strong>Syriana, named after a hypothetical country that some conservatives would like to see come to exist in the middle east, is a dramatic political thriller about corporate business, national government, and international politics set in a world that runs on oil, a film written and directed by Stephen Gaghan. It is also about self, family, and morality. The film does the work of journalism, political theory, and tragic catharsis. The story of Syriana focuses on an intelligence agent (Bob: George Clooney) given assignments to sell arms then to assassinate a progressive middle eastern prince; a due-diligence lawyer (Bennett: Jeffrey Wright) assigned to fix an important oil company merger, even if it means finding sacrifices for legal prosecution among his own associates; and an economic analyst (Bryan: Matt Damon) who tries to mix business and family pleasure, and loses and gains much more than he could have anticipated. George Clooney’s intelligence agent is someone whose extensive history, thoroughness, and age may actually be making it harder for him to do his job—he’s reacting to complexities others do not see or want to ignore. Jeffrey Wright’s lawyer, saddled with a companion (apparently his father) who is alcoholic and whom he treats with a wary and sometimes antagonistic concern, has sensitivity and great control—he’s capable of the frightening poker face one sometimes sees on organization men. Damon’s analyst is a man who is decent and intelligent but practical—with a decency that extends his business morality but short-circuits his familial conscience. Syriana requires and rewards a vigilant intelligence and empathic imagination. The film involves the intricacies—some elaborate, some almost embarrassingly mundane—of the interrelationship between national economies; and the film’s locations are international, and its characters use English and French as well as Arabic, Farsi, and Urdu. The United States is dependent on other countries for oil and manufacturing contracts—and government is willing to ignore rule-bending, and both corporations and government aren’t above ruining the reputations and careers of individuals if that will protect the system: capitalism and government are inextricably linked. The film is full of facts, ideas, and connections; and it demonstrates an understanding that the viewer—the citizen—now needs to grasp the public world in which we exist. Understanding is possible: it’s been demonstrated.
Andre Techine, the director of Paulina is Leaving, The Bronte Sisters, Rendezvous, My Favorite Season, The Wild Reeds, Thieves, and Alice and Martin is one of the more interesting film artists. Techine’s Thieves is an intricate work—mixing perspectives and timelines—about a woman philosopher (Catherine Deneuve) and policeman (Daniel Auteuil) involved with the same young woman. The film is about sacrifices and sorrow in love, and crimes small and large, shared and individual.
I remember hearing a woman editor describe the women in the film strong>Thelma and Louise as being stupid; and I recall people in my Cultural Politics Discussion Group, at Poets House in Soho, asking whether it was a feminist film (I said yes, as it suggested the choices women have in society and depicted the journey of two women)…
There is a lot of art to be admired in the world: Giovanni Morani’s “The Tailor” (1550), with its proud, hard-working, and elegant subject; Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s “Spring” (1573), in which a man’s face is profiled with flowers rather than skin and bones; Giovanni Canaletto’s “The Grand Canal, Venice, Looking East…” (1734), with a cosmopolitan view, featuring shimmering water; and John Constable’s “The Haywain” (1821), a pastoral scene; and Eugene Boudin’s “The Beach at Trouville (1864), with its entrancing sky. I like Cezanne and Van Gogh, Francis Bacon and Lucien Freud—and Edward Bannister and Henry Tanner, and Palmer Hayden, Malvin Gray Johnson, Archibald Motley Jr., Eldzier Cortor, Beauford Delaney, and Kerry James Marshall. I have seen the work of painter Bob Thompson in galleries and museums, and I immediately responded to the scenes of diverse people together—Edenic, multicultural—and the references to classic figures and stories, but it was Stanley Crouch who first introduced me to Thompson’s work when he wrote an essay about it for The Village Voice (“Meteor in a Black Hat,” Voice, December 2, 1986). Stanley Crouch called Bob Thompson “a spiritual muckraker whose shocking, erotic, satiric, and mystical paintings were intricate fusings of classical and American themes, methods, and images. Symbols, designs, taboos, and stereotypical figures were interwoven with subtle African patterns and religious suggestions. Sexuality was celebrated and teased in some works, while other paintings illuminated its mysteries and terrors; the literal and metaphor implications of violence, horror, transcendence, and