For Monday and Tuesday, I'll be writing about the Slovenian poets Edvard Kocbek and Srečko Kosovel. But for today, here's the video for the instrumental song “Srečko Kosovel” by the Štefan Kovač Marko band:
And here’s a punk version of Kosovel’s poem “Ecstasy of Death” by G.u.B.:
This week we welcome Brian Henry as our guest blogger. Brian is the author of six books of
poetry, most recently Wings Without Birds (Salt Publishing, 2010).
His poems have appeared in magazines and anthologies around the world
and have been translated into Croatian,
Polish, Russian, Serbian, and Slovenian. He has co-edited Verse since 1995, and he co-edited The Verse Book of Interviews. His poetry criticism has appeared in
such places as The New York Times Book
Review, Times Literary Supplement,
Jacket, Boston Review, The Yale
Review, The Kenyon Review, Denver Quarterly, and Virginia Quarterly Review. His
translation of Tomaž Šalamun’s Woods and Chalices appeared from
Harcourt in 2008, and his translation of Aleš
Šteger’s The Book of
Things is forthcoming from BOA Editions in November. He lives in Richmond, Virginia.
A god from the East and/or above and/or far far away took to the notion to plant a fetal-curled seed by the banks of a body of water. Four hundred thousand years of deity- induced rain and sunshine caused the stone to sprout into a city’s worth of architecture, gold-leafed astronomies, and smiling, single-headed cows. The women’s eyes housed nine-pointed ceruleans and children were taught at an early age the value of aneroidical breathing. Monsters lived the whole of their lives in glass coffins, surrounded by orange safety cones. Old men would spend days on their backs, watching clouds take the shape of semi-sapien eyeballs. Peopled by swallowers of burning tea leaves, the inhabitors of this land lacked the mouth mechanisms to make hissing sounds. Whenever they felt angry or threatened, they had to resort to humming.
* * *
Daniela Olszewska is the author of three chapbooks: The Twelve Husbands of Citizen Jane (Beard of Bees), The Partial Autobiography of Jane Doe (Dancing Girl Press) and Resort to Humming (Scantily Clad Press). No Tell Motel first published this poem in April 2008. Daniella wrote, "The myth poems are very loosely based on a now-lost book of Polish folk tales. Writing poems based on pre-existing narratives was a wonderfully frustrating experience. At times I felt as if the story limited the language available to me. This, of course, made me work that much harder to find words/images that: (A) excited me (B) stayed (more or less) true to the story. I highly recommend putting a myth-retelling prompt in your NaPoWriMo arsenal."
Here’s the thing about the demolition derby: cars catch on
fire, cars get lodged on concrete blocks, cars smoke, cars are carried off on
forklifts. Also, even though it mostly appears to be every man for him self,
there are, in fact, teams of cars who gang up on other cars. Sometimes an axle
breaks or a giant chunk of bumper comes off and they halt the derby and clear
the debris. At some moments, certain observers in the grandstand feel the need
to stand up and yell, or just clap kind of hollow in his or hers seat. I’ve
found myself clapping, but I do not believe that I have yelled. Some young women who sit behind you may feel the need to say repeatedly, "Them Burgess Boys are bad ass. They're bad ass!" It is a
beautiful act of absurdity. If the demolition derby did not exist, an artist
would invent it.
The car races are different because it almost makes sense.
But, in the end, when you watch a mutilated car, pushed from the track by another
mutilated car, you are struck by the impotence of victory and the silliness of
winning.It is very close to being
as absurd as the demolition derby. If you have a seven year old son even he
will acknowledge the similarities.
They are both beautiful because they are ridiculous. They are
brilliant because they are dumb. I would hate to be smarter because I wouldn’t
understand the dumbness that makes them so beautiful.
6:00- 8:00: Shanna Compton, Gary
Sullivan, Katie Degentesh, Sharon Mesmer,
We-Are-Familia Pop Up Gallery
& Event Space:539 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY View Map
Find out what all the fuss is about: Host and flarfista Sharon Mesmer will
introduce some of the collective's New York members: Shanna Compton (For
Girls), Katie Degentesh (The Anger Scale), Nada Gordon (Folly), Gary
Sullivan (PPL In A Depot), Brandon Downing (Lake Antiquity), and Drew
Gardner (Petroleum Hat).
Turns out, a Muncie
painter, Jerry Cool, had a dream in 2008 of a grey-haired, dark-bearded man
killing Osama bin Laden. When Jerry Cool saw Gary Faulkner on the David
Letterman show he was “shocked.” After all, Gary Faulkner was the grey-haired,
dark-bearded American who was recently detained in Pakistan “for trying to hunt
down and kill Osama bin Laden.” Faulkner came through Muncie on Monday to pick
up the painting that Cool gave him. Apparently, Cool knew “that was (Faulkner)
in my vision.” Also, Faulkner “had these visions myself.” No word on why
Faulkner appears to be Roman and why bin Laden appears somewhat Christ-y.
Visions are mysterious-y.
These photos make it clear
that the Hog Wrestling at the Delaware County Fair was not “New and Improved,”
as promised. It was the same old teams of 4 people or so capturing a hog in a
mud pit and setting it atop a stack of tires. The stands are packed, as you can
note in some of the photos. But, that fullness of people is not a fullness of
satisfactory entertainment. It’s hollow, people of Muncie! Turn away! Besides,
the pig squeals bring to light a sick inequity.
Roger Miller medley including the song "Dang Me," in which the chorus calls for his own lynching and contains such lines as "Roses are red and violets are purple / sugar's sweet and so is maple surple." Also in here is "My Uncle Used to Love Me But She Died."
"[t]here is no substitute for reading. Hearing something aloud is its own experience, but it's hard to beat sitting in bed or in a comfortable chair turning the pages of a book, putting it down, and eagerly awaiting the chance to get back to it."
July 21, 2010 NYT interview about recording audiobooks of his four essay collections.