Tag Archives | Poetry

What Do You Think About Censorship?


There seems to be, in our society today, a crackdown on communication of a spiritual, candid and honest nature; a tacit censorship or “chilling out” of opinions, ideas, beliefs and worldviews that do not promote spending and consumption, free market neoliberalism, xenophobia and the characterisation of entire groups of people as enemies, to name a few major tangents.

It strikes me that this kind of censorship is a product of certain lawmakers, legislators, “public interest” groups, judges, police, members of government and moneyed lobby groups of big business and the church who embody an attitude of thought that seeks to control others and limit their expression to what they consider “acceptable.”

This kind of totalitarian thought is not at all unlike the mentality of German National Socialists burning books in the thirties, it is not unlike the mindsets of the Chinese who set out to “purify” Tibet from its own culture, and it is not at all unlike the current madness in North Korea.… Read the rest

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Infinite Lust

Another gorgeous video from animator Emanuele Kabu.

These are all places we’ve been together.

With our bodies, or with my mind.

Some I saw with my eyes closed,
And some with both our eyes, either open or closed.

They are memories of lovemaking, planning, projecting.

You were there, but maybe we were never really there.

In those places, and in my mind. In those places in my mind.

I made this video to free some space.
To move those places out of my mind.

I had to put them down.

Over four months and thousands of hours of drawing,
Here are fifteen years of sweetness and lust.

And a bit of pain.

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Live Like a Mighty River: A letter from poet Ted Hughes

Plath, Hughes, and their son Nicholas

Plath, Hughes, and their son Nicholas.

Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath’s husband, wrote this letter to their son, Nicholas Hughes in 1986. 23 years later, Nicholas tragically took his own life after suffering through a particularly terrible bout of depression.

via Letters of Note | Source: Letters of Ted Hughes

Dear Nick,

I hope things are clearing. It did cross my mind, last summer, that you were under strains of an odd sort. I expect, like many another, you’ll spend your life oscillating between fierce relationships that become tunnel traps, and sudden escapes into wide freedom when the whole world seems to be just there for the taking. Nobody’s solved it. You solve it as you get older, when you reach the point where you’ve tasted so much that you can somehow sacrifice certain things more easily, and you have a more tolerant view of things like possessiveness (your own) and a broader acceptance of the pains and the losses.… Read the rest

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Charles Bukowski On Writing


I try to do all of my writing during the week. Songs I’ll write anytime. Poems anytime. But everything else gets pushed away at least once a week. It seems I’m always editing something or getting a blog post together by Sunday evening, but mostly, during the weekends, words are for reading.

Nowadays that means reading the articles I’ve streamlined into my Flipboard feed. I’ve got a pretty big ass phone at this point and it doubles as a very readable, little tablet.

This weekend I came across some news that a new Charles Bukowski book was going to be released. On Writing illuminates the author’s wordcraft with the help of a hitherto undiscovered cache of Buk’s letters.

“If a man truly desires to write, then he will. Rejection and ridicule will only strengthen him …There is no losing in writing, it will make your toes laugh as you sleep, it will make you stride like a tiger, it will fire the eye and put you face to face with death.

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Stephen Buhner — Reductionism and the Reclamation of Personal Experience, Free Radical Media Podcast

You can also listen to this and all other Free Radical Media podcasts via Itunes.

In this installment, herbalist, author, and earth poet Stephen Buhner joins us to discuss the current reductionist paradigm permeating mainstream culture, and the potential of reclaiming individual thought through following innate curiosity. From his bio at The Foundation for Gaian Studies:

Stephen Harrod Buhner is an Earth poet and the award-winning author of twenty books on nature, indigenous cultures, the environment, and herbal medicine. He comes from a long line of healers including Leroy Burney, Surgeon General of the United States under Eisenhower and Kennedy, and Elizabeth Lusterheide, a midwife and herbalist who worked in rural Indiana in the early nineteenth century. The greatest influence on his work, however, has been his great-grandfather C.G. Harrod who primarily used botanical medicines, also in rural Indiana, when he began his work as a physician in 1911… He is a tireless advocate for the reincorporation of the exploratory artist, independent scholar, amateur naturalist, and citizen scientist in American society – especially as a counterweight to the influence of corporate science and technology.

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A new weapon of Islamist extremists is…poetry?

Militant Islamist groups have a number of strategies for recruiting vulnerable young men to their cause. They produce videos, tap into social media and write fiery pamphlets with overblown rhetoric.

But they’re also increasingly turning to poetry: with its rich vocabulary, the Arabic language lends itself easily to rhyme and rhythm, which can have a mesmerizing effect.

Poetry is also deeply ingrained in pre-Islamic and Islamic Arab culture, and it’s this literary tradition that contemporary militants hope to mine as they attempt to lure new members into their ranks.

Pre-Islamic tribes engaged in wars of words

The tone and tenor of militant poetry mirrors verses from the period known as the Jahiliyya, in Arabic, which refers to the era before the rise of Islam in the seventh century.

Pre-Islamic tribes often had their own special poet – a sha‘ir, in Arabic – who was believed to be endowed with magical verbal powers, and whose poetic virtuosity could be used to defend tribal honor.… Read the rest

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Teacher Fired For Reading Allen Ginsberg Poem to Class

In yet another overreaction by education administrators, Connecticut teacher, David Olio, was fired for reading Allen Ginsberg’s “Please Master” to his AP English class. A student brought the poem into class and Olio “[hoped] to discuss in the waning moments of the period how the poet uses language in his work.”

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