March 18, 2009

I do not think the Bible
Ever truly adjusted to electricity



Unknown, Richard Brautigan in North Beach, 1971

Making the Crane
-- by Sandra Beasley

Preparation is the art of leaving lines in:
before you can make a crane you must
invert the valley, low right to high left.
Then you must base the bird, pulling
inside out, outside to middle, and up.
Flip. Repeat. Crease her legs.
Reverse the fold. Define her neck,
define the tail, run the bone knife flat.
Dip each wing down and pull them
apart, flattening her back. If she means
to stay by your dinner plate, press your
mouth to the belly and push the air in.
If she means to fly, grip her head and tail,
pull so she flaps in the sky of your palm.
If she’s good luck, thread a sharp needle
and hang her with her thousand sisters.
When she laughs it is only a crab scuttling
the length of her gullet. When she cries
it is only the weeping of rice against stone.


Clarence Thomas
-- by Klipschutz

Am I the only one who remembers the photograph of Clarence Thomas and his wife in People magazine, sitting on a sofa in their living room reading a Bible, on the heels of his recent confirmation to the Supreme Court? Mr. Poster Dude* for Affirmative Action himself, who seventeen years later gives a speech informing us that we (Americans) are self-indulgent and don’t make the sacrifices our parents and grandparents did. In answer to a question after the speech, Mr. Thomas named Lincoln as his favorite president, but declined to state his favorite color. Is this guy a putz or what? Posing on a sofa pretending to read a Bible? Lecturing his countrymen and women on sacrifice? Hey, he must be doing something right – he has lifetime job security! You don’t find many of those on Craig’s List!

*you won’t see me fall in that trap


Listen: Two pieces read by Richard Brautigan

-- A chapter from In Watermelon Sugar

-- A chapter from A Confederate General From Big Sur

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