Tuesday, May 22, 2018

One Story of Gaza (Poem)

One Story of Gaza

You never leave the same
as when you arrive.

Your mother's womb is
no longer safe from

bombs or bullets, and Israel

still cuts the grass. The buffer
zone is expanded, the fences

reinforced. What once was
taken — house by house —

calls for "deliberately inflicted
life-changing injuries."

Your return to land beyond
the pocked, sand-dusted berms

is deemed an "infiltration."

*

You stand out, are spotted.
They fire — no warning given.

You tumble, get up,
persist in your "Great March"

against their appropriation.
At the barbed border

dividing them from you,
wherever they aim,

somebody else goes down.

*

The body of ten-month-old
Layla Ghandour is carried

home from the hospital,
placed in a pink plastic basin,

washed by the light of cellphone,
wrapped in white shroud wrapped

in your flag. So small this bundle
in red and green, white and black.

*

On this, the year's bloodiest
day, you hear too well the wails

rising amid struggles amid smoke.
Sixty times one more of you falls.

Don't take this as your call to prayer,
you tell your mourning wives.

"It's God's will." "Have faith in God."

*

To be displaced is "Nakba."
What happens at their fences

where everything is used
to stop you and you and you

is catastrophe times two
on this singular sliver of land,

this Gaza stripped of peace
this land denying your claim,

and roused again to resistance.

© Maureen E. Doallas
__________________________________

The inspiration for this poem and some of the quoted material is "What the Gaza Protests Portend" at New York Books Daily, May 15, 2018.

The phrase "still cuts the grass" refers to an Israeli strategy of tolerating a level of violence from Gaza and then re-engaging, without ever finding a solution or creating peace; in other words, maintaining the status quo. I first came across the description in a 2014 Vox article about Palestinian fatalities.

Read my other poem "They Call It 'A Great Day'."

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Thought for the Day

I still don't know what dogs know.
~ Chase Twichell
___________________________

Quoted from Chase Twichell, "The Second Arrow", The American Poetry Review, May/June 2018, page 38

Chase Twichell, Award-Winning Poet and Teacher, Author Most Recently of Things As It is (Forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press, October 2018)



Chase Twichell on FaceBook

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Saturday Short


Cover Art

Today's short is a trailer for Roshi Joan Halifax's new book Standing at the Edge: Finding Freedom Where Fear and Courage Meet (Flatiron Books, May 2018).

Joan Halifax, Ph.D., Zen Priest, Buddhist Teacher, Anthropologist, Writer; Founder, Abbot, Head Teacher of Upaya Institute and Zen Center, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Joan Halifax at Flatiron Books/MacMillan

Joan Halifax on FaceBook 

Watch the trailer at YouTube.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

New Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life


Carola Schapals, Sink Down the Green, 2018
Oil on Canvas
140 cm x 170 cm
© Carola Schapals

PLEASE DO NOT COPY IMAGE


I am delighted to present the work of painter Carola Schapals in today's new Artist Watch column at the international online arts magazine Escape Into Life.

Currently a resident of Bremen, Germany, Carola, who holds a master's degree, exhibits widely in Germany as well as The Netherlands and in Spain. She has received many awards, including an artist residency at Vincent van Gogh's birthplace in Zundert, The Netherlands. In addition, she is represented in numerous private and public art collections.

Today's Artist Watch features images of eight of Carola's beautifully painted canvases, an Artist Statement, and a brief biography.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

They Call It 'A Great Day' (Poem)

They Call it 'A Great Day'

When will they learn?
None is a David against Goliath,

and "every country has an obligation
to defend its borders."*

The man in the wheelchair
readying his slingshot takes a hit

before his stone can find a mark.

The youth desperately backhanding
his tennis racket lobs too late

to return the sniper's serve.

Ivanka stands clapping — she's sixty
miles away — while Mnuchin pulls off

the big reveal: the president's name
writ larger than the thing it dedicates.

We see it all, live, this Nakba, the burning
tires, the streams of tear gas, a baby

grounded, inhaling dirty smoke in Gaza.

What is not breached is the barb wire
fence that both contains and ignites

these thousands of sources of injury.
The women in black abaya still wave

their colorful flags, their sons flinging
projectiles. Kicking up a dust cloud,

one of them even risks a selfie.

© Maureen E. Doallas
____________________

* Benjamin Netanyahu at the dedication of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and the protests in Gaza.

"Nakba" is "Catastrophe".

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Thought for the Day

What happens at eye level gets its start in the depths.
~ Dan Chiasson
_______________________________

Quoted from Dan Chiasson, "Jenny Xie Writes a Sight Seer's guide to the Self", The New Yorker, May 7, 2018

Dan Chiasson, Poet, Critic, Professor English at Wellesley College

Jenny Xie, Award-Winning Poet, Author of Eye Level (Graywolf Press, 2018)

Jenny Xie on FaceBook and Twitter

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Saturday Short

Today's short is the beautifully conceived and produced Ama, by Julie Gautier of Les films engloutis. Silent except for the accompanying music, "Rain in your black eyes" by Ezio Boss, the film was choreographed by Ophelie Longquet and edited by Jerome Lozano. It premiered in March 2018 at International Women's Day events. Gautier's notes about the short indicate that its story is one that "everyone can interpret in [his or her] own way"; it is dedicated to "all the women of the world."

Gautier is a French film director and an underwater cinematographer who holds a French record in free diving. Her collaborator and partner is Guillaume Nery, the world champion in free diving. Gautier and Nery co-directed the Beyonce music video Runnin.

AMA - a short film by Julie Gautier from Les films engloutis on Vimeo.

Julie Gautier on FaceBook

Guillaume Nery on FaceBook

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Thought for the Day


Only when we see at an angle
do we have a chance of seeing the truth.
~ Jed Perl
___________________________

Quoted from Jed Perl, "The Art of Elsewhere" (Review of "Gorey's Worlds at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, February 10 - May 6, 2018) in The New York Review of Books (Art Issue), May 10, 2018, page 10

Edward Gorey (1925-2000), American Artist and Writer

Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Saturday Short

Today's short, Two Hands, from Crazy Boat Pictures is a documentary about American concert pianist Leon Fleisher and his extraordinary efforts to regain a sense of purpose in life after losing the use of his right hand to the neurological condition known as focal dystonia while at the height of his career.

Today, Fleisher, whose ability to perform with two hands returned in the mid-1990s, teaches at the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, and performs, conducts, and holds master classes throughout the world.


Leon Fleisher - Two Hands from Thomas Duperre on Vimeo.

Leon Fleisher on FaceBook

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Tracy K. Smith on 'Staying Human'


Leaflet Cover 

One of the only defenses against the degradations of our market-
driven culture is to cleave to language that fosters humility, 
awareness of complexity, commitment to the lives of others, 
and resistance to the overly easily and the patently false. 
Poetry is one vehicle for this humanizing, 
reanimating version of language. . . .
~ U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith

Our national Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith, now in her second term, discussed her first term with The Washington Post's Book World editor Ron Charles on April 19, 2018, following her address "Staying Human: Poetry in the Age of Technology". Below you'll find a portion of the interview, which includes Smith's readings of poems by Laura Kasischke and John Yau. For the complete recording, check the Library of Congress Website.