Thursday, October 28, 2010

Money in Poetry/ ZYZZYVA Poem/Howard Junker Tribute/Raskin Chapbook/New Spitzer Paintings/Gary Snyder Sleeping 1963/

Do exceptions disprove the rule?


















Winter issue of ZYZZYVA










Small Tribute to Howard Junker

Howard Junker's vision "over many a
summer" as editor of the iconic
ZYZZYVA is legendary. So, sadly, I
report that Howard, in the Winter
2010 issue, proclaims, "this is my swan
song" and that he is turning over the
editorship. However, having turned over
a thing or two recently myself, I know
that Howard will make rich use of his
new-found time. I don't know how good a
poem it is, but my "Last Suppers In Texas"
is the last poem in Howard's final edition as
editor of ZYZZYVA. Thank you, Howard, not
only for honoring my poem but for showcasing
the work of so many wonderful west coast
authors over these "many a summer."



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Jonah Raskin's New Chapbook Auras


Black

The thread that
connects the living
to the dying,
the blackness
inside the whale
that swallowed the prophet,
the color that became prophetic itself,
that engulfed the sinful cities and
all their woeful sinners.

The blackness of the
whip and the chain,
the richness of blackness,
blackberries,
eaten one by one in the
delicious darkness of
the night
by the solitary visitor
from beyond the
midnight hour
who came out of the grave,
in tatters and rags,
with the smell of the grave
on his breath,
who took away
our daily light,
showed us the black letters
on the white page and
all the mercenaries stored in
the blackness of libraries,
(American blackness)
that is loveable and hate-able
that can’t be washed away,
or bleached out,
that’s the blues
on the radio that
bleeds the heart,
makes the heart beat
blacker, wilder,
with the taste of
bittersweet blackness.


To get a copy 0f Auras, send a check for $5 made out to Jonah Raskin and mailed to Raskin, Coms Dept. SSU, 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park, CA. 94928. Make sure to include your address!

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Copies of New Jim Spitzer Original Acrylics















For Sale

jimspitzer@lycos.com

or visit the studio at
4524 Badger Rd.
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

707-538-4640
























































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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Hypatia of Alexandria/Madgalene on Hip-Hop/Eddie Boy





Hypatia of Alexandria


She is after all only a woman, thus is she taken over
by what men refer to as a mere idea.
However she, Hypatia, as woman, contains and embraces
this idea as her own and has given to it birth,
makes the idea fully her own darling while men, particularly holy men,
cannot fathom the beingness of this basal conception,
the very texture of this woman’s selfhood.

Imagine yourself a Greek Christian man
here in the early 5th century.
Hypatia, daughter of an Alexandrian mathematician,
espousing a uniquely threatening view of harmony as her own
as if she had any right to own anything when such a blasphemy
would fancy a self with rights like ownership.
But what these Christian men really despise more than reason is
just how cocksure Hypatia pretends to be when, as a scientist,
she “confuses” harmony with oneness and declares the one,
the neo-platonist one, to be something
personal and dwelling within her.
So they brand her a “pagan.”
The saintly Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria,
declares himself to be without choice, but choice after all
is a matter of ownership, something though forbidden women,
Cyril himself relishes like gold leaf, covering himself amply with it.

It is much simpler to gull men
by planting paganism’s pretension to godhood
in the corpse of this woman Hypatia
by eliminating her debauched effigy
completely forever by incineration
after furiously pulling her from her chariot,
denuding her, cutting her with shells into pieces
and finally burning these shards of Hypatia
who not only symbolizes but who is fully
in harmony with herself, who owns her oneness,
who knows all ideas to be part of who she is,
this basic uncompromising lamentably unknown but
fully knowing woman.


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David Madgalene sent me this thoughtful piece. I've added the Nas video in order to help those of you who aren't into rap and may need the audio-visual aid. But also, if you're hip to hop, enjoy anyway.

