This is the Story of a Middle-Aged Hypochondriac... →
This is the story of a middle-aged hypochondriac who was ordered by a doctor—calm but stern—to keep a blood pressure journal for a month, checking his pressure four times a week and then returning for the early 40s conversation. “See you in a month,” the doctor said, and sent our quaking protagonist to purchase an expensive blood pressure monitor, maybe a special notebook to keep the record in,...
On Journalism and Writing: A Conversation with... →
Author and journalist Christopher Hedges speaks of the despair, destruction, love and truth that he found during his long career of covering wars and social justice throughout the world. Hedges is interviewed by Dean Nelson as part of the 17th annual Writer’s Symposium by the Sea at Point Loma Nazarene University.
An Amazing Poem by Hiwot Adilow →
A poetry reading from Brave New Voices, 2012. [Video]
Overwhelmed By News →
A piece of Oklahoma tornado footage made me cry a few mornings ago, a mother reunited with a son that she clearly assumed she’d never see alive again. She collapsed into hugging, picked him up, rocked him in her arms, then doubled over sobbing and put him back down. She kept touching the boy’s face, caressing him as if to reassure herself with her palms: it’s ok, he’s ok, it’s ok, he’s ok. ...
Matt Taibbi: Everything Is Rigged, The Biggest... →
Donald Rumsfeld Destroyed By Gentle NPR Host via... →
Donald Rumsfeld went on the NPR show Marketplace in an attempt to promote his new book, but he was met with perhaps the hardest questioning he’s ever faced. This clip from the Majority Report, live M-F at 12 noon EST and via daily podcast at Majority.FM
NJ Higher Education Student Assistance Authority →
Someday, after I’m long dead, some super fan will dig into my external hard drive and edit a collection of my letters to student loan debt collectors. Thanks to my country’s moronic commodification of education, this is how I spend a good deal of my writing time. So, while you wait for that future collection—The #njpoet Debt Letters—to finally be published, I leave you with this sample.
Seven Dollars and a Dream: a micro post #njpoet →
One of my regular Twitter followers has launched a campaign to free me from my student debt. If 14,000 people donate $7 each to njpoet.com, she reasons, we can buy my life back from Sallie Mae and NJCLASS.
10,000 Extra Suicides: Austerity Kills via... →
In their new book, “The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills,” economist David Stuckler and physician Sanjay Basu examine the health impacts of austerity across the globe. The authors estimate there have been more than 10,000 additional suicides and up to a million extra cases of depression across Europe and the United States since governments started introducing austerity programs in the aftermath...
Welcome to the Economic Recovery [for @profwolff] →
They posted a semi-formal letter on the bulletin board last night. This was how they let the wait staff, the cooks, the bus boys, and the bartenders know that the restaurant would be closing forever on June 1st. But it wasn’t like everyone didn’t already know. The local press got wind of the rumors and looked into the story, which, to be fair, is significant.
Corporations write our legislation. They control our systems of information....– Chris Hedges, “Rise Up or Die”
A Portrait of the Artist as a Moron #njpoet →
I was going to skip my writing meditation. I made my bi-weekly trip to my snail mail box this morning, so very quaint, only to be informed by an ugly green bureaucratic form letter, typed in a psychotic font: The State of New Jersey has seized your few hundred dollars of tax refund, c/o your student loan debt collector.
there are worse things than being alone but it often takes decades to realize...– Charles Bukowski (via nihilistwaffles)
I Buy Gas at the Corner Station →
I buy gas at the corner station, the one I wrote about during Hurricane Sandy, and a few months ago I started chatting with an attendant who reminded me of my first best friend, Frank, who died three days after my 30th birthday—a rare cancer. Very sad story. This new guy, we’ll call him Paul to protect his privacy, Paul is always smiling, always ready to listen to my socio-political “did you...
Friday Night Freewriting #njpoet →
About an hour later, the café owner, realizing that the customer he was talking to was a freelance writer, pointed in my direction and said: “You should talk to Charles over there. He’s a writer.” And so she came walking over. Clearly nervous. Clearly a bit uncomfortable with that title: Writer.
