Connecting California, Featured, Joe Mathews »

California’s Idea of a Full School Day Doesn’t Make the Grade

By | April 24, 2017

On many mornings, I think my state senator has the best policy idea in California.
The rest of the time, I think he’s missing the point.
The idea involves the sleep of schoolkids, and the state senator is Anthony Portantino, who represents me and nearly one million other residents of one of California’s nerdiest regions, the San Gabriel Valley.
Portantino has won plaudits for a bill that …

Featured, Poetry »

we could all use a little ruin in our lives #poem

By | April 21, 2017

I been there, rock cold pulled from and into
Bombay Beach’s television sandstorm
dead sea and sea salt halts
a desiccated fish grave exhaled
out of sand
where feral seraphim, dished and frayed clouds
ruins on top of ruins, excavate and see inside
the betrothed lives of the Salton Sea
if you have a dream
you have everything,
if love came capsuled inside
every por vida you whispered
then I would accept your version …

Featured, Nexus »

Is Terrorism Sweden’s New Export?

By | April 21, 2017

There is a difference between knowing that Islamic terrorism could befall your country, and experiencing it. The April 7 truck attack in central Stockholm was experienced as a shock across the country. Our king even held one of his rare speeches to the nation. Some shock was understandable. But we should not have been surprised.
For many years Sweden’s relative calm has disguised the fact that …

Featured, Nexus »

The End of Sweden’s “Naïve Slumber” Lays Bare Its Competing Truths

By | April 19, 2017

The woman in the audience is among those who will stay for a while to ask a question. I have just been giving a lecture at the Foreign Policy Association of Sweden’s Uppsala University. The topic is the country’s migration. That is almost the only thing we’ve talked about since autumn of 2015, when 10,000 asylum seekers arrived every week, raising questions about how our …

Featured, Nexus »

Sweden, the Land of Ikea and Abba, Is Being Reshaped by Refugees

By | April 19, 2017

“Which color?” asked the officer, who sat on the other side of the solid table.
“What?” I answered cautiously.
The state representative, whom I met on a gray February day in early 1990 at the Swedish consulate in Zurich, where I studied at that time, became louder: “What color does the toothbrush have?”
I was surprised and a little bit intimidated by this question and responded, …

Featured, Poetry »

We drift/ to the coyotes howling #poem

By | April 14, 2017

In darkness we’ll talk,
until we fade,
about cooking on TV,
or protests at Berkeley.
We sift and settle. We drift
to the coyotes howling
pagan hymns in a choir
that gives them up to each other
in their time of need:
brother, sister, loved one:
here I am, come feed.
They warble, laugh.
When they do we know
they’re only a short walk
from our window, no more
than a quick half-minute’s stroll
(in those flickering,
open moments,
everything is fractional).
And then, …

Featured, What It Means to Be American »

How Andrew Carnegie’s Genius and Blue-Collar Grit Made Pittsburgh the Steel City

By | April 7, 2017

I’m a retired steelworker—third generation at the Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp. on the south side of Pittsburgh. Both of my grandfathers were steelworkers, and my father was a first helper, meaning he was in charge of one of the steelmaking furnaces in the plant. When my father was ill and dying and on a lot of pain medication, he would mystify doctors with certain …

Featured, Poetry »

I wake to ocean lights/ like stars #poem

By | April 7, 2017

Rubber band of sleep
tight across my eyes
I wake to ocean lights
like stars, work of a boat,
or farther, pin-lamp of ship.
Tide, the gray-haired
waves comb toward cliff
surrender an improbable
tree whole, and then back
into totter. Was that
what I was all night,
buoyed and torn.
 
Ed Skoog is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently Run the Red Lights (Copper Canyon Press, 2016). He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Featured, Poetry »

down that street that hasn’t been used/ since last summer #poem

By | March 31, 2017

I breathe differently up here.
The wind across the river is busy
with commerce and worship, columns 
at my doors. Rooms from the upper city 
in my veins, in my bones I feel it— 
a slow drip over stones. When the seasons
break free, I cower and lean to beginnings,
sheath-wet. I’ve found no comfort here. Wisps
of sorrow rip their clothes off and skip
down that street that hasn’t been used
since last summer. I am …

Featured »

Why Didn’t the U.S. React More Forcefully to the DNC Hacking?

By | March 31, 2017

Last year, Russian intelligence mounted an unprecedented attack on the integrity of the U.S. election. Russian hackers broke into the email of the Democratic National Committee and of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, and released the stolen documents strategically via the website WikiLeaks to help Donald Trump. Or so the U.S. intelligence community found in a “high confidence” assessment that was partly declassified in …

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