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Monday, May 26, 2008

Baithak World May 25: Gamil Mattar, August Kleinzahler, Headlines, RealNews

A "failed state", according to the US think tanks that coined the term, is one headed for extinction, that threatens the security of its immediate neighbours and the wider international community because it triggers conflict and war and practises various forms of discrimination against groups or peoples under its control or within the range of its threat. ~ Zionism has succeeded as a racist, colonialist military venture. It has succeeded in convincing the leaders of the world of the notion, regardless of its truth or falsity, that the Jews are the masters of mankind and possess unprecedented powers of influence. But it has failed to found a stable and secure state, which is to say, a state that can survive and succeed. Defining moments- Gamil Mattar

Raised in Fort Lee, N.J., long based in San Francisco and drawn by wanderlust or employment to Montreal, Lisbon, Auckland, Austin, Dubai and Berlin, August Kleinzahler is as much a travel writer as he is a poet: his sometimes bitter, sometimes astonished poems (several even entitled “Traveler’s Tales”) seek the distinctive qualities of each place, repellent or beautiful or (in places he loves best) both at once. In Vancouver, “the neon mermaid over the fish place / looks best that way, in the rain.” At Coney Island, “a cluster of hip-hop Lubavitch punks” watch Neil Diamond (yes, it’s really him) amble past on the sand; in the American South, the poet imagines “pecans suffering /their convoluted slumber in the heat.” The poet’s interest in places spans the globe now, but it began with his native New Jersey, where (an early poem called “Poetics” says)

“I have loved the air outside Shop-Rite Liquor
on summer evenings

better than the Marin hills at dusk.”

Few poets since William Carlos Williams have done more for the Garden State, or rendered with such mixed feelings what they saw there. August Kleinzahler: Witness for the Transit


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Myanmar to grant access to all aid workers
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