Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Madgalene's Response/Whalen Tribute/SoCoCo At the Toad


Reminder: SoCoCo Reading Series Resumes 2PM Sun. Jan 11th as "SoCoCo At the Toad" Toad In the Hole, Santa Rosa with Lu Garcia, Gwynn O'Gara, Ed Coletti, David Madgalene, Mark Eckert, and Centa Theresa.



San Francisco Bay Area Poet David Madgalene Responds

November 6, 2008

Dear Ed,

I want to respond to Joseph Bednarik’s lament, “The Law of Diminishing Readership,” which you posted on your blog. I can’t help thinking about a recent concert I attended by South African drummer, Baba Shibambo. Shibambo asked us all to dance, to clap, and to make noise. He said, “In my village, there is no audience. We all participate.” With Shibambo’s encouragements as my touchstone, I should like to counter Bednarik’s argument that the fact more people are writing poetry while less people are reading it is a bad thing. I have to believe that the more people writing poetry, regardless of readership, or lack of it, is all for the best. Because that means that more people are attempting to enunciate their own experience for themselves rather than to have others do it for them. While it truly is a shame that many good poets, such as most of my friends, and, I might as well say, with no false modesty, in my opinion, a good poet such as myself, will never get the audience that we think we deserve, isn’t it better for us that we are at least trying to write poetry rather than just to live in sycophantic adoration of someone like Emily Dickinson or Robert Frost? And by the same token, if I believe that, must I not likewise extend the same courtesy to some young poet (or perhaps not-so-young poet), and believe that they, too, must be better off writing their own poetry, however humble, rather than to merely in live in sycophantic adoration of my own humble efforts? I am not Robert Frost, and I may not have one iota of his poetic gift, yet nonetheless, is it not a good thing that I write poetry anyway? Should indeed there be some misbegotten young sonneteer out there who has not one iota of my poetic gift, is it nonetheless not a good thing that he or she is writing poetry anyway? If nothing else, is not an act of true courage for someone like me, a mere pygmy at the feet of Robert Frost, to nonetheless, utter, “I AM…?” Is it not nonetheless an act of true courage for a mere pygmy at my poetic feet (if such a thing were even possible, I’ll grant you) , to nonetheless utter, “I AM…?” True poetry, I believe, is written for the self, regardless of readership, or lack thereof, while I am still generous-hearted enough to empathize with anyone, who bitten by the poetry bug, honestly thought, encouraged by family, friends, or teachers, could possibly write poetry to a world that had even the slightest trifling interest. However, I, for one, will never, never bemoan that fact that more people seem to be writing poetry than reading it. I’d prefer to echo the words of Baba Shibambo, and declare that I should rather wish to live in a world where there is no audience for poetry, because we are all poets!

David Madgalene

Comment Here on any of the above or below and read the comments of others too. Log in under "Name" or "Anonymous" if you like, but please be sure to sign some facsimile of your name. Actual name is best, but use what you like. Or email me at edcoletti@sbcglobal.net if you have difficulty.

Santa Rosa Philip Whalen Tribute Reading/Word Temple/Copperfield's Books/Nov. 7, 2008



If You're So Smart,
Why Ain't You Rich?


I need everything else
Anything else
Desperately
But I have nothing
Shall have nothing
but this
Immediate, inescapable
and invaluable
No one can afford
THIS
Being made here and now






(left to right Gail King, Phyllis Meshulam, Pat Nolan, David Bromige(sitting), Clark Coolidge, Terri Carrion, Bill Hawley, Michael Rothenberg, Brian Howlett, Katherine Hastings, and Ed Coletti)



Comment Here on any of the above or below and read the comments of others too. Log in under "Name" or "Anonymous" if you like, but please be sure to sign some facsimile of your name. Actual name is best, but use what you like. Or email me at edcoletti@sbcglobal.net if you have difficulty.



Saturday, November 01, 2008

Avanti Popolo


Avanti Popolo (Italian-American Writers Sail Beyond Columbus) Manic D Press, San Francisco, 2008. Includes writing by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Diane di Prima, Ed Coletti, James Tracy, Gil Fagiani, Lawrence DiStasi, Thomas Centolella, Kim Nicolini, Kim Addonizio, Giancarlo Campagna, and many others.





Columbus, the Mafia, & Denial


In fourteen hundred ninety-two
Columbus sailed the Ocean blue.

1.

Columbus Circle
June 29th 1971
Joe Columbo
shot into 7-year coma
not by
Laughing Otter
nor by
Green Rock Woman
not even Crazy Horse
or
Crazy Joe Gallo
but by
an African-American
Jerome Johnson.
It was about
Columbo’s thing
not our thing
as in my thing
but Cosa Nostra as in
Mafia’s Thing
as in
Christopher Columbus’s
thing, that made-man who
dwells among us ever since.

Joe Columbo
only 40
youngest mob boss ever
maintained to the press
“There ain’t no mafia
no cosa nostra!”
And that Christopher Columbus
was a “great Italian role model.”
Today we might call him
A made-man
by those
Cappi di Tutti Cappi,
somehow Spanish
Cabezas de Todas Cabezas
Jefes de Todos Jefes”
who kissed Cristobal
on each Italian cheek
The naming is the creation:
“Let there be
Cristobal Colon
from Cristofero Columbo,
And there was.
Hence forth this
Made-Man
to make our History!

2.

Indians! Indians! Columbus cried;
His heart was filled with joyful pride.

Columbus announced,
“When you ask for
something they have,
They never say no.
Give me, give me
Gold, Gold, Gold!
Give me, give me
Slave, Slave, Slave!”
And I seriously doubt he ever said,
“Please.”

3.

He made the trip again and again,
Trading gold to bring to Spain.

Joe Columbo and the Gambino gang
Traded in heroin all over Harlem.
They didn’t bring it to a king or president.
They just brought it along with
Protection, prostitutes, and numbers rackets.
“Their ain’t no mafia, no cosa nostra,”
Columbo cried, but La Cosa Nostra
Sails on and on like those
Three little ships...(that) left from Spain
(Columbus, this poor excuse for an Italian)
Sailed through sunshine, wind, and rain.


by Ed Coletti in Avanti Popolo, 2008

Comment Here on any of the above or below and read the comments of others too. Log in under "Name" or "Anonymous" if you like, but please be sure to sign some facsimile of your name. Actual name is best, but use what you like. Or email me at edcoletti@sbcglobal.net if you have difficulty.