May 14, 2003
Charles Bernstein: The Rumsfeld Tablet

Last week, Cecilia Vicuna asked me to read from Armand Schwerner’s The Tablets (Orono, Maine: National Poetry Foundation, 1999) at an event she was organizing at New York’s Poets House on May 12 to protest, and lament, the looting of the Baghdad museum, and other cultural sites. Schwerner’s Tablets is based on a scholar/translator’s reconstruction of a set of Sumero-Arkkadian clay tables from 4,000 years ago, as Schwerner frames the poem, which is, nonetheless, entirely his own creation.

The event opened with a presentation by Marc Van De Mieroop, of Columbia University, in which he speculated that the destruction of artifacts that took place in Iraq last month was part of an American program to wipe out the cultural past of Iraq. I presented an alternative, equally dark, speculation: that the destruction might not be the result of a deliberate American campaign to target Iraqi antiquities but rather a product of the brutal indifference to culture, foreign and domestic, that has been the hallmark of the current Executive Branch of the U.S. government.

The evening consisted largely of readings in translation of contemporary Iraqui poets, almost all poets in exile. Schwerner, who was born in Belgium in 1929 and came to the U.S. a decade later, is also a poet of exile, but one who became an American poet; indeed, a native American poet, if you believe, as I do, that exile is a native, indeed foundational, experience for American poetry.

A few days after I received Cecilia’s invitation, something odd occurred. A received an email from a trusted confederate in the Washington, D.C. area, that a new Tablet had been discovered in the subbasement level below the residence of Paul Wolfowitz. Startling news. Although we can’t yet be sure of authenticity of the Tablet – and our verification team has not been given enough time with the Tablet to verify it – preliminary evidence suggests that this Tablet is the work of Donald Rumsfeld and that it was composed between April 10 and 12. After reading Schwerner’s “Tablet II”, I gave the first public reading of the “Rumsfeld Tablet”:

                 +++++++++missing part++++++++++
                 +++++++++missing part++++++++++
                 +++++++++missing part++++++++++
                 +++++++++missing part++++++++++
                 +++++++++missing part++++++++++
                 +++++++++missing part++++++++++
                 +++++++++missing part++++++++++
                 +++++++++missing part++++++++++
                 +++++++++missing part++++++++++
                 +++++++++missing part++++++++++
                 +++++++++missing part++++++++++
                 +++++++++missing part++++++++++
                 +++++++++missing part++++++++++
                 +++++++++missing part++++++++++
                 +++++++++missing part++++++++++
                 +++++++++missing part++++++++++
                 +++++++++missing part++++++++++
                 +++++++++missing part++++++++++
                 +++++++++missing part++++++++++
                 +++++++++missing part++++++++++
                 +++++++++missing part++++++++++
                 +++++++++missing part++++++++++
                 +++++++++missing part++++++++++
                 +++++++++missing part++++++++++
                 +++++++++missing part++++++++++
                 +++++++++missing part++++++++++
                 +++++++++missing part++++++++++
                 +++++++++missing part++++++++++
                 +++++++++missing part++++++++++
                 +++++++++missing part++++++++++
                 +++++++++missing part++++++++++

Posted by Brian Stefans at May 14, 2003 10:25 AM | TrackBack
Comments

I watch big brother

Posted by: Steven on November 29, 2003 07:44 AM

If you are interested in link exchange with our sites please take a moment and
submit your web site(s) to our Link Exchange Directory !


Deal - Coupon - Hot Deals ! GoDeals.com - save everywhere you go!

Lingerie, Sexy Lingerie, Plus Size Lingerie Sexy Lingerie. Discount Prices. Sizes from S to 4X. Sexy styles for women including leather, silk, costumes, corsets, panties, thongs, bras, bodystockings and more.

Limousine Service in Los Angeles ! PrimeLimo is the choice for your limousine service in Los Angeles area. Airport transportation, city tours, wedding ceremonies, business meetings, anniversary celebration, prom, graduation or birthday party - we got a limo for you!

Network Design and Integration, Network Management, Disaster Prevention and Recovery Planning Netwise Group Inc. is a Los Angeles based consulting company that provides business automation, computer network, wireless, internet and security solutions, remote and on-site support, and cost-effective IT outsourcing.

Ultimate HGH, Ionic Breeze, Lateral Thigh Trainer, Coral Calcium, Straight to The MAXX, Cybersonic, Body Dome, Power Juicer, Motor Millions, HGH All products As SEEN on TV !

Posted by: Stop Smoking Quit Smoking Smoke Away on January 17, 2004 12:57 PM

Seth Roby graduated in May of 2003 with a double major in English and Computer Science, the Macintosh part of a three-person Macintosh, Linux, and Windows graduating triumvirate.

Posted by: Mildred on January 18, 2004 06:23 PM

A variable leads a simple life, full of activity but quite short (measured in nanoseconds, usually). It all begins when the program finds a variable declaration, and a variable is born into the world of the executing program. There are two possible places where the variable might live, but we will venture into that a little later.

Posted by: Holland on January 18, 2004 06:23 PM

This code should compile and run just fine, and you should see no changes in how the program works. So why did we do all of that?

Posted by: Denton on January 18, 2004 06:24 PM

But variables get one benefit people do not

Posted by: Gervase on January 18, 2004 06:25 PM

These secret identities serve a variety of purposes, and they help us to understand how variables work. In this lesson, we'll be writing a little less code than we've done in previous articles, but we'll be taking a detailed look at how variables live and work.

Posted by: Joseph on January 18, 2004 06:26 PM
-->