Friday, June 10, 2005

Friday in D.C. -- Still Hectic!

Chance of rain today, with some dark clouds hanging ominously round. As I indicated before, the charactersistically hot and steamy Chesapeake Bay summer has begun.

Yesterday, I finally completed the art dummy for the gynecologic oncology unit that I am working on, and am expected to turn in the whole text on June 23, so anticipate to be working late in the next two weeks to accomplish that. But it is the nature of the job that I signed up for.

At the same time I am trying to work on several personal projects, including finishing writing a Bicentennial history of the St. Andrew's Society of Baltimore, founded in 1806, and work with a director and producer in Charlotte, North Carolina, to produce a version of my musical "Jack--The Musical" written with French composer Erik Sitbon. See

I wrote recently on my friend in connecttion with a poem of mine published on Michael Parker's blog that human disasters and atrocities recede in memory, unfortunately, as newer and worse disasters arise... think how Three Mile Island, Bhopal, and Chernobyl have receded, and also Oklahoma even in the wake of 9/11. The recent devastating southeast Asian tsunami comes to mind as well... and I would like to direct anyone interested to a short historical essay about the origin of the use of the word "tsunami" in English. Go to "Go to Lafcadio Hearn and the Japanese Tsunami: A Historical Essay. "


Crispy Chicken in Karachi

Mr. Rangoonwala has a problem.

Smoke blackens his KFC
and the smiling face of Colonel Sanders
with goatee and string tie.

The sign over the burned out KFC encourages:
"Come have a chicky meal. . ."

When an Al Queda suicide bomber
blew himself up at the nearby
Shiite mosque,

killing a muezzin, a policeman, and himself,
Shiites looked for a target.

They burned out the KFC
with six employees inside;
two froze to death in the freezer.

A banner at the mosque says
"We want to warn America:
Martyrdom is out heritage."

Mr. Rangoonwala survived
the burning of another of his outlets
when the U.S. invaded Afghanistan.

He produced decorative plates that said,
"Pakistani owner. . . Pakistani manager."
But no one has been killed before.

Mr. Rangoonwala has a problem.

Christopher T. George

"Colonel Sanders Finds Himself Under Fiery Siege in Pakistan," New York Times, June 8, 2005


Held Captive

Struggling to meet my deadline, I am kept late in work.
The publications people and Sallye my supervisor breathe
down my neck for the material to publish the final stage

of the gynecologic oncology unit. Stages! All the staging
algorithms for vulvar, cervical, ovary, breast cancer,
all with boxes of tiny type, of scientific gobble-di-gook:

"Exploratory laparotomy, TAH-BSO plus peritoneal cytology,
pelvic lymphadenectomy, brachytherapy, hysterotomy."
Staging! I want to catch a stage out of here! I tiredly ache,

glance out at the late afternoon D.C. scene of bright sun,
the new office building rising inexorably. Men in hardhats work
in the open floors of cement and two by fours--and, caged

at upper right of my window, I make out the captive pinnacle
of the Washington Monument amid steel bars, cement pillars,
near-buried from view by the new Colossus! Aargh! Get

me out of here, burst the bars, the chains! Freedom beckons!

Christopher T. George


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