Matching Grant Challenge
alexPureWhen I met Alexander Cockburn, one of his first questions to me was: “Is your hate pure?” It was the question he asked most of the young writers he mentored. These were Cockburn’s rules for how to write political polemics: write about what you care about, write with passion, go for the throat of your enemies and never back down. His admonitions remain the guiding stylesheet for our writers at CounterPunch. Please help keep the spirit of this kind of fierce journalism alive by taking advantage of  our matching grant challenge which will DOUBLE every donation of $100 or more. Any of you out there thinking of donating $50 should know that if you donate a further $50, CounterPunch will receive an additional $100. And if you plan to send us $200 or $500 or more, CounterPunch will get a matching $200 or $500 or more. Don’t miss the chance. Double your clout right now. Please donate. –JSC (This photo of Alexander Cockburn and Jasper, on the couch that launched 1000 columns, was taken in Petrolia by Tao Ruspoli)
 Day 19

Yes, these are dire political times. Many who optimistically hoped for real change have spent nearly five years under the cold downpour of political reality. Here at CounterPunch we’ve always aimed to tell it like it is, without illusions or despair. That’s why so many of you have found a refuge at CounterPunch and made us your homepage. You tell us that you love CounterPunch because the quality of the writing you find here in the original articles we offer every day and because we never flinch under fire. We appreciate the support and are prepared for the fierce battles to come.

Unlike other outfits, we don’t hit you up for money every month … or even every quarter. We ask only once a year. But when we ask, we mean it.

CounterPunch’s website is supported almost entirely by subscribers to the print edition of our magazine. We aren’t on the receiving end of six-figure grants from big foundations. George Soros doesn’t have us on retainer. We don’t sell tickets on cruise liners. We don’t clog our site with deceptive corporate ads.

The continued existence of CounterPunch depends solely on the support and dedication of our readers. We know there are a lot of you. We get thousands of emails from you every day. Our website receives millions of hits and nearly 100,000 readers each day. And we don’t charge you a dime.

Please, use our brand new secure shopping cart to make a tax-deductible donation to CounterPunch today or purchase a subscription our monthly magazine and a gift sub for someone or one of our explosive  books, including the ground-breaking Killing Trayvons. Show a little affection for subversion: consider an automated monthly donation. (We accept checks, credit cards, PayPal and cold-hard cash….)



To contribute by phone you can call Becky or Deva toll free at: 1-800-840-3683

Thank you for your support,

Jeffrey, Joshua, Becky, Deva, and Nathaniel

 PO Box 228, Petrolia, CA 95558

Melons and Mendelssohn by ROBERT A. DAVIES Melons and Mendelssohn mellow days of autumn the end of harvest andante season. And yet our country teeters, weapons plentiful as the fallen leaves or hanging soldiers. Winter rains bring floods unyielding soil dying cities and dying souls. We are extended like Khazars our backs to cold desperates, […]

Poet’s Basement

by Robert Davies, Frank Ford & Jon Taylor

Melons and Mendelssohn
Melons and Mendelssohn
mellow days of autumn
the end of harvest
andante season.

And yet our country teeters,
weapons plentiful
as the fallen leaves
or hanging soldiers.

Winter rains bring floods
unyielding soil
dying cities
and dying souls.

We are extended like Khazars
our backs to cold desperates,
peoples we despoiled
just waiting to pounce.

I dream of another
country of un-fearful young
to wars un-driven
by our wars untouched

a generous country
under a harvest moon
serene melon
a hefty moon.

(Previously published at
Robert A. Davies lives in the booster village of Portland, OR.  He was co-editor for Mr. Cogito magazine for more than 20 years and has published widely in the little magazines on and offline.  He is author of Tracks In Oregon, Timber and Sometimes Subversive.  He can be reached at


A Political Story

Government places me with Crystal family, murky

yet patriotic. And walking distance to the prison

where I go monthly to see my parents.

Both incarcerated for attempting to overthrow, etc.

Mother with explosives, my father, vague tactics.

In less hysterical times he’s sent home with a scolding.

After each visit, daughter Jeanette asks me five questions, recording my answers in a marbled composition book.

Since the answers are glaringly obvious, she stops

after a few months.

In Dickens, an attraction develops, but she has no sex,

and shares the family trait of periodically exploding

for no reason.

After both parents die in prison, I get sent to a recently-discovered uncle in Montana. He proves pure gold!–open, loving, fond of fart jokes. “Emotionally, I never got out of the six grade,” he announces in his rusty pickup

as we bang over dirt roads on the way to fishing holes.

Yeah, it’s all too Norman Rockwell.

Saves my life.

He passes when I enter Missoula as an Art Education Major, a flight of flannel-shirted angels carrying him to St Peter, who detains him until he hears every single fart joke.

Well, my fancy. I’ve others.

Strange to say, I now teach in the high school not far

from the prison. Jeanette warms up enough to marry the hardware store owner, who, noting a curt way with

customers, sets her up with an International Maids

Franchise, where immigrant women clean houses.

Ostensibly in an old-world, scrubbing way.

I got the best job in the world, teaching art to willing youngsters. And, blessedly, out of the political loop

run by a cabal of English and Shop teachers,

being too “flighty.”

Live-in girlfriend considers me normal. We’re both,

of course, crazy.

Frank Ford watches yachts glide by in Florida–no recession evident.


Two Ostriches

Both right and left

Have their heads buried in the sand

Not in the same hole of course

Each has its own

The right

Keeps its head buried

In the “Magic of the marketplace

Will make us all rich” hole

The left

Has its head stuck

In the “Identity politics

Multicultural golden age” hole

While the same bombing

Starving, invading, enslaving

Imprisoning, torturing, assassinating beast

Bears down on both of them

Jon Taylor lives in Nashville, TN. He can be reached at


Editorial Note: (Please Read Closely Before Submitting)

To submit to Poets’ Basement, send an e-mail to CounterPunch’s poetry editor, Marc Beaudin at with your name, the titles being submitted, and your website url or e-mail address (if you’d like this to appear with your work).  Also indicate whether or not your poems have been previously published and where.  For translations, include poem in original language and documentation of granted reprint/translation rights.  Attach up to 5 poems and a short bio, written in 3rd person, as a single Word Document (.doc or .rtf attachments only; no .docx).  Expect a response within one month (occasionally longer during periods of heavy submissions).

Poems accepted for online publication will be considered for possible inclusion of an upcoming print anthology.

For more details, tips and suggestions, visit and check the links on the top right. Thanks!