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A Story – A Poem by Li-Young Lee

August 19th, 2015
  • 1aleeyoungLi

  • Happy birthday Li-Young Lee

    He was born in Jakarta, Indonesia, to Chinese parents.
    Lee’s father, who was a personal physician to Mao Zedong while in China, relocated his family to Indonesia, where he helped found Gamaliel University. His father was exiled and spent 19 months in an Indonesian prison camp in Macau. In 1959 the Lee family fled the country to escape anti-Chinese sentiment and after a five-year trek through Hong Kong and Japan, they settled in the United States in 1964.

    <> <>

    Hikari Oe (Kenzaburo Oe’s composer son who was born with autism)

    A Story – Poem by Li-Young Lee

    Sad is the man who is asked for a story
    and can’t come up with one.

    His five-year-old son waits in his lap.
    Not the same story, Baba. A new one.
    The man rubs his chin, scratches his ear.

    In a room full of books in a world
    of stories, he can recall
    not one, and soon, he thinks, the boy
    will give up on his father.

    Already the man lives far ahead, he sees
    the day this boy will go. Don’t go!
    Hear the alligator story! The angel story once more!
    You love the spider story. You laugh at the spider.
    Let me tell it!

    But the boy is packing his shirts,
    he is looking for his keys. Are you a god,
    the man screams, that I sit mute before you?
    Am I a god that I should never disappoint?

    But the boy is here. Please, Baba, a story?
    It is an emotional rather than logical equation,
    an earthly rather than heavenly one,
    which posits that a boy’s supplications
    and a father’s love add up to silence.
    Li-Young Lee

    Pablo Neruda – The Artichoke with a Tender Heart

    July 12th, 2015

    The artichoke
    With a tender heart
    Dressed up like a warrior…
    — Pablo Neruda, An Ode To An Artichoke

    Born: July 12, 1904, Parral, Chile

    “I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
    in secret, between the shadow and the soul.” Pablo Neruda

    1aNerudaPablo

    Poetry foundation

    Veinte poemas also brought the author notoriety due to its explicit celebration of sexuality, and, as Robert Clemens remarked in the Saturday Review, “established him at the outset as a frank, sensuous spokesman for love.” While other Latin American poets of the time used sexually explicit imagery, Neruda was the first to win popular acceptance for his presentation. Mixing memories of his love affairs with memories of the wilderness of southern Chile, he creates a poetic sequence that not only describes a physical liaison, but also evokes the sense of displacement that Neruda felt in leaving the wilderness for the city.

    The art of poetry Pablo Neruda (interview)

    INTERVIEWER

    Did you choose “Neruda” because of the Czech poet Jan Neruda?

    NERUDA

    I’d read a short story of his. I’ve never read his poetry, but he has a book entitled Stories from Malá Strana about the humble people of that neighborhood in Prague. It is possible that my new name came from there. As I say, the whole matter is so far back in my memory that I don’t recall. Nevertheless, the Czechs think of me as one of them, as part of their nation, and I’ve had a very friendly connection with them.

    1aNeruda

    Philippe Noiret as Pablo Neruda from Il Postino

  • Pablo Neruda Chile’s Greatest Poet, murdered by Pinochet?

    Neruda, famed for his passionate love poems and staunch communist views, is presumed to have died from prostate cancer just days after the 1973 coup that ushered in the brutal dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.

    “There is initial evidence that he was poisoned and in that sense the signs point to the intervention of specific agents … that could constitute a crime against humanity,” Francisco Ugas, the head of the government’s humans rights department, said on Wednesday.

    The poet’s chauffeur has said Gen Pinochet’s agents took advantage of Neruda’s illness to inject poison into his stomach while he was bedridden at the Santa Maria clinic in Santiago.

  • See Pablo Neruda illustrations. Artists on Pablo Neruda

    René Char – “Lucidity is the wound closest to the sun.”

    June 14th, 2015
  • 1CharRene

    “Lucidity is the wound closest to the sun.”
    René Char (14 June 1907 – 19 February 1988)

    Char was a friend and close associate of Albert Camus,[1] Georges Bataille and Maurice Blanchot among writers, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró and Victor Brauner among painters. He was to have been in the car involved in the accident that killed both Camus and Michel Gallimard, but there was not enough room, and returned instead that day by train to Paris.

