The American Dissident: Literature, Democracy & Dissidence

Excerpts from Black Hole Abyss by G. Tod Slone

(A 58pp poems and a few short essays. 2017)


The Professionals IV

When I read these artist, poet, movie star,

or even librarian interviews,
I am left realizing that a third party is almost always missing.
You have the interviewer and the interviewee, but not a critic
of the ensemble.
And that is why the interviews, in reality, tend almost always
to be hackneyed hagiographies with a conspicuous absence
of hardcore questioning and challenging.



Ode to the Eider

Last year I’d hiked out to Jeremy Point,
where humans were rare in the wintertime.
Here and there, on the way,
Eider sat in the sand and wouldn’t even move
away when I walked by.
Dead ones lay half rotting near the still living.
And I walked and walked, counting over a hundred.

At the tip of the spit, a bunch of them sat,
barely noticing me at all—half dying, seeming in a trance.
It was quite strange for me, because the year before
I hadn’t seen any at all there.
Later, a ranger informed that a virus was decimating the creatures.

This year I hiked out once again to the tip of the spit, and there
I collected ten Eider skulls for a little monument I’d make in my house…



Thoughts from a Dialogue de Sourds
With Director James LaRue


Intellectual Impotence

One might expect the director of an Office for Intellectual Freedom
to not only brook hardcore criticism, but to actually encourage it…
in the name of intellectual freedom.
Of course, one might expect that, but only if one were NOT
living in an Orwellian world.


Intellectual Impotence II

The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom,
in reality, is but an Office for Intellectual Constraint or
an Office for Intellectual Impotence
because it argues that a “reasonable boundary” restriction
is somehow implicit in its very own policy statement
that “libraries should provide materials and information
presenting all points of view,”
which reasonably must render it an Office for Unreason…


Intellectual Impotence III

Intellectual impotence, as opposed to intellectual freedom,
is the inability to focus on counterarguments when they seriously

implicate fundamental flaws in the stated positions of apparatchiks.
Those afflicted are thus compelled to avoid, deny, deflect, and/or
misinterpret damning facts and reason and will reject, ban, censor,
and otherwise try to eliminate such from the public discourse…


Intellectual Impotence IV

For those in power, hardcore criticism will always be
“abrasive” and “insulting.”


Intellectual Impotence V

Ideology and intellectual freedom are incompatible.
Thus, ideology and free speech do not make good companions.
It is the former that has been tainting groups
professing to be proponents of the latter, from the ACLU to PEN,
NCAC, ALA, and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund…


Intellectual Impotence VI

Careerism and professionalism are the enemies of hard-core truth…
and vice versa.