Mayday Newspoem by Nick Montfort and the Unknown (Spineless Mix)

Top of the Hour:

A crocodile, Gucci, is still on the loose in Hong Kong, having evaded many attempts at capture. Arabs are repulsed and furious over Iraq prison photographs of US soldiers humiliating hooded, naked detainees at Abu Ghraib prison. On the Brown University green, a uniformed brass band plays a spirited arrangement of "You Can Call Me Al" and the Outkast song "Hey Ya!" that is still, as of 1 May 2004, ubiquitous, while students in American Heart Association tshirts walk in circles. 738 American soldiers have died since the war began. More will die next week. 1,200 Iraqis died last month. More will die next week.

One year ago today President Bush pretended to fly a plane and on an aircraft carrier off the coast of San Diego gave a speech declaring the war in Iraq to be over. The aircraft carrier was positioned so the cameras would not record the city skyline within swimming distance of the ship. Let the commander-in-chief, an inexperienced pilot, try to land on an aircraft carrier, a dangerous procedure. More than 600 Americans have died in the year since. And it's Derby Day. And Kirsten Dunst carries a comfort blanket with her wherever she goes. According to Teenhollywood, the actress keeps a close eye on the small, scruffy piece of wool that she's travelled with all her life. And with great difficulty, in a few column-inches of copy, tenderness and affection works its way into the news, like an embarrassing blanket that we don't want to let go of, like a scrap of cloth that turns "security" back into a beautiful word. Americans experienced a perverse sort of wish fulfillment, as philosopher Slavoj Zizek argues.

Breaking chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees;

pouring cold water on naked detainees;


I've written Susanne telling her that everything was okay. And it's okay I'm doing my job, but Bobby nobody back home knows what it's like to wake up every morning thinking about the fact that a lot of people want to kill me right now. And they could be anywhere. I'm a target.

OSTRANENIYE. (Pronunciation unknown.) A word made up by narratologists as a hoax and attributed to the Russian Formalists, who may themselves be a hoax. *

beating detainees with a broom handle and a chair;

LOGOS. (Low-goes.) The underlying system of symbols that forms meaning in an advertising-based society.

That's always on my mind. I'm wearing a bullseye 24/7.

They, that fight for freedom, undertake

The noblest cause mankind can have at stake

threatening male detainees with rape;

CHARACTER. (Care-ak-tor.) An actor or existent within the DIEGETIC world. For instance, a person within the DIEGETIC world who is brought a bucket of KFC by a lover and engages in a frenzy of chicken-consuming, greasy-lovemaking activity, altering the initial state, in which chicken recipient and lover are both hungry and without grease on their skin, is a character.

And knowing that everybody else around you is thinking the same thing and you're just doing your job but at the same time you're thinking about how the one thing I need to do today is not die.

allowing a military police guard to stitch the wound of a detainee who was injured after being slammed against the wall in his cell;

OMNESCIENCE. (Owm-nesh-ents.) The ability, usually purported to a narrator (although occasionally seen as a quality of a deity who is a CHARACTER) to know all of the events that have transpired, are transpiring, and will transpire in a DIEGETIC world. Scholars agree that for a narrator to be OMNIPOTENT entails that he or she is OMNISCIENT.

And when we are not feeling so good, we always think of you doing so well in America, and we are made happy.

The smell of recently burned flesh

is something you never quite get

used to you want to gag

even behind the mask

Freedom of Thought is like Freedom in Actions.

Ted Koppell read the names of the dead, one by one, and their pictures and names, their smiling faces crossed the screen.

Why do the young dead

so often smile

I've seen things, Bobby, everybody here has seen things we don't want to remember. I feel like I have a new understanding of the relationship between anatomy and munitions.

OMNIPOTENCE. (Owm-nip-oh-tense.) The screen in Cheney's bunker flickered, then settled upon another image. A testimony about the effectiveness of this no-equipment workout plan. Total Infotainment Awareness. Five hundred channels and still nothing to watch, at least not at this hour. Maybe he would write another letter to his daughter. Maybe he should take some of that Ambien that Colin is always saying is so great. Ah well, the ticker's still holding out, at least.

sodomizing a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick,

Neither age nor force

Can quell the love of freedom in a horse.

BORREGO will probably get bet down off his 20-1 morning line as the buzz about this son of El Prado continues to build. Seems to improve with each race and he should take another step forward off that career best speed figure in the Arkansas Derby. Should get plenty of stamina from his pedigree and he's one of the few who really looks like a distance horse in this year's crop. Trainer Bill Vollman is just getting started but has already had a number of nice horses and a Derby win would be extra sweet for the Kentucky native. A rigorous regimen of benzydrene, vodka tonics, sugarcubes, and coca leaves helps take the edge off. His charge has a versatile running style that will allow Larry to place him in mid pack after a quick look at how the race is setting up. This colt seems to be coming to hand at the right time and he should get a big piece of the Derby purse with his best race. Thinking he will run second, third or fourth in Derby and that makes him very useful in exotic wagering.