    The composer Pierre Boulez wrote three settings of Char’s poetry, Le Soleil des eaux, Le visage nuptial, and Le marteau sans maître. A late friendship developed also between Char and Martin Heidegger, who described Char’s poetry as “a tour de force into the ineffable” and was repeatedly his guest at La Thor in the Vaucluse

  • René Char with Picasso 1a_Char-Caws_Ess#DEF0A
    Protesting with Picasso on the heights of the Mont Ventoux against the nuclear installations.

    Resistance in Every way

    obéissez à vos cochons qui existent;
    j’obéis à mes dieux qui n’existent point.

    obey your pigs who exist;
    I obey my gods who do not.

  • 1char-and-eluard-1931

    Char with Paul Eluard

    Forehead Of The Rose

    Despite the open window in the room of long absence, the odor of the rose is still linked with the
    breath that was there. Once again we are without previous experience, newcomers, in love. The
    rose! The field of its ways would dispel even the effrontery of death. No grating stands in the way.
    Desire is alive, an ache in our vaporous foreheads.

    One who walks the earth in its rains has nothing to fear from the thorn in places either finished or
    unfriendly. But if he stops to commune with himself, woe! Pierced to the quick, he suddenly flies to
    ashes, an archer reclaimed by beauty.
    René Char

    Juan Felipe Herrera Named US. Poet Laureate

    June 10th, 2015
  • Juan Felipe Herrera

    He will be the first Latino poet to be appointed to the position.

    “This is a mega-honor for me,” Herrera said in the announcement, “for my family and my parents who came up north before and after the Mexican Revolution of 1910 — the honor is bigger than me.”

    A poet of Chicano descent, the 66-year-old has spent just about his whole life on the West Coast. Born to a family of migrant farmworkers, Herrera bounced from tent to trailer for much of his youth in Southern California, eventually going on to study at UCLA and Stanford.

    1aJuanFelipe

    via

  • Selected poems (NYtimes)

    FIVE DIRECTIONS TO MY HOUSE

    1. Go back to the grain yellow hills where the broken speak of elegance
    2. Walk up to the canvas door, the short bed stretched against the clouds
    3. Beneath the earth, an ant writes with the grace of a governor
    4. Blow, blow Red Tail Hawk, your hidden sleeve—your desert secrets
    5. You are there, almost, without a name, without a body, go now
    6. I said five, said five like a guitar says six.

  • My Father’s Day Tale by Juan Felipe Herrera (youtube)

  • HALF-MEXICAN

    Odd to be a half-Mexican, let me put it this way
    I am Mexican + Mexican, then there’s the question of the half
    To say Mexican without the half, well it means another thing
    One could say only Mexican
    Then think of pyramids – obsidian flaw, flame etchings, goddesses with
    Flayed visages claw feet & skulls as belts – these are not Mexican
    They are existences, that is to say
    Slavery, sinew, hearts shredded sacrifices for the continuum
    Quarks & galaxies, the cosmic milk that flows into trees
    Then darkness
    What is the other – yes
    It is Mexican too, yet it is formless, it is speckled with particles
    European pieces? To say colony or power is incorrect
    Better to think of Kant in his tiny room
    Shuffling in his black socks seeking out the notion of time
    Or Einstein re-working the erroneous equation
    Concerning the way light bends – all this has to do with
    The half, the half-thing when you are a half-being

    Time

    Light

    How they stalk you & how you beseech them
    All this becomes your life-long project, that is
    You are Mexican. One half Mexican the other half
    Mexican, then the half against itself.

    May 24, 1980 – Brodsky’s Birthday Poem + Friendship with Baryshnikov

    May 23rd, 2015
  • 1aBaryBrodesky

  • Joseph Brodsky 1aBrodsky and Baryshnikov

  • Baryshnikov to Perform in a Show Based on Brodsky’s Poetry

    Mikhail Baryshnikov helpsachieve the dream of Russian poet Josef Brodsky

  • Two nobel prize winners from Russia were born on May 24..
    Mikhail Sholokhov – And Quiet Flows the Don..

