Category Archives: Poetry

Analysis of Palestinian Poetry

“…the importance of [the 1950 Book] Canto General is that it ‘shows us the history of the Americas … [from] the point of view of the people themselves, not the history told by the conquerors.'” Source: “What We Can Learn from Neruda’s Poetry of Resistance”, Mark Eisner, Paris Review 26 March 2018

I couldn’t help but think there is inconsistency in The Atlantic article just posted about power and poetry of Palestinians.

First, we are told poetry is NOT a medium for resolution.

Poetry can communicate confusion and suffering because it isn’t a medium for resolving problems.

Second, we are told it IS for generating real change.

Words have influence, and poetry’s words, dense with meaning and softened by emotion, can generate real change.

Certainly, a shift towards genuine resolution might be a meaningful change. Otherwise, what kind of change is being sought in relation to a path leading away from resolution? That sounds very bad. Or is there a third dimension, a change that doesn’t mean… moving towards or away?

Here’s an example of the analysis that ensues.

Tuffaha’s poem is told from the perspective of a parent preparing to flee her house after receiving a warning call.

A parent gets a warning call.

There seems to be an inherent recognition of value, acknowledgement of agency, in the act of being warned of danger. Who was warned and why? Who wasn’t warned, and why not?

I find an important point about being warned casually glossed over in this essay, even as it says emotive response comes from varied expressions of loss.

Loss is definitely pain. Being warned of loss, when seen through a risk management lens, is a different kind of pain. Loss without warning and decision time doesn’t read like this.

It doesn’t matter
that 58 seconds isn’t long enough
to find your wedding album
or your son’s favorite blanket
or your daughter’s almost completed college application
or your shoes
or to gather everyone in the house.
It doesn’t matter what you had planned.
It doesn’t matter who you are.
Prove you’re human.
Prove you stand on two legs.

The NYT took a different approach from feelings evoked by “doesn’t matter what you had planned” poetry, when they wrote a dry perspective called “What should my ‘go bag’ contain?

Perhaps most telling is the author suggests everyone read Palestinian poetry to relate to their human condition, instead of suggesting we read any poetry that expresses human pain of loss and suffering for us to understand the Palestinian condition.

Everyone Should Be Reading Palestinian Poetry: Poetry at its best can stun readers into silence, but also give the silenced a voice.

I agree we must honor Palestinian words and voices, but the author seems to mean we should do so exclusively. Why not bring in Israeli, Syrian, Sudanese or Ukranian voices, just for some obvious counter examples of what everyone needs to undo a silence?

Sudan has what voice at all, if we look at the coverage and access?

Is the point of claimed change possible from reading Palestinian poetry to see just one inhumanity, a unique spot in a particular place and time, or is it to be able recognize and relate to inhumanity at all and anywhere?

It seems a connection from the former to the latter is very weak if not completely absent from the article and its analysis. I’m left wondering why we are not encouraged more to apply the human voice towards humanity, which perhaps means less explaining and more to offer in terms of lasting change. It could be here less a question of whose voice rises holier in opposition, when instead there would be the wider appeal for us to define and demand kindness.

Tesla Crash More Than Any Other Brand

So many people have sent me this story from Forbes with a “OMG you’ve been validated” note that I have to repost it here just to acknowledge that I have seen it.

Tesla drivers are the most accident-prone, according to a LendingTree analysis of 30 car brands. It found that Tesla drivers are involved in more accidents than drivers of any other brand. Tesla drivers had 23.54 accidents per 1,000 drivers. Ram (22.76) and Subaru (20.90) were the only other brands with more than 20 accidents per 1,000 drivers for every brand.

The truth, as I’ve tried to post here for at least seven years, is finally seeing attention it deserves. In a nutshell, Tesla falsely claims a 40% reduction in crashes when their engineering actually increases crashes more than 10%, an incredibly dangerous 50 point spread!

The more Tesla the more tragic death. Without fraud there would be no Tesla. Source:

Driving a Tesla is significantly less safe than other far better engineered brands, if not the most unsafe of them all.

A poem by me:

Electric cars were the future in 1981.
- Reagan shut it all down.
Electric cars were the future in 2001.
- Bush shut it all down.
Electric cars were the future in 2021.
- Tesla is a dumpster fire run by a killer clown.

The sad part is electric cars are far, far safer than combustion engines. There’s no question Reagan and Bush were horribly corrupt and counter-productive, delaying a safer future at the cost of untold lives from pollution and worse. How did America end up here? Why is it taking so long for the public to see the threat to society is NOT the electric vehicle, but one man behind a particular brand being horribly corrupt and counter-productive?

Consider how the Tesla CEO has been obsessed with aggressively censoring and falsely shaming all critics, spinning out egregious lies that put millions in harms way even as his toxic management culture has obviously led to the death of hundreds.

Source: My presentation at MindTheSec 2021

The CEO saying openly that he is ok with killing people while recklessly chasing science fiction dreams of a child is, arguably, him simply admitting he doesn’t care if he’s going to kill a lot of people. The more dead, the more I expect him to say it was worth it because… he decided killing people was the price he was willing to make others pay.

