lundi 30 juillet 2012

Sailing in the Doldrums

All in a hot and copper sky,
The bloody Sun, at noon,
Right up above the mast did stand,
No bigger than the Moon.

Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.


Another day in the Doldrums
leaning seasick over the edge
of a wornout brown couch
nothing but a voice in my head
to keep my blood flowing
Pump, damn you,

pump in and out
like a rattling tin drum!
I can't march, I can't speak,

I can't even think
for the life of me
and I'm not sure it's worth
thinking about anymore
At least a cool breeze
is blowing through the door

This is not a summer storm
but the eternal state of
gray we've been given
No wonder a light
will hurt my eyes
No wonder melancholy
feels like comfort
I should have moved south

when I had a chance
Where the sun might
have healed at last
these darkest doldrums

samedi 28 juillet 2012

gentle giant

i am the proverbial giant
climbing the ladder of poetry
with a hundred clichés 
stolen one by one
from my last plaintive song
and unaware that i've grown

a sea parts for me when
i stick out my mighty cane
it catches lightning bolts
and glowworms in the dark
my power is in the correctness
of my attitude towards
the world

what am i now if not gentle
where have i last seen
a sunset sink into the sea
or picked plump berries
or jumped into a cold river
where i was momentarily

what is the last thought
in my head that i can savor
and save for another poem
in a cavalcade of rain
when my lack of fresh ideas
leaves me gasping for
charged air?

Thanks to Mawr Gorshin for the connection.

samedi 21 juillet 2012

A short essay on military sexual assault

by Laura Tattoo, a civilian friend and support of men and women with
military sexual trauma

Surviving Jeffrey Dahmer

The link above is a story of military sexual assault. Perpetrators are consistently repeat offenders, hunting their prey within the closed system that is the military. When they leave the military for civilian life, they continue their hunt for new victims. Some stay in the military and just get away with it.

One perpetrator was a young Jeffrey Dahmer. The blog above is about one of his victims, Billy, a young man who was his roommate in the military. It is about how the military did not help Billy as well as his amazing journey toward healing. It will give anyone reading it a clear picture of what military sexual assault and its terrible consequences are really about.

The military must find a way to end the epidemic that has become military sexual assault. In 2010, there were 3,158 total reports of sexual assault in the military. The Department of Defense estimates that this number only represents 13.5% of total assaults in 2010, making the total number of military rapes and sexual assaults in excess of 19,000 for 2010; 37% of victims get raped twice and 14% are gang-raped. The list of men who have been raped is longer than that of women due to the fact that more men than women serve. I have personally known men who were raped in the military as part of a racial hate crime. All rape is a hate crime.

The best solution to the problem of military sexual assault is punishment and jail time for all perpetrators. This is far too rare: one in 5 actually sees the inside of a courtroom. Rather the victims themselves are harassed and punished. As long as nothing will happen to you when and if you are caught, why stop? The perpetrators also need to be put on a national mst registry that would be available to the public: men who are convicted of military sexual assault are not placed on the national registry of sex offenders. Thus, our communities, our sons and daughters, are not protected when perpetrators are discharged from service.

I recently learned that what makes mst (ptsd from military sexual assault) more difficult to heal from than other rape has the same etiology as rape vs. incest. As someone who has worked in group settings with women who were sexually assaulted, I saw firsthand that those who had been raped by fathers or brothers had the hardest time with recovery. While I am a rape survivor myself, I feel truly blessed not to have been a victim of incest.

Women and men in the military consider themselves to be a "band of brothers". Many are very proud to be part of the military and may come from military families, enthusiastic to make military service a career. When the commander whom you must report to or the soldier who is your best buddy rapes you, it has very much the same impact as incest.

What makes matters even worse, though, is the fact that the military treats the victim as the offender. First it tells them to shut up. If they don't, a list of 50+ questions must be answered by every victim, set up to make them look like they chose to be raped or that they were committing adultery. This questionnaire is actually used later to prosecute some rape victims.

The sarc program, the military's answer to victim assistance, has no power to direct the military to prosecute. Its prevention program actually focuses on the idea that military personnel will see and know and stop sexual assault in the moment, "buddy to buddy". Predators are much too smart for this; in fact, as with wife beaters, they are hard to spot, often charming and masked as great guys, the life of the party, hard workers, etc.