    Joseph Brodsky – a Poet (Wiki )

    Paris Review

    May 24, 1980 - Poem by Joseph Brodsky

    I have braved, for want of wild beasts, steel cages,
    carved my term and nickname on bunks and rafters,
    lived by the sea, flashed aces in an oasis,
    dined with the-devil-knows-whom, in tails, on truffles.
    From the height of a glacier I beheld half a world, the earthly
    width. Twice have drowned, thrice let knives rake my nitty-gritty.
    Quit the country the bore and nursed me.
    Those who forgot me would make a city.
    I have waded the steppes that saw yelling Huns in saddles,
    worn the clothes nowadays back in fashion in every quarter,
    planted rye, tarred the roofs of pigsties and stables,
    guzzled everything save dry water.
    I’ve admitted the sentries’ third eye into my wet and foul
    dreams. Munched the bread of exile; it’s stale and warty.
    Granted my lungs all sounds except the howl;
    switched to a whisper. Now I am forty.
    What should I say about my life? That it’s long and abhors transparence.
    Broken eggs make me grieve; the omelet, though, makes me vomit.
    Yet until brown clay has been rammed down my larynx,
    only gratitude will be gushing from it.
    Joseph Brodsky

  • Les Poètes Maudits, Wild Love of Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud

    April 9th, 2015
  • Les Poets Maudits 1aPaulVerlaine
    Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud, Brussels Oct 07, 1873

  • Paul Verlaine 1aPaul_Verlaine

    Total Eclipse (youtube here) (a screenplay by Christopher Hampton, based on his play. Verlaine was portrayed by David Thewlis and Leonardo DiCaprio played Rimbaud.)


  • Where is Rimbaud (previous post )

    Scroll down to see some Verlaine related erotic drawings

    4 poems by Paul Verlaine

    Claire de Lune (youtube)

  • Rimbaud in Ethiopia

  • Paul Verlaine 1aPauulCourbet_
    Portrait by Gustave Courbet
    c. 1871

    Philip Levine – A Poet for The Working Class

    February 16th, 2015

    Philip Levine.Who Found Poetry on Detroit’s Assembly Lines, Dies At 87

  • Philip Levine at New Yorker


  • Read A Sleepless Night here..

  • 1aPhilLevine
    Portrait of Philip Levine by Michael Hafftka

    Alan Sondheim – Birthday Poem + Philosophy, Simple, Pretention

    February 2nd, 2015

    Monday
    In the year 5000, my birthday falls on a Monday, I won’t be around.
    Somehow, this makes me unutterably sad, weeping.

    Our span is so short, we all know that, but this, this concrete
    instance, tears through me. And I won’t make it, to be sure, past
    2020…

    February 5000

    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
    1
    2 3 4 5 6 7 8
    9 10 11 12 13 14 15
    16 17 18 19 20 21 22
    23 24 25 26 27 28

    1Alansondhiem
    Happy birthday Alan Sondheim.

  • Coming event..

    ALAN SONDHEIM PRESENTATION AT BROWN UNIVERSITY
    February 6th, at 7, at the Granoff Center (see below)
    Broken World, Steerage
    thinking through blankness, terror, and broken worlds
    There is material from distorted motion capture employed in
    virtual worlds; considerations of terror and genocide in terms
    of anguish and the unutterable; phenomenology of blizzards and
    whiteout; revrev ? live reverse reverberation or anticipatory
    music; and practical-theoretical issues of gamespace/edgespace.

    Join Alan Sondheim for a talk and presentation at 7pm on Friday,
    February 6 in Englander Studio, Granoff Center at Brown
    University. This event is free and open to the public.

  • One more poem..

