Friday, September 30, 2011

Bianca with Barrack/Ehret on Poets vs Fascism/DiStasi/Philosophy Cartoon/

(P1) Political

President Obama and My Grandniece Bianca Ashong

Exclusive: From my (Ed Coletti's) niece, Lucia Brawley September 16, 2011

Bianca and I went to see the President speak in Alexandria at an amazing high school with formidable students, some of whom hold their own patents. He signed the Patent Reform Act into law. He spoke about the youth present as the future and then gave Bianca a special shout out: "And this little guy, too!" Later, she got to meet him and I told him that her dad and I had met on his last campaign. He noted pointing at her lovely Afro locks, "I used to have the same hair!"

Comment or Read Comments Here on any of the above or below. Log in under "Name/URL," (it's easy). Just the name (don't worry about the URL). Actual name is best, but use what you like. Or email me at, and I can post it.

Get the Money Out of Politics

Please consider signing this petition toward a constitutional amendment with the following wording

"No person, corporation or business entity of any type, domestic or foreign, shall be allowed to contribute money, directly or indirectly, to any candidate for Federal office or to contribute money on behalf of or opposed to any type of campaign for Federal office. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, campaign contributions to candidates for Federal office shall not constitute speech of any kind as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution or any amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Congress shall set forth a federal holiday for the purposes of voting for candidates for Federal office."

(P2) Philosophical

Comment or Read Comments Here on any of the above or below. Log in under "Name/URL," (it's easy). Just the name (don't worry about the URL). Actual name is best, but use what you like. Or email me at, and I can post it.

(P3) Poetical

Bay Area Poet Terry Ehret contributes this terrific prose poem upon the occasion of 100 Thousand Poets For Change Day - September 24, 2011.

How Fascism Will Come

“When facism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”

—attributed to Sinclair Lewis

When fascism comes, it will greet us with a smile. It will get down on its knees to pray. It will praise Main Street and Wall Street. It will cheer for the home team. It will clap from the bleachers when the uninsured are left to die on the street. It will rally on the Washington Mall. It will raise monuments to its heroes and weep for them and place bouquets at their stone feet and trace with their fingers the names engraved on the granite wall and go on sending soldiers to die in the mountains of Afghanistan, in the deserts of Iraq. It will send doves to pluck out the eyes of its enemies, having no hawks to spare.

When fascism comes, it will sit down for tea with the governor of Texas. It will pee in the mosques from California to Tennessee, chanting, “Wake up America, the enemy is here.” It will sing the anthems of corporatization, privatization, demonization, monopolization. It will be interviewed, lovingly, on talk radio. It’ll have talking points and a Facebook page and a disdain for big words or hard consonants. It won’t bother to read. It will shred all its books. It will lambast the teachers and outlaw the unions.

When fascism comes, it will look good. It will have big hair, pressed suits, lapel pins. It will control all the channels. It will ride in on Swift Boats. It will sit on the Supreme Court. It will court us with fear. It will woo us with hope. When fascism comes, it will sell shares of itself on the stock market. It will get rich, then it will get obscenely rich, then it will stop paying taxes. It will leave us in the dust. It will kick our ass. It won’t have to break a sweat to fool us twice. It will be too big to fail.

When fascism comes to America, it will enter on the winds of our silence and indifference and complacency. And on that day, one hundred thousand poets will gather. In book stores and libraries, bars and cafes, in their houses and apartments, in schools and on street corners, they will gather. In Albania, Bangladesh, Botswana, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Finland, Guatemala, Hungary, Macedonia, Malawi, Qatar, crying, laughing, screaming. They will wrap the sad music of humanity in bits of word cloth and hang them, like prayers, on the tree of life.

Terry Ehret

September 23, 2011

Note: This poem is woven with images and fragments of rants and blogs and online articles I found when I googled the Sinclair Lewis quote. These appear in Italics.

Comment or Read Comments Here on any of the above or below. Log in under "Name/URL," (it's easy). Just the name (don't worry about the URL). Actual name is best, but use what you like. Or email me at, and I can post it.

Ed Coletti's latest collection of poems When Hearts Outlive Minds now available at Amazon.

Nice From Lawrence DiStasi

Ed Coletti is a poet from Santa Rosa (originally New York) who has run two poetry-reading series, SoCoCo and Poetry Azul there. Like most poets, his life has varied widely from service in Vietnam to the Summer of Love in San Francisco to advanced degrees at SF State and Sonoma State to teaching to publishing to counseling. These days he also derives great enjoyment from painting—samples of which can be seen on

In this collection of his poetry, Coletti tends to concentrate on elegy, probably because the book is shot through with memories of his father’s decline and death. The poems are contemplative but not heavy, sad but not saddening as they mull over the inevitable passage of time, our power and us with a lightness of touch that reminds in some ways of his paintings. Coletti’s is a way of thinking and writing that can lament loss while simultaneously reminding us of its defining role in the rhythm of life. Here, for one example, is the poem, “Befriending Death.”

