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« "Shanked on the Red Bed" [by Susan Wheeler] | Main | Sterling Hayden as Johnny Clay in Kubrick's "The Killing" [by John Harbourne] »

December 16, 2022



Fierce reflections on the good old days...

Ms. Emanuel might have felt the spirits of all those Lenape and Munsee Native Americans killed by the Dutch in several major massacres that occurred in early Manhattan, numbering in the thousands and usually killed in their sleep; men, women, children. Orpheus goes to the underworld and finds he cannot bring Eurydice back with him; Emanuel cannot bring back those lying beneath the Bowery pavement.

Some history behind the loss: In sum, for the entire present-day United States from 1492 to the present, the total number of Indigenous deaths includes the 12 million estimated; the additional approximately 790,000 deaths that occurred in Hawaii, Alaska, in Puerto Rico; and about 200,000 excess deaths since 1900. Thus, the Indigenous Holocaust in this country appears to have taken around 13 million lives. Signally, this horrific number of deaths was only a very small portion of the mind-numbing Holocaust throughout the Western Hemisphere. When the estimated hemispheric population decline of 70 million is multiplied by 2.5, the total number of Indigenous deaths throughout the Western Hemisphere between 1492 and 1900 appears to be about 175 million. And the number of Indigenous people who have died in the hemisphere because of war, repression, racism, and harsh conditions of life since 1900 surely runs into the millions.
By any reckoning, the Indigenous Holocaust in the Western Hemisphere was, “the worst human holocaust the world had ever witnessed.” No words or numbers can adequately convey the scale of the horror and tragedy involved in the greatest sustained loss of human life in history

Strong stuff.

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That Ship Has Sailed
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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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