Friday, November 24, 2006

Jake's Word: Hamilton Rising


Claustrophobia sets in.
She muscles out of the dirt.
Can she really summon the determination
to shed the wasted dollars?

smells more of bread than meat.
Too clever to read the odor’s intent,
but followed, begging
ruined sap
low and hot
growling – The wolves came
nuzzled your crotch
talking backward
until the old stairs fell
around the red maple
grown through the floor.

Take your passage then,
wallow all day in bed and
speak when summoned,
feet on cold wet floor
remembered, clutched the post
and spoke remembering –
The moths in the old stone church
glad to be done
with the Paraclete’s bickering.
Silent, finished,
roaming her legs again for grace.

Still, the mourners in a line proceed,
scarfheaded and faking it
in digital clicks
like teeth broken in
bread not meat.
Welcome to quicklime and virus
and the coming green.

Jake Berry 11.6.06

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


According to historical lore, King John (circa 1215) was a little man, out of touch with the affairs of state and so recklessly ineffectual that nearly he lost hold of Britannia’s golden crown.

Humankind was the beneficiary of King John’s incompetence. Compelled to sign the Magna Carta or risk losing both his throne and his head, that document was the essential beginning of a new era in government: the age of human rights.

At its foundation was the principle of Habeas Corpus: The right to challenge one’s imprisonment by requiring that the government produce evidence before a court of law.

Nearly eight centuries later, a little man from Crawford, Texas, out of touch and recklessly ineffectual, has somehow parlayed a mandate of fear into a repeal of Habeas Corpus in the most powerful and influential democracy on earth.

History is filled with ironies but this is an irony of epic proportions.

Memo to Congress: Repeal the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, and restore the judiciary to its rightful role as the ultimate check on executive power.