Friday, July 27, 2012

Thinking

A coin has two sides.

Sometimes there is no coin.

I'm too conscious of my consciousness sometimes.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Kick Assonance Poetry Reading at KGB Bar

If you're free on Thursday, some friends and I are having a reading. Please come on down.


 
KGB Bar
85 E 4th St, New York, New York 10003
Thursday, July 26
 
Award-winning storyteller Leslie Goshko (Sirius XM, WNYC, Manhattan Monologue Slam Champion) hosts a curated evening of original poetic works that’s sure to Kick Assonance! Join poets Kyle Erickson, Steven Leyva, and Steve Dalachinsky as they share from new and published works and for what Time Out New York magazine named a “Critics' Pick.”

FREE!

About Tonight's Readers:

KYLE ERICKSON is co-creator of Kick Assonance Poetry Series. His poetry and writing blog, okieinthecity.com, was named a "Top 101 New York Blog" alongside such well-known sites as The New Yorker, Time Out New York, Gawker, and more. His series has been noted as a Time Out New York "Critics' Pick," "a notable New York Event," and his work can also be seen in the literary journal, Promethia.

STEVEN LEYVA is the author of the recently released book of poetry, Low Parish, and co-creator of the poetry series Kick Assonance. A graduate from the University of Baltimore with an M.F.A. in Poetry, his work has also appeared in Welter magazine.

Praise for Low Parish:

“Low Parish is an ambitious debut of a voice that’s passionate and tough, honest and intimate, bookish but without unnecessary irony. This voice pursues its losses and desires in urgent muscular rhythms and ceaseless syntactical staccatos. Paying its tribute to real and mythological places, Steven Leyva’s poetry runs along the bloodlines of fatherhood and brotherhood, forming a beautiful, deeply felt collection.” –Valzhyna Mort (Author of Factory of Tears and Collected Body)

STEVE DALACHINSKY is a PEN award-winning writer whose books include A Superintendent's Eyes, The Final Nite & Other Poems: Complete Notes From A Charles Gayle Notebook, and Logos and Language. His chapbooks include One Thin Line, People/Places, In the Book of Ice, Blue, White Dog, Portuguese Letters, and Contemporary Poetry. His work has also been extensively published in both on and off line journals.

Arrive early to snag a seat. They go fast. See you there!


Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Morning Memories/Impressions

Journal Excerpt

A girl hangs around her mom's waist and pink jeans.

In a dream my dead grandfather said, Don't get rid of any long-term clothes, any long-term anything.

A fruit vendor sells bananas in the sunset.

There are dragons under the concrete. The people don't know anything.

Handsome Spanish man is sleeping on the subway. The toreador came down on his back, sprang up like a cat.

Red fabric crippling across the sidewalk.

A redhead hides behind her freckles reflected in the subway window.

Thinking of Me-me asking me to navigate with map, and how scared she must have been when I got us lost because I was only 13. Or how scared to ask in the first place.

Poetry runs on Dunkin'.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Recurrent Revelation

I'm reading Robert Bly's Leaping Poetry and becoming more excited about poetry than I have been in a long time. Excellent book. On top of that, I had a revelation that I'm embarrassed to keep forgetting: complex and heavy ideas can and sometimes should be delivered in wild ecstatic language. Bly doesn't say this, but the poems he's chosen and translated do this.

Lorca and Dostoevsky are some of my favorites who do this well. Bellow is great, too. Rilke does it in Sonnets to Orpheus.

About "the writer", Gertrude Stein said, "He must be sensitive and serious. But he must not grow solemn." Yep.

Morpheus and Orpheus by Colleen Doran


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

In Which Sensitive Poets Make You Laugh

I laughed out loud upon reading this during my morning commute. Oh, how I sympathize with this sensitive guy's overstatement about New York City.

"The two elements the traveler first captures in the big city are extrahuman architecture and furious rhythm. Geometry and anguish. At first glance, the rhythm may be confused with gaiety, but when you look more closely at the mechanism of social life and the painful slavery of both men and machines, you see that it is nothing but a kind of typical, empty anguish that makes even crime and gangs forgivable means of escape."

--Federico Garcia Lorca
from "Lecture: A Poet in New York", translated by Christopher Maurer


Garcia Lorca, Self-Portrait in New York, 1929-1932



Saturday, July 14, 2012

Marsyas

If over a flute
the sensitive tips of his
fingers and lips
could mute the pain of men
imagine the sound
his skin sang to the ground

Marsyas by Balthasar Permoser, ca. 1680


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Her Inheritance


After she died bearing
the baby, Daddy
put her into the
baby, but there
wasn't enough room
for mother and daughter
in one body, so the
baby grew a tree from
her head like hair, but
the branches and leaves
were made of stuff
of souls not trees
and remained unseen,
though she felt the
weight in her shoulders
and neck as her
head hung low with
her mother's phantom
shadow covering
her every step.

Daddy didn't know
his longing grief caused
his daughter's slouch
of unknown sorrow --
unknown to her
for she knew nothing
of her mother but
what he had told her,
unknown to him for
he couldn't see
the soul tree nor its
heavy fruit, which thickened
from the food of the roots --
the juice of longing grief
and unknown sorrow
mixed to make confused
pain -- that rose up the trunk
and bowed the branches
and fattened the fruit
that dropped and rotted
and fertilized the seeds
that became phantom
sprouts, then small trees
that first caught her
eye in her waking periphery
till a forest of what was
her mother comforted
her in nightmares and whispers.

The haunted grounds
of madness cradled
the daughter like
a never-known mother till
the birth of her own
daughter illuminated the
branches with a fondness, with
the forest's first living leaves.