tv [untitled] August 6, 2011 6:30am-7:00am PDT
. >> first, i would like to read a poem by my dear friend and wife, daisy samora, who was to be here today but is in nicaragua, keeping in mind what michael said about jorge and casablanca, i will read it in her language or my spanish first, then in translation. it's a poem directly addressed to poets but certainly to activists as well. (speaking spanish) no man's
permanent cross fire. three bomb holes. flag study. red. she walks into the bright vegetable garden, chopped water to life from brittle landscape, leans her hoe against goat wire, admires shoots balanced on turned earth, looks up, fulfilleds a leaves sigh, clouds, hands on her hips, her jaw falls open and a bomb drops down her throat. white. the horizon, a black line against brilliant white landscape, pale blue sky above
it, empty except for heat devil blur, a raindrop sound hits a wooden post against cloudless light, another, the lamb, his children, wife, then he drenched in bullet rain. blue. the final moment of night passing, exposes limbs, torsos, heads, breasts, humans, cows, goats, curved and knotted heaps, lays blue against bitten grass. final piece, the title is the headline for a newspaper.
anti-war activist immoh lates along kennedy's express way near giant flame of the millennium skull up tour 4 days before november 2006 elections and no one pays attention. everything but the heart reduced to ash. thank you. . >> i just want to thank george for bringing to bear some of the numbers, some of the horrific things that are happening in iraq right now. this poem was drawn from my experiences in iraq from the culture, from the music and from its traditions. so i have dedicated this poem to iraq. i think it will be helpful for
you to know el kubenchi, along with el watanabi. el kubenchi is famous for music, a great history and tradition of music, and he has taught all the gray modern singers of the 20th century who came out of iraq. his music has touched me and you will hear it in this poem, 32 beads on a string. i woke from the nightmare of a gutted macom, not because i have not yet bled my life in yellow, but because minarettes looking sky ward. one burly buffalo looking for hooves and hot breath because the skin is not yet numb and the lights are not yet flickering, i will continue to
sip at my hot tea and stare at the dust-colored noon. one white dasha screams with the brilliance of red. can you hear them, the melodious intent, the glimmering mood in their eyes. face stitched by seam, a garment i have sewn to my skin. whatever remains of el gubenchi's 1932 cairo studio recording lives between the old cobblestone quarter and my still-warm mahogony ear. i should have gotten up to shake his hand, this uncomfortable tension between me and god. medina, its streets adorned with smells from the bazaar,
yet i have chosen to adorn myself in the still concrete of columns. i am for the transcription of the arabic. in the morning, he howled the song in the name of his father, perhaps new fathers weep at the birth of their sons. do not cry for leila or for him, but drink the red wine and grow your love doublely, one for the ruby in the cup, the other for its rouge on your cheek. bombs rape the eyes of the sleeping assyrian gods. as if it were only a sand box,
a few worthless grains of sand. i'll cut for you the last swathe of blue from the sky, sever my and if you'll let me, but for 5 minutes more, leave me to sleep without the knowledge of war. a kanun weeps near the funeral of music. having been occupied, notes mourn for the loss of their song. i am for a concert of horses, the origin of gazelle leapt up from the heart of al gubungi. have you made small steps into the desert within us or listened for the gutterals longed deep within our throats, you would have come bearing gifts. i have nothing in red that i
would not abide in green. el batanabi wrote the heart of our silken tanab, what need have we for you? no poem has ever enough red but that its blood might river beneath the veins of its people. beneath the desert sun, one man by one man by one man breathes six. thousands of tons wrung sonorous from the sky. where is god? black-eyed woman, the street dogs are running wild. will you save me? simple white ignorance, even the desert has gone into hiding.
there is no more meaning here than the crested moon holds towards a dying grove of date trees. i am for the arabic, for the transcription of the arabic, zato dates over fire-baked bread. the twin rivers have already called for us a history. our poets have already explained to us the desert. by what right have you come? who have you have seen the rustic crane in the tree, no chimes but for its delicate wide beak, ushers an intemperate reprieve? 33 beads on a string, why pretend to know beyond the presence of click. thank you. please welcome gale sher
>> the first one is why did she care? why did she care, she wondered, laying aside the book. a dim light could be seen possibly from a cabin reaching in not for the word, but for the space which a time. fat drops driven violently side ways. the man's mind into which she tossed herself becomes a bird. fly away, bird. fly south where you are needed. letters moved, she could barely make them out. the sky moved, hanging bluntly.
a circle swayed toppled to the sea. to you, sea, i chant and to the one with ears, hearing you into me. this one is called, having eaten fish. having eaten fish, i open myself to make them more comfortable. i pet the fawn, twisting my calves. two fish leap, kiss, and die. fish, fry here, oh my fish, sway grass in coin of rain so far we kill the all of fishes presides while i walk by,
covering my head. the last one is, my bones are in the mountain. my bones are in that mountain, in the veil of flowers beyond its southern pass. slipped down to me by the sky long ago. broken, a coterie of lambs thought of as a bush. the land was yellow and contained a tree. a man tied to a pole looked up. he is praying and others, too, are glancing eastward. oh, house of cans, i squat, wind blows. to replace its word is why i
gather mushrooms in sticky sun i squat, peaceful juice spills on my gaping pant leg finally, finally. the mountain becomes a cloud, slouching south, following the man. and it's my great pleasure to present beau. . >> this is called lesson. trying to pull yourself back along the words, trying to get close to what holds the flesh to them. so you talk over the words. you shout to the words and the words sometimes begin, just begin to drag you along like a
bad leg, to carry you to a place where they can turn and knife-like skin you into other words and move you closer, try to kill you, keep you there or let you hear, however briefly, their deadly harmony. this is called markings and it's in two parts. one, the last is leveled. the eye witnesses are moved to a yard, a street. the road is made smooth. two, we have the ability to not regret, not one death and then
exactly two even before another. and in this approximate silence we have felt that not regreting has spared us loneliness. called at the door. you did not tell me about these hours, how thick they were and wounded. i hear myself telling someone to punch me just to figure the order of my beliefs. someone else in my clothes who would view this and move on. explain again the conditions that will bring along the morning and what it is here that convenes the night.
