Big Bridge #10

Export: Writing the Midwest


Clayton Eshleman


The Hybrid is the Engine of Anima Display

The earliest image of the soul appears to be
seated, or resting, within a bison-headed man.
She has an adolescent body, her face is slanted hairlines,
long head hair streams out his hump.
Her thin forearms slope forward and merge with
his human penis. They share three legs,
two knees lifted, as if dancing behind
the inflated anus of a reindeer which
swerves its aurochs head to gaze at this anima in her crib,
sharing the bison-man's spine,
suggesting Kundalini and that
animal forms were in sync with androgynous churning
while such figures acquired animal familiars.
Out of her forehead a leg-like limb twists, descends.
Comets zoom through it. Bison-man's tail,
same line-weave as her long hair, flaps their legs.
Out of his snout two lines of force extend and bow:
breath? blood? a sound bow
crossing his two held-forth animal-leg arms?
The three-in-one are readable unreadable,
they are, along with the reindeer-aurochs on whose rump
a ghost is perched, of
an unfolding matrix, envisioned at
a moment of initial pleats.
I thought: the sorcerer is a tub in which dead mom is bathing.
Yes, but such a perception is based on recent folds.
At Les Trois Frères, around 14,000 years ago,
the hybrid is the engine of anima display.

from Eshleman’s My Devotion (Black Sparrow Press, 2004). Used with permission from the Author.

The Assault


Mid-July 2001: The US government—having decided that the Taliban regime was too unstable and too hostile to serve as a vehicle for US entry into Central Asia—had planned on an Afghanistan invasion for October.

National support for such an invasion depended upon a widely-perceived direct threat. Now known “enemy attacks” used to whip up and mobilize people for war included: the US Battleship Maine, the Lusitania, Pearl Harbor, Tonkin Bay. Our atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: the beginning of the Cold War.

September 10: Bin Laden was in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, courtesy of the ISI, for kidney dialysis (in July he met with the local CIA agent in Dubai; no attempt was made to arrest him).

September 6-10: United and American Airlines stock shares were massively sold short, as were shares at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter (occupying 22 WTC floors) and Merrill Lynch (headquarters near the WTC). Insiders with advance knowledge of an approaching national catastrophe are believed to have made over 15 million. If they knew, would you tell me that Bush, The Secret Service, The Air Force, and the Pentagon did not know?

(The alleged lead hijacker Mohammed Atta, with an expired 2000 tourist visa, re-entered 3 times in 2001 for flying lessons—for which he lacked the required M-1 work visa—while under FBI surveillance for stockpiling bomb making materials)

August 2001: The FBI was informed that Zacarias Moussaoui was linked by French intelligence to bin Laden (top FBI officials blocked field agents’ requests to search Zacarias’s computer).

August 2001: Attorney David Schippers was approached by FBI agents and given the names of the hijackers, their targets, proposed dates, and the sources of their funding. He tried to contact Ashcroft who did not return any of his calls. Schippers’ informants were pulled off their investigation and threatened with prosecution if they went public (Schippers is now representing one FBI agent in a suit against the US government in an attempt to subpoena its testimony, so he can legally speak about the blocked investigation on public record).

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) requires fighter jets to scramble and intercept under emergency conditions. No approval from the White House is required (when Payne Stuart’s Learjet pilot failed to respond to the air controller at 9:33, 21 minutes later, an F-16 traveling at 1500 mph reached the Learjet at 46,000 feet).

On September 11, Flight #11 was clearly way off course by 8:20. SOP called for
  immediate notification and response.
North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) was not informed of an
  emergency by Boston air traffic control until 8:38.
Initially, according to former NORAD Commander Gen. Richard Myers, no jets
  were scrambled until after Flight #77 struck the Pentagon at 9:40
(1 hour and 20 minutes after #11 was suspected of being hijacked).
Within days, this story changed: at 8:44, we are told, 2 F-15s were scrambled at Otis
  (Cape Cod), 190 miles from Manhattan.
If these jets flew at top speed (1850 mph), they would have reached the Towers in
  6 minutes.
But at 9:03, when Flight #175 struck the South Tower,
the Otis jets were unexplainably still 70 miles from Manhattan
  (and why sent from Otis? McGuire, a major, active facility in New Jersey, is 71
  miles from the WTC. Arrival time: 3 minutes. No planes were scrambled from

The apparent shut down of SOP on Flight #77 is even more sinister:
known to be hijacked by 8:50 (at which time it was also known #11 and #175 were
  hijacked, meaning a national emergency was at hand), NORAD was not notified
  until 9:24—
and, after NORAD was notified, jets were scrambled from Langley (130 miles from
  Wash DC) instead of from Andrews (10 miles away), with 2 combat-ready squadrons
  (the Langley jets arrived 15 minutes after the Pentagon was plowed into).

9:16: NORAD was informed that Flight #93 had been hijacked (at which time it was
  known that 3 other flights had been hijacked and that 2 had already blown up their
No jets were scrambled to intercept #93.

No one has been charged with incompetence.

