Browsed by
Month: December 2012

The First World War

The First World War

The Beauty and the Sorrow. By Peter Englund
The Beauty and the Sorrow. By Peter Englund

I’m about 50 pages into a new history of WWI. New for me, at least. It came out last year, and is by Peter Englund, a Swedish historian and journalist.

So far, what is most striking is the quality of the writing, its vividness and power, and not just the author’s. He’s selected twenty people from several different countries to tell the story of the Great War, in their own words, from their own point of view, as they lived it day to day.

In a sense, it’s like a good novel, shaped into a symphony of voices, democratic, diverse. In another, it’s like a cubist painting, simultaneous, flaunting its omnihood. Sometimes Englund quotes them at length, using their journals and letters. Other times he paraphrases their writings. And it makes me wonder: has our facility with language declined to the point that our novelists write about as well as the average, … Click to continue . . .

Conversations With the No-Self

Conversations With the No-Self

For December, welcome aboard new poetry, fiction and art from Uzodinma Okehi, Maurice Devitt, Eric Muller, and Dr. Ernest Williamson III.

 

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Paintings from Cave Chauvet
Paintings from Cave Chauvet

So, I was thinking. Or the Not-I was positing. Or the far-be-it-from-me was asking . . . just who are we trying to reach when we make art? Who are we avoiding? Is it cut and dried, black and white and obviously obvious? Or is it all just a complex web of interdependent actors caught up in a systemic communication loop not of our own making? Do we own the dialogue at some point, or never? Or do we just rent this space?

And, yes, I know. Such questions are, at least on the surface, sophomoric, asked perennially by actual sophomores in college since the beginning of the first Neanderthal university. Of course, in those bygone days, Neanderthal college kids had better access to some serious mind-altering substances, finding … Click to continue . . .

Uzodinma Okehi: Buck Rogers Ring Tone

Uzodinma Okehi: Buck Rogers Ring Tone

Live to Relax!

 

Maybe I’d told Teena so many times that I convinced myself! Over and over on the phone, or as we strolled the East Village, I depicted myself to her as a kind of great civil rights hero. She could laugh, but the way I chose to combat the evils of the world was by being just sincere and deliberate about everything I did. Maybe the clarity of this was easy to overlook, given that I spent most of my time sleeping, and of course it was a ploy to get her into the sack. On the other hand, I thought: what if, what kind of world could it really be if in fact the ideal was to live to relax?

 

 

Buck Rogers Ring Tone

 

I can’t even remember that girl’s name. Hope maybe, or some kind of flower. Nor could I tell you what, if anything was all that different about it. I remember … Click to continue . . .

Maurice Devitt: Pudding

Maurice Devitt: Pudding

Pudding

 

Maybe he slops
in the urgency of life
clinically
slips
cause to effect
blows words
like chewing-gum
until they burst
                
or maybe    
he’s steaming
pudding

language
swept
into tidy mounds –
verbs
become actions –
the fear
of plastic    
the disappointing
ambition
of limbs      then
the inescapable
arrow
of taste

 

Things We Left Behind

                
the days we talked
of dreams and umbrellas,

letters we wrote
open on a dresser

read
and then denied –

knees cut on glass
a blue bandage

never to be eaten
but to unravel quietly

in a foreign kitchen,
the confidence of distance,

chrysalis of fear
and the orchestra

of noisy silence
turning up the volume.

 

 

 

— by Maurice Devitt

 

 

 

Copyright ©2012, by Maurice Devitt. All Rights Reserved.

 

A student at Mater Dei in Dublin, Maurice Devitt just completed an MA in Poetry Studies. He recently short-listed for both the Cork Literary Review and Listowel Writers’ … Click to continue . . .

Eric Muller: Sundial

Eric Muller: Sundial

Sundial

 

Her ring finger moves back and forth along the lip of the Burgundy wine glass.  Slowly.  Her tongue touches her chapped upper lip, mirroring the movement.  She sits in a leather wingback armchair, covered with three alpaca wool blankets that have lost their color.  Her eyes peer through horn-rimmed glasses and are fixed on a crack in the velvet curtain.  A slit of light steals through.  Motes of dust swim in and out of the guillotine shaft that cuts across the solid mahogany table with upturned spindle legs.  But no banquets have entertained any guests here for years.  The stone fireplace, library and baby grand are in darkness. 

 

Her hand slides down the stem of the glass.  The thumb and middle finger caress the slim, transparent neck.  Her puffed eyes are mesmerized by the specks of dust floating in the funnel of light.  She wriggles her toes, covered by blue, frayed, woolen socks.   They crack.  Imperceptibly, the blade

Click to continue . . .
Dr. Ernest Williamson III: In Conversation With my Art

Dr. Ernest Williamson III: In Conversation With my Art

My unconscious mind frequently transfers experiences or snippets of information or images to my conscious mind and I feed off of that and create art.  I work best when I have extended periods of time to work on my paintings, usually during the weekends.

Politics, nature, good and bad experiences, and the possibilities of creating something truly novel all inspire me.  The works of Picasso and Dali still inspire me today and my creative efforts inspire me as well.

 

 

Copyright ©2012, by Dr. Ernest Williamson III. All Rights Reserved.

Dr. Ernest Williamson III has published poetry and visual art in over 400 national and international online and print journals. Some of Dr. Williamson’s visual art and/or poetry has been published in journals representing over 35 colleges and universities around the world. View over 1200 of Dr. Williamson’s paintings/drawings on this website: www.yessy.com/budicegenius