Monday, December 29, 2008

Fibroid Pipes



Her doorbell works. Her phone works. Her heat works. Her plumbing works; it aspirates, wheezes, and thwoofes—the galvanized copper pipes sweat blood. Perfectly natural, irony-red blood, bleeding and osmosing through arterial, moil-aged disintegrating pipes worldwide. It’s the way the world works. People never notice, no, never notice that the rust-crust layers ironically rich are not rust and the acrid metal smell is blood-swaddled Pipes, radiating moldy, sour-spore cheese ….


young Chinese village girls, feet-bound to the family farm, brother-beaten, birth to death, minds bandage-wrapped tied to lovingly hand feed hungry baby silk worms [their own children dumped in the closest city’s gutters] and coax forth threads for hand-dying.


A [jaundiced yellow] flower blossom 100% woven silk jacket: on sale at Dillards now: $185.95, last year’s style…..


She stops breathing as she peels stinking saffron blood-stained bandages from the sink’s clogged throat, remnants of the blood-soaked, urine stained sheets her AIDS-riddled lover, Patrick, had lain on? Had they not burned long ago along with his body? His blood, her love, their mildewed memories—fibroid filaments—chaining, webbing, metastasizing through her Pipes, into the city’s and….


boys in the Sam Yang Vietnam Nike factory make $1.60 a day, but it is below subsistence. They starve, body fat melting into the shoe’s rubber souls-soles worth $159.99 to a suburban kid in upper state New York, the fat globules greasing just the right amount of glide quality [with friendly service provided by Pakistan, India, Korea….]. And the workers’ life-giving blood dripped down the factory drain to the sewage system supplying irrigation on the local rice farms exporting grain feeding the fat in the land of Milk and Honey and Big Rock Candy Mountain…..


In deathly dark dank recesses under her bed lie detritus dregs of denatured humanity: fingernail clippings, hair threads, bone chips, clinging to dust balls quivering in the far corners blown hither and thither with the hot, sweat-filled air fueled and forged from furnaces in the meatpacking, food processing, garment-skin-stitching interment-immigrant factories—the heartbeat of the industrial North….


boiled in vats of recycled residue, remnants, and relics swept up with sliced, diced, slivered and shivered phalanges —shucked of skivvies, dead cells clinging, modestly, to gouged wounds, stripped skin sent knuckle-dusted to the shop floors, face-mangled scabs scrubbed into sloshing buckets, the proceeds slung into the food seasoned with blood in the hum, suck, and thump-in-the-night-pumps of Upton Sinclair’s Chicago Jungle exposed and bzzz shock discarded on the gov-controlled-abort.-history dump. Eraser heads sweep the streets clean for the flip, flop, flip, flap, flap of Mexican-made industry garments Clinton-pimped by way of NAFTA, signed, sealed, delivered slave labor, so you can have Calvin-baby-Klein and Ralphy boy Lauren’s designer jeans—back at you sexy boys and girls for those oh-so stylin’ gilt guile leach-lusting topstitching on white slim-trim stretch jeans [finger them in the store; buy them off the Internet]: only $325, stitched-strung by Rosa Maria Martinez, a Maquiladora worker paid 60 cents an hour…..


‘Tis the Season to be givin’ …. Addicted shopper sends her hand-made, hand-wrapped, rice paper lining packed via Fancy Asian Gourmet, found online—just: type, click, link click, enter, click, shopping cart, compare site, best quality from computer to door—flick, flick hit, print. Contents: four-noodle sampler with five mini-garnish sauces all golden glow bowed, hand-looped. Imported from Vietnam: only $52. A foot stomping, deliriously demented plugged-in buying, linked-in, your pay pal, all season bow-tied anytime. Factory. Billboard. Magazine ad targeted to your zip code. TV commercial made just for your demographic. Internet wired in, light popping, electric pulsing, twittering savory image, luscious words, [insidious ideas…] vindicating props-to-gander-at. To expel the peanut packed, monstrous fibrous-horde, she slams it on the knobbly faucet and—flip, switch, link, gurgle, google—all the Connecting PiPes under- over-ground, intertwining, intersecting time/space meshing, spew forth stocking stuffers rotted rats’ tails, crushed snails, diseased cells and boys toys cheap and neat to please and squeeze wasted, crumpled bodies into slag for the cement blocks, the hard- and soft-ware, the mixed and mashed pixels—all—the market builds on—and strings with bulbous lights blinking out the crushed american dreams cycling and recycling from house to job to hyway and byway [paved, plumbed, and broadcast], bursting forth, Pipe-puking, contaminating gifts for the Holidays, Holly LollyPop Days, the Season’s Greetings, Xmus, Xmax, Holy Days erected on:


Solstice Days, grow and reap days, nature cycling days, Dying/Rising Gods Days

The days of Life, Love, Birth, Death coursing/pulsing with our blood,

sacred blood,

forever tainted blood,

usurped blood

dripping from one-upon-a-cross devaluing human blood,

bought and sold blood,

another product banked on to spout Profit Pipes.


