The Art of Tetman Callis

Some of the stories and poems may be inappropriate for persons under 16

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Entries from August 2015

Free at first, free at last, free forever

August 31st, 2015 · No Comments

“Ruby-throated hummingbird. I found it on the walkway to the FBI agent’s house—a chew toy with iridescent feathers. Did it take a wrong turn into plate glass, did a cold front drop it from the sky? I cupped it in my hand and carried it home. I’d keep it till it died, then save the […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit

Boinking mama can be like that

August 30th, 2015 · No Comments

“Learning to write is a mother-fucker. But what great feelings of joy and power and something more atomized than clarity when you get it right.” – Eileen Myles (interview by Amy King in Denver Quarterly)

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Tags: Lit & Crit

True humiliation

August 29th, 2015 · No Comments

“Aging has initiated me into a new layer of imperfection. It’s hard to write about it, to not take on the perception that aging is an embarrassment, a failure. If we let it, aging can bring compassion and grace.” – Dodie Bellamy (interview by Elizabeth Hall in Denver Quarterly)

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Tags: Lit & Crit

Internalizing the pressures

August 28th, 2015 · No Comments

“To be female in America, with few exceptions, is to have a fucked-up relationship with your body.” – Dodie Bellamy (interview by Elizabeth Hall in Denver Quarterly)

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Tags: Lit & Crit

In the easy-open pack

August 27th, 2015 · No Comments

“Today is a gift. You know how you can tell? It’s got your name written on it in your handwriting. It reads, ‘Equipment.’ “ – Lawrence Giffin, “Ease of Mobility”

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Verandah

Taking secrets to the grave

August 26th, 2015 · No Comments

“American suspicion of clandestine militarization had been aroused as early as 1923 when Earle Ellis, a marine corps undercover agent, had disappeared in the mandates after gaining passage to the islands on pretense of doing nature studies. Japanese authorities had informed our naval attaché only that Ellis had died of unknown causes on the island […]

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Tags: Edwin T. Layton · The Second World War

Though it will be a bloody struggle

August 25th, 2015 · No Comments

“Science and skill will always win over luck and superstition.” – Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto (quoted by Rear Admiral Edwin T. Layton in And I Was There)

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Tags: Edwin T. Layton · Lit & Crit · The Second World War · Verandah

And thereby hangs a tale

August 24th, 2015 · No Comments

“In the navy she [Agnes Meyer Driscoll] was without peer as a cryptanalyst. Some of her pupils, like Ham Wright, were more able mathematicians but she had taught cryptanalysis to all of them, and none ever questioned her superb talent and determination in breaking codes and ciphers. She understood machines and how to apply them. […]

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Tags: Edwin T. Layton · The Second World War

But we do so enjoy kicking people when they’re down

August 23rd, 2015 · No Comments

“We don’t force bankruptcy debtors to give up every asset they own in order to get a bankruptcy discharge, recognizing that people need means to live after bankruptcy and need some way to get back on their feet. There is no societal benefit (in fact there is a great cost) in making people homeless or […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law

Wait, wait, don’t tell me

August 22nd, 2015 · No Comments

“ ‘Information,’ writes Walter Benjamin, is ‘incompatible with the spirit of storytelling.’ For Benjamin, ‘half the art’ of telling a story lies in learning not to tell the news; narrative should suppress reportage, achieving instead ‘an amplitude that information lacks.’ Another name for this ‘amplitude’ might be what Flannery O’Connor calls ‘mystery’— fiction’s capacity, as […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Verandah

Some would prefer they be enslaved

August 21st, 2015 · No Comments

“We do not allow people to file for bankruptcy and discharge most of their debts to be nice. The philosophy is that relieving people of their debts allows them to get back into and contribute to the economy once again. This is considered good for our overall economy, though this theory is not without some […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law

Off the rack

August 20th, 2015 · No Comments

“The making of foreign policy in World War II came out of the great Allied conferences dominated by the military where the military staffs were the working members, and the civil arm, except for the two chiefs of state, was represented meagerly, if at all. Pomp and uniforms held the floor and everyone appeared twice […]

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Tags: Barbara Tuchman · Joseph Stillwell · The Second World War

Nice work if you can get it

August 19th, 2015 · No Comments

“It is a feature of governments that the more important the problem, the further it tends to be removed from handling by anyone well acquainted with the subject.” – Barbara Tuchman, Stillwell and the American Experience in China

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Tags: Barbara Tuchman · Joseph Stillwell · Politics & Law · The Second World War

Not the way to bring about co-prosperity, my friend

August 18th, 2015 · No Comments

“On the borders of India the Japanese gamble had failed—although the fight went on—when Kohima was relieved and communications restored between Imphal and the Dimapur Road at the end of April [1944]. General Mutaguchi’s troops were left at the end of jungle trails without supply arrangements and with the monsoon pouring down. They fought on […]

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Tags: Barbara Tuchman · Joseph Stillwell · The Second World War

It can lead to triumph

August 17th, 2015 · No Comments

“In military as in other human affairs will is what makes things happen. There are circumstances that can modify or nullify it, but for offense or defense its presence is essential and its absence fatal.” – Barbara Tuchman, Stillwell and the American Experience in China

