Monday, December 21, 2015

A Mary Meriam Poem

I’m enjoying dipping into Mary Meriam’s The Lillian Trilogy, a triumvirate of poetry collections, a compilation, a three of her collections in one book.

This season being stuffed like a stocking the size of a soul with family, the exiled, the runaways, the living, the loved, the dead, I offer Meriam’s “Dinner.”

Tonight I set the dinner table for
the remnants of my phantom family.
Here is the marriage spent in fantasy,
here is my stillborn brother, here is war
that wiped out all my relatives and tore
my mother’s mind to pieces, here is me,
here is a place beside me for big tree.
And here’s my sister shot down with a roar.
We flipped and landed upside down in hell,
no parachutes, just higher, hotter flames
burning our places right down to our names.
The empty plates have nothing left to tell.
Here is a table, here a fork and knife.
here is the phantom of a better life.
Mary Meriam, The Lillian Trilogy, Headmistress Press, 2015.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Being a believer is like loving a career criminal: I am interviewed at The Volta blog

I was interviewed by Jon Riccio, poetry editor at Fairy Tale Review, for The Volta blog. Click here:  INTERVIEW Future & Foremost \\ Sarah Sarai to read it.

Jon's smart questions got me rolling. For instance:
JR: Your book features God, angels, Shiva and saints. To what degree do world religions influence your poetry? 
SS: The Future Is Happy also makes mention of Jodie Foster, Spinoza, Descartes, Aristotle, Denzel Washington, Count Basie, Ingmar Bergman, Jimmy Carter. By “your book features” I take it you mean that The Great Else, the Cosmic Lunacy, God, are given a greatest weight in the collection, something I like hearing yet which makes me nervous. I’ve more or less always been a believer in The Awesome Power. Alas, being a believer is like loving a career criminal, or being one of those women who takes up with the incarcerated. Do dykes do that? You are giving me ideas! Sometimes I am disinterested in poetry that doesn’t reach for wisdom and sometimes I am annoyed with myself for falling into a pit of cleverness. Once a Swedenborgian, on hearing my mother was a Christian Scientist and my father was Jewish commented, “You were released to wander.” Nailed me, in life and writing. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Streaming audiobooks: I can read again!

This beautiful sketch of Solzhnenitsyn is by Khylov, a storyboard artist and illustrator.
More of Kylov's brilliant work is at   
As an editor, I am paid to stare.

Staring, along with various of my analytical skills and the detritus of a major in English, pays my rent, but also strains my eyes.

Because of eyestrain from staring at, most recently, two computer screens plus a laptop, all day, I went through a period of illiteracy and stopped reading to watch streaming services - Netflix and Amazon Prime. Lots of what I saw and will continue to see was terrific, I am not foreswearing, but watching is not the same as the engagement reading offers. I missed the words.

I checked the library website and discovered I could check out streaming audiobooks online, free. To date, for me, audiostreaming works best when there is no plot. I haven't successfully listened to a full novel, yet. What I have heard excited me, including Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago, read in an authoritative and snarky English accent - snarky because Solz. relies on sarcasm as a way of presenting the mass arrests and disappearances in Russia/USSR. There is no way I could have deal with this in print - I have read too much of government horrors. I didn't even listen to the all of part 1, just 3 or 4 hours. The book has been on my list for a long, long time. Audio, I now realize, is the best way of tackling it.

I wasn't being graded. I didn't have to turn in a report. I am an adult reading at the end of her day. I will check out parts 2 and 3 and I look forward to that, spacing the atrocities. Perhaps I will check back here as my experience with audiostreaming expands. I am going to buy earbuds for my phone so I can walk and listen. We'll see, and hear.