Category Archives: Inspirational

Stellar Audio of Megan Volpert, Deborah Poe, & Laura Mullen

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For some excellent poetry readings, perk up your ears here:

Deborah Poe – http://odeo.com/audio/17981583/view

Megan A. Volpert – http://odeo.com/audio/17981433/view

Laura Mullen – http://odeo.com/audio/17981483/view

Enjoy!

Who Thought of That?

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** “The tooth-in-eye technique, pioneered in Italy 40 years ago …” [Blind teen to have parts of tooth, jaw inserted in eye]

** “The procedure used on McNichol involved his son Robert, 23, donating a tooth, its root and part of the jaw.” [Blind Irishman sees with the aid of son’s tooth in his eye]

**“The surgeons then remove the iris, the lens and the jelly of the eye that lie behind the cornea.” [Tooth used to save woman’s sight]

**“Former soldier Lionel James, 72, will be seeing in the new year for the first time in more than seven years – thanks to his eye tooth.” [Miracle operation restores grandfather’s sight.]

~~

If we are so advanced, “What makes us so mean?” Ron Padgett ventures a guess in his new book, “HOW TO BE PERFECT,” in the long political poem:
 
THE ABSOLUTELY HUGE AND INCREDIBLE INJUSTICE IN THE WORLD

What makes us so mean?
We are meaner than gorillas,
the ones we like to blame our genetic aggression on.
It is in our nature to hide behind what Darwin said about survival,
as if survival were the most important thing on earth.
It isn’t.
You know–surely it has occurred to you–
that there is no way that humankind will survive
another million years. We’ll be lucky to be around
another five hundred. Why?
Because we are so mean
that we would rather kill everyone and everything on earth
than let anybody get the better of us:
“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Why didn’t he just say “Grrr, let’s kill each other”?
 
 
–The first stanza, of many, continued in HOW TO BE PERFECT by Ron Padgett

~~

Kiss Me With the Mouth of Your Country

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I have just finished sending out my chapbook copies for the DUSIE Chapbook Kollectiv.

The title is this post’s title. I have a few copies left over, so if you’re interested in receiving one – freely and imminently – please drop your snail mail address to me at amyhappens @ gmail . com – I’ll post it to you before the holidays.

My DUSIE chapbook from last year can now be viewed online here, “The Good Campaign“. Read a review of it by Chris Rizzo here or read another review of it by Fionna Doney Simmonds here.

5 Responses to “Kiss Me With the Mouth of Your Country”

  1. Jim K. Says:
    December 9th, 2007 at 4:00 am eI got it. I read it.
    The sound and touch are great. It’s beautiful!

    A leedle revu, all true: http://jimk-eclectics.blogspot.com/2007/12/kissed-into-another-country.html

  2. Gina Says:
    December 19th, 2007 at 4:41 pm eOh hey, if you still have copies, hook a sister up! xoxo
  3. Amy King Says:
    December 19th, 2007 at 9:01 pm eI got you, lady!
  4. Indran Amirthanayagam Says:
    December 19th, 2007 at 10:59 pm eI would love to read the poems if still available. cheers. Indran
  5. Amy King Says:
    December 20th, 2007 at 3:37 pm eIf you send me your snail mail address, I’ll send you a copy!

Do Not Awaken Them With Hammers

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How about a pleasant poem to start your month off right? Ugly Duckling has smartly created a Eastern European Poets Series that we Americans might benefit from. I am currently immersed in Lidija Dimkovska’s most excellent book, DO NOT AWAKEN THEM WITH HAMMERS, translated by Peggy Reid – yay!

Craig Santos Perez wisely reviews this collection at Galatea Resurrects – check it. And if you’re thinking of holiday gift giving already … hint hint.

Incidentally, I’ve been thinking about where the bulk of my paycheck goes lately, after rent and other bills. I’ve narrowed it down to books, fine wines (recently got into sampling), and the occasional dining experience. I don’t even go nuts for clothes anymore, and many friends would concur – I’m not the “fashion plate” I once was – ha! No more keeping up with the Joneses, ahem, I mean, the hipsters.