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Tags: Barbara Tuchman · Joseph Stillwell · The Second World War

Hail, Britannia

August 16th, 2015 · No Comments

“No nation has ever produced a military history of such verbal nobility as the British. Retreat or advance, win or lose, blunder or bravery, murderous folly or unyielding resolution, all emerge alike clothed in dignity and touched with glory. Every engagement is gallant, every battle a decisive action. There is no shrinking from superlatives: every […]

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Tags: Barbara Tuchman · Joseph Stillwell · Lit & Crit · The Second World War

Such as create a universe

August 15th, 2015 · No Comments

“You can do anything if you’re not in a hurry.” – Fani Papageorgiou, “Bergmann’s Rule”

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · Verandah

So scooch over just a bit

August 14th, 2015 · No Comments

“Insofar as poetry mirrors the world, it mirrors a big place with room for all.” – Mary Ruefle (interview by Bradley Harrison in Denver Quarterly)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Mary Ruefle

Blattaria

August 13th, 2015 · No Comments

“Every little thing you give up gives you more time to waste as an artist; everyone needs to waste time, it’s essential to Being, but most people let our culture at large waste their time; as an artist I want to waste my time in my own way, in the kinds of ways that, for […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Mary Ruefle

The tyranny of right-thinking

August 12th, 2015 · No Comments

“Technology equals Globalization equals Empire, isn’t that the way the equation goes? Everyone on the same page at the same time is the progressive dream of many, but it is not mine.” – Mary Ruefle (interview by Bradley Harrison in Denver Quarterly)

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Mary Ruefle · Politics & Law

It has; happened a while back

August 11th, 2015 · No Comments

“I don’t really see any difference between computers and network television, which is to say I feel the same way after looking at both—a physical sensation of wretchedness, the sickening sense that the country I live in has gone mad.” – Mary Ruefle (interview by Bradley Harrison in Denver Quarterly)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Mary Ruefle

Pressed down and running over

August 10th, 2015 · No Comments

“All stories begin in the middle and likewise end there, pressed for time, again, as we all are.” – Bruce Bond, “Once”

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Verandah

Later we sleep

August 9th, 2015 · No Comments

“All of us—unless we are thoroughly enlightened—have days when we are looking for approval; these are the messy, unhappy days; then we have days when we are just looking, purely and simply looking, and these are the days of freedom, inspiration, and joy.” – Mary Ruefle (interview by Bradley Harrison in Denver Quarterly)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Mary Ruefle

I wasn’t going to tell you, but . . .

August 8th, 2015 · No Comments

“All stories, if continued far enough, end in death and he is no true-story teller who would keep that from you.” – Ernest Hemingway, Death in the Afternoon

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Tags: Ernest Hemingway · Lit & Crit

Vigilantes please exit to the right

August 7th, 2015 · No Comments

“Crisis is not an excuse to abandon the rule of law. It is a summons to defend it. How we respond is the measure of our commitment to the principles of justice we are sworn to uphold.” – Justice Lloyd Karmeier, Heaton v. Quinn

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Tags: Politics & Law · Verandah

Calling all angels

August 6th, 2015 · No Comments

“Standing on a truck at daylight to address the company, Stillwell explained the plan of march and laid down his rules. All food was to be pooled and all personal belongings discarded except for what each person could carry in addition to weapon and ammunition. A journey of some 140 miles lay ahead with a […]

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Tags: Barbara Tuchman · Joseph Stillwell · The Second World War

And then they set out

August 5th, 2015 · No Comments

“The road gave out and all vehicles, except jeeps for carrying supplies, had to be abandoned, including the radio truck and the radio set itself which weighed 200 pounds. Last messages were sent. The sergeant bent to his work, tapping, listening anxiously and tapping again. The message to Brereton in India advised him of the […]

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Tags: Barbara Tuchman · Joseph Stillwell · The Second World War

And some more than that

August 4th, 2015 · No Comments

“Headquarters was moved 50 miles north of Mandalay to Shwebo, where the Japanese planes pursued. Among the staffs a sense was rising not only of military disaster but of personal danger. Some self-reportedly were in ‘a state of funk,’ others relapsed into passivity, not knowing what to do. The railroad was the worst problem. Stillwell […]

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Tags: Barbara Tuchman · Joseph Stillwell · The Second World War

It seems the sensible thing

August 3rd, 2015 · No Comments

“anyone with sense wants madness to end wants Canada to invade the United States of the Americas bring us to our knees dissolve our military imprison our leaders distribute our wealth insist we live in peace” – Caconrad, “the nerve for honey must prevail”

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · Verandah

Ballsy

August 2nd, 2015 · No Comments

“Government bureaus had departed for upper Burma, Indians of the police and clerical staffs were fleeing, Burmese employees melted into the population. Fires and looting, fifth-column groups and night-roaming marauders took over. All that remained of the civil administration were demolition squads awaiting the Governor-General’s last-minute order to blow up the docks. On the last […]

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Tags: Barbara Tuchman · Joseph Stillwell · The Second World War