Art & literatures emerging from everywhere in this planet

We think of epic poems as recounting the past, But this epic is about what is happening now

in Book Reviews/Poetry by
The Valley of the Eight Book Cover The Valley of the Eight
Matt Bialer
Poetry
Leaky Boot Press
November 20, 2017
Paperback
230
978-1909849518

 

Brilliantly syncopated, wired with jazzy riffs, toe-tappingly hypnotic, Matt Bialer's epic poem, The Valley of the Eight, recounts at least three kinds of searches and many more kinds of searchers.

  • A father and daughter seek common ground in spite of their differences.
  • A creationist’s daughter seeks the remains of Noah's Ark in eastern Anatolia. Her father seeks common ground with her and her willful, quirky son.
  • Vikings search beyond Greenland in Newfoundland and New England.
  • An archaeologist seeks to maintain an old friendship and to re-energize his life.
  • A Tennessee nurse to whom miracles were attributed seeks—and believes he has found—Noah's Ark.
  • A poet seeks to weave the seemingly dissimilar strands of science, technology, love, ornithology, mythology, religion and disbelief into a breathtaking and often breathless song.

A Letter From Under the Water & Thank you so Madly by Walid Boureghda

in Poetry by

A Letter From Under the Water

If you were my friend,
Would you help me, then?
To break the bond,
To which we put an end?

If you were my dearly love,
Would you help me again?
To finally soothe my pain,
And free my soul from all above? Read More

A poet who shows us how to redefine what we claim is topical and relevant

in Book Reviews/Poetry by
Dear All Book Cover Dear All
Maggie Anderson
Poetry
Four Way Books
September 5, 2017
Paperback
88
978-1-935536-97-0

 

Fatal overconfidence pervades the American sensibility when it comes to defining topicality and relevance. We assume we know because tastemakers and gatekeepers tell us what we know. Maggie Anderson’s fifth book of poetry, Dear All, challenges that, as the inclusive title promises.

Our overconfidence is rooted in the confounding of market with merit. We think what sells, what promises to sell, what talks overtly about what’s in the news, as our media define the news, is topical and relevant. But poetry and art and music—witness Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do,” as a popular example—redefine news under our noses. That’s the particular power of country music, its relevance.

Making Room

in Book Reviews by
Making Room Book Cover Making Room
Djelloul Marbrook Books
Djelloul Marbrook
Leaky Boot Press
November 1, 2017
Paperback
172
978-1909849297

An artist creates a magical room for a young psychiatrist’s adopted infant nephew—a room with the heavens projected above and hideaways in the walls. To help him, he recruits a metallurgist haunted by a disturbed upbringing. As the three build this fantastic space, a rewarding friendship unfolds.

“... for those who entertain the subversive notion that the gifts with which they entered the world were lost—but may yet be recovered.”—Onlineoriginals.com (UK)

“This enchanting novella is a delicately wrought homage to Jung’s famous principle of meaningful coincidence...”Breakfast All Day, UK

Six poetic “adaptations” from Kenneth Rexroth’s English translation of 100 Poems from the Chinese

in Poetry by

94

Thinking About Not Returning to Work I Read
Lu Yu’s “Leaving the Monastery early in the Morning”

At night I’m so dead
Even murderers stay away.
Zac the cat sleeps
In the forest on my legs.
By dawn usually
I find coffee and news.
Soon my sabbatical will end
Though I’m not quite ready
To greet young minds
Who may wince when
Seeing someone so old.
Tonight it’s beans and wild vegetables
That will help me find
My way back to trouble.

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To Rhyme With Love and other Poems

in Poetry by

TO RHYME WITH LOVE

Of senators and popes and such small fry

—Edna St. Vincent Millay

It’s not for nothing Plato banished poets
from his republic. The Attic sky hadn’t rained
in months. Catfish crawling in the sewers
with rats among dead dogs. Neither oracle
nor god had advice worth more than rust
on a sword’s hilt, on monuments crumbling
in dry air, as we paced the cobblestones and
preached austerity, but those rhyme mongers,
crowned with laurel, raised sails toward some
island in the sick-green, tiring sea in search
of a new word to rhyme with love, as if
abandonment was solution, so that we,
the elders, build the future from the past
and disregard those poets exiled and
wandering in labyrinths of words.

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