Notes to the poem belong to Carlo Parcelli (n. Ed)


1. “Implacable…objects.” Adorno 20. F. W. Taylor Scientific Management.

2. “The system…basis.” Foucault 153.

3. “Reality rejects…reduce it.” Emile Meyerson Identity and Reality.

4. “A reversal…ground.”  Levinson and Wilkins 521.

5. “It is theory…observe”. Heisenberg 63.

6. Carlo Zacquini, Catholic missionary.

7. Yanomami, also spelled Yąnomamö or Yanomama, are a group of approximately 35,000 indigenous people who live in some 200–250 villages in the Amazon rainforest on the border between Venezuela and Brazil.

8. Washington Post. US newspaper considered to be the long time organ of the CIA.

9. “900,000 Murdered in Indonesia” refers to the US supported series of coups in that country led by Suharto which led to the death of nearly one million Indonesians and the ouster and death of the country’s first democratically elected president Sukarno. Sukarno was held captive and denied medical care for a series of chronic illnesses he had.

10. The Invasion of East Timor. The US engineered Indonesian invasion of East Timor began on 7 December 1975 when the Indonesian military invaded East Timor under the pretext of anti-colonialism. The overthrow of a popular and briefly Fretilin-led government sparked a violent quarter-century occupation in which between approximately 200,000–250,000 soldiers and civilians (up to one-third of the population) are estimated to have been killed or starved. The invasion began just hours after President Gerald Ford and Secretary if State Henry Kissinger flew out of Jakarta just 7 months after the Fall of Saigon on April 30th, 1975. 

11. Suharto led US/CIA designed coup in 1965, which resulted in the death of 900,000 Indonesians.  John Martens, a CIA plant in the US Embassy in Jakarta, who turned over lists of names of people to be slaughtered by the Suharto regime later stated, “I probably have a lot of blood on my hands, but that’s not all bad. There’s a time when you have to strike hard at a decisive moment” e.g. overthrowing a democratically elected government and maintaining a brutal kleptocracy.

12. “If the lions…eat it.” Statement attributed to robber baron and rail magnate Daniel Drew.

13. “Dja Karta… effect.” Postcard from Ricardo Stern shortly after CIA sponsored coup in Chile against the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende. References CIA coup against Sukarno ten tears earlier.

14. J. Samuel Walker, chief historian of the conservative and pro-nuke U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, wrote in 1990. “It is clear that alternatives to the bomb existed, and Truman and his advisers knew it.”

15. “A vessel…fraud.” Dante Inferno VIII: 82.

16. Robert Michael Gates (born September 25, 1943), an American statesman, scholar and university president known for chameleon like metamorphic qualities as regards policy and alliances who served as the 22nd United States Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011. Gates served on the National Security Council, and was Director of Central Intelligence under President George H. W. Bush. After leaving the CIA, Gates became president of Texas A&M University and was a member of several corporate boards. Gates served as a member of the Iraq Study Group, the bipartisan commission co-chaired by James A. Baker III and Lee H. Hamilton that studied the lessons of the Iraq War.

17. Forms ready to exchange their matter. Dante’s Inferno XXV: 101-2 ref. Ovid Met 1.1-2.

18. Bertran de Born (1140s – by 1215) was a baron from the Limousin in France, and one of the major Occitan troubadours of the twelfth century.

19. “Punzelli” = to prick, goad, instigate. Content appears in Dante, “Father and son I set against each other/Achitophel with wicked instigations/Did not do more with Absalom and David.” (Dante Inferno XXV:136-8).

20. Ezra Pound, Instigations. Title reveals Pound’s temperament.

21. “McNamara…give up”. Key is Secretary of Defense McNamara’s use of quantifiable systems (Gibson The Perfect War: Technowar in Vietnam). People familiar with such systems always want to argue with me that to move forward, progress, such systems are indispensable if fundamentally unreliable. But when I suggest that then the system itself must be ethically culpable, the idea is utterly foreign to them though they are at a loss to explain why and fall back upon the rather naïve ‘purity’ of numbers trope e.g. numbers in and of themselves are simply tools and have no innate moral dimension no matter how they are aggregated.

22. “With your center…of the wall.” David Jones. ‘The Fatigue’ (The Sleeping Lord 1974). The speaker of the poem is a Roman Principalis.

23. “Ignoring…structure” A rewording of Michel Foucault, The Order of Things 152.

24. “People…façade.” Giuseppe Bacigalupo. in Carpenter 882.

25. “Explaining…free trade.” See also “Science smiling into its beard or first full-dress encounter with Evil.” Musil 361.

26. “A simultaneously…genesis.” Foucault 263.

27. “The Pennsylvania mob…electorally.” April Glaspie, the ambassador to Iraq, had led Saddam Hussein to believe the US would not intervene in a border conflict with Kuwait. The same voters that were overwhelmingly for going to war with Iraq, at the same time voted into office Democratic candidate, Harris Wofford, an admirer of assassinated international peace advocate Mahatma Gandhi, to the US Senate by a huge margin over war mongering, openly racist, soon to become Attorney General, former Pennsylvania Governor, Dick Thornburgh.

28. “The B-2 bomber…payroll” Quote from Vice President Dick Cheney at press announcement of the authorization of construction of the B-2 bomber.

29. “And…petty larceny…conformity.” Pound Cantos 454.

30. “[B]e joyous…extends.” Dante Inferno XXVI: 1-6 [Bolgia of Fraud]. Author has substituted his own imperial empire, “America,” for Dante’s Florence finding much there in common sans the art.

31. “The great dream…systems.” Foucault, Will 71.

32. “D’Alembert’s Dream…Diderot.” Note the play on ‘nous’ e.g. ‘noose.’ Opening line of Decontructing the Demiurge reads: “500 years: a gallows with an escapement” e.g. Western epistemology asphyxiates itself.

33. “[L]icks…Narcissus”. Dante, Inferno XXX: 128-9. [Eighth Circle; Fraud].

34. Fibonacci’s number sequences rely on mathematics to mimic natural processes.

35. “The Hall of Mirrors,” Saigon. World’s largest brothel serviced US troops in South Vietnam.

36. “crucifixial bow tie of Strong A.I.” Strong Artificial Intelligence whose proponents look to the day that mathematics in the form of what they define as a humanlike sentient robot will trump the flesh. The bow tie e.g. the cross is there to symbolize the ‘fear of the flesh’ that both the sciences and Christianity exhibit. These themes are covered more deeply elsewhere in the poem and throughout the author’s work.

37. “The salvation…oppression.” Zagorin 163.

38. “Structural Adjustment Loans” (SAL) is a type of loan foisted on developing countries. It is the mechanism by which international financial institutions, such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, impose structural adjustment (in other words gain control over a countries economy), centralizing it under capitalist principles especially privatization and hand-chosen economic oligarchs. In the process, institutions such as the World Bank, the IMF and the Inter-American Bank wilfully and intentionally further increase the country’s debt and through strict export policies impoverish the country and its people until the country defaults and all of its assets are sold to wealthy international investors for pennies on the dollar.

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