by D. E. Steward

The sense of a doom-laden plaidoyer is inevitable

The Vulcans

Star Trek good-and-evil policy making

Bush's pig-in-shit smirk

"Middle East politics are like those of the ancient world—Greek or Roman could understand them better than an American"

The ancient dryness of cedar-and-bone Arabic furniture, as if with glaucous in the traceries

Medieval Islam versus Oil Patch Christian Texas

"If the twentieth century has shown us anything, it's that history, carelessly handled or consciously distorted, can be one of the most efficient weapons of mass destruction known to man"

War structured as conscious human sacrifice

Only the good die young, etc.

Martin Rees, the Astronomer Royal, has bet $1,000 that bioterror or bioerror will kill a million people by 2020

Listeria, salmonella, campylobacter, E. coli O157

As many people have been killed during the last decade in the Great Lakes region of Africa as have been killed in all of Africa since independence

African wild dogs, Lycaon pictus, can bolt down a third of their body weight in minutes

Dozens of Catahoula hog dog pups being kennel-raised on a farm north of Philadelphia "for herding cows," according to the fatso-gangsta guy who comes out to block the lane

Years of the pit bull and plausible denial

"Life is not what one lived, but what one remembers and how one remembers it in order to recount it," Graham Greene

Hoja de servicios: platoon guide in basic, sharpshooter qualification, tank training, nearly a special court martial for slamming a canteen at a sergeant, private first class a few weeks before rotation from a line infantry outfit in Korea, special services (an entertainment unit) in Japan and Okinawa

When Max Brod sought advice about burning Kafka's work after Kafka's death as Kafka had instructed him to do, a friend said, "I tell you what, Max, burn your own stuff instead!"

North south disorientation as a northerner in the Southern Hemisphere

In the Western Cape it took a month at least to feel at ease with where the sun should be when glancing upward coming outside

The same in Swaziland although instead of a Southern Ocean horizon, the view of the Ezulwini Valley, looking east-by-northeast, had a precise logic to it from its sharp ridges

Nearer the equator in Tanzania, the orientation was so tropical that the south-became-north problem didn't matter

In the South Pacific, knowing south from north never quite becomes automatic

A constant problem for Northerners while in New Zealand and Australia

There's a lateral disorientation problem in the Arctic with the meridians crowding close

Also with the Date Line in the Bering Strait forcing the eastern hemisphere to western hemisphere designation, the 180°E to 180°W, in an instant

In that locale, the short passage from Russia to Alaska, absorbs three time zones, to further complicate sense of exact place

In the fog through rough seas

At first in life one quiet place is enough, a set of roads and streets, one watershed, one identity, one complex of localisms

That become our standard against which all things unlocal are measured

"Childhood is the credit balance of the writer"

We treat it circumspectly like bad poetry

Bad poetry written with savvy, sensitivity and commitment

César Franck's Sonata in A Major for Piano and Violin with its sublime third movement, Recitativo—Fantasia moderato, was written late, when he was 64

"With age art and life grow together," Georges Braque

Near his end, in 1949 Orwell lingered in a Cotswold sanatorium in Cranham, Gloucester

Arshile Gorky arrived in Watertown, Massachusetts in the early 1920s escaping the Armenian genocide

Gorky means bitter in Russian

Why an Armenian chose a Russian name is part of the mystery of the man

Bartok as romantic, his dramatic Second String Quartet, Op. 17, 1915–17

Bartok began his first American tour in late 1927. He gave twenty-six concerts playing his freshly composed Piano Concerto No. 1 and his Rhapsody, Op. 1

Where we live offers the salient coordinates

The irrigation ditch coming off the Sierra de Mijas passed the house

Just below was the era, the thrashing floor, with an ancient olive tree beside it

The era on it's little flat, the lower vineyard on the next terrace up, then the garden terrace, then the house

And above the house, at the top of the retaining wall behind a solar water heater was the big terrace in front of the garage and studio inside the gate

Behind and above that, more terraces, all the way up the Sierra to Mijas and the last path before the bare rocks

With the ancient Moorish irrigation channel running along beside

Through all time people have lived alongside running water

Just as squatters do now under freeways and bridges

Sampling credits in the order quoted to Robert Kaplan, Gabriel Garcîa Márquez.

D. E. Steward's "Noiembre" is a month from a month-to-month project that has been accumulating since September 1989. One of the chief problems with organizing the work, now in its twenty-third year, is coming up with plausible names for the more than 265 parts.