November 8, 2017

America, Not Always So Beautiful.

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America, Not Always So Beautiful

Not so beautiful to the thousands of families burnt out of their homes or flooded only to be stiffed by the insurance companies and an underfunded FEMA who who do not care for them.
Not so beautiful to the three million Americans in Puerto Rico who don’t have electricity or enough food.
Not so beautiful to bicycle riders who get run over by drunks who the law allows to keep driving our roads.
Not so beautiful to the 50,000 Americans killed each year by gun fanatics who can’t get the mental healthcare they need.
Not so beautiful to the sick and dying Americans who suffer a lack of healthcare so the rich can buy new summer homes.
Not so beautiful to the millions of immigrant children thrown in jail and deported back to a country they hardly know.
Not so beautiful to American women who face discrimination and sexual harassment on the job and at home.
Not so beautiful to people of color who face racism every day.
Not so beautiful to American citizens threatened with nuclear war by a president too narcissistic and too sociopathic to face reality.
Not so beautiful to the people who are not rich enough to afford the lies the rich tell themselves about how beautiful they imagine America might be.

And it wouldn’t be so beautiful to Jesus Christ. He threw the rich moneylenders out of the temple, when they sold their souls for such riches.
And it wouldn’t be so beautiful to Martin Luther King, Jr. to hear that his dream has not become true.
Not always so beautiful to me.
When the Star Bangled Banner plays, I kneel out of respect for the human dignity and justice this country no longer offers.

(All text by me, Art by Anne Abrams.)

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May 9, 2017

Excerpt from Tesora, a novel

Tesora

From Tesora

I look at her hands
on my hands
on her stomach.
A baby.
I hope to see
into the future,
but all I see is
the basket of shadows
the lamplight makes
of our fingers.

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February 11, 2017

Fire Flower (A sonnet)

manikinfireflower

Fire Flower
(A sonnet)

If my eyes were dreams, I’d need no sleep
to picture her face in the light or in the dark.
Memories of her touch would linger for weeks,
not minutes, to soothe my non-poetic parts.
But without the help of imagination’s magic,
I’d drown in ink or lose the fire flower light
that saves all my inspiration from its tragic.
Her eyes might make my darkness take flight,
but eyes are not dreams, they see bright hues
and so lose to dark or to ears with fine hearing.
I’m left with a cold chair, a guitar, and the blues
to pray her ears love my muse without judging.
Imaginary stories don’t warm me like tea,
but their leaves
reveal light’s fortune in thee.

(Art by Anne Abrams)

August 10, 2016

Un-Remembered, a poem to remember

Mannequin:AAbrams

Un-Remembered

I memorize the lines sculpted
by your face into my fingers, but
I can’t memorize words of poems.
If my literary memory loss tastes
like freedom to my speech today,
why can’t I tell you I love you?

If I only memorize love in songs,
I’m pleased by the lack of memory
that forces me to eternally invent.
I must re-touch each point of view,
but un-remember each one, or fail
to allow imagination to draft it all.

To quote Chekhov or Shakespeare
sublimes me like a new-lover kiss,
a finger-kiss touch on Dad’s casket,
or a kiss-off for an unloved poet, yet
the words of other writers lose me.
So I need deep memories of touch
and agile notes of melody to know
how your kiss tastes across a room.
I need your history from A to Z
to touch your future from Z to A.

I can’t memorize words of poems.
I’m pleased by a lack of memory.
Laugh, if you’ve heard this before.

(Art by Anne Abrams)

 

December 18, 2014

Rondeau At The Train Stop By Erin Belieu

Rondeau At The Train Stop

It bothers me: the genital smell of the bay
drifting toward me on the T stop, the train
circling the city like a dingy, year-round
Christmas display. The Puritans were right! Sin
is everywhere in Massachusetts, hell-bound

in the population. it bothers me
because it’s summer now and sticky – no rain
to cool things down; heat like a wound
that will not close. Too hot, these shameful
percolations of the body that bloom
between strangers on a train. It bothers me

now that I’m alone and singles foam
around the city, bothered by the lather, the rings
of sweat. Know this bay’s a watery animal, hind-end
perpetually raised: a wanting posture, pain
so apparent, wanting so much that it bothers me.

