Thursday, September 29, 2005

tired eyes

false alarm - sensation overload - i bet you're deep enough
to focus on the false alarm - sensation overload

all hail the night where things go undercover and belong
feelings go astray but you see
the dying fell inside their little holes
all the way, i tried it all the way

dark side up is tearing me apart to start the world like this
i felt inside the pockets nothing there tell me where oh where
did all this go to turn around and screech and smash the glass the night forgets it is a little shell all the dark it feels it's breaking up

tapped along the shoulderblade and give me gas the prize is right to go
all the way i feel it all the way
the barren streets know no concern
and treat you right if you know all their worth
all the way she turned it all the way

turned inside me
oh oh oh
what's inside me
oh oh oh
i want to see it now
but but but

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

grey dawn

have i seen you before at the door?
have i fled you before?
is it really a new day
or another long chore?

do i catch you forever
or between my own eyes
leave alone when you fled me
keeping random and try

turn around in the slipstream
feel the way to your heart
does it give out new pleasures
does it tear you apart?

take away all my mountains
all my hills and my fields
take away all the mornings
and ring out with the tide

does it suit you to feel me
when the water recedes
grey dawn waits at the table
and is ready to feed

take away all my warnings
little stupid hoorays
take away all my sinking
until the last one is spared

little cries in the darkness
turned away in your dawn
let the ocean adore you
turn around in your....

send around in the tidings
a broken litter doll cracked
turned away for your safety
until the lifeboat arrives


(hi camilla)

(well this could work if the words are really slurred, and maybe some echoes in it

I like the drift anyway)

Sunday, September 25, 2005

winter commute

set alone in the snow stone
burnt alive through the years
turned around with a road sign
left to sing your own praise

words strike out and cover meaning
tears run dry run out of season
relieve the pressures left at home
endless roadside work follows you into the night

left alone in a bad cage
turned around with a song you remember
keep your eyes on the roadsigns
just in case you belong to

the track that leaves you falling further
isolated leaves run dry around
a deep cold memory that's found itself attached
to nice cold lakes inside your mind
but stare ahead when i beliee you're lying
turn around to stop the car and get out
to find the world has seen you out the back door
burn alive and shiver where you saw it
bubblegum and lights and no tomrrow
turning back has never been so far away

(ferocious guitar work courtesy of Chris Bryan)

left alone in the tower
have you seen your own eyes
steering clear of the weather
left alone to decide


(can't you see i'm trying to write lyrics here? this song's got a nice sonic youth kinda guitar theme and vibe. i guess it could work like this. we'll see. recording in a couple of weeks...)

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


as views collide
a shaking house appears
a face
you stare ahead and stare to nothing
a picture's gone inside your mind, wake up
when trees collide noise wanders through the town
find another leave to bite and boil
as soon as sunset strikes again
we rise
and turn inside the bulging tower
hate erupts and
little figures
describe sensations out of my reach
similar and similar descends
similar and similar descends
too much too fried, consider
too far to go
stammer now and stammer a sentence
learn another rhymeto sing
for another overcast sky
and another doll to break
in two
and another fine example
of spitting out to stay alive
letting it all go
into a dark space
all consider
your own
beaming light from inside the skull
go home go home
so leaves fall quicker
the house threatens
to fall inside itself
exploding hate, inside the
flooding, body bags,
simple matters
out of control
i kneeled in front of the house
where colours swirl against each other
i strive to see in front of it
a corridor
belongs to me
and sends me lights
guides me to the door
another hall another dancefloor
another river flooding and a
sentence designed for you
in another language
a language that i don't understand
beats the pain and beats the stellar
inside a chimney b-b-b-b-baked for you
hey rain
i'm shocked
a train wreck
away to dust

Monday, September 05, 2005

Notes From Inside New Orleans
by Jordan Flaherty
Friday, September 2, 2005
I just left New Orleans a couple hours ago. I traveled from the
apartment I was staying in by boat to a helicopter to a refugee camp. If anyone wants to examine the attitude of federal and state officials towards the victims of hurricane Katrina, I advise you to visit one of the refugee camps.

In the refugee camp I just left, on the I-10 freeway near Causeway,
thousands of people (at least 90% black and poor) stood and squatted in mud and trash behind metal barricades, under an unforgiving sun, with heavily armed soldiers standing guard over them. When a bus would come through, it would stop at a random spot, state police would open a gap in one of the barricades, and people would rush for the bus, with no information given about where the bus was going. Once inside (we
were told) evacuees would be told where the bus was taking them - Baton Rouge, Houston, Arkansas, Dallas, or other locations. I was told that if you boarded a
bus bound for Arkansas (for example), even people with family and a place to stay in Baton Rouge would not be allowed to get out of the bus as it passed through Baton Rouge. You had no choice but to go to the shelter in Arkansas. If you had people willing to come to New Orleans to pick you up, they could not come within 17 miles of the camp.

