Joe Pan in New York Times

Joe-Pan-NYTimes-Drone-MQ-9-Reaper

Visions of Drones Swarming U.S. Skies Hit Bipartisan Nerve
By SCOTT SHANE and MICHAEL D. SHEAR

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Last Friday I was in Boston attending the AWP conference when Wendy & I finished up dinner & drinks with some Boston friends & headed back to our hotel room. I figured I’d jump on Facebook before hitting the sack (a long day full of book selling & catching up with old writer friends & beating the blizzard) when I noticed a friend of mine had posted a link with my name attached to it.

I opened the link & found my poem “Ode to the MQ-9 Reaper” had been quoted in the New York Times. Wendy hopped out of bed & jumped around. I reposted the link immediately & since then my website has blown up, the poem has been disseminated by a great deal of people on the major social media platforms, & the emails have poured in congratulating me for what would the next day appear on the front page of the NY Times print edition.

I did not expect in my life to appear in an article concerning the actions of Rand Paul. Although our ideas diverge greatly at times on many issues, part of the reasoning behind his filibuster, which brought attention to the question of the President’s & our military’s possible authority to track & kill Americans on American soil using drones, was just & appropriate. People can decide whether or not it’s a question worthy of protest & arrest, though I must say that though the weapon we would now use is new, state killing of Americans on American soil happens all the time in prisons around the country. We have a distinct history of killing our own & the legality of the action, though it has been questioned & fought against, remains as it had before. My point is, this is no new thing, & to object it one must realize what one is rejecting in full, in broader scope.

All I can do is thank everyone who read the poem & felt the need to send me their thoughts, it means the world to me. Thank you.

Cheers.