My thesis defense is tomorrow! There will be yolky sacs.
Almost ten years ago, I stumbled upon Wong May’s first book of poems, A Bad Girl’s Book of Animals in the public library in Akron, OH, and having never before heard of her, and unable to find any information about her written after 1978, I wrote a Recovery Project in Octopus Magazine #3. Unlike what I said in that recovery project, Wong May has in fact not disappeared. Octopus Books will publish Wong May’s first book of poems since her last was published in 1978. It will be edited by myself and Brandon Shimoda, and it is called Picasso’s Tears.
Wong May was born in Mainland China and raised in Singapore, where she obtained an English degree from the University of Singapore before attending the Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa. She is the author of A Bad Girl’s Book of Animals (Harcourt, Brace & Jovanovich,1969), Reports (Harcourt, Brace & Jovanovich, 1972), Superstitions (Harcourt, Brace & Jovanovich, 1978), and the forthcoming Picasso’s Tears (Octopus Books). She now lives in Ireland.
Read four of Wong May’s new poems, and what C.D. Wright has to say about them here.
"The culture-heroes of our liberal bourgeois civilization are anti-liberal and anti-bourgeois; they are writers who are repetitive, obsessive, and impolite, who impress by force—not simply by their tone of personal authority and by their intellectual ardor, but by the sense of acute personal and intellectual extremity. The bigots, the hysterics, the destroyers of the self—these are the writers who bear witness to the fearful polite time in which we live. It is mostly a matter of tone: it is hardly possible to give credence to ideas uttered in the impersonal tones of sanity. There are certain eras which are too complex, too deafened by contradictory historical and intellectual experiences, to hear the voice of sanity. Sanity becomes compromise, evasion, a lie. Ours is an age which consciously pursues health, and yet only believes in the reality of sickness. The truths we respect are those born of affliction. We measure truth in terms of the cost to the writer in suffering—rather than by the standard of an objective truth to which a writer’s words correspond. Each of our truths must have a martyr."
Susan Sontag, “Simone Weil” (via loneberry)
poetry for your momma // mt. vernon, iowa.
ritual poetry + sing-alongs. join us, won’t you?
“the world gave itself to you
but you didn’t give
you, grasshopper, back: ah so. This is suffering. Is it also a kind of gift?”
After the rapture, amid the lions and the limns
you’ll see me and know that
me being into you
was me being into the world. Are you as into the world
as the world is into you? No, I’m not being weird.
What I’m saying is, there is a sustainable energy. My great
aunt, for example, the way she bunched
hay at the base of that little pear tree.
to safeproof it from drought. She could barely walk—
but it was the kind of thing you could see from the moon
as I walked away from her house I
can’t explain it, the trees were screaming,
a finger pressed from the sky
down on the field of the whole which
was my sex. And earlier in her room I felt like puking
when she told me
she saw only a big light in front of me
but instead of the big light I walked into
big silence and
there you stood. End of story.
Is this what you meant
when you said we should watch some porn together?
-“The Mystery of Seagulls,” from Rise in the Fall by Ana Božičević
LISTENING POEM 2
after Joy Ladin
I hand my mother a poem
a very early age with material
we’re in a pickle.
What kind of poem
is a father or
a son a sheep with
in a cave.
teeth in winter.
I don’t love
like a first person
out of sufficient
What not digestible trope
The final issue of Red Lightbulbs.
