These poems depict a journey through a dark landscape, where the political and personal are fused into a geography of disinformation, sex, betrayal and deadly technology. Phelan has produced verbal "snapshots" of a subterranean war-- with fronts in Los Angeles as well as Fallujah-- where the only defense is one's integrity and the stakes may be life itself.
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Janet Phelan - Reporter at Large
Libel by Tracy Turner
I sent you the email below on November 12. I also followed up and left you a voicemail. You have neither responded nor removed the false and defamatory page.
I provided you information easily obtainable through public records concerning the difference between James J. Phelan and James R. Phelan. You have refused to address what is an obvious error on your part.
I am requesting again that you remove the page. If you have any documentation at all to support your further slurs against my father I would request that you provide them to me. Otherwise, your “author’s page” for Janet Phelan will be considered to be utter defamation and libel.
Sent: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 3:23 PM
Subject: Libel by Tracy Turner
Last Updated (Sunday, 17 November 2013 14:05)
You've Met Edward Snowden...Now Meet Jeffrey Silverman
When Edward Snowden met with Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald to turn over documents revealing the extent of the NSA spying program, he did more than provide an education to the entire world concerning the reach of the American Empire. He also very likely protected himself from far flung and highly illegal machinations to silence him. Safely ensconced in Russia, Snowden is now reportedly working for a Russian website. His revelations continue to impact the public persona of the US, worldwide.
Government Attorneys Implicated in Ethics Scandal
A scandal is brewing in Chicago which threatens to make Operation Greylord look like a dress rehearsal for a cotillion. Starting with a seemingly innocuous question, tendered to press liaison Jim Grogan at the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) in Illinois, a boil of corruption got inadvertently pricked, which threatens now to reveal a subterranean cancer in the legal system in Illinois.
I abandon the future
It took me this long
To figure out
It no longer exists
I bury the package of seeds
Chard, cherry tomatoes, parsley
In the drawer behind
The pictures of my past
Parents, friends, weddings and birthdays
Parties on boats and expensive hotels
Evaporate as if printed on invisible paper
All lines merge on this point
This particular and irrevocable now
This place where I reside is a parenthesis
It brackets what no longer exists
And what will never come to be
And is beginning itself
To break down
On an atomic level
America's Murdered Elders: Day of the Dead
You would have thought you were at a Harvest Festival.
The road leading up to the gated city is lined with food and refreshment booths. Other tables feature small, inexpensive toys. Bouquets of flowers are for sale, everywhere. The usual hawkers-for-donations circulate through the throngs, Red Cross dominating the polite requesters for money, young men in white shirts shaking their red and white containers at passersby. I drop in a few pesos.
You walk through these gates, however, and you enter another world. It is a gated compound, the city of the dead in San Cristobal de las Casas. Today, the doors to the tiny houses are flung open. Relatives sit on the small porches and share lunch, their faces gentled and softened. Candles flicker on the inside of the crypts. Through a door, I see one of the crypts has a bed in its spacious interior. It is empty.
Yellow and orange bouquets line the streets, bloom in the window boxes of the tiny houses and are extravagantly strewn on top of the smaller gravesites. Children squeal as they race between the houses. Their parents have brought special food, in remembrance of the residents of this city. Someone has left an uncorked bottle of champagne in front of one of the houses. You might think this was homecoming, or even Thanksgiving.
Last night, white crosses were laid out in the Center Square of the city, in remembrance of those killed in the Zapatista uprising. Each cross bore the name and age of the individual remembered. One cross was for a girl, age nineteen. Another cross was for a child, eight years old when the bullet stopped his breath.
Today, the rain has paused and the sun shines down on the festivities in the gated city. My tears are flowing freely now and I am unable to thwart them. I have no loved one here; I have no loved one.
Buried side by side in a manicured cemetery in Riverside County, her grave bears no marker. I cannot visit her there, my tears will not ever fall on American soil. Her name was Amalie, she was dark haired and amber eyed. She loved immoderately and with absolute conviction. Even the neighborhood strays knew there would always be food at her door. She was only one of many stuck down in the fullness of her years, robbed of the comforts of kin, ripped from her home and hidden from her own daughter and my tears are no longer silent, a cry rises in my throat and the names are rushing out
And there will be no memorial for America’s murdered elders, no day of mourning for those killed by their rapaciously greedy guardians, there will be no day carved out in time where we, the sons and daughters of murdered parents, can come together, bring flowers and their favorite chocolate brownies and sit with the others and bask in the tendrils of beauty they left behind. We have been silenced, too.
The clock is spinning wildly, round and round. What drives this world has gone amok, the esoteric blend of blood and money and I say the clock must stop. Not one more murdered child in Chiapas, not one more murdered mother in Riverside.
These tiny houses cast their shadows. I pick my way through the darkness of the day, through the memories of flowers, back to the city of the living, where I still claim a foothold. The cats are waiting in the garden when I get home and I fill their dishes. It is the very best I can think to do.