apocalyptic destructions were confronted and probed.” Crouch described the warm love felt by those who knew Thompson, who faced racism in the art world and also the resentment of other blacks for his relative success, and Thompson had a serious, worsening drug habit. Thompson went to Rome in 1965, with his wife, and was challenged and inspired by the great art he saw, but he got sick and had an ill-advised gall bladder operation, did a lot of drugs, and his lungs flooded while he slept, and he died. Stanley Crouch wrote that in his career Thompson had “stood up to the demands of his gifts, and to the history of visual art” (“Meteor in a Black Hat,” reprinted in Crouch’s Notes of a Hanging Judge, Oxford, 1990; 185-200). The Michael Rosenfeld Gallery in Manhattan recently opened a November 2005 to January 2006 exhibit of Thompson’s work that takes the title of Crouch’s essay as the exhibit’s name (the exhibit is at Milwaukee’s Haggerty Museum from late January to mid-April 2006). The exhibit features a confrontation near the sea in “St. George and the Dragon” (1961), and “The Nativity” (1963), with the three wise men dressed in red and green and blue, and an orange, nude mother, with a light powder green baby, and a male figure—either a bearded father in brown robes or multiple wings—and winged baby angels, giving this traditional scene in western art a twist. Do his truly colored figures indicate that it is not skin but relationship, function, and symbolism that are important? Or are his colors just more offerings of aesthetic pleasure? “Tribute to an American Indian” (1963) has two red Indians with a seated group of diverse figures, and “The Golden Ass” (1963) has a woman’s buttocks and legs with blotches of gold. “Mother and Child” (1965) features a blue mother with a yellow-gold child and careful detailing of tree branches. One sees a lot of control of form and color, and care for texture and motion; and some of the work—I’m thinking now principally of “The Frog and the Princess” (1960), in which a naked gray lady seems to be entering a wooded area—have dark and harsh color, with a kind of expressionistic roughness.
Patrice Chereau’s films include Queen Margot, Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train, Intimacy, His Brother, and Gabrielle, among various stage and television productions. It’s my personal misfortune not to know anyone who has seen strong>Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train (1999), a French film I recommended to anyone who would listen. It is about a painter Jean-Baptiste (Jean- Louis Trintignant) whose wish was to be buried in the family plot in Limoges, where his brother lives and where the family shoe factory is. The painter is the loved and hated wild man in the family, the one whose energies defied and pleased his family and friends, while his brother married and had children and led a stable life and kept the family business going. The painter’s arrogance continues after his death, as he insisted that those who love him would be willing to bear the inconvenience of taking the train from Paris to the Limoges cemetery. Those going to the funeral include Jean-Marie (Charles Berling) as the alienated son of the shoe business father, who was close to his uncle, the painter, and Jean-Marie’s wife, an addict, Claire (Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi), was seen as something of a death-bringer by the painter. Pascal Greggory plays a editor-publisher, Francois, who is preparing to publish an interview with the painter, so we hear the late painter’s words. Pascal Greggory has appeared in the films Pauline at the Beach, Queen Margot, Time Regained, The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc, Confusion of Genders, and Gabrielle. Lacking nothing—neither intelligence nor passion—he still seems a very physical, vividly sexual, presence; and in Those Who Love Me he is involved with Louis (Bruno Todeschini), and Louis becomes infatuated with a boy on the train. Vincent Perez plays Frederic/Viviane, a young man in the middle of a sex change. The film was reviewed by critics—who aren’t entirely real people, are they (we)?—and it was not uncommon for them to note difficulty in discerning the characters or the film’s intentions. I welcomed the diversity of characters, with their complicated impulses, and the film’s ability to balance comedy and drama: the film seemed cosmopolitan, sophisticated—and it was fun.
strong>Time Code (2000), a film by Mike Figgis, offers four stories simultaneously told—so that we see four blocks of images on the screen at once, with the stories taking place in the movie industry and often focusing on the ups and downs of business, love, and sex. The film features Stellan Skarsgard, Salma Hayek, and Jeanne Triplehorn among its large cast. Time Code works as both aesthetic experiment and as the portrait of a specific society.