and then the last poem is called upon living. they shove your feet out of the smokestack kitchen. they narrow the big sea sba a line of your sweat and then they take away your last word and then they take away another. now you put the keys back in your pocket and now you push on the door until it is in flame, until it is in flame. next reader is jane herschfield. . >> one sand grain among the others in winter wind. i wake with my hand held over the place of grief in my body.
depend on nothing, the voice advices, but even that is useless. my ears are useless, my familiar and intimate tongue, my protecting hand is useless that wants to hold the single leaf to the tree and say, not this one. this one will be saved. a poem written on september 15th, 2001, against the knowledge that exactly what would happen was probably going to happen. the dead do not want us dead. the dead do not want us dead. such petty errors are left for the living. nor do they want our mourning.
no gift to them. not rage, not weeping. return one of them, any one of them, to the earth and look. such foolish skipping, such telling of bad jokes, such feasting. even a cucumber, even a single anise seed, feasting. and, last poem, foolish of me and yet optimism. the title is only optimism. the other part was a preface. more and more, i have come to admire resilience, not the simple resistance of a pillow whose foam returns over and over to the same shape, but the
sinuous tenacity of a tree finding the light newly blocked on one side, it turns in another. a blind intelligence, true, but out of such persistence arose turtles, rivers, mitochondria, figs, all this resinous, unretractable, earth. the next reader is summer brenner. . >> i'm going it read today an excerpt from anana, queen of heaven and earth. i wanted to say a few words about anana. this is the oldest literary work that we have. these are the cuniform tablets that were excavated in the late
1880's and early 1890's by the university of pennsylvania. tens of thousands of fragments of cuniform fragments. the story of anana starts in her adolescence. it travels through her journey as a queen and a goddess, and much of her story is devoted to the love, a very passionate love, for dimusi, who is a shepherd who she takes as her husband, lover and king. and this is called the return. a lament was raised in the city. my lady weeps bitterly for her young husband. anana weeps bitterly for her young husband. woe for her husband, woe for her young love, woe for her house, woe for her city.
dimusi was taken captive in aruk. he will no longer bathe in aradu. he will no longer treat the mother of anana of his mother. he will no longer perform his sweet task among the maidens of the city. he will no longer raise his sword higher than the kugar of priests. great is the grief of those who mourn for dimusi. anani wept for dimusi. gone is my husband, my sweet husband. gone is my sweet love. my beloved has been taken from the city. oh, you flies of the steppe, my beloved bride groom has been taken from me before i could wrap him with a proper shroud. the wild bull lives no more.
his shepherd, the wild bull, lives no more. dimusi, the wild bull, lives no more. i ask the hills and valleys where is my husband. i say to him, i can no longer bring him food. i can no longer serve him drink. the jackel lies in his bed. you ask me about his reed pipe. the wind must play it for him. you ask me about his sweet songs. the wind must sing them for him. satur, the mother of dimusi, weeps for his song. once my boy wandered so freelly on the steppe, now he is captured. once dimusi wandered so freely on the steppe, now he is bound. the ewe gives up her lamb, the
goat gives up her kid. my heart plays the reed pipe of mourning. in a place where he once said my mother will ask for me, now he cannot move his hands, now he cannot move his feet. i would see my child. the mother walked to the desolate place. she looked at the slain wild bull. she looked into its face. she said, my child, the face is yours. the spirit has fled. there is mourning in the house. there is grief in the inner chambers. the sister wandered about the city, weeping for her brother. gestanana wandered about the city, weeping for dimusi. oh, my brother, who is your sister? i am your sister. oh, dimusi, who is your mother? i am your mother.
the day that dawns for you will also dawn for me. the day that you will see, i will also see. i would find my brother, i would comfort him, i would share his fate. when she saw the sister's grief, when anana saw the grief of gestana, she spoke to him gently. dimusi is no more. i would take you to him, but i do not know the place. then a fly appeared. the holy fly circled the air above anana's head and spoke, if i tell you where dimusi is, what are you give me? anana said, if you tell me, i will let you frequent the beer houses and taverns. i will let you dwell among the talk of the wise ones. i will let you dwell among the
songs of the minstrals. the fly spoke. lift your eyes to the edges of the steppe. lift your eyes to arali. there you will find gestanana's brother. there you will find the shepherd, dimusi. anana and gestanana went to the steppe. they found dimusi weeping. anana took his and and said, you will go to the underworld for half of the year. your sister, since she asked, will go the other half. on the day gestanana is called, that day you will be set free. anana set dimusi's hand in the
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