Rondeau At The Train Stop By Erin Belieu.

 

 

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December 3, 2014

New poem by Walt Whitman

New poem by that upstart poet, Walt Whitman:
“To Bryant, the Poet of Nature”

 

 

September 28, 2014

Position Needed, a poem for peace

Position Needed

United States Secretary of Peace:
an Executive Cabinet position to
be appointed by enlightenment
itself. This Secretary may not be
removed by any president ever.
Secretary of Defense answers to
Secretary of Peace who has veto
power over anything it says or does.
The United States Secretary of Peace
answers to no one but to peace itself. 

  (Photo by Anne Abrams)

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January 10, 2013

From Treasure Island, by Robert Lewis Stephenson

Painting by N. C. Wyeth

Painting by N. C. Wyeth

The fire lit in me when I first read the novel as a boy, was
extinguished when I finished my own novel, Tesora.
Reading it now, however, allows me to sail again,
back to my own boyhood days—to find the treasures
of adventure and good writing.

From Treasure Island, by Robert Lewis Stephenson:

“Livesey,” said the squire, “you will give up this wretched practice at once. Tomorrow I start for Bristol. In three weeks’ time—three weeks!—two weeks—ten days—we’ll have the best ship, sir, and the choicest crew in England. Hawkins shall come as cabin-boy. You’ll make a famous cabin-boy, Hawkins. You, Livesey, are ship’s doctor; I am admiral. We’ll take Redruth, Joyce, and Hunter. We’ll have favourable winds, a quick passage, and not the least difficulty in finding the spot, and money to eat, to roll in, to play duck and drake with ever after.”

November 25, 2012

AnaĂŻs Nin on the Unfamiliar in Books

AnaĂŻs Nin on Embracing the Unfamiliar

It’s the personal insecurities of leadership which lead to paranoia, the need to control the freedom of individual and social personalities, and finally to mass violence. It’s been true throughout history from Atilla The Hun to Obama. It’s the responsibility of each artist to sieze his or her own piece of space, whether it’s geographic or psychic, and to produce art within his or her own chaos of freedom. “A room of one’s own,” yes?

Nin says:

The men who built America were the genuine physical adventurers in a physical world. This world once built, we need adventurers in the realm of art and science. If we suppress the adventure of the spirit, we will have the anarchist and the rebel, who will burst out from too narrow confines in the form of violence and crime.

http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/11/08/anais-nin-unfamiliar/

September 11, 2012

A Short Review of Canada, a novel by Richard Ford

The first novel I ever read on an e-reader (the Nook with a Glo-light) is Canada by Richard Ford. Here’s my review of the novel, not the e-reader.

A Short Review of Canada, a novel by Richard Ford
New York : Ecco Press, 2012

Ford forces a personality onto his main character that is as contemplative as a sixty year old. I’m not saying he’s trying to fool us with that fact, because he intentionally has the older man telling the story of his own young life as a fifteen-year-old. Ford’s prose is indeed excellent, but all through the book I craved the experience and voice of the fifteen year. So much of the story seems untold. I wanted the younger main character to have emotions and actions not explained away by his mature self of forty years later.

If an author has so pushed his own psyche so far from inner reality, how can we believe his story is true? It’s as if Ford has delivered a good idea about a story, but not the story itself. It’s a steak dinner without the meat or the sizzle, leaving us only a plate, a fork, and a knife laid out in perfect order. It is certainly an order that does not offend, but it also does not tell us the whole truth.

Are we expected to believe that his parents robbed a bank, split him from his twin sister, and sent him to Canada, and he had no anger about that? He could have become a short-fused boy like The Unibomber—or he could have become an enraged genius like Kurt Cobain—or channeled his anger like Van Gogh, perhaps. He only seems to passively accept his exile and one extremely violent act as if he was stunned silent by it. This is not the kind of character I hoped to read—it’s as if the character was there at the scene, but somehow missed the story. Readers are left with the face of the opacity of the surface of it, so we are left to admire the dinnerware and suck on an empty fork.

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