Thursday, January 8, 2015

Photographs And Poem By Gillian Conoley Dedicated To Gabrielle Giffords, Who Was Shot On January 8, 2011 By Jared Lee Loughner In An Assassination Attempt

Christal Cooper

Poem Excerpt from Peace by Gillian Conoley
*Copyright granted by Gillian Conoley 

            for Gabrielle Giffords

So it was like sleep and waking, sleep and          

fraud on my       Visa, sleep


waiting out radioactive plume,                                                                                              

and today another

trying card

in Miami

                             did they want groceries   

or did they want cash, sleep

Freeway sign said      take Lucky Drive
           to bypass

bank robbery in shopping mall

so that’s where

              the two bullets went through,

What sphinx pushes up out the fog in the parking lot     

turning each

upon  each

our moral imaginations.  If it’s a gun law,

         this tragedy will pull through.

And what was there to      and did she

see, gritty blue sink desert of night sky      

with her

off to the side like a wonder, or

your basic hospital room, sleep,

                                        a solitary male nurse, a husband.                  

Here we pour a new layer, visible                                                          
for all to see how we want
        to be as transparent as possible,

        but remain gradient,                                                                                
dangerous when once it was them,

                                     an error, a horror now that it is

What are we to the man

who attacked the gunman

as he started to reload , a constituency?



in the arcade stir a glassy water, sleep, amplify

  Gun with cord tied to it so no one will take it

    The little girl with a hole in her chest                                                

            first girl player to play            

in the middle leagues

Gritty blue sunken – shame – 
as if the desert

                                    could hiss, fold,

The six dead behind her eyelids.  Leave them open,

let us place no more constraints on the eyes of the dead,

          illegible cross-outs turned inward

searching themselves to escape

like figures met in a dream,

she is walking down the hall with a shopping cart

                           --Never and always

a back to the door --      Whose side –

   Once she appears again,    
      but they won't show her to us

  at her husband’s launch of four spacewalks

to install the alpha magnetic spectrometer    It will take all four walks

                            to sift, sleep

through cosmic rays

to define the origin of the universe, though

                           by now, that plays a minor key.

   It could be plutonium, it could be uranium,

we just don’t know.

                          A radioactive plume

to drift over California Friday by noon     
a shadow of cloud on the stream

Crows that range and radiate

  from cloud to tumbling cloud

       And what will she say

privately      and what she will say

                       in that language of our conviction.

This tragedy will pull through,

and will stand by you tomorrow.

   It isn’t really heavily radiated water.

             How one eye keeps one eye

                    on a deep and bitter thing.   


*Poet's Biography:
          Gillian Conoley was born in Austin Texas, where, on its rural outskirts, her father and mother owned and operated a radio station.

          She is the author of seven collections of poetry, including PEACE (, THE PILOT GENIE, PROFANE HALO, LOVERS IN THE USED WORLD, and TALL STRANGER, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

          Her work has received the Jerome J. Shestack Poetry Prize from The American Poetry Review, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, and a Fund for Poetry Award.  Her poems have been anthologized widely, most recently in W.W. Norton's Postmodern American Poetry, Norton's American Hybrid, and Best American Poetry.
          A poet, editor, and translator, Conoley has taught as a visiting writer at University of Denver, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Tulane University, and Vermont College.
          Her translations of Henri Michaux, THOUSAND TIMES BROKEN:  THREE BOOKS BY HENRI MICHAUX, appeared in City Lights in 2014.

          Editor and founder of Volt, she is Professor and Poet-in-Residence at Sonoma State University.  She lives with her family in a small town just north of San Francisco.   


