Give Me a Leonard Cohen Afterword

There are some endings that are absolutely perfect.  The two part series finale of Sex and The City.  The finale of the fifth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (I ignore the subsequent seasons as much as possible).  The last issue of The Sandman.  The final “poo-tweet-tweet” of Slaughterhouse-Five.  The last scene of Romeo and Juliet

This will not be one of those endings.  There is no easy resolution here.  No good wrap up.  No way to stop without leaving huge gaps in the conversation.  This is emphasized especially by the nature of all my recent posts about Burma, for which the story is nowhere near the end.

But I’m giving up the blog.  There, I said it.

This has been a long time coming.  I’ve spent too much time here that should have been devoted elsewhere.  I teach.  I write poetry.  I read.  I blog.  I have my own life and a wife and two cats.  And I only have 24 hours in a day.  Something has to give.

I’ve been posting so much lately that my mind is all about posting.  And my pace got so quick that I don’t see myself going back to a slower, once every week or two pace.  I don’t know that I even want to go back to that pace.  So I’m done.

I said I would keep the spotlight on Burma and I guess I lied about that.  Or was I just wrong?  I don’t know.  I do know that I am not writing poetry the way I used to.  And, in the end, if I need to free up time and the only things I can cut out are blogging and poetry, then the answer is real easy.  I will write poetry and stop blogging.

I’ve been thinking about this for a week, at least, though I haven’t really talked about it with anyone.  It may seem sudden, but it isn’t.  I have a book of poems sitting in my office and it needs to be fininshed and I’d rather finish it than post on this blog.  That’s the simple truth.  So finish it (and my many other poetry projects) I will.

I have answered all of the comments on the blog.  In order to keep the comments visible, I am leaving the comments section open, but I have set the blog to moderate all comments.  And since I am not blogging, I won’t be moderating.  Which means, if you post a comment, it will never appear.  Effectively, commenting on this blog is finished.

I have more news reports about Burma that I have been collecting and maybe this weekend I will post links to those stories.  Otherwise, expect no new posts.

I feel a little sad, I will admit.  I hoped I keep this up for at least one year.  But I mostly feel releaved.  It was difficult to chose between poetry and this blog because I enjoy both.  But I can’t balance them both.  And, as already said, I will always chose poetry over a hobby.

So please, keep reading the news though I won’t be reporting it here.  Keep learning about Burma, keep fighting for equality and justice and keep working to make the world a better place.  I will be doing those things, even if I’m not posting about it.

How do I end this?  I don’t know.  So, the best I can think to do is end with some personal beliefs.

I believe poetry can be found everywhere, from books to newspapers to gas stations to the looks on people’s faces.  The world is beautiful and horrific and that is poetic.

I believe Gwendolyn Brooks may well be the most underrated American poet.

I believe Sylvia Plath was a fine poet but had she lived a full life, she would have turned into Elvis — sequins, a mockery and likely performing in Vegas.  Still, The Bell Jar, is a necessary rite of passage for all angst-filled teenagers.

I believe the most beautiful prose can be found in the novels of Barbara Kingsolver.

I believe America is the greatest nation in the world.  I believe we are the greatest nation in the history of the world.  I believe we can be a whole lot greater and should be.

I believe there is something wrong with a nation that considers itself to be good, moral and just, but which also needs to pass, repass and re-repass legislation defining torture.  I believe a truly good, moral and just nation would take the general rule of “If it might be questionable, then lets be safe and not do it.”

I believe there is no hell.

I believe the only real sins are vanity and greed.  All other evil stems from these.

I believe in the afterlife and reincarnation.  I believe in angels, ghosts and aliens.  I believe all are among us right now.

I believe Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee for President and Guiliani will be the Republican nominee.  I believe at some point during the debate, Guiliani will accuse Clinton of being “more liberal than Ted Kennedy”.  I believe Americans are a lot smarter than that bullshit.

I believe a hate crime is the most serious crime.  History matters. 

I believe anyone who uses hate speech, who condones hate speech, or who sits idly by while hate speech is used, has the blood of hate crimes on their hands.  I believe I have blood on my hands.  But for the world to be saved, we must all acknowledge the blood on our hands.

I believe Western Society is built upon false dichotomies of white/black, male/femal, straight/gay, Catholic/pagan (note the little p), etc.  Those oppositions permeate our language, our politics, our thought process and our societies.  Until we deconstruct and destroy those dichotomies and realize the truth of our nonlinear, non-oppositional selves, until we create a society of unity instead of dichotomy, we will never evolve as a species.

I believe contemporary America is a rape culture.  The world will not be saved until women and children are safe.

I believe the thing that distinguishes us from the beasts is art.  Unfortunately, most higher order primates (who are mostly about to become extinct) have a better appreciation of art than most humans.

I believe, after we get out of Iraq, a period of isolationism will dominate American foreign policy.  I believe this will be a terrible tragedy for America and the world.

I believe Burma is prime example of where America has gone wrong.

I believe in peace, love, understanding, justice and hope.  And courage.  Mostly courage.

Thank you for reading.


2 Responses

  1. […] fininshed and Id rather finish it than post on this blog. Thats the simple truth…. source: Give Me a Leonard Cohen Afterword, […]

  2. Wow – sorry to hear that, Anthony. I was just starting to visit daily.

    Didn’t know you were a Buffy fan. I’m totally with you as far as that 5th season finale. One of the most perfect episodes of television ever made.

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