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Justice Putnam Self-Portrait / copyright Justice Putnam

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The playlist for Sunday 24 February 8pm to 9pm Pacific Edition of The Justice Department: Musique sans Frontieres

 ~~ "God and Hollywood" ~~

1 - Mississippi Fred McDowell -- "Jesus on the Mainline"
2 - Afro Celt Sound System -- "Mojave"
3 - Jairamji -- "Stabilizing in the Chaos"
4 - Daniel Lanois -- "Fire"
5 - Clothesline Revival -- "Gypsy Laddie"

Station Break

6 - Boozoo Bayou -- "Nights Over Manaus"
7 - Cowboy Junkies -- "Something More Beside You"
8 - Natascha Atlas -- "Eye of the Duck"
9 - Temple of Sound -- "iZulu Li Ya Duma"
10 - Savara Nazarkhan -- "Yol Bolsin"
11 - Mayra Andrade -- "Seu"

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Go ahead, now you can listen while roaming the Big Orange and beyond!


(12-String Ovation Balladeer Astoria, Oregon / copyright Justice Putnam)


If only God would save me,
I would know how to hurt you.

If only God would save me,
I would know who to sell my soul to.

Anything is an autobiography,
but this is a conversation—

William Burroughs insisted
literature lagged 50 years behind painting,

thinking no doubt about abstraction, collage,
fragmentation, his cut-ups.

But whatever that meant (why always 50 years?), or however
he presumed to rile other writers,

poetry probably does lag behind any credible media theory about it—

so that if I put a pine tree
into a poem,

a grove of pine trees
and beyond them the sea,

you’d think it was the same tree Wordsworth put there;
instead of two obligatory centuries of nature studies, all those

Technicolor vistas, torch songs, couples
drifting through leaves in Salem commercials.

Into one life and out another,

the way a junkie playing a writer,
a writer playing a priest,

so that when I finally blurted out,
You-betrayed-me / I-wounded-you / We’re-so-unhappy

you assumed the burden of personal urgency,
supposed it was me speaking at the limits of my self-control

and not The Damned Don’t Cry,
Temptation, and Leave Her to Heaven.

You open your mouth and a tradition dribbles out.

But that’s mimesis—

how almost impossible to avoid mimesis,
anybody’s hardest truths prompting the most fractured constructions,

the way to think about God might be
to disobey God,

if only God’s wish to remain hidden,

so that if everything is an autobiography,
this is a conversion.

As my lives flash before me,

why must the yearning for God
trump all other yearnings?

You often hear converts confess
the drinking, his pills, her sexual addiction,

concealed inside them a yearning for God—
why not the other way around?

The admission of Jesus into your life
concealing instead the wish, say, a need

To be fucked senseless drunk drugged & screaming
Oh God! Oh God! on a hotel bed . . .

God embraces our yearnings.

That afternoon my father heard his diagnosis of inoperable cancer,
my aunt Barbara demanded we get him to Lourdes

She demanded this with a glass of vodka in her hand—
she demanded this running her fingers up and down my leg—
she demanded this before she passed out in her car—

In the movie of my life,
my father died

after I forgave him,

& when my secret tormentor said may the ghosts of your dreams
gnaw at your belly like a wolf under your jacket,

did she really want revenge,
or was she just killing time?

For me God is a hair shirt, or he’s nothing;
for me God is a pain in the ass;

that’s mimesis, again,

this hour I tell you things in confidence,
I might not tell everybody, but I’ll tell you.

The world is a road under the wall to the church,
the world is a church, & the world is a road,

& the world is a stone wall.

Still, he wanted her the way the Cardinal wanted the Caravaggio,
& when the ill-advised possessor of the painting resisted—
one night Papal Guards searched his house.

Of course contraband came to light, some illegal rifles,
& when the ill-advised possessor of the painting went to prison—
the Cardinal got his Caravaggio.

But I wasn’t a Cardinal, nephew to the Pope,
and you—
you were not a Caravaggio.

So I asked you to be in my movie.

-- Robert Polito
"Hollywood & God"


Voices and Soul appears on Black Kos Tuesday's Chile; poetry chosen and critiqued by Black Kos Poetry Editor Justice Putnam.


(Cut Stones and Arch St Ceneri, France / copyright Justice Putnam)


Question: Who is your audience? What are you here for?

Answer: Tribal Alliances, Heart-felt Convictions, Passionate Reason, Random Abandon, Sustainable Civility and a kiss; to comfort the sad and the mad Ones; the Ones roaming the International section of the American Supermarket at night; or roaming the neglected streets looking for an angry malaprop to sink their teeth into; the Ones who seek without seeking and learn as much as they teach; the Ones who embrace and kiss and embrace again; the Ones who sing the song of the city and the ballads of the forest; the Ones who chant the rhythm of the sea and hum the melody of the desert; the Ones who sing the prayer of Her name and Her name is the World. Yes, those are the Ones.    -- JP


(Man, Girl and Broken Window Klamath Falls, Oregon / copyright Justice Putnam)


(Can you help folks in need heat their homes and cook their food on the Rosebud and Pine Ridge Reservations. Navajo has an important diary posted with all the particulars. Even a small amount can work towards building the minimum.

Could you please help?)


So that explains it... !

Sunlight and Water Pitcher Muir Beach / copyright Justice Putnam


... Or does it?

(Holy Bible and 3 in 1 Oil Berkeley, California / copyright Justice Putnam)



(Rail Road Crossing, Sonoma California / copyright Justice Putnam)


"Many heroes lived before Agamemnon, but they are all unmourned, and consigned to oblivion, because they had no bard to sing their praises."

 -- Horace

"Still the race of hero spirits pass the lamp from hand to hand."

-- Charles Kingsley



Rest in Peace Aaron Swartz



(Morning Fog And Surf, Muir Beach, California / copyright Justice Putnam)


Originally posted to The Justice Department on Netroots on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 07:45 PM PST.

Also republished by Netroots Radio and Black Kos community.

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