Okay, no further ado; it is now for your daytime treat – here’s one from the collection:

ADVICE FOR EXCELLENT ACHIEVEMENT AND EXEMPLARY BEHAVIOR

The Newscaster entered the history of her people,
the children study her for a grade, and they know her
from the advertising billboards in all the suburbs.
Who knows if she’s going to have her photo taken for “Playboy?”
Mommy, why does this lady have such a big ass?
So that the daily “Nova Makedonija” will not perish or else your father
will hang us. And why did you get an F in history?
The teacher asked who wrote our anthem,
and I said Ataturk, because I had melted into the palms
that the Turkish girl sitting next to me on the school bench
was warming between my legs, and drawing
bridal veils in my notebooks.
Shame on you son.
Is that why I sit at home, patching dead languages,
starching sonnets, is that why my back’s killing me
from washing Byzantine hymnographers’ manuscripts,
Havel’s letters and all sorts of other cult mystifications?
And every night my cheeks defecate,
and I have to tell you, not even Cleopatra went through
so much toilet paper. It is for nothing that
I press Delete, nothing can erase them,
and even less stop them from ejecting
feces–worms in a game of mirrors.
Oh son, son, it’s not the wind beating against the shutters that wakes you at night,
it’s the pores of my outer skin flushing themselves with water from the toilet,
and whoever arrives first in the dream
on the other side of the cable TV goes to pee. Look at her,
she’s all dressed up as if she was talking about Osiris,
not about the rice that caught diarrhea at dawn,
and do not ask shy she has such red eyes,
or why her nails are all gnarled, and her cheeks transparent.
Study son, repeat, not battles and peace summits,
but: why doesn’t a dead person’s hairdo stay in place
for more than ten minutes, why didn’t Isis
catch it from Osiris,
(and your father once told your uncle:
the more I beat her, the more she loves me),
because you have to know everything so as not to know anything
and be photocopied on freshly painted walls,
white walls for all those wonderful people.
Study son. Study will not harm the head underwritten
by the Lethe Insurance Company.

–Lidija Dimkovska, DO NOT AWAKEN THEM WITH HAMMERS

~~

dimkovska.gif
Lidija Dimkovska was born in 1971 in Skopje, Macedonia. She is a poetry editor for the online literary review Blesok (Shine). She took her Ph.D. in Romanian literature from the University of Bucharest, and now lives in Slovenia. Her books include The Offspring of the East (1992), The Fire of Letters (1994), Bitten Nails (1998), and Nobel vs. Nobel (2001).

Ljubica Arsovska is editor-in-chief of the quarterly Kulturen Zivot, the leading cultural magazine in Macedonia, and translator of numerous books, plays, and poems.

Peggy Reid is a translator of Macedonian poetry and prose. In 1973 she and her husband, Graham W. Reid, received the Struga Poetry Festival Translation Prize for their translation of The Sirdar, by Grigor Prlicev. In 1994 she received the Macedonian Literary Translators’ Society Award; she has also won first prize at the Avon Poetry Festival, UK, twice for her own poetry. She teaches English at the University of SS. Cyril and Methodius, Skopje.

One Response to “December Day Treat”

  1. ashok Says:
    December 9th, 2007 at 4:22 pm eHope all is well – just curious, any particular sort of wine?I always like drinking Sauvignon Blanc b/c it’s readily available and (relatively) cheap: yeah, I admit it, I know squat about wine.

Are Your Papers in Order?

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This is your passport. It will cost you $8. It’s really a now or never situation. Think of it as boarding a transatlantic ship. The one you love is on the ship. But now you need the passport.

Document by Ana Bozicevic-Bowling
Hand-bound, envelope-style chapbook, letterpressed brown on grey cover
Edition of 88
$8 (includes shipping)
Order from Octopus Books and read a sampling here.

6 Responses to “Are Your Papers in Order?”

  1. Michael Says:
    November 16th, 2007 at 8:20 pm eThere ought to be comments here, so I will offer the appropriate one: Ana is an evocative, mysterious, strong poet. I have no collection of chapbooks, but even I sent eight dollars to Octopus to buy my own copy. Don’t be standing on the pier, waving frantically, when the ship pulls out. How will you feel when 88 people boast of their copy of DOCUMENT and you have nothing to cherish? Really!
  2. Lars Says:
    November 17th, 2007 at 11:50 am eyes, they are in order. & some fine papers they are
  3. Jim K. Says:
    November 18th, 2007 at 3:17 am eI have flip-flops in a plastic bag, in the briefcase.
    My swiss knife is lost to the desk drawer.
    The coins in my pocket are in a bag now, with the keys.
    Ready for screening.
    8 bags of oolong, 16 of decaf green in the briefcase.
    Also in the briefcase, a phrasebook, with entries like:
    “From your hat, when you upend it,
    your small family upturn their faces.

    and

    We’d play chess with white and red
    roses): but it’s this hope that grows wars!