Wouter Basson, known as “Doctor Death”, led the Apartheid government clandestine chemical and biological warfare program to capture and assassinate people who had anti-apartheid thoughts: Project Coast. He did not apologize, did not show any remorse and after 13 years of fighting in court was found guilty of unethical conduct.

I’ve written extensively about such double-bind propaganda, that should be familiar to anyone who is aware of Elon Musk’s affinity for Nazism and Apartheid; “Autopilot” was loudly promoted on social media as passively preventing crashes even when actively disabled, despite evidence that neither having the software enabled nor disabled would prevent an alarming rise in fatal Tesla crashes because they are caused by overconfidence in Elon Musk.

It’s been a long road for those of us calling out the many, many gross and pernicious Tesla safety lies. With any luck we also might soon see some real bans on Tesla for its negligence and design failures, or even see the CEO go to jail.

“Over the course of many months, you used your considerable social media skills to tout your company in ways that were materially false,” said Judge Edgardo Ramos.

“What you said over and over on different media outlets was wrong,” the judge added.

No kidding, Judge Ramos is right. Look at the chart above of deaths from Tesla, then the quote from Elon Musk in 2021 telling the press that Autopilot is “not great”, and then this provably false advertisement.

Source: Twitter

Materially false. What Tesla said over and over was predatory, anti-competitive and wrong.

Tesla deaths compared to all other EVs shows the obvious problem. It’s about accountability for lies, all about the Tesla CEO who regularly lies. Source:

Let’s give that poem another try:

In '81, dreams 'lektrified the air,
A promise of brilliance beyond compare.
Yet Reagan's hand, a chilling storm,
Snuffed out tales, left hearts forlorn.

In 2001, hopes danced anew,
Electric whispers kissed morning dew.
But Bush's reign, a sorrowful frown,
Quelled the dreams, brought them crashing down.

Enter 2021, a scene so bright,
Electric whispers in soft twilight.
Yet Elon Musk's tale, a murky shroud,
A strange reputation, a foreboding cloud.

A jester with a sinister grin,
In this electric quest, discord within.
Nature weeps, Tesla's spirit sighs,
Racist demagogue, cruelly destroying lives.


by Margaret Atwood, in memory of her father (Carl Edmund Atwood, an entomologist) and the things he taught her.

All those times I was bored
out of my mind. Holding the log
while he sawed it. Holding
the string while he measured, boards,
distances between things, or pounded
stakes into the ground for rows and rows
of lettuces and beets, which I then (bored)
weeded. Or sat in the back
of the car, or sat still in boats,
sat, sat, while at the prow, stern, wheel
he drove, steered, paddled. It
wasn't even boredom, it was looking,
looking hard and up close at the small
details. Myopia. The worn gunwales,
the intricate twill of the seat
cover. The acid crumbs of loam, the granular
pink rock, its igneous veins, the sea-fans
of dry moss, the blackish and then the graying
bristles on the back of his neck.
Sometimes he would whistle, sometimes
I would. The boring rhythm of doing
things over and over, carrying
the wood, drying
the dishes. Such minutiae. It's what
the animals spend most of their time at,
ferrying the sand, grain by grain, from their tunnels,
shuffling the leaves in their burrows. He pointed
such things out, and I would look
at the whorled texture of his square finger, earth under
the nail. Why do I remember it as sunnier
all the time then, although it more often
rained, and more birdsong?
I could hardly wait to get
the hell out of there to
anywhere else. Perhaps though
boredom is happier. It is for dogs or
groundhogs. Now I wouldn't be bored.
Now I would know too much.
Now I would know.

Nick Cave’s “two qualities that will improve your life immeasurably”

Sage advice from a brilliant artist, published on The Red Hand Files blog:

…look to two qualities that will improve your life immeasurably.

The first is humility. Humility amounts to an understanding that the world is not divided into good and bad people, but rather it is made up of all manner of individuals, each broken in their own way, each caught up in the common human struggle and each having the capacity to do both terrible and beautiful things. If we truly comprehend and acknowledge that we are all imperfect creatures, we find that we become more tolerant and accepting of others’ shortcomings and the world appears less dissonant, less isolating, less threatening.

The other quality is curiosity. If we look with curiosity at people who do not share our values, they become interesting rather than threatening. As I’ve grown older I’ve learnt that the world and the people in it are surprisingly interesting, and that the more you look and listen, the more interesting they become. Cultivating a questioning mind, of which conversation is the chief instrument, enriches our relationship with the world. Having a conversation with someone I may disagree with is, I have come to find, a great, life embracing pleasure.

He expands the thought further in a later blog post.

…beyond disagreement, the fortifying agent in any relationship is forgiveness – the ability to expand one’s heart in order to accommodate the infractions, perceived or otherwise, of the other. …don’t be afraid to disagree, but be ready to forgive and be forgiven, and let love and understanding reach audaciously across the divide.

See also: Red Right Hand Video