The anniversary of Hiroshima 6 August 1945 8:15 a.m.
Sembrar la Memoria
This is in four parts--
one of which, longer & with images- is found here, at this link:
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Before "Curveball": The "After" Effects Poetry of Baseball, the Radio, Espionage, & Hiroshima---Moe Berg, Jack Spicer, Araki Yasusada
and three shorter ones which are here below--
eyewitness accounts by survivors of both Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Leonardo's The Disappearance of Majoranna & Trying to Prevent the Bombs
Olson's Projective Verse--& from Prevention to Pre-Emption
the following excerpts are from Nine Who Survived Hiroshima and Nagasaki Personal Experiences of Nine Men Who Lived Through the Atomic Bombings
Robert Trumball, E.P Dutton, 1957.
Ten years after the bombings, it was learned that a search of all Japanese records indicated that 18 people had survived both the Hiroshima and the Nagasaki atomic blasts. An extensive search throughout Japan located eleven of the 18. Nine agreed to speak of their experiences.
The bombs dropped on the two Japanese cities are barely firecrackers compared to the weapons that the USA and Israel are discussing dropping on Iran. Radioactive elements in weapons used in the First Gulf War and since in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the as yet unknown, uniidentified Israeli weapons used in Lebanon last summer, have been causing new forms of illness, as yet inexplicable burns and wounds for which there are no cures as yet. The effects of nuclear weaponry being dispersed, in smaller doses, across populations and soldiers, using persons as "living laboratories" of effects bringing slower or faster deaths, polluting gene pools, and, via human waste, corpses, planting the poisons in water supplies and the soil.
Populations and landscapes made radioactive, slowly burning alive, without having to drop the bombs first.
"Instantly the sky was blanked out by the incandescent white light of the monstrous fireball. Scientists estimated that the ball was 250 feet in diameter and a hundred times as bright as the sun, with a heat of 1,000,000 degrees Centigrade. he same as the sun's interior There was a roar of sound that is indescribale. for there is nothing with which it can be compared. Then came a wave of concussion that instantly leveled 6,820 buildings, and badly damaged 3, 750 more. The earth for a mile around the blast center was bombarded with deadly gamma rays and neutrons and showered with radioactive fission products.. The fireball sucked up millions of tons of dust and pulverized debris that quickly began to form the the great, ugly mushroom cloud. The city fell under a dark pall, and a muddy rain began to fall . . .
"In the city of approximately 255, 000, more than half the population was instantly dead or incapicitated (dead above 64,000, injured 72,000). Casualties who escaped death in the blast were badly burned. or injured by falling timbers, or flying glass. No city was ever more prostrate. All means of comminication were gone. Seventy per cent of the fire fighting equipment was destroyed, and 80 per cent of the fire-fighting personnel were killed, wounded or otherwise unable to respond to the emergency. Concussion had broken the water mians, and pipes were melted in the incredible heat. Many burning buildings were inacessible anyway,blocked off as they were by the debris of fallen structures . . .
"Of forty-five hospitals, only three were left standing. Only twenty-eight out of 290 physicians in the city were unhurt, and 126 of the 1,780 nurses . . .
"With all facilities virtually nonexistent, the city was at the mercy of the flames, and by two o'clock in the afternoon the six islands (of the city) were a sea of fire. Terror was heightened by the flaming windstorm caused by convection as the air was drawn at thirty to forty miles an hour to the blazing center of the blast . . .
"The door facing Yamaguchi opened, and five boys, fifteen or sixteen years old, came running out. They were unclothed except for torn underpants, and Yamaguchi saw that theywere covered in blood . . .
"'I had never seen such a horrifying sight as those five shivering boys. Blood was pouring in streams from deep cuts all over their bodies, mingling with their perspiration, and their skin was burned deep red, like the color of cokked lobsters. At first it seemed, strangely, that their burned and lacerated backs and chests were growing green grass! Then I saw that hundreds of blades of sharp grass had been driven deep into their flesh, evidently by the force of the blast." . . . . (these boys had been inside a small factory building--not outdoors)
"Hirata set out for home . . .
"'There was not a house standing as far as I could see . . . Although I knew the city well, it was actually difficult to find my way, for al the familiar landmarks were gone, and the streets I often walked were now buried in debris and ashes' . . .
"Hirata noticed, with a shock, that there wasn't a living being in sight. "It was as if the people who had lived in this uncanny city had been reduced to ashes with their houses,' he said . . .
As he moved slowly through the ashes, he came to the first ghastly dead.
