Poems from Guantánamo
August 11, 2007 3:08 PM   Subscribe

this is proof that suffering does not necessarily create great art ...

the 3rd link is proof that conservatives can't count well enough to figure out meter, which would certainly explain bush's budget problems
posted by pyramid termite at 3:24 PM on August 11, 2007

God, I hate anaphora. Thanks for reminding me to be ever vigilant against it.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 3:40 PM on August 11, 2007

In other news, a detainee in Guantanamo's suit has been denied by SCOTUS. The US plans to release him and send him home, and he sued to prevent that.

He wants to stay in prison.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 3:49 PM on August 11, 2007

Gee, I wonder if being tortured at Guantanamo might have made him crazy.
posted by interrobang at 3:52 PM on August 11, 2007

He wants to stay in prison.

Well, he does not want to be turned over to local authorities from his home country. Of course, you're wrong about everything you say, so it's not surprising you go this wrong. Ho hum.
posted by delmoi at 4:22 PM on August 11, 2007 [2 favorites]

... Of course, you're wrong about everything you say...

posted by synaesthetichaze at 4:41 PM on August 11, 2007

Enjoyed the post, thank you.
posted by Espoo2 at 5:04 PM on August 11, 2007


No, no, it's true, it's true. SCDB is usually wrong on most of his statements and interpretations. I'm not making a personal attack: This is nearly always the case with conservatives; they're just not that nimble-witted. To wit: The patron saint of stupidty, Ronald Reagan, once said "Facts are stupid things."*

(Yes, I know it was a misquote, but that shows how intellectually feeble the man was. It wasn't that difficult a quotation to fuck up!)
posted by John of Michigan at 5:07 PM on August 11, 2007

SCDB is usually wrong on most of his statements and interpretations.

he's usually right about cat eared girls, though
posted by pyramid termite at 5:21 PM on August 11, 2007

Higgamus Hoggamus
Prisoners? Innocent?
Guilty in my eyes; pro-
tected by rights.

HR Conventions? The
Climate allows me to
Torture and fight.
posted by The White Hat at 5:44 PM on August 11, 2007 [1 favorite]

This American Life talked about Gitmo poetry in their show, Habeas Schmabeas, which won a Peabody. Currently, you can download both the original version and an updated version of Habeas Schmabeas from April, 2007.
posted by McLir at 6:02 PM on August 11, 2007

He wants to stay in prison.

Because, if returned to Algeria, he faces either being jailed and tortured by the Algerian government or being released and facing threats to his life from militants.

This is great! Our torture prisons are preferable to Algeria's! Guantanamo Bay truly is a beacon of freedom, hope and liberty to the world!

This could work as a P.R slogan, too: "Guantanamo: Illegal Detainees Prefer Our Torture to Algeria's!"
posted by polytropos at 8:15 PM on August 11, 2007

Who the hell is John Hawkins? And why is the soil being deprived of his body's nutrients?
The Gitmo poetry itself I don't think is going to sway people who are already set in whatever opinion they hold. I'm kind of curious where the proceeds from the books sales are headed (cynical enough to be suspicious, hopeful enough to be optimistic) but mocking it?

That's on the level of heckling a street preacher/cultist. With, y'know, the added bonus of celebrating torture which makes the voices in my head all angsty.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:40 PM on August 11, 2007

I thought the poems lacked imagination. Basically warmed-over Tyrone Greene:

Dark and lonely on the summer night.
Kill my landlord, kill my landlord.
Watchdog barking - Do he bite?
Kill my landlord, kill my landlord.
Slip in his window,
Break his neck!
Then his house
I start to wreck!
Got no reason --
What the heck!
Kill my landlord, kill my landlord.
C-I-L-L ...
My land - lord ...

posted by Slap Factory at 7:14 AM on August 12, 2007

I started following Guantanamo poetry with details revealed by Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost. I was intrigued by the fact that, no matter the stringent measures taken ... human ingenuity and creativity defies, or as Matt noted in the last pod cast, can actually thrive with increased restriction.

A bit more news about Dost

"Dost, a respected religious scholar, poet, and journalist - and author of nearly 20 books - until his arrest in 2001, spent nearly three years in Guantanamo with his brother. Sent home two years ago, the brothers were picked up by Pakistani intelligence and they too disappeared. Nothing has been heard of them since."

I did read somewhere that Dost's brother, Badruzzaman Badr had been freed but Dost's whereabouts remain unknown, I may be mistaken.

The lawsuit to have poetry returned and the criticism of the ISI, Pakistan's intelligence agency ... I'm sure this had nothing to do with his subsequent mysterious disappearance.

Smedleyman, according to this CBC article;

"Profits from the sale of the book will go to the Center for Constitutional Rights, which has spearheaded litigation on behalf of Guantanamo detainees."
posted by phoque at 7:52 AM on August 12, 2007

Thanks phoque. Nice to have my positive suspicions confirmed. Leaning heavily that direction anyway (this seemed close to the bone).
I don’t much care for the poetry (although I’m more actiony than cerebral so really wtf do I know).
Doesn’t mean I don’t kick in money, but hopefully some folks who otherwise might not give direct will buy the book. Every little bit helps.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:33 AM on August 13, 2007

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