Who Runs America?

A poem by Allen Ginsberg, Braniff Air, Denver—Dallas, December 3, 1974

Oil brown smog over Denver
Oil red dung colored smoke
level to level across the horizon
  blue tainted sky  above
Oil car smog gasoline
  hazing red Denver's day
    December bare trees
      sticking up from housetop streets
Plane lands rumbling, planes rise over
      radar wheels, black smoke
        drifts wobbly from tailfins

Oil millions of cars speeding the cracked plains
Oil from Texas, Bahrain, Venezuela Mexico
Oil that turns General Motors
    revs up Ford
  lights up General Electric, oil that crackles
thru International Business Machine computers
      charges dynamos for ITT
  sparks Western Electric
      runs thru Amer Telephone & Telegraph wires
Oil that flows thru Exxon New Jersey hoses,
rings in Mobile gas tank cranks, rumbles
        Chrysler engines
shoots thru Texaco pipelines,
    blackens ocean from broken Gulf tankers
spills onto Santa Barbara beaches from
      Stand of California derricks offshore.

Good News; Bad News

9780143105138_p0_v2_s1200x630Despite a recent significant hiatus in my reading, I am about half-way through The Aeneid and enjoying it far more than even the greatest Science Fiction novel. However, I am reading the Fagles edition and definitely feel it is too modern and popularized for my taste. I did study classical literature at university and developed a preference  for the more classical translations. Thus I naturally lean towards Richard Lattimore than John Fagles.

Of course this is squishy ground since I do stoop to reading any translation. If I were a purist (or elitist) I suppose I would read The Aeneid in Latin as Virgil intended; however, both my Latin and Greek suck (despite a concentrated one quarter cram course in both languages).

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Read These Books

th.jpgMany years ago I found myself scribbling loose notes whenever I ran across a book title that interested me. New title sources were all around me from literary reviews in periodicals I subscribed to, like NYRB and TLS, down to word on the street from both reliable and unreliable sources. I remember my sister jaw-boning me on the value of books by Glenn Beck. There they were, prominently displayed on her bookshelves (I didn’t have the heart to deny her love of the truth and I wondered how she had time to read them when she and her husband watched Fox News practically every waking minute of the day).

I started making my first plans for future reading on 3×5 cards. Eventually computers made the lists more useful but only because they were neater. My To-Be-Read lists are today out of hand and quite disparaging. Life goes on, we all get older, and they keep publishing more and more books. Sad.

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A Limited View of February Reading

th.jpgFebruary being shorter might be assumed to be a lesser reading month, but historically it has often been a strong breakout month letting the longer months vie for the title of least books read. I guess it’s not the month but rather my mood.

Or maybe it’s the extreme cold? Naw, Florida is still relatively pleasant but the arctic weather being pushed more and more south by global warming is a scary threat even to Florida. Still, we’ll probably be underwater before we become the new Frostbite Falls

My mood is not great lately. A large part of January was consumed by Netflix movies and HBO specials.

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