Circa 1985

Blood Banks tubing people with HIV-infected blood—cheaper than screening. Blood money speaking—louder than shouts, protests, and dying spillage from AIDS victims. Infection odds from transfusion: 1 in 487.


And Reagan’s Regime, with God on their side, declared AIDS a gay disease, wages of sin. He killed funding. When a rich, morally pure, woman received the gift of death—tainted blood—the lawsuit pressured banks to screen. The White House, cloaked eight years in Christmas white, played Silent Night. That December, her lover Patrick, not rich, unknown, one of many, died, phlegm choked in winding sheets, amid the thousands unwinding ever since. The cause: a truly priceless gift that Christmas didn’t bring. And the Band Played On; blood bloomed dead red and pus ran sallow thick. There was no season for giving—or forgiving. Blood in the streets of America, blood in the streets of Africa. And Christmas, black, red recurring season of cooked books, layoffs, downsizing, and Capitalist Faith, came and went, along with many more just like them.


Circa 1994

FDA claims blood-bank HIV testing not cost effective. Not mandatory. Consumers on the FDA board? How ridiculous! Repeat after me:

Econ 101, Reaganomics

Trust the market, the market, the market.

Like God, like God, like God.

Invisible, Invisible, Invisible.

Have Faith, Have Faith, Have Faith.

Greenspan, Greenspan, Greenspan.

Ayn Rand, Ayn Rand, Ayn Rand

Bang! Market decision: House rules; you, unknowingly, gamble with your life. Three dollars. The cost antigen testing would add to a unit of blood. Trust the Red Cross? Don’t bet on it. Trust the Association of Blood Banking Industry? Wouldn’t bet on it. Trust the CDC’s calculations more cases are on the way, bank on it. Infection odds from transfusion: 1 in 11,111.


Circa 2008

The Pipes still rumble, the blood still pours, the wires hum, and all is well in our fantasy world as Poof, a make-believe P.E.A.C.E prize, magically minted in the mind of a [radical right] make-believe compassionate evangelical preacher of a mega-grossing, mega-church, socially tuned to the season of pretend concocts an award for P.E.A.C.E. that isn’t for PEACE: Rev. Rick Warren sought to give what no one could to Georgie Porgie W.


‘Tis a medal whose initials stand for: Plant churches; Equip servant leaders; Assist [not alleviate?] the poor; Care [not cure?] for the sick; and Educate the next generation [in his oh-so-make-no-mistake-about-it Evangelical, anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-any female who does not submit in everything to her husband, everyone but those who believe as I do are going to hell literal interpretation of the Bible, evolution doesn’t exist Religion],. ‘Tis given for global work in a/the/one/any/maybe: pandemic diseases, extreme poverty, illiteracy, self-centered leadership and/or spiritual emptiness to his friend and ally, who he frequently advised but never thought saying torture not a Christian idea. Now why is that? For as an Evangelical, evil-doers must be punished and his nonnegotiable issues: abortion, stem-cell research, gay marriage, cloning and euthanasia. And while thousands of evangelicals got a fast-track email down the pipe and into the box reminder just in time for the 2004 Bush re-election bid, the rest of us got the PR package.


‘Tis for AIDS Help [?!]. Note: work on AIDS in Africa, not the US. [I’ll give you a hint in case you didn’t get it already: Africa, ‘cause it’s ah, maybe ah, a heterosexual problem there—oh, and of course, the intertwining of ooh, la la, $, power, insemination and dissemination for all on the gravy planes and lightening news Flash! of anti-choice, ‘tis awarded to, Drumrolllllll, sliding trumpet, clash cymbal, hit spotlight: shucks, two-war, economic collapse, let’s eat cake while people die in Katrina, and so much more—Bush. Ah, gosh, not me, he smirked, in his sleek, high- thread count, fine weave linen, not on sale—ever—suit.


The deed: blood money for Pipe-lining generic drugs to Africa, perhaps saving two million. The cost/gain ratio: blocking family planning, banning handing out or talk of condoms, forbidding prevention education, indoctrinating religious guilt, disregarding nutrition, side-effects, poverty, female emancipation from rape and prostitution in the spread of AIDS A gift of damning stupor, ignoring that African nations funding for education and prevention have lower infection rates. A gift of Christian Faith: Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel. And a nice tidy side-line for Rev. Warren: co-opting the Anglican schism supporting the Nigerian Anglican bishop in anti-gay lawsmak[ing] it illegal for gay men and lesbians to form organizations, read gay literature or eat together in a restaurant” and to withdraw from the Anglican church over including gays. But, as he also says, he supports equal rights for gays, just not marriage [Do I have a hearing problem? Have my lines got crossed? But no, one set runs on money and the other on sweat.] And on Dancer and Prancer and Doner and Blitzen—as Warren with new-found dollars to spend, sped quickly to Virginia, Rwanda, and Nigeria….oh, not for AIDS sufferers, but for rebelling Anglican-hating gays.