    Philosophy, Simple, Pretention

    Phenomenology doesn’t rhyme, all the time.
    Philosophy in this form isn’t serious.
    Aphorisms are always suspect, unpacking
    revealing the dirty laundry of language.
    You have to develop an argument and
    neologisms help with their wayward vacuity.
    Pictures are more suspect, and Wittgenstein’s
    formulas appear to be the bones of an
    irrelevant animal.
    On the other hand, the formulas of physics
    and cosmology contain an absolutely
    untranslatable grain of truth, do you hear
    that, Badiou?
    Our place in the world is indeterminate but
    that doesn’t interfere with description and
    the latitude or epigenetic landscape of the
    resulting deep sketching.
    Violence threatens everything but not the
    world, nor mathesis.
    Violence is not violence until you are
    physically touched by it, and philosophy
    in this form, that of the witness, is always
    serious and always correct.
    Do unto others is senseless unless one
    believes in the imperative.
    There is nothing that can be _said_ about
    cosmology.
    A picture is the decay of the word; neither
    mathematics nor mathesis are languages.
    Mathesis and the world is closest to the
    film which binds, not sutures, the viewer.
    Meaning washes out of the aphorism; meaning
    washes out the aphorism.
    There is no point to decay.
    On the phenomenological level, decay is
    everywhere and inconceivable.
    One can never explain oneself; and the
    attempt to explain one’s writings just
    increases the bulk of them.
    Hence the mark is always and already the
    same, every mark the same mark, except the
    number; it is the number which may
    function as the sign of violence, and the
    word which becomes the diacritical mark.
    Narrative never understands that thinking
    is thoughtless.
    The philosophical example is already lost
    in thought.
    Philosophy is what I am; writing is what I
    do.

    Night Waltz – Adieu 2014 – & Happy New Year- 2015

    December 31st, 2014
  • x_paul_bowles_patti_smith
    Photo by Tim Richmond.

    Happy birthday Paul Bowles and Patti Smith (Dec 30.. they share a birthday).
    Night Waltz (See Jane and Paul Bowles)

  • In Memoriam..

    PhillipHoffman
    Philip Seymour Hoffman known for playing beautiful losers, leaves behind a legacy of work that broke your heart and hit you in the gut.

    Alain Resnais

  • Yamaguchi Yoshiko and Isamu Noguchi

    1a1952YoshikoNoguchi

  • Pete Seeger, the power of song- he loved boating.

  • Visionary Land Artist Nancy Holt

  • Genpei Akasegawa - Neo Dada Artist

  • Jane and Kate Barry

    Rene Burri -Swiss Magnum photographer <> <> Jane Bown -Shy & Gentle photographer
    Minimalist photographer Lewis Balts

    Billie Whitelaw (Samuel Beckett’s perfect actress)

    Maximillian Schell

  • Robin Williams 1abikeRobin

    Shoji Masui 1Toruburmeseharp he passed away on March 3, 2014. (Burmese Harp directed by Kon Ichikawa)

    Luis Rainer A Movie Legend with 2 Oscars was 104.

    Jane Freilicher - (See portraits of Frank OHara, Koch and Ashbery)

    Ruby Dee
    Amiri Baraka

    Adios Senor Horace Silver (click to see large)

  • Let our scars fall in love, Farewell Galway Kinnell<> <> Maxine Kumin<> <> Mark Strand
    Charles Barsotti (Cactus Dwarf Orchard)

    Camille Lepage Young Photo Jounalist Killed In Central Africa

    1kenTakakuraMitchum
    Takakura Ken -legendary actor was 83.

    Photo of Rilke with Paul Valery at the Garden & His letter to Lou Andreas Salome

    December 29th, 2014
  • Rilke and Valery 1aPaulValeryRilke
    (At the garden at Anthy – photo Monad)

    On Dec 29, 1921 -
    Rilke wrote to Lou Andrea-Salome (On Freud, he told her how his work is now beginning to have an important effect in France then he turned to Paul Valery) page 279 -280 – Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke – 1910 -1926.

    Only the poetry of Paul Valery really astonishes me, whose “Le Cimetiere marin” I managed to translate with an equivalence I scarcely thought could be achieved between the two languages….

    “Eupalinos – like all Valery’s few works of a serenity, a calm and equanimity that you too would entirely appreciate. Paul Valery stems from Mallarme.

    But Valery kept silent and worked at mathematics until he was ready for artistic expression 25 years later,

    so much the purer. In 1915, a man of fifty (Valery): and what has since come from his is of the greatest distinction and significance.

  • Rilke and Rodin 1and-rodinrilke
    photo via

  • Rilke’s bio timeline..(photos and sound files)

  • Rilke died of leukemia.”
    And again his death pops up on pg. 86 of Reader’s Block:
    “Joyce, Hesse, Mann, and Rilke all died in Switzerland.”

