Friday, February 07, 2003

On “La Voz del Pacifico Sur” this morning a candidate
for mayor of Huatulco announces he wants to meet with
young people—14 to 28 years old—because their input
is “fundamental”. He has a point: those young people will
have to live in the nest we have been so persevering in fouling....

Raven is weaving
his way along the highway,
gliding back and forth
through the nearly naked trees.
This February morning

on a hillside pale
as paper Raven inks his
typographic dance,
daring the world to read his
news, decipher his language.

A young man slaps his
machete against a tree:
clack, like a rifle
shot echoing in the brain
of Raven, void of meaning

but full of purpose.
If Raven can hold one thought
until afternoon,
he will release the silent
bullet of revolution.

Thursday, February 06, 2003

When Raven brought his friend to my garden yesterday,
he looked tense, restless, stressed out. It’s hard for a
creature to keep his/her head these days when so many
have lost theirs or have inserted it into an unusual orifice,
and are blaming the resultant chaos (blindness?) on
The Goat of the Moment (a nod to Kipling....)

Turns out Raven wanted to know who Adlai Stevenson
was. I don’t know who he had been talking with, but
clearly it was someone with a longer life expectancy than
Raven and his feathered folk. (Although these days, the
“dicho”: Nadie tiene la vida comprada, seems more
prophecy than folklore.)

A glance through a few websites today solved the mystery
of Raven’s sudden interest in a two-time presidential
candidate from the 50s: Apparently a few irreverant
journalists either remembered or had read about Stevenson’s
presentation in 1962 of photographs of Soviet missiles in
Cuba, and had usurped the liberty of unfavorably comparing
Colin (Professional Good Cop) Powell´s performance in the
UN yesterday to Stevenson’s during his term of Ambassador
to that same body.

And speaking of bodies—one of the more notable products
of war have always been the bodies of the poor. Not too
many CEOs of multinational companies, or their sons, or
their grandsons are lining up to bite the dust in the desert of
Iraq. To be shipped home in a body bag (such elegant luggage),
or--if counted a survivor--to suffer the inexplicable malaise of
radiation sickness are the roles available, for a cast of thousands
of poor black and hispanic soldiers who signed up for 3 hots and
a flop and will get more than they bargained for. Not to mention
the bodies of the poor people of Iraq (which after 12 years of
inhumane sanctions includes just about everybody...)

No, Colin Powell is not Adlai Stevenson.

And Raven is not Woody Woodpecker.

But that’s all, folks.

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

Raven claims to have telescopic eyes.

(Today his retinas are burning with questions:)

How is it possible that the UN, through the use
of only 10,000 soldiers supposedly scouring the
countryside for Osama Bin Laden, was able
to return Afghanistan to the top of the chart of
opium producing countries in 2002, with the second
highest production in its history—3, 422 tons—
when in 2001 the production under the Talibans
was only 185 tons?

What happened to that 1 billion, 500 million dollars
in drug revenue, when people in Afghanistan have
incomes of less than 2 dollars a day? Whose hands
received that money, and what was it used to purchase?

(Raven stands on one foot, scratches his head.)

He seems to remember that in past years money from
the Afghan opium production passed through the hands
of the usual suspects—the hands of the CIA;
the hands of Osama Bin Laden’s “freedom fighters”
(Reagan dixit), later Al Qaeda; the hands of who knows
which warlord—an embarrassment of riches glittering
out of the reach of the hands of the Afghan people who
have nothing.

(At the end of the tunnels of his eyes Raven glimpses
a question mark vibrating in the darkness.)

Monday, February 03, 2003

In the abrupt disintegration of the space shuttle it is difficult not
to notice some mythical reverberations related to this moment.
In the best--and most innocent--of cases, we remember the flight
of Icarus, whose approximation to the sun caused his wax wings to melt.

Pride exhibited as a tragic flaw has had a record run in theaters
and churches without diminishing its likelihood as the deadly sin
of choice for most of us, and especially for our leaders.
Pride displayed as arrogance is singularly ascendant in this
moment--an arrogance which simply dismisses prudence and
caution as symptoms of weakness.

Several prominent figures have recently revealed that from behind
the curtain of arrogance of the US government a small, naked figure
--reminiscent of MAD’s Alfred E. Newman, but without his innocence
—spews an amplified tirade of moral superiority (sic) and military right
to control the planet’s resources to an audience more convinced daily
that they aren’t in Kansas anymore. I would like to hope that the voices
of John LeCarré, Jimmy Carter and especially Nelson Mandela will be
given the weight of reason that they merit.

In the midst of all these apocalytpic shenanagins, Raven appears
to be in love. At least yesterday he brought a smaller raven
with him when he came to visit me in the garden. Which reminds me
that when the amps go up on messages of hate, we shouldn’t stop loving.