Archive - June 4, 2020

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“Exceptionalism Redux” by Mark Jacobs (Paraguay)
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“The Sunny Side” by Ryan Gahris (Ethiopia)

“Exceptionalism Redux” by Mark Jacobs (Paraguay)

  by Mark Jacobs (Paraguay 1978–80) Evergreen Review   Sue McNally – Maroon Bells, CO (2014)   O, let America be America again — The land that never has been yet — And yet must be — the land where every man is free. — Langston Hughes from “Let America Be America Again”   In 1990, in the run-up to the first Gulf War, I did a long string of media interviews. I was working as embassy spokesman in Tegucigalpa, and interest in hearing the US case for intervention in Iraq was high. The State Department was regularly sending out updated talking points by cable to be used by people like me. I memorized those points, made them my own in Spanish, then went to the newspapers, the radio, and TV stations ready to be grilled. I was aware, of course, of anti-intervention sentiment in the US and did not dismiss the . . .

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“The Sunny Side” by Ryan Gahris (Ethiopia)

  Sitting just to be still, unknowingly, atop an ant hill — the spiders above were spinning their silk. Ahead was an untilled meadow, overgrown and waist-high with nettles. Hiding away microscopic marvels — things just being things. Left to be and compete for the simplest of needs. Predisposed to balance between extremes. Day and night. Hot and cold. Dry and wet. Here and there. But, who really cares? As I stared, my eyes unleashed the anti-abyss — the negative imprint of a tired mind, out sick. But once a lone cloud lured my vacant gaze, it bulldozed through the invisible maze. An ink blot set against a blinding blue blaze. Morphing to mirror my revolting cynical state. Inching closer, as if it had something wise to say… The wind whipped in advance to trigger a chill. Every hair was raised to a static standstill. The elevated scent of a . . .

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