Jacket 34 — October 2007        link Jacket 34 Contents page        link Jacket Homepage

Peter Dale Scott

Five poems:

Cape Flattery, Washington
Turn of a Century
Mendocino
Words to Du Fu from the Oakland Airport Parking Lot
The Tao of 9/11


This piece is about 20 printed pages long.
It is copyright © Peter Dale Scott and Jacket magazine 2007.

Cape Flattery, Washington

Purple aster, goldenrod
Push through the buried sands of my northern childhood
The sands of this glacial parking lot.

Across the strait, the fog is banked like snow
Against the blue sides of Vancouver Island
Not foreign to these Indians; they, unbothered
By foreigners’ arrangements, still intermarry
Trade across the water, hold potlatches.

Beyond this cape, the last island
With its uninhabited lighthouse.
The viewpoint guide lends me her binocs
To see where a single puffin dives below us
And when the gulls scatter off the tidal rocks
Points to the cedars, from behind which, in a moment,
An eagle will emerge.

Rain-heavy cobwebs hang in the Sitka spruce.
“This is the end of America,” I say,
And she, a full-blooded Makah, smiles,
“Or the beginning.”


Turn of a Century

The fragment of Schumann from the next room
almost as faint as the memory
of Frank at our old upright piano
back in the thirties. My heart
is moved, gently. I turn to you
napping beside me, in preparation
for the century’s end tonight, and say
“I used to hear my father play this
fifteen years before you were born.
It’s been a long road.”
And you say, “To the right place.”
Yes. We hold each other, in silence.

Tonight, at Mike and Charlene’s
on Grizzly Peak, we hug again on the deck
as we watch the tiny fireworks bursting
in the blurred fog over San Francisco
ten miles off. Muffled booms
as after a thunderstorm
which has stopped being scary
and arcs like the white smoky trails
of the forgotten tear gas
we once saw all around us
right here in Berkeley.

The others come outside with their elegant
half glasses of champagne. Below us somewhere
young people cheering.

                                                                    12/31/00

Mendocino

                              For Angela and William Young

In a world where, even on calm days,
Surf breaking makes sea-cliffs shudder,
Tide-tunnels deepen in search of new stacks,
Where a mere shift in temperature
Will with the aid of water
Exfoliate even granite,

After life’s labors, you deserve this calm
Above the ocean, on this lookout point,
Ferns, asters underfoot, and the osprey’s shadow,
A place to gaze from, and to be at home

Above where crows feast on a pelican,
Cormorants scurry across the spindrift
To their perilous perches,
In any weather.


Words to Du Fu from the Oakland Airport Parking Lot

At the airport to pick up the guest speaker
words fail me. High overhead
what you heard as your gut froze
the creak of geese flying north      again


Tu Fu poem
 

Translation by Anna Xiaodong Sun
Transcription by Yang Xiao

The Tao of 9/11

At the First Emperor’s Tomb
the Chinese People’s Republic
shows you a preliminary movie
in which this monument of empire

is seen through the eyes of peasants
who rose up in rebellion
and smashed the terra cotta statues
we have come so far to see.

I tried asking whether the government
is more in favor of the tomb
or of its being smashed? The guide answered
Both! We think the tao of history

contains both the bright yang of order
and the dark yin of revolt.
So I said, Does that mean
that in the present phase of history

the yin is the Falun Gong?
A short silence. Then
You must understand that in China
there are some things we do not think about.

I know why I’m remembering this.
There are things we don’t think about in America
things I don’t want to think about myself
like this flood of emails from Russians

whom I have never met
about Far West Ltd.
a meta-group almost unknown
and yet so powerful

it is said to manipulate states
for the ends of the drug traffic
spreading violence in an organized route
from Afghanistan and Kosovo to New York                                     Scott ‘05

a group which brought its partners —
a Venezuelan close to FARC              Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces
an Israeli advising Thaçi                                                  chief KLA commander
and a Turk close to al-Qaeda

to meet in the villa of Khashoggi
once the richest man in the world                                                      Kessler 12
whom the Senate BCCI Report listed
among the principal agents of the U.S.                        Kerry-Brown Report 299

and arms seller to the Medellin Cartel                                            DIA Report
with Voloshin (Berezovsky’s man
under Yeltsin in the Kremlin)
and one of the Chechen Basaevs

who then blew up Moscow buildings
as described by John Dunlop                                                                Dunlop
shortly after the U.S. and the KLA                             Kosovo Liberation Army
took over Kosovo                                                                               Scott ‘05

Dunlop is reputable
Why did he present the meeting
as a mere plan for a Russian 9/11
at the behest of Yeltsin’s Kremlin                                                        Dunlop

ignoring the role at the villa
of men like Sosnaliev and Tsveiba
from Abkhazia which now has become
a key heroin transiting point?                                     Sida/Cornell Caspian ‘02

Why did he suppress what his source
said about Surikov and Fritz Ermarth
the Turk and the CIA
the Israeli and the KLA?