I traveled throughout the camp and spoke to Red Cross workers, Salvation Army Workers, National Guard, and state police, and although they were friendly, no one could give me any details on when buses would arrive, how many, where they would go to, or any other information. I spoke to the several teams of journalists nearby, and asked if any of them had been able to get any information from any federal or state officials on any of these questions, and all of them, from Australian tv to local Fox affiliates complained of an unorganized, non-communicative, mess.
One cameraman told me "as someone who's been here in this camp for two days, the only information I can give you is this: get out by nightfall. You don't want to be here at night."

There was also no visible attempt by any of those running the camp to set up any sort of transparent and consistent system, for instance a line to get on buses, a way to register contact information or find family members, special needs services for children and infirm, phone services, treatment for possible disease exposure, nor even a single trash can.

To understand the dimensions of this tragedy, its important to look at New Orleans itself.

For those who have not lived in New Orleans, you have missed a incredible, glorious, vital, city. A place with a culture and energy unlike anywhere else in the world. A
70% African-American city where resistance to white supremacy has supported a generous, subversive and unique culture of vivid beauty. From jazz, blues and hiphop, to secondlines, Mardi Gras, Indians, Parades, Beads, Jazz Funerals, and red beans and rice on Monday nights, New Orleans is a place of art and music and
dance and sexuality and liberation unlike anywhere else in the world.

It is a city of kindness and hospitality, where walking down the block can take two hours because you stop and talk to someone on every porch, and where a community pulls together when someone is in need. It is a city of extended families and social networks filling the gaps left by city, state and federal governments that have abdicated their responsibility for the public welfare. It is a city where someone
you walk past on the street not only asks how you are, they wait for an answer.

It is also a city of exploitation and segregation and fear. The city of New Orleans has a population of just over 500,000 and was expecting 300 murders this year, most of them centered on just a few, overwhelmingly black, neighborhoods. Police have been quoted as saying that they don't need to search out the perpetrators, because usually a few days after a shooting, the attacker is shot in revenge.

There is an atmosphere of intense hostility and distrust between much of Black New Orleans and the N.O. Police Department. In recent months, officers have been accused
of everything from drug running to corruption to theft. In separate incidents, two New Orleans police officers were recently charged with rape (while in uniform), and there have been several high profile police killings of unarmed youth, including the murder of Jenard Thomas, which has inspired ongoing weekly protests for several months.

The city has a 40% illiteracy rate, and over 50% of black ninth graders will not graduate in four years. Louisiana spends on average $4,724 per child's education and ranks 48th in the country for lowest teacher salaries. The equivalent of more than two classrooms of young people drop out of Louisiana schools every day and about 50,000 students are absent from school on any given day. Far too many young black men from New Orleans end up enslaved in Angola Prison, a former slave plantation where inmates still do manual farm labor, and over 90% of inmates eventually die in the prison. It is a city where industry has left, and most remaining jobs are are low-paying, transient, insecure jobs in the service economy.

Race has always been the undercurrent of Louisiana politics. This disaster is one that was constructed out of racism, neglect and incompetence. Hurricane Katrina
was the inevitable spark igniting the gasoline of cruelty and corruption. From the
neighborhoods left most at risk, to the treatment of the refugees to the the media portrayal of the victims, this disaster is shaped by race.

Louisiana politics is famously corrupt, but with the tragedies of this week our political leaders have defined a new level of incompetence. As hurricane Katrina approached, our Governor urged us to "Pray the hurricane down" to a level two. Trapped in a building two days after the hurricane, we tuned our battery-operated radio into local radio and tv stations, hoping for vital news, and were told that our governor had called for a day of prayer. As rumors and panic began to rule, they was no source of solid dependable information. Tuesday night, politicians and
reporters said the water level would rise another 12 feet - instead it stabilized. Rumors spread like wildfire, and the politicians and media only made it worse.

While the rich escaped New Orleans, those with nowhere to go and no way to get there were left behind. Adding salt to the wound, the local and national media have
spent the last week demonizing those left behind. As someone that loves New Orleans and the people in it, this is the part of this tragedy that hurts me the most, and it hurts me deeply.

No sane person should classify someone who takes food from indefinitely closed stores in a desperate, starving city as a "looter," but that's just what the media
did over and over again. Sheriffs and politicians talked of having troops protect stores instead of perform rescue operations.

