Saturday, January 30, 2010

Poem by Alejandro Castro

Lines crush and splatter surface for irregularities.

Let us; me be.

On the rudderless sight of my mind

The sharpness intrigues, and devices.

It alters the unoriginal line

That goes straight through my mindful.

Sometimes I like the alteration, why dislike it?

If fulfilling it creates.

Difference makes the differential line

That not only my wishes; wish it was straight,

But reality does too.

I feel guile,

The guile that rips the stern of my line,

Destiny’s guile is what should intervene and leave it to yawn and cultivate

Like a burnished fresh fruit.

Let those vertical and oblique lines

Intercalate into society’s surface; then shatter in liberating sense and intellectual reality

Let the stereotypes classify and the cliché imagine.

What a wonderful opportunity has been polluted.

Pollution is now presumed to be when the oak fully grows

After years and years of love,

Love becomes waste and so much hate determinates the destiny of something precious,

So precious that even love can be hazed.

I have now become a contemporary character,

That has preciously corrupted its own unveils.

To learn that growth is not just time but correction and deliberation.

Realization in my soon to be not cliché mind,

Has sharpened a literary process.

Figurative meanings

In someone’s or somewhat personal achieved and owned thoughts returned, drastically.

We question and desire,

But none are correct for the unspoken affair;

Of the non conclusive autonomy of our subject’s lack of growth.

Like life in a bottle, get out, now!

Express and act, act upon, with a reason and no plan.

Let it be, sublime me.

Fool myself or perfection in a mock scene.


Lines of mindful poems that fascinate my, in the moment, aeneous mentality.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Poem by Abdullah Ahmad Badi


The silence is broken by random shards of conversation
It doesn’t matter though
Because the matter of the conversation doesn’t matter
Because we're only talking to stop the silence
Also because we already know
It is followed by more silence
We sit in silence
Looking deep into each other's eyes
Looking for something
But what I could never tell you
We will continue to look
For the other to do one thing that we can hold onto
For as long as we can to keep conversation going
Only because we know that if we let go it will be over
Let me ask you
Could this be a sign?
That we are holding on to something that is only going to go
I hope you know that I don’t want it to go
And I know you don’t want it to go either
But this back and forth is only a teaser
How do we make this work?
We clearly can’t get past that night or cover it in dirt
I was wrong, which makes me hurt
Mainly because I know that you were hurt
So for the few seconds we have of flowing conversation
I don’t know about you but I get the greatest sensation
Only because I’m sure it’s pure
You’re always my best friend and I’m always yours

Monday, January 25, 2010

Fear by Scott Aranha

When I am on land, I constantly peer over my shoulder, waiting for some jerk to jump me. When walking on the unlighted streets of downtown Nassau, I turn my head at any sound; I jump when a car starts up, or air conditioners kick in.

When I jump in the water, I am at home, and nothing startles me.

Sharks are nothing to fear; so long as you show them you respect them, they leave you alone. The natives of the water are so tranquil, they move around in their rhythmic patterns, and routine manners. They live together in a peaceful, yet chaotic manner. The violence is only natural; they kill only those who are destined for death.

On land we have crazy people, those who kill for fun. We have people with psychotic streaks, those who have no control of their actions. We have people who value material possessions over life, those who kill for wealth, and decadent luxuries.

Beneath the surface of the sea there is nothing but what is natural, nothing created. Guns and knives were created to kill those of our own species, some kill for a thrill, and others for the need to satisfy the bloodthirsty nature of our aggressive society. We have arson, murder, rape, theft, and conspiracy. Our communication is aggressive and vulgar; people live in poverty, sleeping on the streets. Beneath the surface of the sea, home is where you spend the night; any hole in the rocks, any sea fan, every fish is born with equal opportunities. Fish can go where they please, they have no one appointed to positions of authority and they live in natural order.

We appoint pompous windbags to positions of authority, people who run around pointing fingers and acting like they are untouchable. We push others around, treat some like dirt, and not all voices are heard. Under the sea, natural order rules, but when we get into the sea, we try to take over, and this is why we have fear. Because of some, we have taught the under sea creatures that we are a threat, and so we fear their retaliation. But if we are as tranquil as the ocean naturally is, no creature pays us any mind. The water is my safe zone, and the land brings to me a sense of fear.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Thursday, January 21, 2010

From the long overdue (re)readings (V) Gramsci on Futurism

It happened very often (before the war) that groups of workers would defend the Futurists from the attacks of cliques of professional 'artists' and 'littérateurs'. This point established, this historical observation made, the question automatically arises: 'In this attitude of the workers was there an intuition (here we are with the word intuition: Bergsonians, Bergsonians) of an unsatisfied need in the proletarian field?’ We must answer: 'Yes. The revolutionary working class was and is aware that it must found a new state, that by its tenacious and patient labour it must elaborate a new economic structure and found a new civilization.' It is relatively easy to outline right from this moment the shape of the new state and the new economic structure. In this absolutely practical field, we are convinced that for a certain time the only possible thing to do will be to exercise an iron-like power over the existing organization, over that constructed by the bourgeoisie. From this conviction comes the stimulus to struggle for the conquest of power and from it comes the formula by which Lenin has characterized the workers' state: 'For a certain time the workers' state cannot be other than a bourgeois state without the bourgeoisie.'

