Archive for the ‘Literature’ Tag

Archive Photos Of A Society Of The 5th Cave Meeting   1 comment

A Society of the 5th Cave Book Club Meeting In The North Montgomery County Woods (April 10, 2005)– Images by kenne
(Click on any image to see slideshow.)

Books are the carriers of civilization.
Without books, history is silent,
literature dumb, science crippled,
thought and speculation at a standstill.

— Barbara Tuchman 

A Ploughman by Ilya Rapin   Leave a comment

A PloughmanIlya Repin (1844-1930), A Ploughman, Leo Tolstoy Ploughing, 1887

The actions of the laboring people,

of those who create life,

began to appear to me as the one true way.

I realized that the meaning

providing by this life was truth,

and I embraced it.

— Leo Tolstoy, from CONFESSION

Literature, The Gift That Keeps On Giving   4 comments

Vessel II Blue Background blogVessels — Image by kenne

The things that happen to us in life do so because we act.
The more we act, the more opportunities we have upon which to act,
the more we connect creating a vessel filled with learning moments.
If we don’t act on the moments,
each will become an opportunity lost.
Even so,
it’s important to not think about what may have been left behind.

My vessel is an alchemy of acts
from which new opportunities are poured – acts attract acts.
Paulo Coelho wrote in his bestseller, The Alchemist, 

“There is only one way to learn,” the alchemist answered.
“It’s through action. Everything you need to know
you have learned through your journey.”

It was fifteen years ago that I first read Coelho’s enchanting fable.
It was in preparation for leading a group of four young professionals
to the state of São Paulo in Brazil that I learned of Paulo Coelho and his 1988 novel.
The book fits well into my philosophy
and set the tone for the trip and remains instrumental to my life.

I’m pleased to be reading this inspiring book fifteen years out.
The Alchemist is the gift that keeps on giving.
Some years ago after reading my poem Solstice Night,”
my brother Tom wrote me that my poem
 reminded him
of the first lines from Conrad Aiken’s long poem, “The House of Dust.”

The sun goes down in a cold, pale flare of light.
The trees grow dark: the shadows lean to the east:
And lights wink out through the windows, one by one.
A clamor of frosty sirens mourns at the night.
Pale slate-grey clouds whirl up from the sunken sun.

In turn, his reminding me of Conrad Aiken, and my return to The Alchemist,
that reminded me of the following from Aiken’s poem, “A Letter from Li Po.”

what’s true in these, or false? which is the ‘I’
of ‘I’s’? Is it the master of the cadence, who
transforms all things to a hoop of flame, where through
tigers of meaning leap? And are these true,
the language never old and never new,
such as the world wears on its wedding day,
the something borrowed with something chicory blue?
In every part we play, we play ourselves;
even the secret doubt to which we come
beneath the changing shapes of self and thing,
yes, even this, at last, if we should call
and dare to name it, we would find
the only voice that answers is our own.
We are once more defrauded by the mind.

Defrauded? No. It is the alchemy by which we grow.
It is the self becoming word, the word
becoming world. And with each part we play
we add to cosmic Sum and cosmic sum.
Who knows but one day we shall find,
hidden in the prism at the rainbow’s foot,
the square root of the eccentric absolute,
and the concentric absolute to come.

So many gifts that keep on giving.

— kenne

Nature Made, “Floating Across The Tops Of Cities Contemplating Jazz”   Leave a comment

Nature Made framed blogNature Made — Image by kenne

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,
who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats
    floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz,
who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and saw Mohammedan angels staggering on tenement roofs illuminated,
who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes hallucinating Arkan- sas and Blake-light tragedy among the scholars of war,
who were expelled from the academies for crazy & publishing obscene odes on the windows of the skull,
– Read more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15308#sthash.QAcTplGR.dpuf

— from Howl, by Allen Ginsberg

 

Philip Levine — The Voice Of The Voiceless And That’s The Simple Truth   2 comments

WIPPhotosScanned36 Phillip Levain blog art frameSimple TruthPhilip Levine — Image by kenne

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Writers In Performance Series, Mid-1990’s — Images by Nancy Parsons

Voice of the Voiceless

Life,
life is simple,
we make it complicated —
that’s the simple truth.


Today,
I found myself reading
the poems of Philip Levine —
blessed with the gifts
of listening and observing;
enabling him to care,
he has called the
“voice of the voiceless”.

Above all,
Levine is a story-teller
of people decaying
in the spoils of the rich,
speaking directly
from the front lines,
bearing witness to
worker 
revolutions, faded.

By writing about work,
Levine writes about life.
Waiting,
waiting in the work line.
Waiting,
waiting in the assembly line.
Waiting,
waiting for the next task —
not changed from the last.

I, too,
worked an assembly line.
I, too,
bless the imagination
that have given me
myths I live by —
images created by
my visionary power
to bear witness.

I, too,
sing America —
that’s the simple truth.