"'The first was a little boy,' he recalls. 'He was completely naked, his skin was all peeled off as if he had been flayed, and the nails were falling from the ends of his fingers. His flesh was all deep red. When I first saw him I wasn't sure if I was looking at a human being
"'There were numberless injured persons all around me, lying on the ground, some held down by fallen timbers, all screaming and shouting for help. I saw that they were all still alive,m but horribly injured. Many looked like ghosts, with the skin peeled off their faces and hanging down over their shoulders like thin silk pennants. All those facing in the direction of the blast had their exposed skin torn off in a thick layer whgich had blown back. The sight left me numb with horror.' . . . .
FORESEEING THE BOMB AND TRYING TO PREVENT IT
In Leonarado Sciascia's beautiful book The Disappearance of Majoranna, he has a vision born of the startling synchornicity of information recieved during a telephone call with his own researchs into the mysterious and never solved vanishing of the great Italain physicist.
It is Sciascia's growing conviction that Majoranna "faked" his own death/disappearnce in order for him to retire completely from the world to an obscure Monastery, there to finish his days in the Peace of the Spirit he so desperately needed. For it is also Sciascia's belief that Majoranna, very early in the 1930's, during the period of his stay with the German physicist Werner Heisenberg, had foreseen the Atomic Bomb and all the dread implications that its unleashing had in store for all life on Earth.
Sciascia posits that Majoranna, and Heisenberg also, being possesed of this knowledge, and loyal citizens, one of a Fascist country, the other of a country about to become so, determined never to reveal what they knew to anyone, in the desperate hope that this would prevent the A-bombs ever coming into existence.
Having reached nearly the final goal of his enquiries, the visit to the Monastery where Majoranna may well have lived, the telephone call informs Sciascia that there is also a rumor about this monastery that the pilot of the Enola Gay, which dropped the Bomb on Hiroshima, had also been a resident at the monastary for a time, and most likely seeking the same Peace as the physicist.
For Sciascia even the possibility, however remote, however imaginary, of the two men encountering each other in the obscure monastary, is a Vision of such powerful symmetry and "complete sense," that it's taking place in such a manner outstrips any "factual proof" of it's having "actually occurred."
For Sciascia, this Vision presents the quantum leap of the fictional, the imagainary, into a Truth which is, in fact, "irrefutable," given the scantiness of "the evidence to go on." For this Vision complements that Vision in which he finds Majoranna and Heisenberg foreseeing an event which they think they have a chance however small, to prevent occuring.
For the writer, this makes of these two physicists the truly great ones of the Atomic Age,, the ones who knew , yet refused to share the knowledge, how to make the Bomb and open a new age of unimaginable horrors.
Their forseeing of the A-Bomb and efforts to prevent it, has since been turned into a different form of foresight in relation with Nuclear wepaons. This is the kind of accelearted, forged, creation of the threat of a Future Bomb which has to be prevented by the pre-emptive strike made by a bomb already in existence.
This "saving of lives in danger in the future" " by killing a great great many in the present, is related to logic claimed for the dropping of the two nuclear bombs on Japan, If the bombs could bring a stop to the war, this would mean the saving of perhpas millions of lives, so that the killing of some hundreds of thousands would be "worth it." By this line of reasoning, it is not the dead who "count," but the living. Lying inert, the "body count" of the dead do not represent Death in this vision, but instead New Life, all that Life of the Present and soon to be Future Saved by the Light Flash which "recorded" the "last living instant" of the immediately about to be dead in the form of shadows imprinted in walls.
FORESEEING POST-HIROSHIMA TURNS PREVENTION INTO PRE-EMPTION
Olson's "Projective Verse" Manifesto and Accelerations of American Speeds into Annihilations of (Others') SPACE
Although he did not realize the fact until some time later, Charles Olson completed Call Me Ishmael, his study of Herman Melville's Moby Dick, on the day that the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.
That clear morning in Hiroshima, the Nuclear Holocaust of the Gates of Hell opened, unleashing the heat of a new sun in a flash of light, a heat different in kind from the Hells of the Fire bombings of Tokyo, Hamburg, Dresden,and so many others. This was a Heat which continued burning long after, in the cells and tissues contaminated by radioactivity. From the first instant, the human organism began the processes of mutation which themselves mutated further in the Nuclear Accidents of Three Mile Island and in the huge area affected by Chernobyl.
For Olson, Melville's Pacific voyage in Moby Dick becomes the final stage in the Westward movement which finds itself in rejoining the East. The horizontal "BRIDGE" of vehicular modes of transportation, with their speeds which steadily abolish 'SPACE," the American "Fact," turn into the vertical trajectory of Time in the airplane. The planes in the Pacific take off from the Carrier, itself a huge floating Bridge, from whose horizons are launched the engines of flight, carrying in their ever increasing speeds the annihilations of Space and the dawn of continuous global Real Time, in which it becomes possible to create the global "Accident" of Nuclear Total Destruction.