Borrego often runs during times of seismic difficulty over trembling sandstone; the horse is more a sander than a mudder.

Borrego is by champion El Prado (Ire), a sire of 7 crops and 30 stakes winners including millionaire Nite Dreamer, multiple stakes winner The Happy Hopper, the veteran stakes-winning sprinter Chindi and the crack turf sprinter/miler El Cielo. Nite Dreamer is third cousin twice removed of Get Me The Hell Out Of Here. Additionally, El Prado (Ire) is a son of legendary European sire-of-sires Sadler's Wells, who is by Northern Dancer, winner of the 1964 Kentucky Derby (GI) and a prominent influence in the bloodlines of past Derby winners. Northern Dancer is twice married, the second time to Your Name Here. Borrego is the third foal out of Sweet As Honey; he is the second to race, the other being a maiden winner. The fourth foal was, of course, Starr Report. Sweet As Honey herself raced three times without winning a race. That said, he is by a the top class stallion Gone West, one of the most fashionably-bred sons of Mr. Prospector at stud (he's out of a Secretariat mare), a sire of twelve crops and over 60 stakes winners. She does, however, come from a strong family, being a half sister to four stakes horses: Disease, Famine, Plague, and Proliferating Kudzu. Chief among them are Truth Of It All, who won the Grey Stakes (GIII) at Woodbine at age two and a third in the Lexington Stakes (GII) at Keeneland at age three; and I Ain't Bluffing, a filly who won eight of thirteen races, including the La Brea (GI), the Milady Breeders' Cup (GI), and the Hawthorne Handicap (GII). Dosage Index: 1.40 mg psilocybin.

People here ain't happy. We don't like it here. We want to go home.

In this then consists Freedom, (viz.) in our being able to act, or not to act, according as we shall choose, or will.

Everybody I know knows somebody dead.

bled out of his wrist

in their haste to drop

the body


the wires

for an islamic male

nudity is torture

was this some 18-year-old yokel's

idea of a good time

It's hell here. I've seen shit I'll never talk about.

or a directive from military intelligence?

was it contempt

or science?

Everybody I know has done their share of killing too.

In the future days we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

There's just killing and death all around me, feels like most all the time.

I'm sick of it, Bobby.

The first is freedom of speech and expression...

Because he wanted to see an Iraqi buttfuck another Iraqi

Because he wanted to impress a British soldier from Glastonbery

With whom he shared cigarettes

Because he had seen The Deer Hunter

The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way...

Because he thought a naked man in a hood in great fear of

Death by electrocution was innately funny

The third is freedom from want...

And because they were animals

Every last one of them, fucking

The fourth is freedom from fear.

Animals *

Zizek, naked, in his temporary flat
in Paris, reads Le Monde,
John Woo DVD playing on his
iBook on the chest of drawers behind
him, and grimly reclines.

All around the world,
people, some of them
with no understanding of
narratology at all,
are grimly reclining.


(when no one is around
he calls himself Slav)

he quips:

a bad text but computers
make it unreadable.
a program for literature?


Bodies dragged through the streets in Fallujah

Boys sobbing in armies

Laborers dropping to a monolith sleep

But also, a man and woman in their late forties in the interior of China

lying down to make love

and many of different nations, stations, shapes

dozing off alone, to dream

Imperialism closed from far back with a big move down the middle of the homestretch to run third in the Kentucky Derby, finishing about seven lengths behind Smarty Jones.

A beautiful day for the Derby.

Smarty Jones made his move down the backstretch Saturday to win the Kentucky Derby -- and a $5 million bonus. He's the first undefeated horse to win the Derby since Seattle Slew in 1977.

Anyway, I hope you are well, start of spring now. Enjoy the flowers. Can't wait to be back home, away from this shit.

and using military working dogs to frighten and intimidate detainees with threats of attack, and in one instance actually biting a detainee.

And that's the way things are. Good night.

* For Zizek, cynicism is a self-gratifying gesture that follows the fetishistic logic of "I know very well the truth of this statement, but in the jouissance in the act of recognition (or false consciousness), which of course deflects the original impulse that we presume to be kynicism" performs the opposite effect of Victor Shklovsky's concept of ostraneniye, the method of "making strange" the symbolic language, which Zizek would interpret as the "philosophical experience of cynicism yada yada yadas over the point de capiton." Therefore, cynicism is another attempt to reposition the symbolic as the primary level of experience, to usurp the Real with "reality."

PUNCHLINE: "The jolting ostraneniye of this comedy is precisely that here there is no joke, no consoling sedative of jouissance, and the shock that followed in this humour deficit was one of denial and anger."

Newspoetry at Spineless Books