Caetano Veloso has directed a couple of films: Cinema Falado (Talking Cinema, 1986), a collage of monologues, dialogues, and literary quotations, and Bem-Vindo a Sao Paulo (2004), a celebration of Sao Paulo. He has also been featured as an actor and performer in various films, but he is best known as a musician. When I first heard the voice of Caetano Veloso, I thought it was one of the most beautiful male voices I had ever heard: I would put on his Circulado (Elektra/Polygram, 1991) album when I wanted to hear something mellow, but that was not enough for me to stop spelling his name incorrectly. There are various ways of apprehending the musician and writer Caetano Veloso, but the most enjoyable are, for me, two recordings released in the last few years: A Foreign Sound (Nonesuch Records/Universal, 2004) and The Best of Caetano Veloso (Nonesuch/Warner, 2003). The album A Foreign Sound, produced by Veloso and Jaques Morelenbaum, is an English language recording that features songs written by Cole Porter, Kurt Cobain, the Gershwins, David Byrne, Rodgers and Hart, Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, and Irving Berlin. It is a very elegant album, with printed lyrics, interesting photographs, and a note from Veloso. One hears the plucking of guitar strings and orchestral swirls, and Caetano Veloso’s voice is both light and grave. It’s fun to hear him sing Cobain’s “Come As You Are,” which was first recorded by the band Nirvana, and contains sharp contradictions, suggesting not confusion but an aware and complex mind. Veloso uses both a falsetto voice and a low, declamatory voice to interpret “Feelings,” making a song that had become a cabaret cliché sound like a genuine human expression. Cole Porter’s “Love for Sale,” coming from Veloso, can be heard as a whore’s advertisement, a lover’s cynical awareness of the dating game, and an existential lament. His casually brave singing of the Gershwins’ “The Man I Love” is actually one of the best interpretations of the song I’ve heard—I think Diana Ross’s Stolen Moments performance of the song is good too (the strength of both is the intonation of serenity rather than suffering)—and Veloso manages to make the song amusing, charming, proof that Caetano Veloso is capable of more conceptual sophistication than most American male singers. Veloso’s “Cry Me a River” is not enough to make me forget Streisand’s desperately emphatic version of decades past, but his “Jamaica Farewell” is jaunty, terrific. Nature reclaims man-made environments in David Byrne’s “(Nothing But) Flowers” and Veloso’s vocal echoes Byrne in this satirical song. I think that Veloso, who had an English language advisor for A Foreign Sound, mispronounces the word and name “Bronx” in the song “Manhattan,” evidence that tiny mistakes are hard to avoid even in work conducted by a genius. Veloso’s “Summertime” is awkward in comparison to that of Mahalia Jackson, who saw beyond the song’s details to suggest the sorrow of a spirit (her recognition itself was soothing); in Veloso’s version I could hear the song’s irresolvable contradictions: the song seems a lullaby for trouble that neither sleep or parents and only death can stop. More rap than singing is Veloso’s reading of “It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding),” but Veloso turns “Body and Soul” into a courtly declaration of love, a troubadour’s offering rather than the half-mad confession the lyrics could be thought to suggest. A Foreign Sound is the work of an ambitious musician who lays claim to the world. The Best of Caetano Veloso is the musician offering sounds that might be more readily identified with him, but they are no less far-ranging and imaginative. Veloso’s work, which consists of many songs that he wrote, is complex, unique, and warm. David Byrne has written the album notes, and he calls Veloso’s music “a sonic representation of a world that allows itself to partake in everything that is available and that works.” The song “O Estrangeiro (The Stranger)” is about travel, sight, blindness, memory, dream, and nationalistic myth, and it mentions Gaugin, Cole Porter, and Claude Levi-Strauss in its opening lines. There’s a cry that the “king is naked,” but “I wake up because all becomes silent/ Before the fact that the king is more beautiful naked.” It’s impressive that on a song such as “Manhata (Manhattan),” a song about an Indian girl, land and water, history, Veloso can perform with such a large group of musicians—instruments include guitar, cello, conga, trumpets, flutes, trombones, and saxophones—and yet the music is delicate: in the song, which could be an account of the taking of the new world, of America, “All of mankind/ Turns its eyes in that