kenneth Koch
If I were doing my Laundry I'd wash my dirty Iran
I'd throw in my United States, and pour on the Ivory Soap,
scrub up Africa, put all the birds and elephants back in
I'd wash the Amazon river and clean the oily Carib & Gulf of Mexico,
Rub that smog off the North Pole, wipe up all the pipelines in Alaska,
Rub a dub dub for Rocky Flats and Los Alamos, Flush that sparkly
Cesium out of Love Canal
Rinse down the Acid Rain over the Parthenon & Sphinx, Drain the Sludge
out of the Mediterranean basin & make it azure again,
Put some blueing back into the sky over the Rhine, bleach the little
Clouds so snow return white as snow,
Cleanse the Hudson Thames & Neckar, Drain the Suds out of Lake Erie
Then I'd throw big Asia in one giant Load & wash out the blood &
Dump the whole mess of Russia and China in the wringer, squeeze out
the tattletail Gray of U.S. Central American police state,
& put the planet in the drier & let it sit 20 minutes or an
Aeon till it came out clean
"Homework" by Allen Ginsberg, from Collected Poems: 1947-1997. © Harper and Row.