Cobble Hill poet Nick Flynn did not have an easy start in life. When his mother was pregnant with him she attempted suicide and finally succeeded by shooting herself in the heart at the age of 42. His father was jailed for fraud and ended up living in the streets, occasionally wandering in and out of the homeless shelter in which Nick worked, this ultimately became the basis for his earlier memoir ‘Another Bullshit Night in Suck City’ which has been translated into a film that is currently in production starring Robert deNiro and Casey Affleck, directed by Paul Weitz and due for release in 2012.
In his new memoir, ‘The Ticking is the Bomb’ he explores becoming a new father in an age of political and personal brutality. It was penned during the publication of the notorious Abu Grahib torture photos and Flynn’s commentary digs into the role that state sponsored terror plays in the hands of Americans, “The function of torture in our society is not about getting information, in spite of what we might want to believe. It is merely about power. It tells the world that there is now no limit to what we will do when we feel threatened. That it is ineffective in gathering information, that it is actually counterproductive in making us any safe, has been clearly documented, it’s been known for years. That the box has been opened, and that the use of torture continues, now legally, suggests that it has become, for us, a mystical symbol, no less based on superstition than carving a crescent into a stick.”
He draws parallels between society’s indifference to homelessness and its casual stoicism regarding to state sponsored violence, “The transformative moment in any era is when people suddenly accept what has been previously unacceptable.”