What is needed is a change of culture in the military system, taking the decision to hand over cases for prosecution away from unit commanders. This has recently been ordered by the Pentagon but it does not take the investigation out of the closed military system. And the military does not like a sexual scandal; it will do anything to avoid it, including silencing victims. Sexual assault scandals go back a long time, including the infamous "Tailhook" scandal investigated by Congress. (

I recently went to a screening of Kirby Dick's new and must-see documentary on military sexual assault called "The Invisible War". During the question-and-answer period following the film, a veteran suggested that one more piece of paper be added to the countless recruitment and sign-up documents. This paper would present the statistics of sexual assault and state that there is a possibility that rape would occur during service. (The courts have deemed over and over that "rape is incidental to military service"!) Then let the recruit sign that paper…

I think this is a brilliant idea. It would give pause to any young person joining today and even more pause to their parents who are often involved in the process. If the military cannot find a better way to prevent sexual assaults and protect the young women and men who are serving our country, at the least, let it say so and let the recruits and their parents decide. Then let the military get those numbers down and show that it does in fact punish perpetrators rather than rewarding them. Most perpetrators are promoted through the ranks in spite of rape allegations.

A group of longtime military members in the audience scoffed at this idea during the discussion. They said that the military, in their case the Coast Guard, is getting much better, that sexual assault and harassment training is mandatory several times per year, and that the recruit will get that information right away at boot camp. "We cannot dissuade good people from joining!" they insisted. "And the majority of us are good people!"

Of course you are. But information presented after joining is too late for future rape victims; they are now locked into a system where their civil rights are taken away and there is little hope of justice. No, I say let young men and women know BEFORE they join; that is the best way to protect them while the military is made to deal with this horror. I sincerely hope that the documentary "The Invisible War" will help in that cause, shaming the military to finally do something about this life-destroying crime that has no place in our military system. It is a brilliant film that puts a human face, human costs on screen. Many of my friends took part in that film; it was a truly emotional experience for me. And it will be for anyone who sees it.

If you need anyone to talk to about mst, I am here, and so are thousands of other men and women who are experiencing many of the same issues as you. Reach out and grab a hand! You are not alone. The truth will, in fact, set you free.


Surviving Jeffrey Dahmer

The Invisible War documentary

Guardian article

Resource referral for men and women with mst

vendredi 13 juillet 2012

George Harrison: A Life of Music

My playlist for George, from the Beatles to the Krishnas, from Ravi Shankar
to the end.  A beautiful man and a beautiful life. ~LT xoxoxoxo

mardi 10 juillet 2012

holes in the head

the sky is full of holes today
that match those in my head
occasionally i shoot right through
to infinite espace

not a place or a figure
not a plane drawn on a page
not an odorant or colorant
or a dreamworld i create

just espace simple
a moment i become
a peace beyond my thought waves
a miracle of love

like an arrow shot into the air
i know not where i'm bound
but i do not regret the day
that something shot me there

dimanche 8 juillet 2012

petit air d'été

(pour un amour éternel)

dimanche sauvage
et je me sens libre
un vent me porte
je deviens légère

une douce haleine
un air de chopin
un oiseau qui s'envole
au-delà de nous

vous ne me devez rien
comme tous les autres
vous m'avez courtisée
sans être jaloux

aujourd'hui c'est dimanche
un dernier été se déroule
je ne veux rien de plus
que vivre cet été entre nous

 "Arise my love" - peinture de Manuel Nunezart

Petit air de Chopin:

samedi 7 juillet 2012

all night long cooking powerplant

nuckelchen music video: "tepco fukushima 2012-07-06/07 all night long cooking powerplant"

nuckelchen blog: 

"radioactivity's a constant thing"

vendredi 6 juillet 2012

passing away

Painting: Emil Teschendorff  

not a word of what i write is true
it's just a passing feeling
and so i cannot hold you thrall
when my own skin is peeling

i've held askance my love from thee
i've worn brave masks and costumes
like most you've seen the writing then
upon my failing blossoms

i will last from spring to summer
then from fall to winter i sleep
wake me when my war is over
or the vines begin to creep

i'll make a noose of dandelion
i'll thread it with morning glory
it's all a temporary chain
of one poor vagrant's story

Especial N8-Watch @ Tepco

Nuckel's "fractured" video...

mardi 3 juillet 2012

you shall feel

the bumpkin fell on her head last night
you could say she was inspired
she took a rocket from her purse
and lit the thing on fire

and all ablaze in a nuclear haze
she stumbled to the water
with one step on and one step off
her molecules got lighter

"i could not rest," she said to me
indicted by saintly crime
"when all around me is a hurt
i can no longer mime

"i carried this old rocket 'round
through war and rape and riot
and when at last i needed it
i set the thing on fire"

the nuclear heat was wearing her down
her skin began to peel
but on that day i knew that she
at last began to feel

adieu fair beauty in a cloud
i shall miss having you around
but i understand your burning need
to launch yourself and let it bleed

remember us on earth below
if consciousness holds fast and true
but if it does not at least you are free
from this empathic poverty

from nina paley's "sita sings the blues"

lundi 2 juillet 2012

Project Fukushima: Takashi Miyazawa, 渋谷区, Japan

For all the compositions: