• comment on a post Poetry Friday: Politics and Poetry over 7 years ago

    This one has been in my mind a lot lately.

    The Hollow Men

    T. S. Eliot (1925)

    I

    We are the hollow men
    We are the stuffed men
    Leaning together
    Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
    Our dried voices, when
    We whisper together
    Are quiet and meaningless
    As wind in dry grass
    Or rats' feet over broken glass
    In our dry cellar

    Shape without form, shade without colour,
    Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

    Those who have crossed
    With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom
    Remember us -- if at all -- not as lost
    Violent souls, but only
    As the hollow men
    The stuffed men.

    II

    Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
    In death's dream kingdom
    These do not appear:
    There, the eyes are
    Sunlight on a broken column
    There, is a tree swinging
    And voices are
    In the wind's singing
    More distant and more solemn
    Than a fading star.

    Let me be no nearer
    In death's dream kingdom
    Let me also wear
    Such deliberate disguises
    Rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves
    In a field
    Behaving as the wind behaves
    No nearer --

    Not that final meeting
    In the twilight kingdom

    III

    This is the dead land
    This is cactus land
    Here the stone images
    Are raised, here they receive
    The supplication of a dead man's hand
    Under the twinkle of a fading star.

    Is it like this
    In death's other kingdom
    Waking alone
    At the hour when we are
    Trembling with tenderness
    Lips that would kiss
    Form prayers to broken stone.

    IV

    The eyes are not here
    There are no eyes here
    In this valley of dying stars
    In this hollow valley
    This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

    In this last of meeting places
    We grope together
    And avoid speech
    Gathered on this beach of the tumid river

    Sightless, unless
    The eyes reappear
    As the perpetual star
    Multifoliate rose
    Of death's twilight kingdom
    The hope only
    Of empty men.

    V

    Here we go round the prickly pear
    Prickly pear prickly pear
    Here we go round the prickly pear
    At five o'clock in the morning.

    Between the idea
    And the reality
    Between the motion
    And the act
    Falls the Shadow

    For Thine is the Kingdom

    Between the conception
    And the creation
    Between the emotion
    And the response
    Falls the Shadow

    Life is very long

    Between the desire
    And the spasm
    Between the potency
    And the existence
    Between the essence
    And the descent
    Falls the Shadow
    For Thine is the Kingdom

    For Thine is
    Life is
    For Thine is the

    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper.

  • comment on a post Poetry Friday and Open Thread over 7 years ago

    Night in the Desert

    From the east
    it rushes, an urgent flow that
    whispers and chitters through valleys of sand,
    over oceans of sand.
    Incessantly, this cold sharp tide picks and places granular dust,
    arranges:
    scours ripples and carves ribbons in the
    stark blank flat,
    sows the seeds of vast sand mountains that will with time
    arise a thousand feet above the plain,
    become monuments to ebb and flow, to subtlety and perseverance.  

    And now this air, come some ten thousand miles,
    is in my chest.

    I hold it in,
    a great wanton gulp;
    I let it sit: cold, quiet, bound;
    inert, after all that,
    in my chest.

    Yet not inert: down deep in my lungs  
    its aridity and cold absorb my heat and damp,
    cannot help but take the living warmth and moisture;
    without thought or ceremony it consummates
    an automatic entropic exchange of
    substance of me
    to itself.

    I boom a great hollow HA! and
    send it out to carry on its shaping way,
    now to carry me
    on the resonance of a laugh.

    The laughter shows I know this dry desert wind will
    not hold me long:
    once freed this dry desert wind will use me, smear me, spread me wide,
    grind me against the rough flat ground.

       *     *     *

    I become the knife edge of wind:
    I sculpt the land,
    I sow the seeds.
    Dilute but monumental,
    I rush out and into the cold dry desert night.

  • comment on a post Turnout, Turnout, Turnout over 7 years ago

    "So whether you like it or not, the Democratic Party is finally unified, and it's unified around the progressives wing of the party."

    "Like it or not"?  I love it.

    My problem is that I can hardly believe it.

  • comment on a post The Connecticut Machine over 8 years ago

    I see things like this

    "I think to be terrorized through the summer by an extremely small group of the Democratic Party, much less the voting population, is total insanity for a person who is a three-term senator."

    And wonder what part of that whole "democratic republic" thing are they not getting?  If Joe can't get the votes, then he obviously doesn't deserve to be a CT senator.  That seems so brutally straightforward to me, and yet not to them, it makes me wonder whether something bonked them on the head when they were little.

  • comment on a post Open Thread over 8 years ago

    I'm a little curious about the protocol for trying to get some netroots support for a dem candidate that's apparently off the national radar, in spite of the fact that things look pretty good for her to take Jim Ryun's seat (in KS-02).

    My plan was to post a diary here and at DailyKos in which I talk a little about the race and the candidate (Nancy Boyda), and solicit questions that these communities would have for a candidate worthy of their support.  I'd then come back with the answers, diary those, and provide a link to her donation site in case people found her replies netroots-worthy.

    Does this seem like a reasonable plan?  I don't work for Nancy at all, but I'm really sick of Jim Ryun and would like to do something that might help get him out of there.

  • Can't be beer pong.  You puke, you're disqualified.  He couldn't possilby then have "gone on to win."

  • comment on a post We Will All Win, Eventually over 8 years ago

    Wow.

    Maybe things can change?

    Good luck; fight hard.

  • on a comment on Thoughts for a Saturday over 8 years ago

    As a former critic of Pelosi, I need to read more.

    In the main I think a lot of my (and others') reaction comes from how she plays in the media.  Harry comes off as pretty strong, and she comes off very wishy-washy.

    But, as I tell people about Republicans, look at what they do, not what they say.

    So, thanks for the link.

  • At my precinct meeting last night, the rep from the Kansas DP said that's what they'd do.  They were going to have us target the Federal voters (those who voted in 00 and 04 but not 02), and that they planned on updating the database.  I assume they're going to share that with the DNC.  

    We're going to have an event here and do some walkin' that day.

  • I get to see more Brownback looniness than the average voter, but I find it (nearly, I guess) incomprehensible that this right-wing idiot could even hope to get enough votes to become president.

    The only person on the Kansas political landscape who's crazier than Brownback is the AG, Phil Kline.

    If he got the nod from the GOP, I think the Democrats, if they can mount a decent campaign (which is not a trivial "if"), would win in a walk.  There are enough moderate voters out there concerned about creeping tyranny and theocracy; if we can only show them what Brownback's idea of "being a person of integrity" really means, he'd lose badly.

    Or maybe not.  Maybe I'm dreaming...

  • one thing that impeachment proceedings might do is spread a little of the "reality-based" community into the White House.

    Someone once said that a near-death experience has a remarkable way of concentrating the mind (or something like that).

    I would think that impeachment proceedings, especially with the support of the electorate, would be a marvelous way of concentrating their minds.

    I would just like to see them sweat a bit.  To effect real change in the government, we'd have to jail about the first 15 layers in the presidential succession list.

    Taking back congress would be much more effective, I think.

  • If that guy says "you gotta understand" one more time, I'll explode.

    This is the person, you remember, who told the press corps that "disassemble" "means not telling the truth."

    Who does he think he is to tell me that I don't understand something?

  • comment on a post A Majority of One over 8 years ago
    in the press to "status quo ante" -- which is of course where the powers are.  So yeah, I think that sucking up to the powers that be is a fine definition of centrist.

    This is especially noted by us liberals because the "center," or the prevailing position, is now very far to the right.  It's been moving rightward for 25 years or so, almost imperceptibly, and is now getting to the point where (to quote Moyers), "the delusional is no longer marginal."

  • comment on a post The Ultimate in Clapping Louder over 8 years ago
    website is about Corzine.

    Don't these yahoos have anything positive to say about themselves?  Are they so lame?

    (Those, by the way, are rhetorical questions...)

  • I think we shall.  We can add this one to the 8.9 billion we've already "lost."

    "Fiscal responsibility," my Aunt Fanny.  Sheesh.

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