Photograph Description and Copyright Information

Photograph 1
Official portrait of United States Representative Gabrielle Giffords
March 24, 2010
Attributed to the Untied States Congress
Public Domain

Photograph 2
Plume of the Space Shuttle Atlantis after launch.  The sun has set just behind the camera, so only the upper part of the plume is in the glare of the sun.  It casts a shadow through the Earth’s atmosphere that seems to stretch towards the moon, which is nearly full and thus almost exactly opposite the sun in the sky.  The Earth’s shadow is also visible, as a dark band of sky below the moon. 
February 7, 2001
Attributed to Patrick McCracken
CC BY SA 3.0

Photograph 3
A Winn-Dixie branded as Winn-Dixie Marketplace store located in West Palm Beach, Florida on Okeechobee Boulevard and Military Trail
Attributed to Walgreens Osroio
CCASA 3.0 Unported License

Photograph 4
La Toscana Village Shopping Center in Casas Adobes area of Suburban Tucson, Arizona.  Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and more than a dozen others were victims of a shooting attack here on January 8, 2011.  The attack occurred near the Safeway main entrance, which is below the peaked roof in the middle of the photo.
Attributed to Steve Karp
January 18, 2011
CCA 3.0 Unported.

Photograph 5
Great Sphinx of Gizo, Egypt.
July 16, 2008
Attributed to Barcex
GNU Free Documentation License Version 1.2

Photograph 6
Web logo and description of Gabby’s Pledge from Americans For Responsible Solutions  (
Fair Use Under the Untied States Copyright Law.

Photograph 7
Mark Kelly holds his wife’s hand in the Congresswoman’s hospital room at the University Medical Center in Tucson the day after she was shot.
Photo Attributed to Getty Images
Photo released to the public from United State Representative Gabrielle Giffords’ office.
Public Domain

Photograph 8
A photograph of a Glock that Jared Lee Loughner posted to his MySpace page.
Fair Use Under the United State Copyright Law

Photograph 9
United States Army Col Bill Badger, 74, tackled Loughner to the ground after being shot by Loughner.
Fair Use Under the United States Copyright Law

Photograph 10
The famous picture taken of Jared Loughner that has been commonly mistaken for a mug-shot at the Pima County Sheriff’s Office’s Forensic Unit after the shooting.  This image has been photo-shopped to make him look more menacing.
Fair Use Under The United States Copyright Law

Photograph 11
Christina Taylor-Green, age 9, was one of the six victims who died.
Fair Use Under The United States Copyright Law

Photograph 12
The six murder victims:
Top Row from left to right:  Christine Taylor-Green 9, Dorothy Morris 76,  John Roll 63
Bottom Row from left to right:  Phyllis Schneck 79, Dorwan Stoddard 76, and Gabe Zimmerman.
Fair Use Under the United States Copyright Law

Photograph 13
President Barack Obama embracing Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords before delivering his speech at the 2012 State of the Union.
Attributed to Pete Souza – official White House Photographer
Copyright the Executive Office of the President of the United States
Public Domain

Photograph 14
Former United States Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband mark Kelly NASA astronaut and commander of mission STS-134 pose for a picture at the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer Payload Operations and Command Center at the the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Meyrin near Geneva
July 25, 2012
Attributed to Reuters/Valintin Flauraud
Fair Use Under the United States Copyright Law

Photograph 15
The Energetic Gamma Ray Experiment Telescope (EGRET) on the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory has detected gamma rays from the Moon as it passed through the instrument field of view several times between 1991 and 1994. The average flux, and the energy spectrum of the lunar gamma radiation are consistent with a model of gamma ray production by cosmic ray interactions with the lunar surface, and the flux varies as expected with the solar cycle. Although the same processes may occur on the Sun, EGRET does not detect the quiet Sun. Thus, in high-energy gamma rays, the Moon is brighter than the quiet Sun.
June 9, 2012
D. J. Thompson, D. L. Bertsch (NASA/GSFC), D. J. Morris (UNH), R. Mukherjee (NASA/GSFC/USRA)
Public Domain

Photograph 16
The Moon's cosmic ray shadow, as seen in secondary muons detected 700 m below ground, at the Soudan 2 detector
Fair Use Under The United States Copyright Law

Photograph 17
Mixed media art photograph combining a painting of crows by Nicoletta Ceccoli and an image of Gabrielle Giffords in the hospital taken days after the shooting.

Photograph 18
Image of Gabrielle Giffords one year after the shooting.
Image released by Giffords’ office
Public Domain

Photograph 19
Facebook photograph of Gabrielle Giffords
Fair Use Under the United States Copyright Law.             

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