Philemon and Baucis


Here is one beautiful poem by David Sloan from his book, The Irresistible In-Between, (Deerbrook Editions, 2013).

David Sloan was at the MWPA Literary Awards ceremony and it is always a pleasure to see him. He has received a number of awards for poems in the Poetry Short Works category.

It being the solstice, I thought I’d pick this poem as, picking up his book yesterday, it opened to it. I was reminded how many good poems are in this book. Another deserving author with a good book.

 

Philemon and Baucis

The wonder isn’t the gods’ appearance,
nor their beggarly disguises. Zeus

and Hermes love the earth—olive oil,
gullible women, the substantiality of marble,

that peculiar human failing of caring
too much. It’s the old couple themselves,

the way they welcome the strangers,
give up their stools, offer them wine

and apricots, stoke the fire, how they touch
each other’s shoulders. They gasp

when the wineskins refill themselves.
In the sudden light they kneel

before their guests, gold peeking
from beneath the rags, feel the dizzying

closeness of divinity. When the gods
grant one wish to repay their hospitality,

the wonder is what the couple
passes up— a wooden floor, new cook

pot, lifetime supply of firewood,
fleece-lined cloaks, the child

they never conceived. Instead
they ask only not to outlive

one another. It’s the gods’ turn
to gape. When the time comes,

the couple feels the forest taking them.
Sap rises, fingers send out leaf shoots,

bark creeps up, closes over their mouths,
but not before Farewell love,

overheard by hushed birds and caught
in the cleaved air, linden and oak

now a single trunk, entwined.

Advertisements

A stack of new and recent titles


DE titles spines

Lots of new books

 

Here we are in “a post-truth world” . . . a complicated world of media outlets, on the air and online, where rhetoric, jargon, imagined conspiracies, lies and deception permeate, leaving us to weed through with our educated mind and common sense, in search of bits of gnosis. 

Lovers of poetry and literature in general, weed no further. There is nothing pretentious about work that is made with a love of creativity, essential observation and experience, and full with imagination.

Deerbrook Editions has a pile of new and recent titles, some which might fit into your idea of “arts and entertainment.” Because we know that there are many generations and types of readers with varying tastes, we offer most titles in a quality preview form on issuu.com, and most of these are embedded on book pages on the press Website.

Then if you find something interesting, remember that shipping is free in the USA. 

New poetry from Deerbrook Editions


cover grab KIN S

In these poems, Margaret Yocom offers a new vision of Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm’s controversial “Allerleirauh” (“All Kinds Of Fur”), a lesser-known version of “Cinderella” that opens with incest. Erasing the Grimms’ words to reveal a young woman’s story of her journey to a new, full life, Yocom asks, What would ‘All Kinds of Fur’ say if she could tell her own tale? In ALL KINDS OF FUR , the heroine’s words rise.

Erasure is a contemporary poetry-writing practice. Poets begin with a source text of any kind and then “erase” selected words and letters, using one or several methods—such as whiting or blacking out their selections, or “ghosting” them with a gray font. What remains are erasure poems.

In her “Afterword: tale / translation / erasure,” the author explores the history of the tale “All Kinds Of Fur” (and its many, international versions) as well as her translation of the Grimms’ text. She also discusses erasure poetry more fully and mentions other erasure poets and their work.  Here is an excerpt about the author’s own erasure practice:

. . . For me, the process of erasure has not been “What words should I erase?” but rather “What words rise?” Erasure offers me a chance to make visible and concrete a conversation—perhaps, even, an argument— between two texts. Through such a poem, rather than an essay, I can disagree with other interpretations of the tale as well as the assumptions of its translators. I can also create an alternative vision that presents the way a young woman, a survivor of abuse, would tell this tale . . .

Available now only on the press site.

  Cover art: Painting Bear Girl by Anne Siems.

The Chronicle Time


If it’s greek to me—Khronos refers to quantitative, sequential time; Kairos refers to an opportune moment, having a qualitative nature.

 

The idea that a writer writes one long poem is tempting to apply to other endeavors. Imagine one long painting or one long symphony.

If this idea stirs up contemplating time as nonlinear in an energetic mind, that the Earth turns and rotates around the sun, almost as if in the same location once removed, then might a person be entering philosophical thresholds of thought? Imagining time as a physical gift of sun and shadow, after humans thought the sun rotated around the Earth, the sun dial is placed in an appropriate place. Perhaps cloudy days encouraged inventions like the hour glass, an excellent example of the movement of a substance to measure time.

From here one can go further with large or minute examples of time as movement, such as the human eye moving over the pages of a book or a series of images. Perhaps time has come down to the division of a moment, as dots make up a line, movement of the works of a clock divide minutes by seconds or to whatever digital devices divide, we accept that time is relatively accurate, given that so much depends on the setting of clocks and datelines (International Date Line), imagined lines (longitude) on the Earth that the light of the sun seems to cross as the Earth rotates.

How does time apply to memory? Any given stimulus can bring up a memory. That memory branches out into others. Memories are not often chronologic. What we remember relates to subjects and place rather than time. There may be an initial time a certain memory places us but then a character, subject, or a significant event, takes us off into another time. Especially with a season like spring or summer, when years of seasons can blend together so that years overlap and memories rise based on a hub, perhaps an object, like an old ice box, a beach, a shower, clouds in a sky, and memories branch out from there.

So it is with poetry. One poem’s lines can span decades, yet time is subordinate to the ideas of the poem. John Corbett says, “A poem can be oblique and still be absolutely precise.” He says, “I read poetry the way I listen to improvised music. It’s not so important to interpret an improvisation as it is to experience it.”

To some, poetry seems a perfectly natural form, invented while walking for example, to express any number of emotions one experiences triggered by a significant event or after a long reflection on circumstances leading to particular moment or place.

Poetry and improvised music share certain lyric attributes. Emotion, passion, rhapsody, intuition, and other subjective inferences.

Borges called poetry a mongrel. One can conjure his meaning. Perhaps he meant indefinable. Because poetry can support many subtle nuances through language in ways other than does prose, it can seem to be secondary for a reader that has not regarded language possessing another rhythm, without linear configuration, or more than one dimension. In truth poetry may predate prose but this is not important to debate as much as it is to accept poetry as existing prior to Classical Greek as classical in its significance for early cultures.

To draw one conclusion, without limitation, poetry and music share qualities. When perhaps the first poems were songs, as Vedic knowledge was originally spoken, voice being considered a form of spirit, then the character of a voice is fundamentally musical or lyrical. How curious that these essential expressions, music and poetry, can be both ancient and modern. By understanding them we enter the less predictive, less logical movement of time.

When we accept language and music as abstract primal expressions, that time can be theoretical relative to their creation, perhaps we enter a realm of creativity that needs no paraphrasing.

 

 

Poem videos by Martina


Martina’s husband makes decent videos of her reading from Never Completely Awake, her recent book from Deerbrook Editions. Here are two of them. Martina lives in LA.