cover art by Anders Nilsen
Writing/art by: Chad Redden, Robert Lopez, Matt Rowan, Cassandra de Alba, Joel Smith, Peter Jurmu, Leif Haven, James Tadd Adcox, Owl Brain Atlas, Cecelia Chapman, Erin Case, Christine Friedlander, José Manuel Hortelano-Pi, Frank Cademartori, Dana Telsrow, Cassandra Troyan, Dan Boehl & Carlos Rosales-Silva, Brett Elizabeth Jenkins, Kershea Clement, Ryan Bender-Murphy, Lindsay Ruoff, Curt Miller, Ben Mirov, Caroline Crew, Heather Palmer, Alexis Pope, Mike Young, Michelle Sinsky, Carrie Lorig, Wyatt Sparks, Zack Haber, Rachel Hyman, Mathias Svalina, Neal Kitterlin, Ken Baumann, Ashley Collier, Emma J. Lannie, Dennis Cooper, Sean Lovelace, Neila Mezynski, Blake Butler, xTx, Jess Dutschmann, Jeannette Gomes, Eileen Myles, Sasha Fletcher, Jordaan Mason, Molly Brodak, Justin Carter, Robert Duncan Gray, Shannon Burns, Philip Kostov, Shaun Gannon, Diana Salier, Jacques Rebotier (trans. by Zachary Schomburg), Feng Sun Chen
The illuminati used flagellation, levitation and starvation as a method of accounting for the power of the invisible world over their lives. Public suffering and scars gave the evidence of hidden miseries which had begun to require daylight.
The poet uses words to do the same. From the lashes of whip and ink the secrets become common, rather than signs of individual genius.
After all, the point of art is to show people that life is worth living by showing that it isn’t.
Fanny Howe, “Bewilderment” (via loneberry)
Black History Month fact #28
An African ruled Rome as emperor.
Lucius Septimius Severus was born on 1 April 145 BCE at Lepcis Magna in Tripolitania. Severus reigned as emperor from 193 to 211.
His family was of African descent. His paternal great-grandfather, who had moved from Lepcis Magna to Italy and become an equestrian, was most likely of Punic (Carthage) origin and his mother, Fulvia Pia, was from a family which had moved from Africa to Italy. Shortly after becoming quaestor he married Paccia Marciana his first wife of 10 years, she was African as well; a few years later she died, childless. After her death he married Julia Domna, from a prominent Syrian family. They had two sons, who later became Caesars themselves.
In 190 Severus became consul of Rome. Then in 192, Commodus was assassinated and Pertinax succeeded him. The Praetorian Guard later killed Pertinax, because they did not agree with his visions for Rome. Then the guard auctioned off the emperor ship to Didius Julianus This greatly angered Severus and many others who supported him. Out of his anger and with support from his army he accepted his soldier’s salutatio and began to march towards Rome. He overcame all opposition, and in 193, seized control of Rome. Septimius Severus died in 211 BCE.
see the video “The Vampires of Consciousness” by Phil Valentine
BUT BLACK PEOPLE DIDN’T EXIST IN EUROPE BEFORE 1988!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111111111111111111
I remember reading about this guy in one of Classics classes. He was one of the Barrack Emperors and pretty much the last one to bring a moment of political peace before the empire split into two
"In their heyday, said de Jong, the Dutch invested chiefly in cities, while the English put their money into country estates. That evening in the bar, we talked till last orders were called about the rise and decline of the two nations and about the curiously close relationship that existed, until well into the twentieth century, between the history of sugar and the history of art. For long periods of time there was little scope for an ostentatious display of accumulated wealth, and consequently the enormous profits hat accrued to the few families who grew and traded in sugar cane were largely lavished on the building, furnishing and maintenance of magnificent country residences and stately townhouses. It was Cornelis de Jong who drew my attention to the fact that many important museums, such as the Mauritshuis in The Hague or the Tate Gallery in London, were originally endowed by the sugar dynasties or were in some other way connected with the sugar trade. The capital amassed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries through various forms of slave economy is still in circulation, said de Jong, still bearing interest, increasing many times over and continually burgeoning anew. One of the most tried and tested ways of legitimizing this kind of money has always been patronage of the arts, the purchase and exhibiting of paintings and sculptures, a practice which today, said de Jong, was leading to a relentless escalation of prices paid at major auctions. Within a few years, the hundred million mark for half a square yard of painted canvas will have been passed. At times it seems to me, said de Jong, as if all works of art were coated with a sugar glaze or indeed made completely of sugar, like the model of the battle of Esztergom created by a confectioner to the Viennese court, which Empress Maria Theresia, so it is said, devoured in one of her recurrent bouts of melancholy."
W.G. Sebald, from The Rings of Saturn 193-4 (via sogumi)