Image Poem Iraq

Image Poem Iraq is a book of poems about photographs I took during the Iraq War (before and after the U.S. invasion).  The book was Mary Bast’s idea; she’s an artist and poet in Gainesville, Florida, and works a lot with ekphrastic poetry (poems that are about—or are related to—visual images).
Image Poem Iraq (draft book cover)
Mary thought the Iraq photos might inspire poets to talk about the war, about the people depicted in the photos … about sadness, or love … Neither she nor I had any idea what poets might write about the images (or, more accurately, I think, about how they see the war).

So, this past fall and she and I recruited poets for the project… Read More »

They bombed my toilet

Excerpt from Night of a Thousand Stars and Other Portraits of Iraq (Nazraeli Press: 2006)

This and nothing else must have been the power of the magic mirrors that are so often mentioned in the treatises of the occult sciences and in anathemas of the Inquisitors: to force the God of Darkness to display himself and to join his image with the one the mirror reflects.
  — Italo Calvino, If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler

Two hundred furious men chant in the street outside the home of Imam Rabia Mohammed Habib Al Imir. Accounts vary, but at least five Iraqis died and eight more were wounded during a raid on the imam’s residence… Read More »

Come together

Excerpt from Night of a Thousand Stars and Other Portraits of Iraq (Nazraeli Press: 2006)

They kill you with kindness. It will not always be this way, but for now it’s its own weapon, its own devastation. A Kurdish taxi driver hauls me from the Ameriya Bomb Shelter—where the aquarelle ghosts of 408 Iraqi civilians were burned into the concrete walls Feb. 13, 1991 during a U.S. bombing attack—to the Al Fanar, a 45-minute drive in heavy traffic, and refuses to take my money. “You are American,” he says, “you are my friend.”

I leave one of my cameras—a Nikon with a new 300-mm lens—sitting under a chair in a hamburger… Read More »

Making a Killing

Making a Killing
From The Arab American News
May 25, 2005 [Investigative Journalism]

Portland, Ore. — When most documentary filmmakers offer to shoot their subjects, they usually mean with a camera, cinematically. But Mike Shiley—whose film Inside Iraq: The Untold Stories, opened at McMenamin’s Mission Theater here June 10—thought it would be vastly more interesting to do it with a gun, literally.

In one telling episode, Shiley’s autobiographical film describes how he replaced a tank gunner on a U.S. Army “harass-and-intimidate” mission on Iraq’s northwestern border. During the operation, Shiley fired an M1A1-Abrams… Read More »

Night of a Thousand Stars

Night of a Thousand Stars
From Night of a Thousand Stars and Other Portraits of Iraq (Nazraeli Press: 2006)

At 11:30 p.m. on the night of Jan. 17, 1991, the first Tomahawk missile fired in the Gulf War left its launch platform aboard the U.S.S. San Jacinto in the Red Sea. The missile rose eastward, crossed the Saudi Arabian desert, and then descended, roughly one hour and 600 miles later, on the city of Baghdad. The Tomahawk was soon joined by more than 100 cruise missiles from seven U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf, including two nuclear-powered submarines. The rockets streaked into the city shortly before 1 a.m., as air-raid sirens… Read More »

Are biofuels fueling hunger?

From Sound Consumer magazine (Sept. 2010)

The U.S. Navy celebrated Earth Day this year by running a biofuels test on a supersonic F/A 18 Green Hornet fighter jet powered by a mixture of traditional jet fuel, and oil pressed from Camelina sativa, a relative of the mustard plant.

U.S. Navy celebrates Earth Day

The test underscores two trends in U.S. energy policy: an almost fanatical reliance on biofuels as a substitute for oil, and the misconception that anything ‘green’ is good—even if it sports Sidewinder missiles and makes the Hummer look fossil-fuel efficient.

Some experts on food security claim otherwise. Once touted as a panacea for America’s energy… Read More »

Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 >