Category Archives: Uncategorized

Celestial Ambition by Yvonne Zipter (I AM STILL WAITING Series)

Silver Birch Press

stardust-1993Celestial Ambition
by Yvonne Zipter

Like Lana Turner, I’ve been waiting to be discovered.
Never mind she wasn’t spotted at Schwab’s Drug Store
but at the Top Hat Café. Never mind she wasn’t drinking

a milkshake but a coke and that it wasn’t Mervyn Le Roy,
the director, but Billy Wilkerson of the Hollywood Reporter
who referred her to the agent Zeppo Marx, who got her

that screen test. And never mind I’ve no desire to be
in the movies. I guess what I mean is I want to be like
that recently discovered celestial body, the star formerly

known as HD 86081, the one they’ve now named Bibhā,
which means, in Bengali, “a bright beam of light,”
which is how I want my words to shine, to burn fiercely

as a lantern in the twilit sky of poetry, to twinkle into view
as if I haven’t been here all…

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A Poem for World Sea Turtle Day

Flowers For Socrates

World Sea Turtle Day began being promoted by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on June 16, 2014. Sea Turtles are among the oldest living creatures, having been in existence at least 100 million years. There are seven species of Sea Turtles, and all of them are under threat of extinction, due to humans hunting them for their eggs, meat, and shells, and environmental deterioration. Though international trade in all seven species is banned, poachers continue to illegally kill them and steal their eggs. The Hawksbill and Kemp’s species are currently at the greatest risk of disappearing forever.

Linda Hogan (1947 – ) is an American poet, storyteller, academic, playwright, novelist, short story writer, and environmentalist. She is the author of several poetry collections, including Rounding the Human Corners; The Book of Medicines, which received the Colorado Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award…

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SCUM Manifesto – Valerie Solanas (1967)

1960s: Days of Rage

SCUM Manifesto is a radical feministmanifesto by Valerie Solanas, published in 1967. It argues that men have ruined the world, and that it is up to women to fix it. To achieve this goal, it suggests the formation of SCUM, an organization dedicated to overthrowing society and eliminating the male sex. The Manifesto has often been described as a satire or parody, especially due to its parallels with Freud‘s theory of femininity. It has been reprinted at least 100 times in English, translated into 13 languages, and excerpted several times. The term ‘SCUM’ appeared on the cover of the first edition from Olympia Press as ‘S.C.U.M.’ and was said to stand for ‘Society for Cutting Up Men’. Solanas objected, insisting that it was not an acronym, although the expanded term appeared in a Village Voice ad she had written in 1967. The Manifesto was little-known…

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Biden Breaks Another Promise to Educators and Parents

Diane Ravitch's blog

During the 2020 Presidential campaign, candidate Joe Biden pledged to educators that if elected, Betsy DeVos’s priorities, such as charter schools, would be gone. That’s what he said in a nationally televised forum in Pittsburgh for educators in December 2019 (start about 4:40). In Pittsburgh, he also promised to end the federal pressure for standardized testing. In his campaign documents, he promised that no federal funds would go to for-profit charter schools.

So far, his batting record is poor. The first consequential decision, made before the confirmation of Secretary Cardona, was to insist on the resumption of federal testing in the midst of the pandemic.

Now we know he backtracked on charter schools. The federal Charter Schools Program—though riddled with waste, fraud, and abuse, though used in North Carolina to fund segregation academies—will receive the same funding as under DeVos ($440 million a year).

Here comes the next insult…

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Sunday, June 13, 2021

Flowers For Socrates

Ibn Battuta sets off on June 13, 1325, from his home in Tangiers on a hajj, or pilgrimage, to Mecca, a journey that would ordinarily take sixteen months. He will not see Morocco again for twenty-four years

Fanny Burney born on June 13, 1752; she became Madame d’Arblay, English author of journals, diaries, and novels; Evelina is a landmark in development of the novel of manners;  she wrote first person account of undergoing a mastectomy without anesthesia

The U.S. Post Office Department’s newParcel Postservice begins on June 13, 1913, without specifying exactly what could and could not be mailed via Parcel Post. After several children are “mailed” via Parcel Post (their parents paid for stamps, and in at least once case, postal insurance, and they were safely delivered by postal workers to visit their relatives), Postmaster General Albert S. Burleson announces a new rule in 1914 that all…

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Peter Smagorinsky on Marjorie Taylor Greene’s New Deal Plan for Education

Diane Ravitch's blog

Peter Smagorinsky recently retired as Distinguished Research Professor in Language and Literacy Education at The University of Georgia.. His plans in retirement are ambitious, to say the least. I hope they include writing more essays like this one. I almost burst my stitches laughing out loud. As a citizen of Georgia, he is deeply knowledgeable about Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene’s thinking about the needs of education.