After both Towers had been struck, President Bush, in Sarasota, visiting a grade
  school, was informed.
He continued to listen to children read to him for 25 minutes before informing
  Americans of what they already knew.

Myers, at the Capitol, was chatting (about “terrorism”) with Senator Max Cleland.
They saw a TV report that a plane had hit the WTC. “We thought it was a small
  plane or something like that,” Myers said.
So the two men went ahead with the office call.
Meanwhile, the 2nd Tower was hit. “Nobody informed us of that,” Myers said.

After the Pentagon was struck (3/4 of the assault now successfully completed),
a cellphone was handed to him; finally, the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staffs
  is informed!

According to Assistant Secretary of Defense Victoria Clarke: “Rumsfeld stayed in his
office until the Pentagon was hit, with the excuse that he had some phone calls to make.”


A composite vision: our callow, illiterate, Supreme Court-
  appointed Fool, drifting in photo-op with school children,
Myers discussing “terrorism” with Cleland,
Rumsfeld, in effect, hiding in his office,
                                                            while flames
      drink debris-blocked staircased bodies.

        My head shudders with
     the mortification of finding Bush in my own eyes,
yes, for I do not see myself outside the male coagulate.
Part of me is a lazar born of mass guilt,
funhouse horticulture, where the decency facets
     I’ve struggled to file ripple with
        “Full Spectrum Dominance”

                  Out the window, in autumnal weak green:
     tent caterpillar encampments, opaque, milky,
creating as if under camouflage deadly screens—
elected American presidents in the democracy-subverted
     host tree:
                            Bush Junior entangled with pa
crawling Nixon’s raging animus,   the Nobel Carter
      mottled with Khmer Rouge horror,
Johnson cloaked in “We seek no wider war,”
whipping out his big dick to reporters, declaring
                            “This is why we’re in Vietnam!”
Reagan as a goggle-wearing grub, chirping: “Contras are
    the moral equivalent of our Founding Fathers.:
                                                       These nest camps where
             baby Pinochets bud   (Nobel Kissinger
on his knees gripping the altar-bowl
vomiting up a stomach hash of millions—
                    suddenly his ghost stands up through him, called
                    to lead the 911 investigation.

The nests enweb electronically through the American mind.
Whitman’s visionary eternal present has become
    the language of TV, tending always to transfix
       the audience in an eternal now.
I’m taken in, as are you, fellow citizens,
failing to instantly recall background particularities.
A week later, I come to, recalling, while reading,
   details I should have brought to bear.
The mainstream media cartel
         beams its needles out of the screens,
who is not injected, anesthetized by conversion-
                   patriotic aura?

Like a depth charge dropped into 911: 50 years of Cold War
   mobilization against the Soviet Union has left the country with
“a boiling residue of paranoid anxiety.”

Greed become a crazed intoxication to redetermine history,
if the Bush family becomes trillionaires, might they,
   led by angels, slip through eternity,
              skipping over death?

Jackknifed bodies plummeting against
   the photo-serenity of a Tower,
not Crane’s “bedlamite,” but a secretary
     exploding in blue September sky

Living in America now is like being on a revised Flight #11.
The nave of this self-righteous citadel extends for miles—
section after section of our cluster-bombed Yugoslavians,
   our jerking nerve-gassed Laotians, our napalmed Vietnamese girls,
our chopped- apart Guatemalans, our mowed-down East Timorese
and there’s our Sharon, in high heels, tightening
   the thumbscrews on Palestinian immiseration
--and below? Right here? Bush is in my gas,
Cheney’s in my steering-wheel, Ashcroft’s under our bed!

Should 911 be seen as a 3000 body count down payment on
   a Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistani UNOCAL oil pipeline?

3000 dead? More like 8000—
for this figure must include the Afghanistan dead
   bombed in retribution—for what?
Nothing they did but inhabit land we
--and here “we” partitions my heart—
                        seek to exploit.
The unutterable humiliation of 911!
Holocaust of firemen to make millionaires billionaires!
Workers, executives, of the capitalist epi-center,
but much more importantly, beloved citizens
    who went to work that day
(overhearing me, bored Bush turns aside:
“Adolf, let’s go fishin.”)

            In our hearts we know
            In our hearts we do not know

Baby Bush now spectre-entangled in the entrails of the nation.

[November-December, 2002, Ypsilanti]

[NOTE: the compressed time-line data is mainly taken from Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed's The War On Freedom, Tree of Life Publications, Joshua Tree, CA., 2002. I was alerted to Ahmed's book by Gore Vidal's "The Enemy Within," which appeared in the UK Observer, 27 October 2002. I also drew upon material from Mark Crispin Miller's The Bush Dyslexicon, Norton, NYC, 2002, and William Blum's Rogue State, Common Courage Press, Monroe, Maine, 2000. The lyric outrage is all my own (other than when factual), and participates in the tradition of the sirvente; Robert Duncan's "Uprising," which blasts Johnson for the bombing of Vietnam and which may be found in Bending the Bow, New Directions, NYC, 1968, hovers over "The Assault," a predecessor ghost.]

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