Was it because just like myself
he did not want to think
about who was involved in opening
the new Kosovo drug route

after the mad dash of Russian troops
one month before the meeting                                                    June 11, 1999
to seize the Pristina airport in Kosovo                                 Judah 279, 284-85
without (it is said) the knowledge of Yeltsin                    Shevtsova 285, fn. 11

just as Al McCoy and myself
both promptly forgot about the vet
who refused to talk to us
after they firebombed his Jag           McCoy xii, Scott ‘89 147-48, Scott ‘04 38-40

not wanting to face what it means
that you can sell drugs in a DEA sting
and still be released when you tell them
you are a CIA informant.                                               Scott ‘92, 129; Levine 35-36

Two kinds of businesses:
those which flourish from peace
and the strengthening of law
and those which require the opposite

zones of incessant chaos
like Chechnya Colombia Afghanistan
where drugs can be grown or trafficked
under the watch of PMCs.                                        private military companies

The CIA knew what it was doing
when in 2001
they brought back “Mr. Ten Percent”                         Haji Mohammed Zaman
at the top of the heroin trade

from Dijon to Jalalabad                                                                    Smucker 9
and arranged for the release
of Haji Ayub Afridi from prison                                                           Raman
(the same men who in the ‘80s

had organized the heroin trail
to the Soviet troops
i.e. to the clique who became Far West
with the blessings of the CIA)                                                               Raman

thus restoring the Afghan
opium economy
after two years of prohibition
under the Taliban.                                                             Scott ‘03 33, 43-44

and pushing America and Russia
still further down the path
of increasing superwealth
and declining average income

(my starting salary in ‘61                                                                   $7250.00
could buy a third of a good Berkeley house
a starting salary today
paying perhaps a twentieth)

increasing income disparities
the sign our state is declining
the homeless we no longer support
and have grown used to not thinking about

as we step across them
towards our ATMs
what Sallust and Arnold discerned
in Rome and Victorian London

privatim opulentia
publice egestas                                                                           Sallust, Arnold
until the republic is suborned
by these forces we cannot see

for which the intellectual price
is a shrinkage of our culture
towards the trivialities
of narcotic distractions undecipherable poets

and expansion of empire
with help from al Qaeda
until now there are American troops
from Kyrgyzstan to Kosovo.

Starting in 1998
Surikov, the Venezuelan, and the Turk
had their own company Far West             http://www.pravda.info/news/2695.html
connected with the secured transport

of commercial shipments from Afghanistan                                               Filin ‘05
and with representatives in the Emirates,
Afghanistan, Colombia, Kosovo            http://www.pravda.info/news/2695.html
as well as contracts with Halliburton                                        Yasenev, Lysenko

(Far West’s leader Vladimir Filin
the suspected chief narcobaron                                                         Kaledin ‘03
confirmed that “a well-known American corporation
is a co-founder of our agency”                                                                Filin ‘05

and after I quoted this
it was reported that Filin cleared
the Pristina dash in advance
with Thaçi and Haradinaj                                                               Surikov 2006

described by the London Observer
as a drug-trafficker and the key
US intelligence asset in Kosovo                                               Observer, 9/10/00
who is now on trial at the Hague                                   London Times, 3/8/05

while Filin and Far West
worked on the Georgian project,
financed by KBR Halliburton, apparently
with the approval of CIA)                                                                        Yasenev

and with Diligence Middle East a PMC
(with success in securing contracts
from Neil Bush, the President’s brother)                  Financial Times, 12/11/03
headed by Joe Allbaugh                                          Financial Times, 12/11/03;
                                                                                             Asia Times, 5/20/04
who in 2000 organized
both the Bush-Cheney campaign
and the “19th floor riot” that
stopped the recount in Miami-Dade County                                     Floridagate

and then was made head of FEMA
the agency that with Cheney and Rumsfeld                   Mann 139; Bamford 72
had developed “Reagan’s Secret Coup Plans”
in the 1980s                                                                “Reagan’s Secret Coup Plans”,
                                                                                    Progressive Review, June 2004

the plans for COG                                                       Continuity of Government
the plans for an anti-constitutional takeover
in a time of crisis        Progressive Review, June 1998. Cf. New York Times, 11/18/91
which were implemented on 9/11                            9/11 Report 38; Bamford 66

with Cheney’s two orders — the first
one still unexplained
ten minutes before Flight 77
is supposed to have hit the Pentagon                                         Griffin 219-23

and then a shoot-down order
before the President’s plane took off                                                   Clarke 8
when the only hijacked plane remaining
was Flight 93.                                                                                Scott ‘07 ch. 13

