Thursday, February 03, 2005

Many Thanks to Our Reader Eric

Eric posted a link in response to my post about the Marines and their troubles recruiting, and while it is not on topic, it brought back memories for me. The link he posted to was by Eliot Weinberger, a poet and translator. I responded to him that I had met Eliot at a party in Ypsilanti almost 20 years ago in company with Clayton Eschleman, Diane Wakoski and Maxine Hong Kingston and a few others. Yeah, that was back in my Gradual School days. I'd had conversations before that with Wakoski about her George Washington poems. Clayton had an office down the hall, so I had heard his theories about paleontology, poetry and politics -- I love the Lascaux poemns, but that poem of him under the bed crawling through the springs to interrupt his parents lovemaking is cool! Maxine thrilled me. She is perhaps the best reader of her own work I'd ever met, and I'd sat enthralled through three readings of Tripmaster Monkey, a work then in progress.

But Eliot Weinberger was the one who most interested me at that little cocktail party. I'd read only a couple pieces by him, and one was very similar in form to the poem/political screed Eric offered us. It was about Cambodia and called Kampuchea, though I could be wrong -- my excuse would be the veil of years. You see, I'd not thought about Eliot Weinberger in at least 15 years now.

Thanks, Eric. Eliot's treatment of the Bush Administration and the Iraq War is absolutely essential reading.