direction” and “here wars dance amid/ Love’s peaceful dwellings.” The end of slavery is celebrated in “13 De Maio (May 13th). A song written by Chabuca Grande, “Fina Estampa (Fine Figure),” is a flowery tribute to a gentleman, and features cello, viola, and violins with Veloso’s voice, and the song has a classical sound. “Haiti,” a song written by Veloso in collaboration with Gilberto Gil is about race, poverty, and brutality, about “the epic grandeur of a still unfinished people,” and an atmosphere in which it may happen that “the venerable cardinal declares that he sees so much/ soul in the fetus/ But none in the criminal.” Obviously this is far from the brainless popular music many of us are accustomed to. “Baiao Da Penha,” written by Guio de Moraes and David Nasser, is a sung prayer for voice and guitar. In Tomas Mendez Sosa’s “Cucurrucucu Paloma (Cucurrucucu Dove)” Caetano Veloso caresses the lyrics in a way he does not his English-language songs, and that is especially impressive as the song’s theme—grief over a lost love—is so old, so often treated, that anyone could be expected to fail in interpretive intensity given it. A song about singing that Veloso wrote, “Um Tom (A Tom)” has the simplicity of a folk song. “Tradicao (Tradition),” written by Gilberto Gil, is a song about watching a young attractive couple in a city, and there’s a certain sexual ambiguity that becomes unabashed: “I watched her so much I ended up watching the boy she was going out with” and it turns out that boy is also watching the narrator. The Best Of Caetano Veloso also has other love songs, ballads and uptempo, and includes a tribute to film director Michelangelo Antonioni in a song bearing his name and the lyrics: “Vision of silence/ Empty street corner/ Page with no sentence/ Letter written on a face/ In stone and mist/ Love/ useless window.” David Byrne said in his notes for The Best of Caetano Veloso that Veloso “has reconciled innovation with beauty, intelligence with sentimentality, worldliness with localness and sexual androgyny with time.”
Voltaire (1694-1778) was witty, and is reported to have said many amusing, wise things, such as “Those who can make you believe in absurdities can make you commit atrocities,” and “If you have two religions in your land, the two will cut each other’s throats; but if you have thirty religions, they will dwell in peace.” He said—something useful to the mediocre, which is most of us most of the time: “Appreciation is a wonderful thing: it makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” After a sexual experiment with a boy he was asked if he’d renew the pleasure and was quoted as saying, “Once a philosopher, twice a pederast.” He said also, “Common sense is not so common,” which was a simple statement I thought original to myself—that’s the thing about smart people: they’re always getting there first. Voltaire wrote a poem, “The Lisbon Earthquake,” following a natural disaster that inspired spiritual doubts and philosophical questioning by many; and it is a poem that has relevance now when so many thoughts have been about earthquakes and hurricanes. Is divinity just? Was there divine retribution for spiritual offenses? “And can you then impute a sinful deed/ To babes who on their mothers’ bosoms bleed?” he asks. Does divinity not direct nature? “Will you thus limit the eternal mind?/ Should not our God to mercy be inclined?/ Cannot then God direct all nature’s course?/ Can power almighty be without resource?” he asks: an interrogation of belief by intellect. He examines the circumlocution that often accompanies religion, such as the idea that a supreme power created man but is not responsible for man’s flaws: “No vessel of the potter asks, we know/ Why it was made so brittle, vile, and low?” He ends the poem with this: “A caliph once when his last hour drew nigh/ Prayed in such terms as thee to the most high:/ “Being supreme, whose greatness knows no bound,/ I bring thee all that can’t in Thee be found;/ Defects and sorrows, ignorance and woe.”/ Hope he omitted, man’s sole bliss below.” (The quotes are from The Lisbon Earthquake and Other Poems, part of The Works of Voltaire, published by E. R. Du Mont, Paris and New York, 1901; 8-18).
Barry Levinson’s very amusing and intelligent strong>Wag the Dog (1997), based on a book by Larry Beinhart, is about a Hollywood producer hired to help fabricate a war with Albania to distract the United States electorate from the president’s sexual scandal. It stars Dustin Hoffman as the producer, Robert DeNiro as a political fixer, and Anne Heche as an aide; and each is wonderful. Hoffman is a walking satire, and DeNiro has never been more appealing or more subtly dangerous, and Heche is luminous.
