BOOK BURNING

UNESCO Admits Destroying 100,000 Books

IT'S NOT 1938, and we are not talking about the Nazis, and the books were not actually burned, rather they were pulped, but the result was the same. The books are gone. According to an article in The Guardian Weekly dated 18.04.08 an inquiry has been launched into why UNESCO paid to pulp nearly 100,000 books.

The destruction occurred between 2004 and 2005, when UNESCO's overflowing book storage warehouses in Paris were relocated to Brussels. Rather than pay the cost of moving 94,500 books UNESCO officials ordered all copies destroyed.

Nino Munoz Gomez, director of UNESCO's Bureau Chief of Public Information and chief of the publications division, claims that at least half of the volumes were outdated and contained obsolete data. While the auditors did acknowledge that some of the publications were out of date others "on historical or purely literary themes were not at all affected by obsolescence." It concluded that a "solution other than destruction" should have been considered, "such as free distribution to libraries."

Munoz Gomez, who assumed his post in April 2005 and was chief of the publishing section for nine months while the book destruction was taking place, said that he did not learn of it until 2006, when a new employee showed him thousands of dollars of bills charged for the pulping. He claimed that while he had authorized the payment of these bills, he did not realize the magnitude of the operation. When he became aware of what was going Munoz Gomez attempted to halt the pulping, but by then there were no more books left to destroy.


Victory Parade

A Short Story


RED, WHITE, AND BLUE CONFETTI was Falling, Falling everywhere, thrown from the windows of Tall and Taller buildings by Joyful people on the heads of the Joyful Sea of people below. On Broadway, a young Sailor recently returned from the Sea, and Milling among the Milling crowd, caught sight of a Pretty Girl. Catching her in his arms, the Sailor SPONTANEOUSLY gave the girl a kiss.

An unknown Famous photographer, who happened to be Milling among the Milling crowd looking for Photo opportunities, took a Photo that Happened to capture the fancy of America, thus becoming part of the history of photography. It Happened at a Victory Parade.

The War that had been Raging Over the Nazi Rage in Europe was Over. Some of our Fathers and Sons who had not been killed in the War would be coming Home. Some would Not be coming Home.

Ever and Anon’ there would be other VICTORY PARADES, albeit not for the Conflict in Korea, which was not a War at all but merely a Police Action. Alas a number of Policemen on both sides would be Killed before the Killing stopped, and the Koreans herded into two Precincts.

For the next Hot War, a VICTORY PARADE was held, despite the fact that the Outcome was far from VICTORIOUS.

On Broadway, a young Sailor recently returned from the sea, and Milling among the Milling crowd, caught sight of a Pretty Girl. Catching her in his arms, the Sailor SPONTANEOUSLY gave the girl a kiss.

Love Beads dangling, the Girl dangled the Sailor back to her padded Pad, where the two of them passed the time making love and passing a Joint.

The War that had gone on for Many years and Many Presidents was finally Over. In the middle of their sex the Girl closed her eyes and dreamed of her Exiled Boyfriend who would soon be Returning, Returning from his exile in Canada.

Anon, there were two short Wars, too small for VICTORY PARADES.

On Broadway, a young Sailor recently returned from the sea, and Milling among the Milling crowd, caught sight of a Pretty Girl. Catching her in his arms, the Sailor SPONTANEOUSLY gave the girl a kiss.

The Woman (don’t call me a girl!) SCREAMED and pushed the Sailor away. SCREAMING down the street, her SCREAMS attracted a Policeman, who caught the Sailor in his arms, and arrested him. The Intrepid Seaman from the Intrepid was charged with Malicious Assault and Attempted Rape.

The First War in the alien Persian Gulf was over. Our Heroic Heroes were returning home to FADED YELLOW RIBBONS recycled from the Iran Crisis still tied to trees, higher gas prices, CRYING wives, CRYING as their husbands coughed, and spit up Yellow Phlegm.

On Broadway, a young Sailor recently returned from the sea, and Milling among the Milling crowd, caught sight of a Pretty Girl. Catching her in his arms, the Sailor SPONTANEOUSLY gave the girl a kiss.

