So, anyone who's ever tried to access my blog, in the recent past, knows that I've privatized the majority of it. You'll need a warrant, a job with WordPress, or my personal permission in order to access my testimony, at this point. I have nothing to hide, with regard to our relationship. However, I believe a crime has been committed, and there are other characters within the plot line, whom I am concerned for and wish to remain free of any sort of rabble I could rouse by spilling the proverbial beans all over the place. In any case, after some deliberation, I've seen fit to open up my copy of Kristin's journal entries, as it reveals quite a bit more about who she was than you might have ascertained on your own. I've taken the liberty to add a little sparkle, as well, and may even go back and redo it in APA, just for the record. It's been awhile since I've written in it, as things have dramatically changed since my last entry. Time to start thinking about another.
Kris wrote for Counterpunch, as some of you may already know. She had known Jeff St. Clair for many years prior, edited a significant number of his previous writings, and was eventually offered a gig with the magazine. The column was called Daydream Nation, after one of her favorite songs by one of her favorite bands, Sonic Youth. It was the spice of the journal and it will never be the same without her. Contrary to what the staff at Counterpunch might have announced, upon Kristin's passing, she was not on good terms with either Jeff St. Clair or Josh Frank, nor with Bob Downing, who wrote the piece in question.
First, a little background info is probably in order. I initially met Kristin as an amateur blogger. I had a personal online news roll and had been posting a number of articles from Counterpunch when I learned that she was fighting breast cancer. I shared the post and its fundraiser link, and, by accident, bumped into one of her Facebook posts, one day, and began a friendly conversation. In fact, I had been following Nate St. Clair who, of course, had Kristin on his contact list. I wasn't much into pop culture, at the time. I'd been studying shakuhachi flute and ambient drone for at least a couple of years when we met, other traditional flutes and musical forms, in the years prior. There was a seiza bench on my living room floor, if you know what I mean. Mantras and singing bowls. Kristin heard my baritone and that was pretty much the end of my hiatus from contemporary music. She practically demanded that I croon some Country & Western ballads for her, and I began my descent down that rabbit hole, once again. I didn't even own a guitar at the time, though I'd been playing and singing since childhood. She was a bigger country music fan than myself and taught me to embrace it again, having grown up with nearly nothing but, for the vast majority of my childhood. My earliest intensive training, in guitar, was actually in Delta and Chicago Blues, psychedelic blues rock and so forth. My first instrument was a little, plastic, English whistle and, then, a ukulele. I later busked a little, in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, did quite well at it and nearly toured with some famous musicians, while in LA, but soon walked away from the deal. I'm sorry to have to say it but the rumors about Hollywood are largely true. Not my road. I'll probably write more about it as the project takes shape.
Anyway, I was sitting in the same room with her when she was fired, by Counterpunch, over the phone. The fundamental reasoning behind this little lightning bolt was the fact that she had obtained a contact address for Lakota activist and A.I.M. spokesman John Trudell, while seeking shelter under my roof, in South Dakota, and wanted to set up an interview. He was very sick and made the journey onward, from this life, not long after. The individual who gave her the contact was Michael Donnelly, of Earth First notoriety, who is also inherently connected with the rag. Apparently, he didn't have the guts to tell them and Kristin wasn't a snitch. So, that's how that story actually ended. She was still in cancer treatment. The magazine meant everything to her. It was all she really had, at that point. I'll note that she rather suspected Josh Frank over Jeff St. Clair. Jeff's brother Nate is neither here nor there, in this particular picture. I haven't anything bad to say about him and it was through his Facebook page that I actually first met Kristin. Ken Silverstein is another story. Not long before Kris walked on, herself, he had offered her a job as an editor for Washington Babylon. I was sitting next to her while these events played out, as well. However, after mere weeks, his correspondence just faded into silence. So, we could only guess that another party had been talking shit about her again. She was devastated. None of them would even give her a reference for continuing onto grad school, and that is a stone cold fact. I can't remember just how many times she cried on my shoulder over those misogynistic, old hipsters and their magazines.
I need to make something clear, here. Kris Kolb never said one kind word, to me, about Alexander Cockburn. Though she was well-versed in the American socio-political theater (much more so than myself), she wasn't attached to any particular party. She was neither an anarchist nor a communist. She wasn't gay, she wasn't into drugs or porn or kinky sex. I think the song "Funeral Singers" reminded her of her child. It was one of her favorites. But, she didn't even know what heroin looked like. (I do and would have known.) Kris Kolb was raised Roman Catholic and, therefore, naturally inclined toward social and environmental issues. This is really how we first became acquainted. By the time we met in person, I had been editing for a small, non-profit news publication out of Bethlehem, called the International Middle East Media Center, or IMEMC. I disengaged when the riots broke out, in 2020, as the true nature of the politics behind the "social justice" movement suddenly became crystal clear to me. You begin to see how the different groups interact on a global level, after so much time into it and, in any case, I hit the eject button. As far as politics go, I haven't voted since Bill Clinton. (First and last time I ever voted for president -- so far, that is.) In all fairness, Kris Kolb cared about the welfare of every single creature in the universe, regardless of color, creed, or sexual identity, as do I. I'm none of those things I mentioned earlier, either, and hold no hatred for Israel, whatsoever. I've been gardening for an old, Jewish foster mom since 2017, in fact. Her husband was raised Catholic and they treat me like extended family. Childhood sweethearts. Kris and I were simply a couple of journalists caught up in the social justice whirl, trying to decipher the truth for ourselves.
She asked me to marry her when her own life was better sorted. This happened on the ferry landing of Orcas Island, in the summer of 2016. And, regardless of what anyone may have to say about either of us or our relationship, I was her best friend, her final caregiver, and her last love. She did not die of cancer. She did not die from drinking, or whatever you may have heard. I got her sober. I helped pay her bills. I escorted her to her medical appointments. I shined that girl's boots and tended her garden, was preparing to extract her from Orcas, the day she died. She was there for sanctuary, not some shallow, drugged out orgy. She was terrified of the San Juans, in her final months, there. I spoke with her just hours before her death and am faithful to her to this day, to the promises I made to her, should something like this ever happen. In any case, Kris was a much better writer than myself, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Outside of dry news and research, I work with mostly poetry and lyrics. The funny thing is that my rhymes never made much sense until I met her. She raised the bar for me, as a writer and musician, and she will be fully credited with anything that ever surfaces from my new studio, simply because she deserves it. Though incredibly shy about her poems, she was gifted in the art, as well. She has been my personal superhero, hell or high water, ever since I met her, and will always will be. She lived a martyr's life and I owe her whatever is left of my own, in making sure that her voice is not forgotten. Her life, her love, simply cannot be replaced.
Onion Creek, Washington 6/4/ 22