“Today, as a result of the agricultural revolution that in so many respects Wallace pioneered, fewer than 2% of Americans are employed in farm occupations—and they produce more than their grandfathers produced 70 years ago,” wrote Arthur Schlesinger Jr. in the March 12, 2000 Los Angeles Times about Henry Wallace. Wallace was described by Schlesinger as an editor, geneticist, economist, businessman, and the “best secretary of agriculture the country has ever had.” Henry Agard Wallace (1888-1965), who became the vice president under Franklin Roosevelt, was born into a family of editors interested in scientific farming (Wallace’s Farmer was their publication), and his own father served in a national presidential administration. Henry Wallace was tutored as a boy by the Negro agricultural scientist George Washington Carver, whose belief in both science and spirituality was said to be a lasting influence on Wallace. When Wallace was fifteen, in 1903, Wallace conducted an experiment that demonstrated that corn yield could not be predicted by the look of the ear of corn (a correlation between appearance and yield had been supposed previously). Wallace, as a man, began to look at the manufacture and sale of corn, wanting to give farmers a business model (considering production and shipping costs, how much would farmers need to charge to make a profit?); and he is largely responsible for the introduction of statistical analysis in agriculture. He also developed corn hybrids. Wallace as secretary of agriculture used thinkers and practitioners in the field of agriculture to help draft legislation to control production and the surpluses that negatively affected the market. As vice president, Wallace supervised various programs, and he was also a public spokesman for the Roosevelt administration—defending New Deal policies, arguing that the second world war could bring in the century of the common man, strengthening ties with Latin America. Wallace also spoke against segregation and for civil rights for blacks; and he believed in equal wages for equal work regardless of race or sex. Wallace learned the Russian language and visited Russia and saw the Russians as people not enemies—a view that if followed might have decreased suspicion between the U.S. and Russia. Controversy over Wallace’s desire to promote détente with Russia led to his ouster as vice presidential nominee when Roosevelt ran for re-election, just as Wallace’s spiritual beliefs would be publicized and used against him in later years. Wallace was reported to have said in a speech that a liberal was someone who asked, “What is best for all people—not merely what is best for me personally?”
Cassandra Wilson’s music albums include Blue Skies, Jumpworld, She Who Weeps, Blue Light ‘Til Dawn, New Moon Daughter, Rendezvous, Traveling Miles, Belly of the Sun, and Glamoured. She has performed standards, experimental jazz, and folk and popular songs, bringing a dramatically moody intelligence and dry tone to her work. She evokes rather than expresses emotion and she suggests meaning.
strong>Withnail and I (1987), written and directed by Bruce Robinson, is a buddy movie, but being an English film, wit, and not merely drinking or sports, is involved. The film stars Richard E. Grant as the eccentric and often drunk Withnail and Paul McGann as his friend, Peter Marwood, both down-and-out actors in 1969 London. Although different in temperament, they are friends; and they each may represent something the other lacks, such as flamboyance versus seriousness, and a moneyed past versus an ordinary one. They decide to escape their troubles by visiting the cottage of Withnail’s uncle who unexpectedly shows up and shows a sexual interest in Peter. It’s possible that the uncle is an embodiment of the repressed element in the relationship of the two young men, an unacceptable element. Why does Withnail drink? I do not remember. At the film’s end, it seems Withnail and Peter will part.
“Nothing is more difficult than facing concepts without prejudice. (And that’s the principal difficulty in philosophy),” wrote Wittgenstein (The Wittgenstein Reader, Blackwell, 1994; 177). Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) said that the philosopher is not a member of any community of ideas; and his own work focused on language and logic, but he also made some comments about culture. Wittgenstein thought that many philosophical problems were actually problems in language, and that life’s rules come to us in pictures describing how we are to act. Wittgenstein, who saw language as a labyrinth—he said one could know one aspect and be lost in another—thought metaphysics confused fact and concept, and he also said that if one is in an room, but doesn’t know how to open the unlocked door (push or pull?), one is imprisoned. Wittgenstein reportedly liked the films of Carmen Miranda and Betty Hutton.
