APORIA by Robert Philben


moving to the very edge of things, life even,
a bitter spring for mongolia’s nomads, millions
of livestock dead, people in a state of shock.

here the obese dress in green, a man in a wheel
chair thumbs through a history magazine, the music
drones on and on, a nation filled with slobs, barbarians,

acting out grotesque rituals of america in decline.
moving at the edge of things, life even, until a pregnant
woman, dressed in scarlet, sits at the next table, opens
a thick novel and begins to read all about her future.

at the very edge of things, the oil washing up
in Louisiana this morning, life even, the national oceanic
atmospheric administration confirming small flood

slicks have entered the ‘loop current,’ that fast stream
of moving water which circumambulates the gulf
before bending around florida, and up the atlantic coast.


I visited New Orleans five months after Katrina and what I saw there was unforgettably heartbreaking. The BP failure in the Gulf will no doubt prove worse in terms of geographic and ecological catastrophe. It will take years to recover; we won’t even know the full extent of the damage done to people, the biotic community and natural environment for months to come.  Now is the time to act and the point of contact is the President of United States.

The message must be loud and it must be clear and constant: the age of multinational corporate imperialism, whether as war waged on the innocent in Iraq and Afghanistan, or ecological dominance in the Gulf waters of the U.S., is over.  It ends NOW.

“What does this mean politically?  At the very least, President Obama, as Commander in Chief, at a time of national emergency, must move quickly to take over BP, just as he did General Motors Corporation last year. The president must personally assure all decision making by that corporation are subject to his executive order, and conducted in the best interests of the people of the United State.


Robert Philbin is a writer and political activist. He will be visiting and writing in the Gulf Coast areas impacted in about a month.

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