Thursday, March 31, 2005

One year ago...

I sent out this email a few minutes ago. Some of you weren't on the list, and I thought it appropriate to share with all:


i'm sitting here in my apartment in schenectady, new york and thinking to myself, why the hell am i in schenectady, new york? i should be in kenya. or vietnam. or at least, in holland, michigan.

it was one year ago at this time exactly that we were in the brewery. phil was already well on his way, and i had a bag filled with poems by God-knows-who. Then Phil got a concussion. We broke into at least four buildings. Put up a banner in Dewitt. Plastered Lindsay's car with poems. Ate pancakes at IHOP. Some of us even went out to Jack's house. Who DOES that? :)

I want you all to know, that on the evening of the 2005 blitz, I am fondly thinking of all of you. I miss you all very dearly and think of you all often, even though I don't call as often as I should. That's my fault. I'll work on it, but no promises.

I wrote a poem yesterday. Felt good. And as I'm writing this, I feel like sharing it with you all. I think it speaks to our regrets... we shouldn't live with any. It's still very rough, but it says what it needs to. So, here ya go:

Icarus’ Last Thoughts

Melted wax and singed
feathers lost their grip when
he flew too close to the
sun. But the cooling breeze,
as Icarus plummeted to
his death, did not serve
as an adrenaline rush, as
sky-divers must often feel.

Rather, a cold indifference
to a father’s warning was replaced
by sadness. Fear and anguish
were furthest from his mind.

-never again tasting chocolate;
the lost feeling of a woman’s kiss; fermented
grapes from a wineskin; the salty taste
of the air on the seaside; butterflies;
the first new grass
of spring.

I hope this email finds you all doing well. If any of you are stir crazy, a lonely guy in Schenectady, NY could use a crazy visitor with a tendencey towards drunkeness. I'm going to go have a piece of chocolate cake and then pour myself a drink of something, take it out to the front porch, and toast the poets. living, dead, in hiding, wherever we are. i toast you all. live, live, live and burn, burn, burn like fabulous roman candles.

i love you all.
~kyle (i have not yet BEGUN to drink) del

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Le Blitz Poesie

You will be joined by poets from all over in the magical town of Nantes, France!!!!!
Remember--$&^_%_*%_@ FJ$($&Q)$#((

Subject: Le Blitz Poesie...coming up soon in FRANCE!!! Take part in it!

O Jack, Dungeon Master and Poetic Guru,
O D(runk) P(oet) S(ociety) / Creative Writing crew,
O Poets,
O Friends,

Here I cometh to bring you an incredible message :

this year, the Poetry Blitz shall go worldwide.

And you –yes, YOU !– should (will !) partake.

So some of you might be wondering, waddahellizthePoetryBlitz ? !

Answer : a wonder-ful word-vendetta ; a piece of poetic terrorism ; a gansta drive-by shooting of rhymes ; a nocturnal Happening ; a multiple pamphlet for smashing metaphors and silly similes ; a scattered demonstration to shake the comatose morning masses into an explosion of poetry-consciousness !

(Hmmm, I’m getting a little carried away.)

Soooo the great Leader and Designer of this brilliant hymn to poetry and randomness is the world-famous Jack 2 da Ridlllllll, who teaches ‘Creative Writing : Poetry’ at Hope College, MI, USA, and who does it in a pretty damn good way, too. Beyond being the best prof ever, beyond making us push the limits of our little creativity, he also makes his lucky students spread the poetic gospel on 2 da streets (yo) for everyone to enjoy –especially Hope’s hung up administration, who is still trying to come up with a way to put him in jail.

Basically, every year, at night (yay! Night), in the limbo-hours between March 31st and April 1st, faithful to Jack’s appeal, all wannabe-poets roam the campus, putting up 20 poems each (or more), all over the walls, trees, buildings, rooftops, the chapel, cats, in mailboxes, bushes, the President’s flowerpots, etc. etc.

What you get when the sun rises, is a usually dull place waking up to a world of poesie, wondering what the hell happened (“Those beret-ed /caped crazies struck again!”), sometimes actually reading the poems!, anti-poetic nazis ripping them off and dumping them (so sad…), and bigots getting real offended and saving them as proofs for an obscenity trial (hmm that text about masturbation on the Chapel’s door, ahahha).

Anywayz, last year I promised my dear teacher/guru that I would import this funtastic event to France…and this is exactly what I intend to do this Thursday! I already gathered a squad of poetic terrorists(hollaaaaa to the Nantes people on the list), and we’re getting ready to hit the streets of downtown Nantes with an invasion of worldwide poems in French, English, Spanish, whateva, just after March 31st’s open mic poetry slam @ the trendiest spot in Nantes, le Lieu Unique. I’m so excited!