The “Girl” sucked the Sailor’s TONGUE into her mouth, pushing her body up against his. The Sailor felt the Girl’s penis go hard against his own and pushed Him/​Her away. The Sailor, with his Marine buddies Following, Followed the “girl” to the park, where they Dragged “the FUCKING DRAG QUEEN” into the Fucking bushes, where they Fucking stomped Him/​Her to a Fucking bloody Fucking pulp.

The troops were Celebrating no Celebration. No War as Over anywhere because our President had announced THE WAR WOULD GO ON FOREVER. There would be Killing and Training to Kill in Aceh, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bali, Bosnia, Chechnya, Colombia, East Timor, Georgia, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Macedonia, Mexico, Northern Ireland, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Turkey, the Philippines, Tajikistan, Tibet, Ulster, Uzbekistan, Yemen, Zimbabwe. . . .

A 737 inbound to LaGuardia passes low over Central Park – lower now that the Twin Towers are gone – casting its Shadow across a parched Sheep Meadow. Lying in the Hot Sun, hidden from the passing Passersby by a clump of bushes, UNABLE to move or cry out, BLOOD pouring from his nose and ears, attracting a Circle of Circling flies, the Dying Drag Queen Dreams of his MOTHER; how she held her Little Man close to her while she read him the telegram Telling them that the Father he was too young to Know had been KILLED IN THE WAR.

Our Leading Leaders tell us the War Over in Iraq will soon be Over. We WAIT now, WAITING for our Heroic Heroes to return so the next VICTORY PARADE can begin, that is If We Will Be Allowed To Assemble In The Streets To See It.

Stephen Poleskie

***




A Poleskie Photograph


Selected Works

Essays
A personal essay about his work that Poleskie wrote for an interview in a 2012 issue of Editions Bibliotekos
An essay that appeared in several journals and anthologies during the 1980s, including: Leonardo in the USA, Dars in Italy, and Himmelsschreiber in Germany
Novels
When his father dies, fading rock star John Foozler returns home, with his wife and son, to take care of his mother and run the family golf driving range. After a few months John’s mother dies, followed shortly by his wife. When his son leaves to join the Marine Corps, and with nothing to keep him in Eastlake, except a few now married old girlfriends, John decides to leave town and follow a dream his father had for him of becoming a professional golfer.
A National Guard corporal returned from deployment in the Middle East and suffering from undiagnosed PTSD descides to murder a man who he believe raped his wife thirteen years ago, and may be the father of his daughter.
A well-known American stunt pilot, and university professor, meets a strange old man named Caliban who tells him the story of his twin brother who as a young boy flew with Charles Lindbergh as his secret copilot on his famous solo trans-Atlantic flight.
Thaddeus Sobieski Coulincourt Lowe (1823−1913) was called by Carl Sandburg "the most shot-at man of the Civil War."
An unemployed actor answers an ad for a rent-free apartment and finds himself involved in a bizarre scheme to rig an election.
Novella and Stories
An AWOL soldier returns to the world after thirty-three years of hiding in his mother’s attic. An immigrant plumber bribes a policeman with a loaf of bread. And a plastic garbage bag flies around the sky looking for a new beginning, in these three out of the ordinary tales of living in America.
Selected Short Stories
A short story that appeared in the collection Acorn's Card, and on the blog Writing the Polish Diaspora
A short story that appeared in the collection Acorn's Card, 2011 and on Goodreads
A short story that appeared in the anthology The Book of Love, published by W. W. Norton, 1998 and in the collection Grater Life, 2009
A short story published in a shorter version in the 1995-6 issue of the magazine American Writing
A story published in the Spring 1996 issue of the west coast magazine Pangolin Papers and also in the collection Grater Life, 2009
This story appeared in the Spring 2009 print issue of SN Review
This story appeared in Essays & Fictions, Summer 2010, and in Fiction Daily
A short story that appeared in SATIRE magazine in 1997 under the title TGV
A story that appeared in Imago, the Australian literary magazine in October, 2001
A short story published in the Sulphur River Literary Review, Austin, TX
A short story in the Print Annual of Many Mountains Moving, a Literary Journal, 2008-9, nominated for a Pushcart Prize
A short story published in WordWrights!, a literary magazine from Washington, D. C. under the title For Eisenstaedt Spontaneously
Novel in Stories
A collection of short stories, interwoven into a dialog between a volunteer hospital visitor and a patient afflicted with AIDS.

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