above all else, the time has come for us to renew our faith in ourselves and in america.

in recent years, that faith has been challenged.

our children have been taught to be ashamed of their country, ashamed of their parents, ashamed of america's record at home and of its role in the world.

at ever turn, we have been beset by those who find everything wrong with america and little that is right. but i am confident that this will not be the judgment of history on these remarkable times in which we are privileged to live.

america's record in this century has been unparalleled in the world's history for its responsibility, for its generosity, for its creativity, and for its progress.

let us be proud that our system has produced and provided more freedom and more abundance, more widely shared, than any other system in the history of the world.

let us be proud that in each of the four wars we have been engaged in this century, including the one we are now bringing to an end, we have fought not for our selfish advantage, but to help others resist aggression.

let us be proud that by our bold, new initiatives, and by our steadfastness for peace with honor, we have made a break-through toward creating in the world what the world has not known before – a structure of peace that can last, not merely for our time, but generations to come.

we are embarking today on an era that presents challenges great as those any nation, or any generation, has ever faced.

we shall answer to god, to history, and to our conscience for the way in which we use these years.

as i stand in this place, so hallowed by history, i think of others who have stood here before me. i think of the dreams they had for america, and i think of how each recognized that he need help far beyond himself in order to make those dreams come true.

today, i ask your prayers that in the years ahead i may have god's help in making decisions that are right for america, and i pray for your help so that together we may be worthy of our challenge.

–richard milhous nixon, 37th president of the united states
second inaugural address, january 20, 1973



i figure i haven't done one of these in awhile
so, now i will

—i was a stunning 1–6 for bowl game predictions this season, a new personal worst; apparently only uconn felt the need to fucking win. big ten, you're killing me, so hard

—i didn't do anything interesting over break, so don't bother asking me; i spent about five days sawing and splitting wood, that's about as good as it gets

—my neighbors on the right side moved out...now there are two douche-bags living there. awesome

—i read three books over break; most i read all year, sadly

—speaking of books, i bought a whopping 21 this semester for my classes [though my total was still less than $300, cuz the interwubs is awesome like that]; if you can break that record, please let me know...if you want to offer empathy, i'd appreciate it

—i really need a fucking job, and nobody's hiring; god. damn. it.

—my dad got me a new computer chair for my dorm, and its fucking SWEET; god i love it, it causes much envy

—i'm directing a short play this spring for roial, so here's hoping i don't fuck it up, huh?

—i have really good ideas for a few short stories, but i really, really doubt they'll work out

—my russian prof called our class 'vagabonds and gypsies' today; it was pretty damn classic

—speaking of that, less than four months until i поеду в россии [i think that's right, i don't even know anymore]

and that's all i have to say about that



i died in a car crash two days ago
was unrecognizable when they pulled me from the gears
no one's fault, no one's bottle
no one's teenage pride or throttle
our innocence is all the worse for fears
the other walked away alive
arms wrapped now around his wife

my lover sits, the silent eye
in a hurricane of warmth and word
my mother trembles with the sobs
whose absence seems absurd
my sister shouts to let her see
through the cloud of crowd surrounding me
my colleagues call for silence in my name

i died in a car crash three months ago
they burned me 'til i glowed and crumbled to a fine, gray sand
now i am nothing, everywhere
several breaths of strangers' air
and all thoughts ever written in my hand
they plant my tree out in the yard
it grows but takes the winter hard

my lover puts a knife to wrist
says tomorrow comes, hold on a while
my mother tosses in the sheets
and dreams me holding my own child
my sister plays our homemade tapes
laughs as tears stream down her face
my office door now bears a different name

i died in a car crash four years ago
my tree drinks melted snow, just eight feet tall a pale and fragile thing
bee stings, beaches, bright vacations
sunburnt high-school graduations
a sparrow healing from a broken wing
this year a glimpse of second chances
tiny apples on my tree's branches

my lover hears the open wind
and crawls blinking into the sun
my mother leafs through photographs
and thinks 'yes, she was a lovely one'
my sister can't decide her truth
asks aloud what i might do
in a conference hall my brief efforts engraved

i died in a car crash a lifetime ago, it seems
been a decade or two or three
they just released a new design
bars and bags front and behind
my fate now an impossibility
safely packaged hurtling down
the highway hardly make a sound

my lover very much alive
arms wrapped now around his wife