    The alarm clock is set, and the limo called.
    It is pitch dark, and I stand in the driveway with shades on.
  4. Ana Says:
    November 19th, 2007 at 4:45 pm eAll aboard, then!
  5. Jim K. Says:
    November 19th, 2007 at 10:14 pm eAye, I paid the pals. ;-)
  6. Amy King Says:
    November 20th, 2007 at 7:40 pm eSome good stuff there – glad you all enjoyed it!

This is your passport. It will cost you $8. It’s really a now or never situation. Think of it as boarding a transatlantic ship. The one you love is on the ship. But now you need the passport.

Document by Ana Bozicevic-Bowling
Hand-bound, envelope-style chapbook, letterpressed brown on grey cover
Edition of 88
$8 (includes shipping)
Order from Octopus Books and read a sampling here.

6 Responses to “Are Your Papers in Order?”

  1. Michael Says:
    November 16th, 2007 at 8:20 pm eThere ought to be comments here, so I will offer the appropriate one: Ana is an evocative, mysterious, strong poet. I have no collection of chapbooks, but even I sent eight dollars to Octopus to buy my own copy. Don’t be standing on the pier, waving frantically, when the ship pulls out. How will you feel when 88 people boast of their copy of DOCUMENT and you have nothing to cherish? Really!
  2. Lars Says:
    November 17th, 2007 at 11:50 am eyes, they are in order. & some fine papers they are
  3. Jim K. Says:
    November 18th, 2007 at 3:17 am eI have flip-flops in a plastic bag, in the briefcase.
    My swiss knife is lost to the desk drawer.
    The coins in my pocket are in a bag now, with the keys.
    Ready for screening.
    8 bags of oolong, 16 of decaf green in the briefcase.
    Also in the briefcase, a phrasebook, with entries like:
    “From your hat, when you upend it,
    your small family upturn their faces.

    and

    We’d play chess with white and red
    roses): but it’s this hope that grows wars!

    The alarm clock is set, and the limo called.
    It is pitch dark, and I stand in the driveway with shades on.
  4. Ana Says:
    November 19th, 2007 at 4:45 pm eAll aboard, then!
  5. Jim K. Says:
    November 19th, 2007 at 10:14 pm eAye, I paid the pals. ;-)
  6. Amy King Says:
    November 20th, 2007 at 7:40 pm eSome good stuff there – glad you all enjoyed it!

[ . . . . . . . ] Got You Down?

A little Sufjan Stevens to shoot you up, “For The Widows In Paradise, For The Fatherless In Ypsilanti.” Press play, please.~~

But seriously, when was the last time you thought someone or something was beautiful?

Just wonderin’ …

7 Responses to “[ . . . . . . . ] Got You Down?”

  1. Jim K. Says:
    November 1st, 2007 at 2:07 am eDown Up Beauty?

    The usual nauseau, in all its names and
    peopled places, has me down.
    The potential nears a peak, the ride slows.
    It hurts. So much not-to-be.

    I see beauty most often
    when a face connects.
    There: that moment.

    Sometimes beauty brings blues.
    Something your soul makes a hole for in an instant,
    but you can never have. Those blues.
    A whole life of never in reverse relief.

    But sharing a thought, that moment,
    is beauty. If it is just…what it is, no blues.
    That brings me up.
    What if we could share lots of them?
    What if we used words?

  2. Jim K. Says:
    November 1st, 2007 at 4:08 am eAh….. Sufjan Stevens is the artist.
  3. Tim Caldwell Says:
    November 1st, 2007 at 5:21 am eSmile
  4. Ana Says:
    November 1st, 2007 at 2:47 pm eUm, daily?
  5. Jim K. Says:
    November 3rd, 2007 at 2:19 am eJoseph Arthur is great!

