Inhuman Swill : April 2011

When a man like Donald Trump says that he's not sure whether or not the president is really a natural-born citizen, you should pay close attention. He's telling you something very important.

What he's telling you is that he thinks you're stupid.

Yes, Trump has conceded that Obama's birth certificate "checks out." But the man is smart enough to know that there was never any serious dispute about the president's citizenship. Any credible politician—not to mention The Donald—who has repeated and amplified any "birther" claims has done it for one reason: to undermine the president's credibility in your mind and to weaken him politically. After all, if you're frothing at the mouth and calling for the president to be impeached over a citizenship issue, it's that much easier for those same politicians to pick your pocket. And if they think they can whip you into that state by repeating statements with no more than a tenuous connection to reality, what does that say about their opinion of you?

So listen closely to Newt Gingrich, and Sarah Palin, and Michele Bachmann, and, yes, Donald Trump when they try to spin today's revelation to their advantage. Even now they think they've gotten away with something by forcing the president's hand, and every word they utter tells you they think you're as dumb as a bag of hammers.

Are you?

If you're in Milwaukee today, come out to Boswell's Books this afternoon for the book launch party for Bradley P. Beaulieu's debut novel The Winds of Khalakovo. It's going to be a great event, and the after-party at Cafe Hollander will include a rapid-fire reading featuring Brad, Kelly Swails, John Helfers, Matt Forbeck, and me.

Get all the details here. Hope to see you there!

Woman in burqa
Pushing her grocery cart
Texting on her phone

In the indigo sky
hang lights like lanterns
strung from here to eternity.
Bright holes punched in the night,
they creep in from the east, queued for
landing but aimed at the spotlit moon holding
fast in their path. But the moon gives way, first
to one plane, then the next, endlessly ceding its place
in line as if shy to touch down at O'Hare. Would
they even know how to handle a moon out
on the tarmac? Call the Marines! Call
Homeland Security! Just get that
thing quarantined before
it hurts some fool or
alters the tides.

In the icy park
we watch the planes,
the dog and I. Lights prowl
past us on two horizons, Damen and
Foster Avenues, impossibly distant in the
winter air that falls like gravel from my mouth,
the subzero air as cold as no air at all. Around us
spreads the pocked and cratered snow. We are alone.
If I were to slip here on the ice, hit my head, crack
my skull, the blood spreading like transmission
fluid as my dog whined and licked my face,
no one else would know. In space
no one can hear you whimper,
and we might as well
be on the moon.

I wanted to let you know about a couple of upcoming appearances of mine in the Chicago area.

First, coming up on Tuesday, April 5, I'll be reading at Tuesday Funk, the monthly series of which I'm also a co-producer and co-host. Our other readers that night are Robert K. Elder, Ian Belknap, J.H. Palmer, and Lisa Chalem. (See here for bios of all the readers.)

Tuesday Funk is an eclectic reading series that features all types of writing in all genres. It takes place at 7:30 pm upstairs at Hopleaf Bar, 5148 N. Clark St. in Chicago, and is free. The upstairs lounge opens at 7:00 pm. Arrive early for a seat!

Tuesday Funk, December 7, 2010

Later that week, I'll be appearing on the public-affairs program Senior Network on CAN TV 19 as part of a panel discussion on contemporary science fiction novels and films. The panel also includes Jody Lynn Nye and Edison Blake and is hosted by Dr. Bob Blackwood.

CAN TV is a Chicago public-access cable network with five separate channels. Our episode will air on Channel 19 on Friday, April 8, at 5 pm, and then again on Sunday, April 10, at noon (though I'm not sure whether our part of it will air in the first or second half of the show). If you get CAN TV 19, please tune in!

On the set at CAN TV

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