Friday, April 17, 2015
In my youth I was a tireless dancer. This is a Dorn poem, appropriately included in Hands Up!, the collection brought out by Amiri Baraka through his Totem Press, in association with Corinth Books, Baraka then living in New York City, but having lived in Newark, that he would return to Newark—the wisdom in this. And the first lines of this poem from Dorn begin, "But now I pass | graveyards in a car." And in the second stanza of the poem, after having mourned the dead, after having mourned those objects and events and phenomena that have since passed out of existence, Dorn then turns to the dance itself, the Saturday night dance, he recalls this from his youth and thinking on his youth he recalls himself as a tireless dancer. And I find now that, for my own part, it serves me well to recall my own experiences in the world as a tireless dancer, the photographs below—the first from Newark and the second from New York City—we tireless dancers—inexhaustible—alive—well.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Southern Maine Workers' Center. An astonishing resource (and pictured below, this featured at the SMWC site, Fairport workers on strike, represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers).
Thinking about the center, and later stopping in, I found myself thinking about the Miners' Gala in Durham each year, and Little Moscow, the Chopwell district of Durham, the banner of the lodge there, a trinity situated at center, Scottish socialist and Labor Party co-founder Keir Hardie, Lenin and Marx, this lodge National Union of Mineworkers, a Labor Party badge to the right of the banner, a hammer and sickle with a red star at the other, this contradiction, and below lines from Whitman, Pioneers: "WE TAKE UP THE TASK ETERNAL | THE BURDEN AND THE LESSON."
That Whitman could be so seamlessly situated beneath this trinity, or that this configuration—Hardie, Lenin and Marx—can still resonate through the streets, if only as ritual practice, to this one might ask what better ritual to observe, this echo of a perhaps more radical past, and I now I find myself recalling the shop in Durham where I found Bill Griffith's North East Dialect: Survey and Word List (1999), later Griffith's would hone and expand the endeavor into A Dictionary of North East Dialect (2004), encouraging me to wonder where a dialect ends and a language begins, and as ever the question of the shibboleth for any dialect ensnared in a humiliatingly subordinate relation to a dominant language, the subordinate dialect often figured culturally as the butt of a joke. And so to see Whitman, who, like Springsteen or Baraka, aspires to celebrate working people and the working poor, to privilege them, as washing the feet of the indigent and ill—to see class cut across the Atlantic in this way—this offers something—even if only ritualized gesture.
Wednesday, April 01, 2015
Render unto Caesar. This was most difficult to me. Perhaps is. I do not know. This is stupefaction. This is light. I do not know. Yes. Duncan. His meadow. Among my friends:
Among my friends love is a great sorrow.Perhaps this. Lovelessness. I do not know. This. This is a thinking. Perhaps. Among my friends. Yes.
It has become a daily burden, a feast,
a gluttony for fools, a heart's famine.
We visit one another asking, telling one another.
We do not burn hotly, we question the fire.
We do not fall forward with our alive
eager faces looking thru into the fire.
We stare back into our own faces.
We have become our own realities.
We seek to exhaust our lovelessness.
Monday, March 30, 2015
Friday, March 20, 2015
Long awaited. Andrew Rippeon, from PORCHES (Delete Press 2015):
Andrew Rippeon edited P-Queue (2007 – 2010), founded QUEUE Books (2007 – 2011), and now works as a letterpress printer and serves as the studio manager for The Press at Nine-Mile Swamp. He is editing a selection of letters from Larry Eigner to Jonathan Williams, of The Jargon Society, and currently teaches literature at Hamilton College in central New York.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
An unusual but potentially useful source of poetry information, At Buffalo, mag for SUNY-Buffalo alumni — i.e. Lauren Newkirk Maynard, "Priceless Cargo: UB Sends Rare Manuscripts to Wales to Honor 100th Birthday of Dylan Thomas" (Winter 2015):
Monday, March 16, 2015
Lee Si-Young, "The Police Did Not Think of Them as Human Beings." Patterns. Trans. Brother Anthony and Yoo Hui-Sok. Green Integer 2014.
The police thought of them as enemies. At 5:30 a.m. on the 20th, all five lanes of Han'gang Street were closed to traffic. 1600 men from 20 squadrons of police were deployed, together with 49 men from the Seoul anti-terrorist special brigade and four water-trucks. From the start, the police did not consider the dispossessed renters as human beings. Likewise, the fifty or so protesters, who were occupying a watch-tower they had constructed using containers etc. on the roof of the 5-floor commercial building scheduled for demolition in the redevelopment of Han'gang Street's 2nd block, did not think of the police as human beings. Instead, they had stocks of firebombs, acid bombs and 60 cans of paint-thinner up on the roof as a means of defense. As soon as the police tried to storm the ground floor of the building at 6:05, they hurled firebombs. At 6:10 the water-trucks aimed powerful jets at the roof of the building. The police seemed to be thinking of the citizens, now soaked with water like drowned rats, as major criminals or terrorists. At 6:45, 13 members of the police special brigade arrived on the roof, carried in a container raised by a crane. The container struck the watchtower hard and the firebombs thrown by the squatters drove back the water cannon. At 7:10 fire first broke out in the watch-tower. At 7:20 ten additional members of the special brigade arrived on the roof. At 7:26 the police stormed the first level of the tower, the protesters retreated to the upper level, resisting fiercely, as red flames began to emerge from the interior, then after a strong explosion the entire structure was engulfed in the blaze. By this time, the roof was ankle-deep in water from the cannons, with a layer of thinner floating on its surface. Just then three or four squatters rushed out of the flames and were hanging from the railings round the roof, away from the smoke, shouting, "Help!" but nobody took any notice. Finally, they fell to the icy ground where no mattresses had been spread. The day's attack ended with six blackened corpses left lying in the tower, including one policeman, but from the start the police had not thought of the protesters as human beings and the protesters did not consider them as their policemen.