Well Informed Futility (w/ Environmental Activist... →
Author, biologist, environmental activist, and mother Sandra Steingraber discusses why she went to jail for her environmental activism, the toxic assault on our children, and the environmental links to cancer and human health. [via The Majority Report]
Under the Shortcut Bridge [for @econhardship]... →
Every morning we see families of homeless people huddled together on scavenged mattresses, wrapped in dirty blankets, still sleeping while car after car of commuters take this shortcut—left turn under the bridge, then make another left onto a side street to just drop someone off, pick someone up, or turn right into the gated lot for a flat fee $15 parking spot.
This Blog Post is Random →
I don’t write nearly as much as I want to, either. And I mostly don’t write because I feel like I shouldbe doing more of the world’s bullshit instead, more of the things everyone else thinks are important for me to do. We all know that list. I won’t repeat it. Needless to say, I always seem to find myself somewhere doing something instead of writing all day, every day, which would make me happy I...
When we think of human cognition, we usually think about things like composing...– Kevin Drum
To Criminalize Any Form of Dissent: From WikiLeaks... →
Chris Hedges says that the Obama administration’s monitoring of Associated Press phone records continues a pattern of targeting press freedom that began with WikiLeaks.
A whopping 79 percent of people surveyed would consider it cheating if their...
Disrupted #njpoet →
And since I’m too exhausted to dig deeply into my brain tonight, too wiped out to pull out some radical complaint or some somber sigh about this or that aspect of my dying culture, I’ll just leave you with this brief note about my day, and this video about how difficult it’s becoming to make healthy food choices.
Today I Joined a Gym →
“Cholesterol and all that other stuff looks good,” he said, “reviewing my report on his tablet. “Let’s check your blood pressure.” You know the drill: the cuff gets almost too tight, then loosens with that long slow hiss. Dr. Youthful listened to my pulse with his stethoscope, his smile fading to a slight frown. “Bummer, dude,” he muttered. No, seriously. That’s what he said.
Working Through Mother's Day: something about my... →
As I type this, my mom is busy working, serving food to strangers for a mediocre wage and tips. She’s had this job for something like fifteen years. She also used to work as a hairdresser at a local beauty parlor. Two jobs and three kids, that’s how mom rolled—-with a little help from my gram. RIP. These days it’s just the waitressing job, though, the beauty parlor long...
Advertising is a racket, like the movies and the brokerage business. You cannot...– F. Scott Fitzgerald
As the CO2 Slowly Rises →
When it came my turn, I read my poem for the group, my first public reading in something like fifteen years. My voice was shaking. My poem was about how the industrial age has cut us off from our sacred information, private property morphed into private stories. Whatever. It was lofty, light years away from reality. The man who read after me snapped me back with one line, one phrase, actually,...
Bloody Dreams Of My College Years →
Through my four years of college, and for one year after graduation, I worked in the meat department of a local grocery store. Specifically, I was the clean up boy. That’s what the meat manager, John, used to call me. John would always announce my arrival, soft spoken and dry, monotone with a wry smile: “The clean up boy has arrived.”
Another Rainy Day in New Jersey →
Taibbi was on The Majority Report, another chapter in the continuing saga of “The Whole World is a Scam.” Sam Seder—brand new dad, now of two—sounded like he’d been mugged after the conversation. He laughed at how consistently depressing Taibbi’s visits to the show have been. Hell yes, I thought, have him back to talk about his favorite novel next week, or something. The poor man.
Learning to Accept Praise →
Apparently, some people really want to see a guy who runs around unflinchingly calling himself a poet continue to accumulate success stories. I mean, look what Manny Jalonschi, Managing Editor of The BQ Brew, wrote on his Facebook wall, commenting on my interview with Democracy at Work.
We Could Make College Free For Everyone →
“We could make college free for everyone for about 4% of the federal budget, which is about 1/4 of what we already spend on defense.” -Samir Sonti
Choosing to Write Every Day [Even When It Scares... →
Last Night’s Blog Post #njpoet
Any Day Writing Prompts →
New Blog Post!
Unemployed Summer Planning: poetry and/or prose →
New Blog Post!
That no human communications can be allowed to take place without the...– Glenn Greenwald
The CDC estimates that in at least 4 million households in the U.S. today...– David Rosner and Gerald Markowitz
I'll be on @Tashtoo's radio show, @Nexus_Cafe, at... →
When we practice restraint and show the resilience of people carrying on with...– Scott Atran