The battlefield for the creation of a new civilization is, on the other hand, absolutely mysterious, absolutely characterized by the unforeseeable and the unexpected. Having passed from capitalist power to workers' power, the factory will continue to produce the same material things that it produces today. But in what way and under what forms will poetry, drama, the novel, music, painting and moral and linguistic works be born? It is not a material factory that produces these works. It cannot be reorganized by a workers' power according to a plan. One cannot establish its rate of production for the satisfaction of immediate needs, to be controlled and determined statistically. Nothing in this field is foreseeable except for this general hypothesis: there will be a proletarian culture (a civilization) totally different from the bourgeois one and in this field too class distinctions will be shattered. Bourgeois careerism will be shattered and there will be a poetry, a novel, a theatre, a moral code, a language, a painting and a music peculiar to proletarian civilization, the flowering and ornament of proletarian social organization. What remains to be done? Nothing other than to destroy the present form of civilization. In this field, 'to destroy' does not mean the same as in the economic field. It does not mean to deprive humanity of the material products that it needs to subsist and to develop. It means to destroy spiritual hierarchies, prejudices, idols and ossified traditions. It means not to be afraid of innovations and audacities, not to be afraid of monsters, not to believe that the world will collapse if a worker makes grammatical mistakes, if a poem limps, if a picture resembles a hoarding or if young men sneer at academic and feeble-minded senility. The Futurists have carried out this task in the field of bourgeois culture. They have destroyed, destroyed, destroyed, without worrying if the new creations produced by their activity were on the whole superior to those destroyed. They have had confidence in themselves, in the impetuosity of their youthful energies. They have grasped sharply and clearly that our age, the age of big industry, of the large proletarian city and of intense and tumultuous life, was in need of new froms of art, philosophy, behaviour and language. This sharply revolutionary and absolutely Marxist idea came to them when the Socialists were not even vaguely interested in such a question, when the Socialists certainly did not have as precise an idea in politics and economics, when the Socialists would have been frightened (as is evident from the current fear of many of them) by the thought that it was necessary to shatter the machine of bourgeois power in the state and the factory. In their field, the field of culture, the Futurists are revolutionaries. In this field it is Iikely to be a long time before the working classes will manage to do anything more creative than the Futurists have done. When they supported the Futurists, the workers' groups showed that they were not afraid of destruction, certain as they were of being able to create poetry, paintings and plays, like the Futurists; these workers were supporting historicity, the possibility of a proletarian culture created by the workers themselves.

Unsigned, L'Ordine Nuovo, 5 January 1921.

Antonio Gramsci, ‘Marinetti the Revolutionary,’ from Selections from Cultural Writings. David Forgacs and Geoffrey Nowell-Smith, eds. Trans. William Boelhower. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1985. 49-51 (50-51).

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Poem by Ian Engelberger

my mother and i used to drive between others' fingers,
when there were others, & it gave her the illusion of being caught up.
they didn't know and would run around capable of anything
truly untamed.
while observing the powerlines standing against the skin of others or my own i
would often consider the true fear of her
or become entirely unable to see/
there was only so much time & as the sun set in my head i was told to stop and
asked to stop, but didn't hear without my eyes,
& thought about the powers between graves, afraid.

her eyes were dead in the car.
that she was actually all the other boys & part of them at once drove me
to the hood of the car, wild.

often, to be back under the trees again,
i'd feel leaves and notice at the same time, standing up reflected in the lines that i saw,
that i see, were the tapes, recorded. which were,
and are, her,

& he jumped out the window while observed, sold amphetamines on the side, remembering
how they used to laugh how he was an animal & a thing to see
now it's there shining while at the same time cigarettes on the floor
but holes for our eyes smoke enveloping out of our mouths.

he was honest, even knew her name, falling all over his own arms & legs
running from almost every single day. thought beauty was dark & dirty
taking drugs for his memory.

and all day he laid about staring up at his fingers always managing
to smoke or stay in the water, watching tall buildings.

and no one cried, they just sat there and thought between the walls,

he worked at the battery factory,
now he comes out of their mouths
corrupted and unclear.

[in progress]

Monday, January 18, 2010

Poem by Scott Aranha


You dive in,

The letters float on the page like bubbles to the surface.

Time is scarce as you quickly run out of air to breathe.

As you proceed deeper into your adventure, the pressure rises,

Thoughts begin to change, and the world around you goes silent.

You still spew bubbles to the surface, but they flow less slowly now

And there is less around you, less beauty to inspire your craving mind.

The hardest part is the ascent; summing up the experience,

Slowly you must rise from the depths, sit at 20 feet, let the nitrogen escape your blood;

You must sit there and wait for the end to come,

For if you fail to do so, the piece is ruined,

Your mind damaged by the accumulated gases,

The writing gone.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

photo by Ian Engelberger

Friday, January 15, 2010

Focus on Translation at the MLA

Jennifer Howard in The Chronicle of Higher Education:

If there were required reading for the 125th annual meeting of the Modern Language Association, which began here yesterday, it would be Walter Benjamin's essay "The Task of the Translator"...

And see here for Martin Riker on 'Training Translators' at the MLA.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Poem by Alejandro Castro

. I culminate the intensified feelings of our mutual misconception

The liberal meaning of justified,

Make the compensation life itself, gold, Mother Nature!

The wrongness of the intercalated tissues sees your avaricious thoughts.

Even I see them as a person

Deep, penetrate! Live out, but don’t sway me,

Feel the energies velocities rushing quickly;

Like when waves in the ocean crush, splash, wet the sand…

Void I feel, and who does not,

Bringing such liberty] [onto suffocation,

How does] [relates to inculpate,

And trust such a simple little beautiful word,

Just releases relaxation.

Free me!

Let me be!

Incubate me in that little place, but just let me say, you

have invented me.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010