Alas, again ‘tis the season for bloodshed as wars rage, bashing minorities grows and ads accuse victims of the cause. Not satisfied with Christ’s blood, with a faith founded on blood—stolen pagan blood—lusting with vampiric dreams of everlasting life. O’ yea worship death in the mire of blood-covered swords, crusaders and avengers, frothing anger and hate. Rev. Warren grins and he grins, turns and he turns, unwinding the same incestuous, corrupt linen sown with a hidden [malignant] blossoming pattern: not in the fancy lizard suits of a Falwell or a Robertson, but the flowery sugary-cane fields, pigment-dyed, Old Testament Red, 100% cotton fiber, still standing, still marching, still spitting in the blood of others, looking for his Purpose Driven Empire, proclaiming Christianity as the future for Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Ancient blood, ancient stink of rusted iron strings whipping up cries for bloodothers blood—gays, non-evangelicals, humanists, feminists: selected sinners seen through the stye burning in his God’s eye.


‘Tis not for me.

I will celebrate the Solstice—

Seasonal

Sacred

Truth.…

Mystery

spinning in the

moon and the sun

and the winter,

the changing summer heat,

in the riddle of the

Sphinx,

in the earth revolving

and Galileo Gazing,

Searching the heart

of the heavens:

to

know.

Symbolized in the inexorable dying/rising gods of imagination. And the momentary, fragile spark of our little lives against the scintillating background of stardust to which we will return—dust to dust, ashes to ashes……. Recycled Be. ‘Tis that Season, the eternal season of understanding the suffering of every human’s blood in this blood-drenched world in which I will commingle my own. And not one dollar will I mete out to a season of bloodshed and plunder.

Upton Sinclair, The Jungle

Randy Shilts, And the Band Played On

Bush award: http://thinkprogress.org/2008/12/01/bush-peace/

Ambroise Bierce definition of Faith

The Anglican Church Integrity site

The Guardian

Timothy Kincaid

My 2 Cents Worth

CNN


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Slaying Heritage


I am a woman

of

No history,

bequeathed by ghostly ancestors,

Abandoning origins,

lost

amid the 22 million

—broken

shamed,

cattle-prodded

through the cavernous,

Ellis Island halls

sweating human misery

They willed to me:


no stories, no customs, no heirlooms,

no words from the languages

of their births.

Just—

Whispers

streaming,

waves of fear fleeing hostility and bigotry

—pogroms—

sweaping Europe

executing

Jews.


They willed to me

only

a handful of sepia-faded faces—

with

no

places,

no

dates,

and

no

names.


Dirty Immigrants.

Victims.

Beguiled

by the American dream of oblivion,

they requested their pasts be cremated

along-side them.

And so it was done, in honor of their

broken backs

rendered in the melting pot—

skin worn to shoe leather.


Probed for labor fitness,

Stripped

Searched,

Inspected,

Renamed,

Mandated

Labeled

Tagged

Mass processed.


Branded

at Ellis Island,

(aliens) (untrustworthy)

Indentured servants for the fat old English Man that vouchsafed them,

(Eastern European—different)

Slaves

for Northern Factories.

Scurrying to his Summons:

Kykes, Hymies, Shylocks, Krauts, Jerrys….

(At least Not Chinks, banned 1862)

One more group exploited

(And Not Japs, barred 1902)

to


Tote that barge,and lift that bale.


Fettered.

Bull-penned in Factory towns

Shilled in Factory stores,

—Trapped—

before Northern Europeans only quotas 1924,

legislated, legalized more

discrimination, detention and deportation as the norm,

the very sentiments my grandparents

tried to bury before begetting progeny.

They’d all been lured by metaphors

of streets paved with gold,

Only to find beneath their feet

Not even wooden planks,

Just shovels, mud and jumbled stones

To learn that servitude

required

they be the ones to

Pave them.


I want to dredge up their ashes,

And minuscule,

fragmented bones,

Festively gilding them to tie into my hair.

Ornaments and Amulets,

bearing witness to my origins.

But their inscrutable faces murmur,

Let dead relatives be.


They do not understand my need.

You are the last, they accuse,

as if my only worth lay

in the passing on of genes.


Soon enough, they sigh,

soon enough you will

also be

a handful of dusty ashes

meaningful to no one

and nobody

will ever know you were.

Buried in the Nothingness

Of the

Chimera

They call America