Art & literatures emerging from everywhere in this planet

The Architecture of Love Memory Death and Desire and Other Poems, by George Wallace

in Poetry by


There’s no use crying like an idiot child, life is an assassin, chewing on a toothpick, wearing a film noir raincoat and grinning like Bogart and Bacall, and beauty walks by on crooked feet, finger on the trigger, ready to shoot you up or shoot you out of its mouth like spit, and love is nervous as a cat in the southern zone and I am looking for evidence of the sacred in the flesh, and love is always right there behind me or right around the corner, ready to brain me with a cobblestone or the butt end of a handgun

and I worship you publicly and in secret and alone, and memory is time and time is an oppressor, and time is a tyrant and a dead-end alleyway, and life is sacred as bread and spills like milk, and the smile which lurks behind the drapery of flowers is a dynamic music and a bashful woman is always pouring out sweet wine and inviting me to walk with my own shadow,

go blindly, she says, walk through blindly, do not turn back
and the architecture of love memory death and desire is a shadow
and I have loved many women, and only one woman, and you

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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?

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Making her final passage, a poet leaves behind an exquisite logbook, by Djelloul Marbrook

in Book Reviews by

Crossing The North Sea, Susanna Roxman, Dionysia Press Ltd., 2013, 87pp. £ 7.50. $11.75

crossingthenorthseaThe poet and critic Susanna Roxman ( died September 30, 2015, leaving behind a body of work we ought to mine with diligence. Her work deserves the kind of attention we too often lavish on writers who are better at working the levers of our culture than working their craft. Our obsession with money as a measure of success inclines us to neglect all too many deserving artists.

The Anglophone world is like a body out of touch with its parts. It seems at times neurologically incapable of collective introspection. We read the Times Literary Supplement, The New York Review of Books, The London Review of Books or any of the major Australian, New Zealand or Indian reviews and they seem only distantly and sometimes condescendingly aware of each other’s literary lives. The exception perhaps is North America, where because of their proximity, Canadians and Americans are aware of each other, but their relationship is marked by Canada’s struggle to preserve its identity. Read More

A behest from William Blake

in Book Reviews by

Things done for themselves—preverbs. George Quasha, Marsh Hawk Press, 173pp, 2015, $16.
This is an important book. When you think of chaos theory, the butterfly effect, the God particle, the amplitudhedron and medieval Arab alchemy, you should think of George Quasha, and that’s why it’s important to say this.
When you think of his concept of the preverb, you may enhance your mind’s journey by thinking of the late artist I. (Irene) Rice Pereira, whose concept of things ever coming to be is an alchemical fit with Quasha axial theory.
Quasha, in these poems (a preface he calls pre focus and an epilogue he calls pre), invites us to reconsider the nature of the book. He does this, he says, at a kind of behest from William Blake. The book, he says, is ever coming to be, and so it demands a collaboration not only between writer and reader but all that preceded it and may proceed from it. The book is an elixir in an alembic.
Pereira, in such works as The Simultaneous Ever-Coming-To-Be (1961), The Transcendental Formal Logic of the Infinite (1966) and The Poetics of the Form of Space, Light and the Infinite (1968), suggests that art is not static and therefore categorical definitions are inherently misleading. It’s a pity she and Quasha never had the opportunity to chat.
No book is really the same when you return to it, or when it returns to you. It has morphed and your evolving sensibility is prepared to encounter it on new grounds and make something entirely new of it. Too much sentimental blather has been heaped on the tactile experience of a book, as opposed, say, to an e-book, but not enough has been said of how we encountered the specific book, its heft, its design, its typography, its pagination, even its odor. The lesson here for e-book publishers is that they remain in an exploratory stage when it comes to seizing advantage of the e-book’s changeability, its fey quality.


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