Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Anne Waldman Fever Is Upon Us

A Dying Empire - metal band from Lafayette.
Anne Waldman fever is upon us. One friend told me of Waldman's recent performance at her induction into  American Academy of Poets. Bold, dramatic, and singularly nonacademic. Further, a small press, great weather for media, will lead with Anne Waldman's work in their next anthology. I'm in it, too. And the latest issue of Posit features Waldman alongside artist Pamela Lawton.

Attenuate the Loss and Find

For Adrienne Rich

[Our burden to carry as she did
shift the weight of song, heft and gnosis
“body poetics”
as a total event
her fullness rare in the amnesiac Kulchur
awake, awareness & urgency when poetry serves]

name appears 
everywhere and in dream
body armor removed

what now, legacy, archivum
we female archons preserve of
intensity a durance a hand you recognize
(sounds sound)
assurance as lives on

drank of that
drank of this
almost suffocated, then drowned
downed but never

what only she could only know
as herself living in the brute time

speak of a syntax of rendition?
the politics of Empire chip away
as poetry attests, give it up

curve of a water-starved globe
to follow and be following?

racism, sexism, struggle

everything in intense grasp of
consciousness — cut in crystal observation
for her rapid and perched intellectus
privacy opens to vibrant light

this is stuff of Eros, of empathy
passionate edge of Adrienne
the American Skeptic

I feel you consociational in this light
a term of anthropology, to study
intersections in the annals we share

intergenerational, interspecies, interlanguage

move in parallelograms

getting it right as she did

Solstice, Boulder, Colorado 2012
High Park fires distress
Source: Poetry (March 2014)._____________
c/o http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poem/247336

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Songbook (She's Fabulous! She's Fabulous!)

 Overture (for Red Bricks)  
Hickory! Hank! Zeke! (Farmboys’ Swing)
Dorothy’s Dream
It’s Green Glittering Glinda!
Mambo for a Daid Witch
I’m Thinkin’ I’m Thinkin’ I’m Thinkin’ Thinkin’ Thinkin’
Lamentation in Yellow (Waltz for Poppy)
Hands Are Only Idle When They’re Not Helping You
Is That You, Professor Marvel?
Not Gonna Be a Witch No Mo’ (No Mo’)
Red Shoes Polka (Ballet)
Heal Me (of the Bad Witch in My Soul)
Dorothy’s Dream (Reprise)
She’s Fabulous! She’s Fabulous! Auntie Em Is Fabulous!
Sarah Sarai, 2015. In hopes yet another musical is made of The Wizard of Oz  

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Wheat grows between the pages of books ... Nazir Qabanni, Syrian poet

A draft of a Nizar Qabanni poem. 
A Syrian poet, publisher, diplomat, Nizar Qabbani was born on March 21, 1923. He died in 1998.  I was looking for a poet born today, the first day of Spring, when flowers spring up. Love is a flower or so I'm told.

When I Love You

When I love you
A new language springs up,
New cities, new countries discovered.
The hours breathe like puppies,
Wheat grows between the pages of books,
Birds fly from your eyes with tiding of honey,
Caravans ride from your breasts carrying Indian herbs,
The mangoes fall all around, the forests catch fire
And Nubian drums beat.
When I love you your breasts shake off their shame,
Turn into lightning and thunder, a sword, a sandy storm.
When I love you the Arab cities leap up and demonstrate
Against the ages of repression
And the ages
Of revenge against the laws of the tribe.
And I, when I love you,
March against ugliness,
Against the kings of salt,
Against the institutionalization of the desert.
And I shall continue to love you until the world flood arrives;
I shall continue to love you untill the world flood arrives.
Nizar Qabbani, from On Entering the Sea: The Erotic and Other Poetry of Nizar Qabbani, translated by Lena Jayyusi and Jack Collum.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

God is whatever makes us better


 It’s the weirdest thing, 
to be in love with a woman. 
Nothing else matters. 
Even that campy hate scorn is 
rick rack on a little black dress — 
you kidding me? 

Your woman is a body of miracle fiber, 
a tote accommodating 
a change of clothes and good shampoo, 
a heated embrace, an epicenter 
a little sun next to you 
preparing you for your dangerous salvation.

 You have to find a way 
and a sherpa anxious to 
shake out, lean over, 
anchor raw minerals 
on the four directions, 
the four elements, 
the nonrefundable missteps.

 God is whatever makes us better. 
Who’s seen Her, besides 
          William Blake 
          and ten million mothers. 
Do they agree how shining her hair is 
or that her voice is the unified theory 
of everything arranged for strings?

 The idea is to be led to something 
          that is not you. 
If it is the solar system in your arms, 
          pinging you, well, that works. 

®2015. Sarah Sarai, Ping-PongLiterary Journal of the Henry Miller Library, 2014. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Early Jazz

from a Swingle Singers cover

It was during the yearly Bach Festival, over the Christmas holiday. WQXR plays solid Bach. Bach, who is solid, is on 24/7. All Bach, all-the-time, and any variations are Bach's invention. The organ was inevitable. Fugue, concerti, prelude, chorale. I only remember thinking, This is jazz. THIS is jazz. Something I'd not previously heard, noticed, sensed, understood. I repeated that to a jazz singer and daughter of a musician. We were going into or out of a meditation at the Edgar Cayce Center in NYC. She said yeah. So, yeah.

              Early Jazz

          Like most artists,
Johann Sebastian Bach
moved to the city. 

Sometimes you need
a point of entrance for
ornamental notes and flourishes.  

So a crazy organist
can staff the future with
musicians who rest, yeah,
but mainly soar.
                         Sarah Sarai. Published in The Wallace Stevens Journal, 
                         Volume 38, Number 1, Spring 2014.