Both after Bush had entrusted
Cheney, FEMA, and Allbaugh
to set up a terrorism task force
to deal with terrorist attacks              Houston Chronicle, 5/9/01; Ruppert, 412-18

which is said to have changed the rules
making it far more complicated
to deal with hijacked planes                                9/11 Report, 17; cf. fn. 101, 458
just weeks before 9/11                                                              Ruppert, 412-18

and required FEMA to hold exercises           www.fema.gov/pdf/library/appi.pdf.
planned for September 12 in New York
so that one day before
WTC-7 collapsed                                                             World Trade Center 7

without being hit by al-Qaeda                                                     Griffin 25-32
FEMA had already moved out
into a larger temporary headquarters
from which the New York clean-up was directed.

It is too much. I think of Petrov
blown up in his car in Cape Town
after taping his quarrel with Surikov
at the Hotel Bristol in Vienna                                                        Petrov ‘04

and I think of Indira Singh
who lost her job at J.P. Morgan
after she notified the FBI
about Ptech the hi-tech Islamist firm

with contracts at FAA
the White House the Secret Service
and links to the local Al Kifah                                           al Qaeda support group
followed by a Treasury raid

on Ptech and then the immediate             Boston Globe, 12/7/02; WBZ4, 12/9/02
firing of Paul O’Neill.                                                      Secretary of the Treasury
Singh spoke publicly about Ptech                                          NPR Radio, 12/8/02
adding as an aside

when I ran into the drugs
I was told that if I mentioned
the money to the drugs around 9/11
that would be the end of me.                                           Indira Singh testimony

So much to wonder about
so much to be grateful for!
the enormity of the suppressed
should not let us forget the obvious

like Havel’s gratitude to Congress
for the liberation of eastern Europe
which Noam found silly and repugnant             Chomsky, Cockburn ‘95 149-51
not having lived there himself

Like the times in a bad marriage
good times flash back with pain
so in the midst of preemptive war
I remember loving this country

that even the CIA
helped Milosz start life anew
back when defectors were still
being kidnapped in the streets.                                                                    Illg 17

But as for 9/11 and drugs
the 9/11 Report denied the connection                                   9/11 Report 171
ignoring the drug money for Ramzi Yousef
from an I.S.I. agent in the Philippines

for a plot covered up
according to an Embassy security official
by high-ranking officers
of the CIA and Secret Service                              Alexander Cockburn, Ressa 33

or the speech by Bonner of Customs
on the Jafar organization out of Detroit                     Bonner; cf. Farah 171-72
(shipping hash and heroin to the United States
for almost half a century)                                          Goddard and Coleman 24

Khalid Jafar’s bag (said NBC)
was placed on Pan Am 103
without passing through inspection
as part of a DEA undercover operation                                  Guardian 11/1/90

I remember the defeat and fear
in the face of Allan Francovich
the last time he contacted  me
via a cut-out   a mutual friend

one year before Allan dropped dead
while going through U.S. Customs                                    Independent 4/28/97
whose film on Pan Am 103 and Jafar
could be shown in Britain but not this country                                Ganser 49

though he has since been posthumously vindicated
by a police chief’s signed statement
that key evidence in the Lockerbie trial
was planted by the CIA;                                                             Scotsman 8/28/05

and what happened to Danny Casolaro                Goddard and Coleman 352-55
on the trail of the so-called Octopus                           Beaty and Gwynne 224-25
until he was “suicided” in West Virginia                             Buffalo News 8/27.93
with my name and number in his notebook.

Forgive me if I do not want to think
of how they destroyed L
(the Republican businessman
whose mistake was to tell the FBI

about the Nicaraguan drug lord
who picked up the dinner tab
at the fundraiser in San Francisco
L had arranged for the Contras,

after which L got a death threat
over the phone while waiting
in Senator Kerry’s outer office
for a secret rendez-vous).

And should I now be trusting V
this Russian whose reports on Far West
are corroborated only by Filin’s admission
that he himself went to Kosovo?                                                        Surikov 2006

It is hard to know whom to trust
as I learned back East at a Center                                             International Center
researching for Senator Kerry’s investigation                    for Development Policy
into Contra support operations and drugs.

I think of the secret memo in two copies
I had my secretary a student volunteer
hand-deliver from the Center
to Brian Barger and Bob Parry                                  cf. Terrell 297-324, Parry 15

who phoned back furious
(Don’t write these things down in Washington!)
and somehow Secord’s lawyer got it                                            Richard Secord
to file as a Court Exhibit in the Christic case

and what about Jack Terrell at the Center
a man intimate with the mercenary “community”                       Nation 8/15/87
who knew about the military coup in Fiji                                    Nation 8/15/87
that night before anyone in the press.

