Refuse Avenue (new poem—an homage to Dylan)

[The following poem is a Dylanesque homage, and is most certainly a nod to “Desolation Row”. But it is also intended to stand on its own.]

Refuse Avenue

I hear they’re making it into a movie
From the book based off of the trial
The pearl stilettos auctioned off
The blood run down the aisle
Enter the captive jury
On the brink of a crucial vote
To whom our hearts belong this week
And who must jump the boat
The picketers collide in the cross-hairs
The gutters are starting to brew
As the boys and I spend a penny
Down on Refuse Avenue
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The Big V: The Memorial that Heals


You probably know this is a photo of “the wall,” the most famous section of the Viet Nam war memorial in DC. It was designed by Maya Lin, a Chinese American architect. The purpose of the design was to create the image (when seen from above) of a giant wound, not a sign of victory, but a sign of hurt, of pain. Many people objected to this “non-triumphant” design, as well as the idea of an Asian designing it  (even though Lin was Chinese and not Viet Namese, and by heritage only, having no prior allegiances to another nation). I can’t think of a more appropriate way to go about it.
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All Veterans of All Wars From All Countries Are Welcome at the Table

“When the war ended, I don’t know if I was more relieved that we’d won or that I didn’t have to go back. Passchendaele was a disastrous battle – thousands and thousands of young lives were lost. It makes me angry. Earlier this year, I went back to Ypres to shake the hand of Herr Kuentz, Germany’s only surviving veteran from the war. It was emotional. He is 107. We’ve had 87 years to think what war is. To me, it’s a licence to go out and murder. Why should the British government call me up and take me out to a battlefield to shoot a man I never knew, whose language I couldn’t speak? All those lives lost for a war finished over a table. Now what is the sense in that?”
-Harry Patch, the last surviving veteran of WWI, who passed away in 2009

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