    David Markson on Rilke

  • Rainer Maria Rilke, Raron, Canton Valais, Switzerland - (see his grave)

    1926
    On December the 29th, Rilke dies at Val-Mont. “The Poetical Work of Michelangelo”,
    as well as his voluminous correspondence, are published post mortem. This body of work,
    which includes letters to some of the most prominant writers and intellectuals of his time,
    such as Marina Tsvetaeva, Auguste Rodin, André Gide, Hugo von Hofmannstahl,
    Boris Pasternak, and Stefan Zweig.

  • Rilke as a child 1ChildPhRilke

    Rilke photo via

  • Rilke the Poet 1Rainer+Maria+Rilke
    Previous post Photo of Rilke by Shaw – Letters to Balthus, Lou A. Salome

  • Dec 29 birthday of William Gaddis.. (See David Markson and William Gaddis- scroll down)

  • The Caterpiller & Black Holes + R.I.P Mark Strand

    November 29th, 2014
  • 1btractors
    Untitled photo collage by Fung Lin Hall

  • Mark Strand dies – Pulitzer winning poet laureate ..( Born in Prince Edward’s Islands, Canada, initially he studied art.)

  • The Remains
    I empty myself of the names of others. I empty my pockets.
    I empty my shoes and leave them beside the road.
    At night I turn back the clocks;
    I open the family album and look at myself as a boy.

    What good does it do? The hours have done their job.
    I say my own name. I say goodbye.
    The words follow each other downwind.
    I love my wife but send her away.

    My parents rise out of their thrones
    into the milky rooms of clouds. How can I sing?
    Time tells me what I am. I change and I am the same.
    I empty myself of my life and my life remains.

    Mark Stand

  • Read his poem “The End” (poetry foundation)

  • Wallace Shawn interviewed Mark Strand (Paris Review)

  • EATING POETRY

    Ink runs from the corners of my mouth.
    There is no happiness like mine.
    I have been eating poetry.

    The librarian does not believe what she sees.
    Her eyes are sad
    and she walks with her hands in her dress.

    The poems are gone.
    The light is dim.
    The dogs are on the basement stairs and coming up.

    Their eyeballs roll,
    their blond legs burn like brush.
    The poor librarian begins to stamp her feet and weep.

    She does not understand.
    When I get on my knees and lick her hand,
    she screams.

    I am a new man,
    I snarl at her and bark,
    I romp with joy in the bookish dark.
    Mark Strand

    (Jim Bauerlein’s favorite poem thanks..)

  • 1caterpillerWallace
    The Caterpiller and Black holes (photo collage by Fung Lin Hall)

  • Lines for Winter
    Mark Strand
    1934 – 2014

    for Ros Krauss

    Tell yourself
    as it gets cold and gray falls from the air
    that you will go on
    walking, hearing
    the same tune no matter where
    you find yourself—
    inside the dome of dark
    or under the cracking white
    of the moon’s gaze in a valley of snow.
    Tonight as it gets cold
    tell yourself
    what you know which is nothing
    but the tune your bones play
    as you keep going. And you will be able
    for once to lie down under the small fire
    of winter stars.
    And if it happens that you cannot
    go on or turn back
    and you find yourself
    where you will be at the end,
    tell yourself
    in that final flowing of cold through your limbs
    that you love what you are.
    Mark Strand

    The Wrong Box & A Curious Painting of Robert Louis Stevens and his Wife by Sargent

    November 13th, 2014

    AT last she comes, O never more
    In this dear patience of my pain
    To leave me lonely as before,
    Or leave my soul alone again.
    – Robert Louis Stevens

    More poems by R.L.S here.

    1argent_-_Robert_Louis_Stevenson_and_His_Wife

    Painting of Robert Louis Stevens and his wife by John Singer Sargent – 1885. via

  • Robert Louis Stevens Robert_Louis_Stevenson_mit_7_Jahren

  • He wrote this story, the Wrong Box, with all stars cast..(Michael Caine.. Peter Cook, Peter Sellers – see the trailer on youtube)

    To celebrate his birthday, Take a quiz here.

  • Aidan Quinn played Crusoe