Jack was shown to have told the truth
about the Contra cocaine operation
disguised by imports of frozen fish       Kerry Report, 438, Scott and Marshall 131
in the memo prepared for Senator Kerry

which was stolen for the Reagan Justice Department         Scott and Marshall 151
after which Oliver North
called Terrell a “Terrorist Threat”               Terrell 463, Scott and Marshall 142-43
and our Center was put under FBI surveillance.            Scott and Marshall 148ss,
                                                                                  cf. Kerry Report 163, Terrell 384
So later when Jack said he wanted
to bring his wife to the United States
I (knowing his childhood story
of how when fourteen he had stolen a car

and on the instruction of his father
was sentenced to 18 years in an adult prison)                 Scott and Marshall 127
gave him the money he needed
for return airfare to Manila

after which a call came from the Center:
Why did you finance Terrell’s scheme
to destroy Manglapus (who had been expected           Philippine Foreign Secretary
to succeed Cory in the Philippines)?         Aquino, cf. Time 10/28/91, Terrell 424-32

In this way my naïve good will
implicated me in the defeat
of the one candidate committed to removing
the U.S. military bases.

Still later Jack invited me
to think he might have been the “Carson”
who tricked Bill Pepper with the lie
discrediting his book on Martin Luther King                             Pepper 368, 426-30

so that we still do not know for certain
who was behind King’s murder
any more than about the Kennedys’
or who Jack was really working for

though he claimed that he was told by phone
to penetrate North’s Contra support effort
by Donald Fortier and the NSC.                      National Security Council, Terrell 38
Oh Jack! Though I knew enough

never completely to trust you
I still thought of you as my friend                                                cf. Terrell 455-60
and that like me you were fighting drug traffickers
not just that upstart Oliver North.

The American dilemma: to heal this world
we must become intimate with it
but the search for political truth
will lead one deeper and deeper into falsehood

so we all end up like the good Germans
not thinking about who caused the Reichstag Fire
or the hundreds of people we do not know
taken off to secret camps or distant countries.

It is a dilemma: part of me
needs to agree with the left
that we have to wake up America
that knowledge will make us free

the idea being that truth
unites us in thinking together
even though these truths of darkness
have been known to destroy

those who have published them                        Gary Webb, Independent 10/8/05
and I myself can share with no one
except those who like myself
have become distanced from the crowd

so that I hate to go on
transmitting the testimony
of witnesses like Steve Carr
who predicted correctly they would be murdered         Scott and Marshall 155
                                                                                                                       Scott ‘05
and it is a struggle to keep in mind
that by seeking the truth
from the hidden sphere of life
in its hidden openness                                                                Havel 57, Schell 197

I have not in fact been alone:
there have always been strangers
some in scattered parts of this land
or in countries unvisited

others though the great chain
of the centuries
who without ever meeting
it is possible to trust

in the truth of yin
that is always gentle
like water flowing
to the lowest places                                                                       Tao Te Ching viii

the Tao where the soft and gentle
overcome the hard and strong                                                  Tao Te Ching xxxvi
because truth being that which is
can never be destroyed                                                      Gandhi 2:389, Schell 206

and reminds us that America
the land of nonviolence violence
snake handlers peace workers baseball movies
sweat lodges genealogists and stock car races

is undefinable
from the jazz of Ledbelly
and concerts of the Grateful Dead
to the Wiffenpoof song

from Whitman’s hopes for the unwritten
to the New Yorker poets
with a toad in their lawn mower
or snake in their burning brush pile

the land which Reiko aged eighteen
refused to leave
when her parents returned
to tradition-bound Japan.

Uncertain as always
whether this republic is past saving
or whether some of us still tread
the perilous path of the future

part of me just meditates
on the new and more flourishing wildlife
that is improving Point Reyes
ten years after the Mount Vision fire.                San Francisco Chronicle 10/2/05

From the glories of the Tang Dynasty
I recall only one date: the year
the usurper An Lushan
drove both Wang Wei and Du Fu

far from the corrupt court
into the mountains
where for the first time they were free
to write the only poems we remember.



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Peter Dale Scott

Peter Dale Scott


Peter Dale Scott is a former Canadian diplomat and Professor of English at the University of California ,  Berkeley. His poetry includes the three volumes of his trilogy Seculum: Coming to Jakarta (1988), Listening to the Candle (1992), and Minding the Darkness (2000). His next prose book is The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America (Berkeley: University of California Press, September 2007). In 2002 he received the Lannan Poetry Award. His website is http://www.peterdalescott.org/

 
 
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