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Justice Putnam Self-Portrait / copyright Justice Putnam

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The playlist for Monday 8 July 9pm to Midnight Pacific Edition of The Justice Department: Musique sans Frontieres

 ~~ "A Time and Place When Dimes Were Sizable" ~~

1 - Gil Scott Heron -- "B Movie"
2 - Lafayette Afro Rock Band --"Darkest Light"
3 - Isaac Hayes -- "Walk on By"
4 - Winston Curtis -- "Be Thankful For What You Got"

Station Break

5 - Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra -- "El Machete"
6 - The Cinematic Orchestra -- "Burn Out"
7 - Cyro Baptista -- "Banquet of the Spirits"
8 - Ojos De Brujo -- "Cale Bari"

Station Break

9 - SoulJazz Orchestra - "Negus Negast"
10 - Gramatik -- "The Swing Of Justice"
11 - Parov Stelar -- "The Paris Swing Box"
12 - Groovejuice -- "Cafe Prague"
13 - Dzihan and Kamien -- "Stiff Jazz"
14 - Les Baxter -- "Tropicando"

Station Break

15 - Bernard Herrmann -- "Taxi Driver"
16 - Roma Amor -- "Le Coeur au Chaud"
17 - Francis Cabrel -- "La Fille Qui M'Accompagne"
18 - Bill Frisell -- "We Are Everywhere"
19 - Frances Livings -- "I'll Be Leaving Soon"
20 - Kate Bush -- "And So Is Love"
21 - Arcade Fire -- "My Body is a Cage"

Station Break

22 - Wankelmut -- "One Day"
23 - Vashti Bunyan -- Here Before"
24 - Klangkarussell -- "Eistee aus der Dose"
25 - The Abbasi Brothers - "Clouds Are Sleeping"
26 - Her Name is Calla -- "A Blood Promise"
27 - Mount Madonna Choir -- "The Gray Funnel Line"

Station Break

28 - Banco De Gaia -- "A Loop in Time"
29 - The Budos Band -- "Unbroken Unshaven"
30 - B Tribe -- "Hablando"
31 - Tosca -- "The Key"
32 - Sigur Rós -- "Olsen Olsen"

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


There was a vase
that held the world’s riches, but it wasn’t cheap.
It cost a dime — and this in a time and place

when dimes were sizable, especially for
a girl of eight whose construction-worker father
was unemployed. The old metaphor

was literal in this case and she
counted her pennies till there were ten — 
then embarked on a mission of great secrecy,

a purchase whose joys ran so deep,
seventy years later, as she told the tale again,
her face flushed. It was a birthday gift for her mother.

There was a race
of people heretofore glimpsed only on hanging scrolls
in library books. They were on the vase — 

the smallest whole figures imaginable,
purposeful and industrious
as they fished or planted rice or hiked a hill

whose spiral trail led to a temple perched upon
a crag between cloud and waterfall.
They were a vision exported from Japan — 

a country far as the moon, and far more beautiful,
whose artists grasped an eight-year-old girl’s soul’s
need for the minutely amplitudinous.

There was a place
(Detroit, the thirties) now slipped from sight,
though here and there I’ll catch some holdover trace — 

maybe the grille on an old apartment door,
or a slumped block of  houses, draped
in torn sheets of rain, apparently posing for

black-and-white photographs. Even the out-
of-a-job, men like my grandfather, donned hats back then
before leaving the house — to circle endlessly about,

as if a lost job were a lost coin that might
yet be found on the street where it had been dropped,
making them whole again.

There was a face,
rucked with care, that would dreamily soften
if  talk floated off toward some remote someplace

beyond the seas. My grandmother had a yen for the faraway
(which she imparted to her daughter),
even as her life was tethered between a gray

icy motionless Midwestern city — 
stalled like a car with a frozen ignition — 
and a Tennessee farm without electricity.

(She did once see Washington — cherry season — and often
spoke of  those long pink walkways beside the water
that were  Japan’s gift to a grateful nation.)

There is a vase — 
a piece of gimcrack that somehow
made its way to a crowded curio case

in a small souvenir shop
in Detroit, seventy-plus years ago — 
which today stands atop

the mantel in the apartment in DC
where my fading mother is now living.
When she was eight, in 1933,

she gave it to my grandmother, who
for all her poverty bequeathed her daughter so
rich a bounty, including a taste for giving:

the gift of grace.
It seems a little miracle
almost — that it’s intact, the little vase,

conveying what its makers set out to convey:
an inward island spared by Time,
by the times. These days, she can scarcely say

who she gave it to, or on what occasion.
A — birthday? The pilgrim climbs the winding hill
forever, station by station,

and “Isn’t it beautiful?”
she asks. “You bought it for a dime,”
I tell her. It holds the world’s riches still.

-- Brad Leithauser
"A Vase"


Voices and Soulappears 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)


I took another small sip of water as the next questioner rose, this time by the stacks of French novels. She was cute; red hair, tall, maybe 5'9" or 5'10", well proportioned. Had to be another doctoral student in Comparative Literature at Cal; so even at 24 or 25, was too young for my wandering eye.

"You stated," she stated determinedly, "and I quote; 'Comedy, Poetry and Fiction are only effective and only become Art if there is a Truth behind the humor, the verse and the lie.'"

"Yes," I uttered to fill the small silence.

"In your writing; in your humor, verse and lies, are you telling a Truth about yourself?" she asked, "or are you telling a Truth about the Culture and Society as a whole?"

"Yes," I answered.

--Justice Putnam
"Conversations With The Audience"



(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 Schwartz



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


Originally posted to The Justice Department on Netroots on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 08:45 PM PDT.

Also republished by Black Kos community, Netroots Radio, LatinoKos, and Protest Music.

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