He begins:

Marjorie Taylor Greene now represents my home state of Georgia in the U.S. Congress. Unfortunately, radical far-left transgender communists in the Deep State have revoked her appointment on the Education and Labor Committee. To make up for this regrettable decision, I have developed in her honor The Greene New Deal for Education. It will finally help answer the question originally posed by George W. Bush: “Is our children learning?” Or more to the point, “What is our children learning?”

The Greene New…

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Jim Morrison Tells Me I Have Greek Feet by Lindsey Martin-Bowen (I AM STILL WAITING Series)

Silver Birch Press

statue lmnstuffJim Morrison Tells Me I Have Greek Feet
by Lindsey Martin-Bowen

Jim claims inherited feet shapes
are based on their origins.
“With that index toe outgrowing
your hallux (big toe),” he says,
“yours are Greek.” Then he grins.

For decades, I ignored my feet,
except to clean—soak in Epsom salts—
until this year, when they bleed.
I rub a pumice stone over cracks,
wait for them to heal, and
meditate about feet:
Cornerstones to columns,
pedestals to pillars—
our feet hold up our worlds.

Greek feet—barefoot runners
leap across urns for eternity.
Greeks used few feet in poetry—
Sappho’s many lines lost.
And they wrote plays
in couplets, repeating the first line’s
number of feet in the next,
so back-row listeners knew
who spoke when feet repeated.

“You know that means you dominate
a marriage or household,” Jim adds,
grins again, wrinkles his nose.
“I don’t,” I boldly say.

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The Socialism of James Baldwin

1960s: Days of Rage

“In the early 1940s, James Baldwin was in his teens and living in New York City when he joined the Young People’s Socialist League, a branch of the Socialist Party of America. His first foray into formal political life followed years of informal activity, including public agitation. ‘At thirteen, I had been a convinced fellow traveler,’ Baldwin wrote in his political memoir, No Name in the Street. ‘I marched in one May Day parade, carrying banners, shouting, East Side, West Side, all around the town, We want the landlords to tear the slums down!’ Baldwin’s attraction to left-wing politics was practical, based on his experience growing up in the tenements of Harlem. ‘I didn’t know anything about Communism,’ he wrote, ‘but I knew a lot about slums.’ Baldwin’s self-conception as a budding socialist was a far cry from how he would later describe his relationship with the Left. ‘My…

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Washington Post: What is Critical Race Theory and Why Do Republicans Want to Ban It in Schools?

Diane Ravitch's blog

This article by Marisa Iati in the Washington Post is a good layperson’s guide to the furor over “critical race theory” and teaching about race and racism in the schools. As I read the article, I was gratified to see the reference to the late legal scholar Derrick Bell. For just a moment, I felt like a Forrest Gump of American history because Derrick and I became friends in the mid-1980s and in personal meetings, we debated whether racism was more or less vitriolic than it had been in the past. I believed the Brown decision changed everything and that racism would eventually be reduced an insignicant ember. He argued that the Brown decision was gratifying but changed very little, and that racism was as virulent as ever even though it was less respectable. In retrospect, I feel that I was a naive optimist and that he was prescient…

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Moondrops by Jagari Mukherjee (I AM STILL WAITING Series poem)

Silver Birch Press

silver apples of the moonMoondrops
by Jagari Mukherjee

I am still waiting for you
to hand me love
in a shiny blue-and-silver
wrapping paper, tied
with a slim satin bow.
If only romance had been
smooth as silk—or soft,
such as the music
you often play,
with the harmonica
between your lips.
I thought this time
it was for keeps, but
we smoked passion up
in joints and planted hyacinths
in the ash collected
in a green glass vase.

So now I mourn my loss alone,
and the eyes fill with moondrops;
I failed to transform the soul
to stone. I am still waiting
for you to return.

PAINTING:The Silver Apples of the Moon by Margaret Macdonald (1912).

Mukherjee2ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jagari Mukherjee is a poet, editor, and reviewer based in Kolkata, India. She has authored three collections of poetry. Her latest full-length volume of poetry, The Elegant Nobody, was published by…

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