Images of New Orleans' hurricane-ravaged population were transformed into black, out-of-control, criminals. As if taking a stereo from a store that will clearly be
insured against loss is a greater crime than the governmental neglect and incompetence that did billions of dollars of damage and destroyed a city. This media focus is a tactic, just as the eighties focus on "welfare queens" and "super-predators" obscured the simultaneous and much larger crimes of the Savings and Loan
scams and mass layoffs, the hyper-exploited people of New Orleans are being used as a scapegoat to cover up much larger crimes.

City, state and national politicians are the real criminals here. Since at least the mid-1800s, its been widely known the danger faced by flooding to New Orleans. The flood of 1927, which, like this week's events, was more about politics and racism than any kind of natural disaster, illustrated exactly the danger faced. Yet government officials have consistently refused to spend the money to protect this poor, overwhelmingly black, city. While FEMA and others warned of the urgent impending danger to New Orleans and put forward proposals for funding to
reinforce and protect the city, the Bush administration, in every year since 2001, has cut or refused to fund New Orleans flood control, and ignored scientists warnings of increased hurricanes as a result of global warming. And, as the
dangers rose with the floodlines, the lack of coordinated response dramatized vividly the callous disregard of our elected leaders.

The aftermath from the 1927 flood helped shape the elections of both a
US President and a Governor, and ushered in the southern populist politics of Huey Long.

In the coming months, billions of dollars will likely flood into New
Orleans. This money can either be spent to usher in a "New Deal" for the city, with public investment, creation of stable union jobs, new schools, cultural programs and housing restoration, or the city can be "rebuilt and revitalized" to a
shell of its former self, with newer hotels, more casinos, and with
chain stores and theme parks replacing the former neighborhoods, cultural centers and corner jazz clubs.

Long before Katrina, New Orleans was hit by a hurricane of poverty,
racism, disinvestment, deindustrialization and corruption. Simply the damage from this pre-Katrina hurricane will take billions to repair.

Now that the money is flowing in, and the world's eyes are focused on
Katrina, its vital that progressive-minded people take this opportunity to fight for a rebuilding with justice. New Orleans is a special place, and we need to fight for its rebirth.


Saturday, September 03, 2005

Nagin: Uh, I don’t know. I don’t think so. Uh, but we called for martial law when we realize that the looting was getting out of control. We redirected all of our police officers back to patrolling the streets. They were dirt...dead tired from saving people but they worked all night because we thought this thing was gonna blow wide open last night. And so we redirected all of our resources and we held it under check. I’m not sure if we can do that another night with the current resources. And I am telling you right now, they’re showing all these reports of people looting and doing all that weird stuff and they are doing that, but people are desperate and they’re trying to find food and water. The majority of them. Now, you got some knuckleheads out there and they are taking advantage of this lawless...this situation where we can’t really control it and they are doing some awful, awful things but that’s a small majority of the people. Most people are looking to try and survive. And you’ve gotta, one of the things, nobody's talked about this. Drugs flowed in and out of New Orleans and the surrounding metropolitan area so freely it was scary to me. And that’s why we were having an escalation in murders. People don’t want to talk about this but I’m going to talk about it. You have drug addicts that are now walking around this city looking for a fix. And that’s the reason why they were breaking into hospitals and drug stores. They’re looking for something to take the edge of their jones, if you will. And right now they don’t have anything to take the edge off and they’ve probably found guns. So what you’re seeing is drug starving crazy addicts. Drug addicts that are wreaking havoc and we don’t have the manpower to adequately deal with it. We can only target certain sections of the city and form a perimeter around them and hope to God that we are not overrun.

Friday, September 02, 2005

i'm shocked

there's a lot of harrowing stories coming in from NOLA, and it a lot of it doesn't even get reported on mainstream news medias. i've been getting stuck on this long I Love Everything thread that keeps reporting stories and links to blogs and newssites, it's gripping, harrowing reading and i'm in a state of shock.
a whole city is wiped out and the chaos, damage and desperation of the situation is hard to grasp.

I've never been there either, but i know how many literary and musical ghosts are haunting this city, a city like New Orleans is always more than just houses and streets, there's so many stories, songs, mythologies surrounding it, so in many ways it's a mental state too, and a collective memory, an aspiration, whatever. To have such a drastic wipeout of an entire city (and all that it means in terms of lifestyles, heritage, etc.) happening today makes me realize how fragile everything really is these days when it comes to it. And it looks like it's getting worse every hour. and what is going to come next? I'm not that good describing the horror i feel.