Here's Nas with "HipHop Is Dead"


The Salvation of Hip Hop
by David Madgalene (October 6, 2010)

Hip Hop has been the only true defense of rhyme and meter in my lifetime. I’m sorry, but the New Formalists have failed to make their case. However, ironically, perhaps, during the administration of our first Hip Hop President, Hip Hop appears to be dying, if, indeed, it’s not already dead, as Nas and others have already proclaimed. There is nothing unusual or untoward in this since branches of Popular Music seem to run in thirty-year cycles before exhausting themselves. For example, the 20s were the Jazz Age, the 30s were the Swing Era, and the 40s was the Big Band Era. Although be bop and cool jazz and a number of other innovations followed in the late forties and after, Jazz could never again claim to be the popular music. Rock and Roll was the Popular Music in the 50s, and Rock was the popular music of the 60s and ‘70s (at least, until, perhaps the coming of Disco).

The Eighties are problematic. 80s’ Rock was a Rock clearly in decline. R & B, nor Country, never was the popular music. I can’t make a case for Dance Music, since the leading exemplars of Dance Music, Madonna, Michael Jackson and Prince, made so many records that weren’t Dance Music. Although Hip Hop may or may not have been the bona-fide popular music of the 80s, I have no recourse but to champion it in this light since it was the only popular music that, in the 80s, was in its ascendency, and not decline. So I’m proposing the first great seminal outpouring of Hip Hop coming out of the New York in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s by the late ‘80s becomes the Popular Music (for my purposes, and in lieu of any true contenders), and, the Popular Music, which, in its turn, is reinvented via the mid ‘90s by the West Coast Rappers, and then is reinvented yet again in the early years of the New Millennium by Eninem, who, in the agony of his genius albeit his pathology, unwittingly captures the horrific zeitgeist of the Bush II-Cheney years.

The star-making apparatus of Hip Hop is broken, and, I think, very few, if any of us, will mourn the passage of corporate-sponsored Hip Hop. My concern is not so much the salvation of Hip Hop as the opportunity that now presents itself for poets for all kinds. I propose that Hip Hop now abandon the archaic and anachronistic rhyme and meter. I propose a Free Verse Poetics Hip Hop. And, taking my cue from World Music in specific and World Hip Hop in particular, I propose an influx of world, but in especial, Latino rhythms to provide the beats (if any beats can support Free Verse Hip Hop, then it must be Latino beats). I am thinking of all genres of World Latino music, and would dismiss none out of hand, however, I am, honestly, most especially thinking of Afro-Cuban beats...although I am also enamored of the possibilities presented by the proposition of a Free Verse Poetics Hip Hop Flamenco.

Followers of Latino Hip Hop know that I am suggesting nothing new since there are already Spanish language proponents of such nascent genres. What I am suggesting that perhaps is new, at least in theory if not necessarily practice, is for Poets of all languages, but not just English and Spanish, to adopt Latino rhythms for audio presentations of their poems. I do not discourage poets from making videos of their Free Verse Latino Beat Hip Hop, but I prefer, at least for now, that the basis on our new poetics and Hip Hop be firmly rooted in what we hear and not what we see!

Now I know that some of my Latino Rapper friends may take exception with these remarks. “Who is this gringo who seeks to appropriate my culture and give it away for nothing?” I can almost hear them ask. Well, friends, when you have something that’s so hot, then it no longer belongs to you, it belongs to the world. Yes, it’s true, African-Americans invented Jazz and the Blues and Rock and Roll and Hip Hop and just about every other form of Popular Music, but, in time, these musics became the true property of the world. And who more than Latinos have benefited from Jazz? And, yes, friends, even us gringos, normally known as being so rapacious (and perhaps rightly so), nonetheless, have we gringos not given the world Shakespeare and Bob Dylan and Aesop and the Beatles and Abba, just to name a few?

In other words, forget everything you know! Especially, forget everything you know about Hip Hop and Poetry! What if Hip Hop were nothing but a 30-year prelude to the Renaissance of Poetry as the People’s Popular Art? The “higher Vaudeville” that Vachel Lindsay imagined, but did not live to see? The answer is Free Verse Poetics Hip Hop with Latino Beats!

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I've long been attracted to fruit crate labels, so I decided to paint my own changing a more typical "Andy Boy" to "Eddie Boy." I hope you like these plus another painting or two, all of which, of course are f0r sale. Titles in order are "Apples," "Orange," "Evolving," and "Paddle."














































































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