Thursday, February 28, 2019

Vitaliy Mashchenko paints

Spring Forest

Gabriella Garofalo writes

Certainly not anaemia, certainly not ethereal
The first summer moon, the grass they set ablaze,
The memory spreading seeds of wild voices and frozen trees:
Let friends, jaded skies lead you 
To the offspring of clouds and kites -  
Do they still call her life? -  
While a womb-shaking frenzy  
Wonders why we can’t dwell in a blue twilight  
In love with Atropos’ threads.  
And now you stop whining, soul,  
Yes, now, look at those girls  
Sporting flowers and pink laces,  
Look at them girls on a shopping binge:  
Books and bling -  
No, not stars, I say bling -  
It’s not their fault, mind, if days breathe,  
You sure men, white lies, hot stuff matter at all?  
C’mon, don’t kid yourself, 
Don’t you remember you threw adrenaline to the sky  
And got a shock so many times? 
You were a child.  
Some tips for you:  
Live colours, keep books bare,  
No lovers, no delays, careful now:  
You cut away a chunk of rebel heaven -  
The lunatic fringe, yes?  
You’ll have to live on new heavens, I’m afraid -  
And they’ll grab you on the fly. 

[from "A BLUE SOUL," Argotist Ebooks]

Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos -- John Karnaras

David Wojahn says

To grow as a poet, you have to read in a wide array of aesthetics and styles. David Antin says somewhere that poets suffer when they aren’t willing to widen their “discourse radius.” I like that term.

I write far fewer poems than I did when I was in my twenties or thirties, but I find myself more or less satisfied with a greater percentage of the ones I do write. And the poems take longer to gel. The notebooks where I jot down ideas tend to be filled with lots of fragments, and lists of possible topics for poems (and I mean topics.) But I use the notebooks mostly as a kind of commonplace book. I jot down passages from books I read -- if it’s a passage that intrigues me enough, I have to see how it looks in my own hand. I tend to read more history, nonfiction, science, biography and various oddball stuff than I read poetry, and the purpose of doing this is sometimes merely to preserve special and eccentric facts that intrigue me -- I read the other day that Vermeer’s widow had to give two of his most accomplished paintings to the family baker, who’d given the Vermeers bread on credit for many years, and was finally calling in the debt. There has to be a poem in that. The trick is to find some other motif or subject to juxtapose with it.… A poem of mine [is] initially about some glorious and sad photos that were taken of the last known ivory-billed woodpecker. Yet just describing those images wasn’t enough to make a poem. But suddenly the poem took a turn and began talking about the Delta and Chicago blues, and a particular bluesman, Sonny Boy Williamson. The poem became a meditation on extinction in a larger sense -- as a musical form, the blues is majestic, but its audience keeps dwindling and no one presently seems to be meaningfully extending or developing the form. The blues are an   endangered species veering toward extinction too, which I find immensely sad. It’s the meeting of these two subjects which gave me the chance to finish a draft of the poem, and gave me a challenge for revising it, since the two subjects had to meld and commingle linguistically, not just be juxtaposed with one another. This is also a way of saying that I pay much more attention to the form and the music of the poem than I did when I was younger.

George Reece sings

You'll Always Do Me Good

Saikat Gupta Majumdar writes

Inhuman, still human.
The squirrel got astonished when creeping upward
Some apes looked gloomy on the branches above
No charm found even in their kids playing,
The deer’s indifference despite tender leaves nearby
A herd of elephants passed silently enough
And the birds’ twittering was quite infrequent.

He quit for a change to another forest
A little way from other end of the river
‘But who can rob their happiness meanwhile?’
‘Only human beings’ - replied the woodpecker
‘They are growing in numbers so rapidly
‘And turning forest to city is their present profile’.

Then what about us?
‘No more secure our existence is’ - big monkey said
‘The wave of urbanisation is in the air for human need’
The squirrel got stunned and thought----
Is that practically human at all?
Or, the most inhuman, for a human cause
Image result for squirrel and woodpecker paintings
Squirrel and Woodpecker -- Ota Janeček

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Robert Lee Haycock shoots

Beclouded and Bedeviled

Elizabeth Esguerra Castillo writes

The Lost Ark of the Covenant
Oh, Kingdom of Aksum
Regal, ancient reminiscent of ancient civilization
Nestled between the beauteous Mediterranean
And the Great Indian Ocean
You are full of epic memorabilia.
The Roman Empire and ancient India
Both involved in your trade,
Oh, Kingdom of Aksum
Now seen in Eritrea and Ethiopia,
Home of the legendary Queen Sheba.
Oh, where is the lost Ark of the Covenant
The mystery behind is yet to be unraveled,
Azariah, son of the High Priest, dreamed about you
Upon leaving the walls of Jerusalem,
Your relic taken somewhere in Ethiopia. 

Carrying the Ark of the Covenant: gilded bas-relief, Basilique Cathédrale Sainte-Marie d'Auch