In the "Projective Verse" Manifesto (1950) Olson writes, (after Edward Dahlberg) ONE PERCEPTION MUST IMMEDIATELY AND DIRECTLY LEAD TO A FURTHER PERCEPTION . . . get on with it, keep moving, keep in, speed, the nerves, their speed, the perceptions, theirs, the acts, the split second acts, the whole business, keep it moving as fast as you citizens . . . always one perception must must must MOVE, INSTANTER, ON ANOTHER!
The acceleration of PERCEPTION--"split second acts, the whole business," --links the Poetic Projective avant-garde with that of the military, in which perception has always meant death. To be the first to perceive the enemy's movements, locations, encampments, strategies unfolding, is to be instantly setting the lines of sight directly at the target. To see at ever greater speeds, to See First, is to be able to AIM DEATH. To perceive is to annihilate.
As the world becomes ever more saturated by perception, the Open Field of a Projective Verse becomes "completely exposed" to the perceiving eyes of a myriad machines at a myriad angles and distances, continually "lining up" the trajectories of high speed death. Yet--what if the Perception finds no target to be aimed at? No reason for an attack, "nothing to shoot for?"
Since the target is already "taking place, existing," as a concept, what remains is to fill in the blank spaces where the unseen target "should be." To "fill in the blanks" when Perception "comes up empty," the resort is to a conceptual language with which to "forge" the Seen into the Unseen, to impose objects and "readings," "information" where there is none. If Nature abhors a vacuum, the conceptual Perception cannot stand to "see a blank space" where the target it conceives of "should be."
To "forge" is to "forge" full speed ahead in Time, planting ahead of time what one has set out to find, and, finding it, being able to claim a complete "coherence" in one's methods and in one's "ability to not only See, but FOReSEE" the "dangers that are now exposed as having been there all this time."
To conceptually be filled with a "Vision" which is confronted with "a blank," "necessitates" the construction in language of "evidences, proofs" which "show" that "something is there," even if cleverly concealed or camouflaged, since one KNOWS it must be there, it will be there, and what is a blank shall be filled with the CERTAINTY of a target.
Emerson wrote in "Nature," that the "blank and ruin we perceive in Nature is in our own eye."
In the rush to annihilate, such thinking in itself is an enemy. The "blank and ruin" of a Perception which "comes up empty" needs to be replaced by the blank and ruin of a Perception which is seeing the blank and ruins it has created, by destroying what it has "planted" and "forged" as a target to annihilate.
The work of Perception turns from "seeing what is there," to Projecting into the blank spaces what is Not There, in order to see what it is one needs to see to go about destroying it.
By these accelerations "hurried on" by forgeries of the required evidences, it is possible to manufacture "the presence of Unseen, Unheard of, previously non-existent and undreamed of Threats of the Utmost magnitude" where in fact there is "nothing. "Nothing," that "blank and ruin" is no longer THERE, nor is it any longer a "blank and ruin within my own eye" when the Secret of the Forged Eviodences become "revealed"--not the Scret of their forgery, to be sure! But the Secret that where everyone has found "nothing," one has inded ben proven to have such a superior acutiy of Vision as to see what is THERE among the appearnces of the Not There.
This method seeing the There in the NOT There, also accelerates Time, for what one is seeing is not the "blank and ruin" of the present at all, which one has so stuffed and filled in. It is instead the FUTURE one sees, the blank and ruin ofone's own landscapes, unless the THERE of the NOT THERE, aka the NOT YET THERE, is attacked pre-emptively.
By means of the pre-emptive attack, one "realizes" the concrete presence of indeed "real" blanks and ruins, whcih "prove," indeed, that the "blank and ruin one sees in one's own eye," is not a Nothing in the present, but indeed a great Something in the Future whose presence one has produced as the Now.
Among the "reasons" given to "justify" the dropping of the bombs on Hiroshima and Ngasaki was that they would stop the War, and so save an immense number of lives.
Rather than contemplating the number of the dead, the wounded, the radioctively sick, the traumatized and the sufferings of those suddenly afflicted by mutations, one was to "overlook" these corpses and see instaed all the vast returning American soldiers and the still living Japanese as indeed the signs of Triumph of the A-Bomb.
By reversing the "body count" of the dead into that of the "countless numbers" saved, the Peace the A-Bomb brought could be seen to be the Saving of those living "who are not dead "
By envisioning the A-Bomb as a Saviour, "only called upon in the last resort," the language has been formulated with which to begin the series of forgeries and "alarms," which have already been in the building stages for at least over four years now, to pre-emptively attack yet again. And this time in Iran.
In the Light of the New Sun of the Nuclear Bombs, it is not Death which Mushrooms and Clouds the Skies, but the Saviour, the Sign of a God to the living.
"Let there be light"--