“Every time he thought he was going mad, he met somebody else who had already gone mad, but in a nice, sweet sort of way,” wrote Richard Wright about Cross Damon, faced with a woman allowing herself to become involved in a real estate scheme, in the novel The Outsider (HarperPerennial, 1993; 184). Wright was himself a man of intelligence and taste and, considering what he knew in the era in which he lived, his own sanity is nearly a miracle—except that we know his sanity was cultivated. Michel Fabre paid essayist, novelist, and poet Richard Wright significant respect by producing Richard Wright: Books and Writers (University Press of Mississippi, 1990), which provides an annotated bibliography of Wright’s library and also includes some of his sharp, quick-moving book reviews and other commentaries on literature. Richard Wright read the published (and sometimes unpublished) books of Peter Abrahams, James Agee, Sherwood Anderson, Hannah Arendt, Austen, Balzac, Djuana Barnes, Joseph Conrad, Rene Descartes, John Dewey, John Dos Passos, Dostoevsky, Dreiser, DuBois, T.S. Eliot, Emerson, Engels, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Flaubert, Forster, Freud, Gibbon, Gide, Goethe, Geoffrey Gorer, Gorky, Graham Greene, Knut Hamsun, Hardy, Hawthorne, Hegel, Heidegger, Hemingway, Chester Himes, Langston Hughes, Husserl, Ibsen, Joyce, Kafka, Kierkegaard, Kinsey, George Lamming, D.H. Lawrence, Camara Laye, Alain Locke, George Moore, John O’Hara, George Padmore, Edgar Allan Poe, Proust, Pushkin, Rabelais and many, many more, famous and obscure. The important events in a writer’s life—his perceptions, ideas, and discoveries of the uses of various forms—are identified not by considering the people he slept with, fights he had, contracts he broke, or alcohol he drank, but by identifying the books he read and wrote. It was famously said that Richard Wright could imagine a Bigger Thomas (Native Son), but Bigger Thomas could not imagine a Richard Wright. (Wright himself starred in a mid-century film of Native Son as Bigger Thomas, directed by Pierre Chenal; and a subsequent film version of the novel, directed by Jerrold Freedman and starring Victor Love as Bigger, was released in 1986). Richard Wright could claim the broadest human inheritance for himself because he was aware of its full dimensions; and he was surprised to learn how rare this knowledge was, and where, other than in art, it might be found. In White Man, Listen! he wrote, “It has been almost only among Asians and Africans of an artistic stamp and whose background has consisted of wars, revolutions, and harsh colonial experience that I’ve found a sense of the earth belonging to, and being the natural home of, all the men inhabiting it, an attitude that went well beyond skin color, races, parties, classes, and nations” (HarperPerennial, 1995; 25-26).
“Yesterday, When I Was Young” is a song written by French writer-singer Charles Aznavour (standard English translation: Herbert Krestzmer) that Lena Horne sang in her stage show The Lady and Her Music on Broadway (Qwest Records, 1981). Lena Horne was a featured performer in Cabin in the Sky, Stormy Weather, Death of a Gunfighter, and The Wiz; and she is one of the most scintillating, honest, and intelligent women of the last hundred years. The Lady and Her Music was staged by Arthur Faria and featured Tyra Ferrell and Vondie Curtis-Hall in its company, and Grady Tate, Cecil Bridgewater, Jon Faddis, and Michael Brecker as part of the orchestra, directed by Harold Wheeler. Yesterday, when I was young, the taste of life was sweet, as rain upon my tongue. I teased at life, as if it were a foolish game, the way the evening breeze may tease a candle flame. Horne sings “Yesterday, When I Was Young” as a confession of lifelong memory—it is sensual and self-accusatory, painful and wise, eloquent and gritty, in a great performance: Every conversation, I can now recall, concerned itself with me, just me, and nobody else at all—and it can easily touch one’s own regrets. The game of love I played, with arrogance and pride, and every flame I lit, too quickly, quickly died, the friends I made, all seemed somehow to slip away, and only I am left all alone on stage to end the play.
Daniel Garrett is a writer of journalism, fiction, poetry, and drama. His work has appeared in The African, AIM/America’s Intercultural Magazine, AllAboutJazz.com, AltRap.com, American Book Review, Art & Antiques, The Audubon Activist, Black American Literature Forum, The Compulsive Reader, Frictionmagazine.com, The Humanist, Hyphen, Illuminations, Muse-Apprentice-Guild.com, Option, PopMatters.com, The Quarterly Black Review of Books, Red River Review, Offscreen.com, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, The St. Mark’s Poetry Project Newsletter, 24FramesPerSecond.com, UnlikelyStories.org, WaxPoetics.com, and World Literature Today. His extensive “Notes” on culture and politics appeared on IdentityTheory.com.