Art & literatures emerging from everywhere in this planet

Author

Djelloul Marbrook

Djelloul Marbrook has 8 texts published.

What the camera tells the writer about genius and grief

in Art & Photography by

Dedicated collaboration with a camera is worth an MFA degree to a writer. And editing in the era of the digital image is like recruiting unused brain cells.

The camera teaches us how to see things. It teaches us to look for what we routinely overlook. It teaches us nuance, shadow, light, and how to make collages with them.

What distinguishes a good photographer is not the cost of the equipment hanging around the neck. It’s an eye for composition, a sense of how things juxtapose to say something beyond the reach of each thing being composed.

Anyone can learn how to take a good picture of an object. But contextualizing that object in reference to its environ, that’s different. Writing a good sentence is not the same as being a good writer.

Read More

The indispensable face, by Djelloul Marbrook

in Fiction by
doodling

Of how many faces can you say, I’m glad I won’t be leaving this place without having seen that face? I don’t mean the faces, necessarily, of loved ones. I mean instead those relatively few faces one is glad, truly glad, not to have missed.

They will differ, of course, for different people. Given the plethora of media in our times, we see many more faces than most people would have seen in earlier times, and we’re influenced by editorial and curatorial ideas about beauty.

Read More

Stuart Bartow pierces the veil of received ideas and notions

in Book Reviews by

stuartlawnbookStuart Bartow’s poems are a proper antidote to two polarities in American poetry, vapidity and pretension. Squashed between those polarities, the spirit of inquiry goes begging, but not in Bartow’s work. He connects the dots. He does not come across as contemptuous of the butterfly effect, as does the American press in its adamant refusal to connect the dots—a refusal shared by many poets, perhaps in the misguided conviction that it contradicts modernist ideas about poetry.

When the American press called George W. Bush incurious it might well have been talking about itself and a large body of our poetry, which prefers to play it safe, keep it light, and by all means spurn the rhapsodic.

The sonnet is in some ways a form of self-discipline, a way of accustoming oneself to thinking concisely. There is something in its fourteen-line structure that requires you to organize your thoughts into a kind of algorithm that then helps you address enigmas, whether in your daily rounds or in your poetry. Stuart Bartow’s nonce sonnets , published here in Arabesques for the first time, reveal his rigor as a poet and as a seeker after elixirs for the elements of his experiences. Succinctness is not merely about saying something well and sharply, it’s about going to the quick: it’s about quickness.

The poems in Einstein’s Lawn are varied. Some of them are prose poems. There are couplets, metered stanzas, rhymed stanzas, and concrete poems. Because he is writing about Albert Einstein and physics, he has taken care to provide notes lest we’re unfamiliar with the God particle, Glaucus or Absolute Zero.

Read More

Sober Cooking by Lynn McGee

in Book Reviews by

I am tired of fighting.  Our chiefs are killed.  Looking Glass is dead.  Toohulhulsote is dead.  The old men are all dead.  It is the young men who say yes or no. He who led the young men is dead.

— Chief Joseph

sobercooking-png“Crazy Horse dreamed and went into the world where there is nothing but the spirits of all things. That is the real world that is behind this one, and everything we see here is something like a shadow from that one.”  

—Black Elk

Anyone who has read the words of these indelible Native Americans has savored the purity, the utter artlessness of their speech and the thought processes it reveals. They are poets of plain speech in ways William Carlos Williams, Carl Sandburg and Robert Frost would have admired. And for all we know they may have influenced those poets.

Lynn McGee is this kind of poet. The purity and lack of artifice in her poems opens our minds to anything she has to say, and from the very first poem of Sober Cooking she tells us that she is not the kind of poet who, like the press, writes incident reports. She is, rather, the kind of poet who grasps the amplitudhedron, who knows that everything is a facet of the same jewel:

Rifling through the deep bin of ginger root,
I find one that is both plump and gnarled,
heavy with moisture
and gleaming, slick when sliced.

How long will I see your absence,
in the small steps of my life?

Read More

Go to Top