    But dropping Sufjan’s beautiful low-fi piece
    is dropping an obvious showcase item that
    was driving clicks right into amazon to buy
    CDs.
    The record execs don’t even know when they
    are f***ing themselves out of a seat at the table.
    That vid wasn’t suitable fidelity for poaching, it was
    perfect free marketing for albums and tickets.
    That’s sort of beyond the music-stealing issue,
    since it’s just a home-cam job.
    Oh well….the future arrives, with or without them.

  6. Erin Says:
    November 4th, 2007 at 8:57 am eAt a bar tonight sipping stout, watching a woman accompany herself on accordion while she sang so purely it hurt to watch.

    I just asked this question over at the exquisite corpse. It’s a good question to ask. And often. Thank you.

  7. Jim K. Says:
    November 4th, 2007 at 8:32 pm eExcellent moment, Erin. Reminded me of a small concert
    I watched long ago. Stabbed by this one song. The stout
    would have put it over the top.

Make More Lungs

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Let’s play more than politics now – and hope that Bloomberg’s proposals, such as the million trees project, will see the light of day. The first tree was just planted a few hours ago in the Bronx, with only 999,999 more to go (by 2017)! Mayor Bloomberg and Bette Midler planted the Carolina Silverbell themselves!

Not so incidentally, major kudos to Ms. Midler for founding the New York Restoration Project on her own dime (or million plus) and for saving more than 51 community gardens in NYC (& boroughs) slated for sale to private buyers, under former Mayor Guiliani’s reign. She also promoted, funded, and participated in the clean up of public parks that had become severely polluted and dangerous. Cheers, Bette!

And now, Mayor Bloomberg follows up:

“Our economy is humming, our fiscal house in in order and our near-term horizon looks bright. If we don’t act now, when?”

Highlights:

* Accelerate the cleanup of 7,600 acres of contaminated sites.
* Provide incentives to building owners to recycle water for non-potable uses like toilet flushing.
* Increase the city’s trees by 1 million.
* Waive the city’s sales tax on hybrid vehicles.
* Provide cleaner, more reliable power by upgrading the energy infrastructure and retiring dirty power plans.
* Add a surcharge to electric bills to finance incentives for retrofitting buildings.
* Promoting bicycling by completing the city’s 1,800-mile bike master plan.
* Eliminating roughly 40% of locally produced soot.
* Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent.
* The new building code – which is expected to be adopted this summer – will provide rebates for many environmentally-friendly features such as improved ventilation and white roofs, which reflect heat rather than absorbing it and so reduce energy needed for air conditioning.
* The city plans to offer a property tax abatement for solar installations.

And last, but far from least, the proposed and hotly debated congestion tax. “Under the plan, passenger vehicles entering Manhattan below 86th St. from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays would pay an $8 daily fee. Trucks would pay $21.” I live in Brooklyn, own a car, and take the train into Manhattan on a regular basis. Sometimes though, I drive through to the Holland Tunnel on my way out of town. As a resident, I would happily pay the fee. I view the tax as an encouragement to use our vital and efficient public transportation system that is already in place, and I would like to see more folks using it, residents and out-of-towners alike. Other major cities such as London already pay the tax to their advantage. Bike riders would also find the streets safer. God knows, pedestrians would love to be able to cross on the light without a car bearing down on them to turn. Etc etc. Hope these things come to fruition, fingers crossed …

~~

4 Responses to “Make More Lungs”

  1. Jim K. Says:
    October 9th, 2007 at 7:18 pm eHopefully there is sufficient new mass transit planned to
    offset this(?). Usually there isn’t, and downtowns
    lose things, or turn into a super-wealth address.
  2. Jim K. Says:
    October 9th, 2007 at 7:20 pm eCogeneration (making heat and elec. inside the building)
    saves over 50%. But various groups oppose it.
    I hope it is actually done with smarts.
  3. Jim K. Says:
    October 13th, 2007 at 5:17 am eSorry for 3rd post,
    but I found out: the Bloomberg plan does include
    incentives and a scheme for dealing with Con.Ed.
    so they can hopefully install some cogeneration.
    There’s the savings, but also the reliability of
    local power sources. I’d call it a reaching and
    clever plan now!
  4. Amy King Says:
    October 13th, 2007 at 10:15 pm eThanks for the info, Jim! I hope it actualizes cleverly too …