— kenne

p. s. The other day I was listening to NPR when I heard that Philip Levine added another award to the many this great American poet has received, the American Academy of Poets life-time achievement award (Wallace Stevens Award). Levine, the 2011 U.S. poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner for his book, “The Simple Truth” is one of my favorite living poets. It was not long after this book’s publication that we were honored to have Levine read at Long Star College – Montgomery, Writers In Performance Series.

Philip-Levine1

Laureate Philip Levine, Working Class Poet
by Robin Bates

An Abandoned Factory, Detroit

by Philip Levine

The gates are chained, the barbed-wire fencing stands,
An iron authority against the snow,
And this grey monument to common sense
Resists the weather. Fears of idle hands,
Of protest, men in league, and of the slow
Corrosion of their minds, still charge this fence.

Beyond, through broken windows one can see
Where the great presses paused between their strokes
And thus remain, in air suspended, caught
In the sure margin of eternity.
The cast-iron wheels have stopped; one counts the spokes
Which movement blurred, the struts inertia fought,

And estimates the loss of human power,
Experienced and slow, the loss of years,
The gradual decay of dignity.
Men lived within these foundries, hour by hour;
Nothing they forged outlived the rusted gears
Which might have served to grind their eulogy.

 

Charles Bukowski: A Bio Poem   2 comments

Charles Bukowski Art Quote blogImage by kenne

Charles Bukowski: A Bio Poem

yes,
there was a
Charles Bukowski
sad eyes
weary voice
a poet-recluse

writing about
down and outs
skid row
alcohol
relationships with women

German American
raised catholic
abused
shy, alienated
teenage acne
desperate days of the

great depression

attended
Los Angeles City College
art,
journalism
literature
flirted with the far right

grew bored
failed a physical and
psychological exam
classified 4-f
“on a Santa Monica Monday”

first story
published at 24
grew disillusioned
quit writing
“on the sidewalk
and in the sun”

ten-year drunk
bleeding ulcer
nearly died
begin writing poetry

first wife
small town Texas poet
decapitated in India
religious zealots
obscure cult

traumatized by wife’s death
resulting in a
powerful series of poems
“I hold fast to me,
that’s all there is.”

series of muses
a daughter
ten years with post office

wrote a column
notes of a
dirty old man

quit the post office
decided to starve
full-time writer
a loner

unable to live alone
“because I’ve got
a pocket full of dreams…”

move to San Pedro
married Linda
referred to as Sara
died at 73

many consider
Bukowski’s writings
those of a taboo
male fantasy

“they say that
nothing is wasted
either that
or
it all is.”

— kenne

Charles Bukowski in Ham On Rye writes of Henry Chinaski, his raw voice alter ego having a beer with Becker:

“. . . I’d like to be a correspondent in Washington, D.C. I’d like to be where big things are happening.”
“Washington’s crap, Becker.”
“And women? Marriage? Children?”
“Crap.”
“Yeah? Well, what do you want?”
“To hide.”
“You poor fuck. You need another beer.”
“All right.”
The beer arrived.

Buk31Source: Booktryst

“The difference between life and art is art is more bearable.”
– Charles Bukowski

 

A Flashback To “DoubleTake” #13   2 comments

Virtual IllusionsDoubleTake #13 blog

Saturday evening light
Flashback to yesteryear,
Listening to the radio
Reading to a musical background.

Pausing the reading,
Surfing radio frequencies
Listening to the words
Of one note talk shows.

Turning the dial to the left
Searching for painted words
A spontaneous overflow
Streaming powerful feelings.

Hearing words of choice and form
Words expressing the unspoken
Evoking times past
With times present.

Connecting, but questioning,
Who is this poet?
Line after line
Words shared in time.

How could this be?
Do I know her?
Read her poetry?
Heard her read?

Who is she?
Continuing to listen
Who is she?
Words replaced by silence.

Listening carefully,
Who is she?
Loueva Smith –
That’s it, Loueva Smith!

Knowing her name,

Loueva Smith -- Photoshopped image by kenne from Google Images

Loueva Smith — Photoshop image by kenne from Google Images

Time to Google,
Generating 21 results
One, DoubleTake #13.

Now I know
A virtual illusion
Figment of imagination
Arising out of nothingness.

But, just maybe
She does exist
In the middle
Of nowhere else to go.

Searching through office shelves,
There it was, DoubleTake #13.
Found, but not lost,
Words “…she had learned to keep quiet.”

 — Kenne

(Originally posted in 2008)

DoubleTake magazine was a unique in American publishing, influencing the way other media began to use photography in relation to writing. Originally published at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies between 1995-1999, before moving to Massachusetts, continuing to publish to 2003. I still have issues 8 – 30 issues from between 1997-2003, including a special edition on September 11, 2001. DoubleTake is a publication I will always treasure. From time to time, I will share some of its content.

kenne

“It is difficult to get the news from poems, yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there.”

― William Carlos Williams

Mouth Harp blog

 

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