As with death himself
I too sit close
to my father—
death all too close
I breathe hot to his cold
jealous we must share
my father, me exhaling,
death inhaling
No contest,
just a rhythm

Coletti also runs two blogs:, and his ‘No Money in Poetry’ blog. Worth checking out.

Lawrence DiStasi

Lawrence DiStasi is an editor, writer, and instructor at UC Berkeley Extension’s Fall Freshman Program and has been the project director of the traveling exhibit Una Storia Segreta: When Italian Americans Were ‘Enemy Aliens’, since 1994. He is author of Mal Occhio: The Underside of Vision (North Point Press, 1981) and Dream Streets: The Big Book of Italian American Culture (Harper & Row, 1989). He is president of the American Italian Historical Association’s Western Regional Chapter.

Comment or Read Comments Here on any of the above or below. Log in under "Name/URL," (it's easy). Just the name (don't worry about the URL). Actual name is best, but use what you like. Or email me at, and I can post it.


BJF said...

Well now if that isn't just damn awesome!!

Jeff Cox said...

Ed--it's Barack. Barracks are where the soldiers sleep.

Ed Coletti said...

Ooops! You're so correct, Jeff. Thanks. Fortunately I don't have to correct the blog. The slip was on my email, and that's long gone.

Embarrassed a bit tho'


Vilma Ginzberg said...

Ed, I am utterly delighted that you reprinted Terry's amazing and powerful piece. I was fortunate to be there to hear her read it.

I have forwarded it to friends and family around the country.

Lucia said...

Thanks for sharing our amazing experience, Unca Eddie! Have you seen the awesome video of Prez O and Lil B's connection? Love, Lucia

Ed Coletti said...

Yes, Lucia, I love it!


Unca Eddie

Ann Kenny said...

Love the picture with your grandniece & the pres. !!! Love the e-mails keep them coming.


Ann & Santiago

Fisher of men said...

Interesting blog. I am glad I came across it. Feel free to check out mine, comments are welcome.... and if you like, post a link to mine on yours, I'll do the same...


Michael Thompson said...

Dear Ed,
Thank you so much for Terry Ehret's wonderful prose in your latest blog. I like intelligent hard hitting writing like that. Did you ever see the 1955 Alain Renais documentary 'Night and Fog'? It's a gruesome film of Nazi atrocities but it's message at the end of the film is about the horrors of wars and that we must not forget- ever. I'm not quite sure if I believe in a "justifiable war" or any kind of war at all. I think wars are like prison life. They're brutal on both the prisoners and the employees of those institutions. Not everyone can be a "Soledad Brother" in prison. Like war, it is unseemly, dark and dirty and in the end nobody wins. There is no distinction between wrong and right and everyone ends up with blurred vision. What I'm trying to say is that war and fascism are almost indistinguishable from one another. This is my take on fascism:

When fascism comes it will be listening to perfectly crafted hip hop. It will be a sexy outfit and goose step its way down the runways of fashion meccas. Fascism will be quietly eating fast food in front of big screen televisions. It will take hold at European soccer matches as they sing their jingoistic songs. Fascism will be a maternal feeling born through in vitro fertilization clinics. It will pit blue collar against blue collar, white against white, black against black and brown against brown in the basements of corporate excess until they are so beaten down they will eat anything out of the rich man’s hands. Fascism will wear white at its wedding. It’s virgins will sing the songs that the brown shirts at Oktoberfests would sing so beautifully. It will be Israelis, Arizonans and Texans building walls at it’s borders using undocumented workers. We will casually drink fascism out of a Starbuck’s coffee cup. Fascism will look exactly like you and me.

I hope you're well and give my love to Joyce, Michael.

Norma said...

Adorable photo.

I read your bio. Have no idea what you said. I used to be a liberal now I'm a conservative because enough was never enough.

Dissertation said...

This is an extravagant occupation that you perform, and it is actually a huge and outstanding contentment to perceive a number of of the furthermost and exceptional possessions that you allocate, so I will articulate appreciation for distribution of this abundant belongings.

Dissertation Writer|UK Dissertation Writer

gta_emon said...

I intended to compose you alone a bit of note in order to give many thanks again about the amazing advice you’ve contributed above. It”s quite extremely generous of people like you giving easily exactly what a few individuals could have advertised as an e-book for their own end, and in particular considering that you could have tried it in case you decided. These concepts served like a fantastic way to be certain that many people have similar fervor just like my proposal own to figure out a great deal more in respect more this issue I believe There are several more pleasant periods up front for folks who who check out your blog.Regards
generic inks

Serena Thomson said...

Thanks to share this post .. i like 2nd pic ..!!

custom pins