NOW, as I know you’re a bunch of jolly people, I thought you might find it cool to participate. And you don’t even have to come to France! What would be really FAWSOME would be that YOU send me poems via email / suggestions / web links. They can be about anything, in any language, they can come from your own imagination, from your favorite anthology, from your roomate’s trashcan, I don’t care. Me and my crew will print them out and put them up, along with all our own texts. And then on Thursday afternoon, you can imagine us French and American crazy Beatnicks roaming the old, old streets of our antique Fwensh city, putting up YOUR poems at 3am (local time, local color)!

Would not that be sweet? Come on!

DPS, and all the friends who gave me poems: you got no choice, mweheheheh, cuz I still have all your kickass texts here, just need to make some copies :).

Much love,

Vive la Poesie! Vive le Blitz Mondial! Vive Jack Ridl!


p.s: special shout-outs to the 04 and 05 Holland Poetry Blitzers! (will they have dogs and guards in the cafeteria this time??)

Saturday, March 26, 2005

poems about art

Ok kids, pull out all your 19th Century Poetry knowledge... I need help. For my lit class (titled 19th C. American poetry) I have to create an anthology of poetry all related to a theme and write a paper on it.

So I've decided on the theme Ekphrasis, art about art. I need to compile a number of 19th Century American poems written about art. They can be about poetry/writing, about other poets/writers, about paintings/other visual artwork, about music, about dance... I can even stretch the limit a little and include poems about architecture, etc. Anything that you consider to be a poem about art. They can be be famous or more obscure poets. It doesn't matter, anything goes. And I'd love to include images when applicable.

I found a few in my textbook, just by flipping through the index of titles and first lines. But if you can think of any, I would be more grateful. Thanks poets!

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

What are all you poets up to today?

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Citizenship is Forever Lost

<<<<< >>>>>
Last night we met as normal. Levante stood cloaked in an overcoat, leaning on the Anonymous Statue. We waited briefly before Keraly, Sandor, and Mitvoszh arrived. No one of us uses names; none of us bring pens. Our tasks are too valuable to risk in any way but by memory, and when a time comes that one does not arrive, their presense remain in memory as well. That was how it was.

It seemed only appropriate to meet by the anonymous statue whose artist, date of construction, commissioner, and meaning were all anonymous. The only know fact was its location in the corner of the Szchenie Park near the heroes' square in Pest.

Gather, we walked to a safe place, a friend's cafe that had an underground room whose staircase was hidden by the floor panels. Here we exchanged information.

Lev provided information about the new laws the Commisar was passing affecting travel across the Chain Bridge and it would affect the way we distributed information. We met mostly to exchange mathmatical proofs and theories which we could no longer openly study at the Universitie where our offices were, but that no students could attend due to the chains on the gates.

Lev worked with the commisar to develop math for industrial projects. New buildings, factories, bridges all needed a mathmatician to make them stable. Lev was never asked to take his important job, and arguing over his tasks is not a though to even ponder. He produces the way the Trufalut factory produces automobiles: effectively with no questions asked. It was for the good of the highest order, the people.

The rest of us had seemingly mundane careers, if you could call them such. But the real career happened once a month like this, furthering our knowledge together for our own selfish motives that the regime could easily take away if we were discovered or if a neigbor learned of our studies. No proof could be done by paper, first for fear of discovery, but also the amount of paper we would use would draw suspision if we explained all the letters to family we write. But with time the practice became a custom, and a pint of Dreher would loosen the mind enough the forget the regime and practice the life we missed of challenging theorms in the Three Ravens Cafe.

Time standing still never happened though. Fifty five minutes was about all we could afford so we worked quickly to memorize what we continue to study till next month when result brough certain fame among friends, and certain scrutinies over accuracy. But Lev suggested groups like ours were being discovered, and penalties for operating independant of the Commisar's approval would bring ultimatums too risky for our families, yet no one worried about my head the way Imka, Lev's wife, worried about his.
<<<<< >>>>>>

Good friends, I bring you greetings from Budapest. I am exploring the many former commmnuist struggles and the amazingly rich history of literature here. I got drunk in the castle cellar on hungarian wine to bring true poetic honor to the Drunk Poets. I heard this story the other night in a cafe over an Unicum and later some absynthe (which is very bad, very bad, but good if you are a drunk poet). This statue exists and it is said that intellectuals met to meet over politics and literature and science depending on the circle against the will of the Soviet puppet govener.

Three Ravens no longer exists, but was once a hub of intellectualism and is now honored byt the presence of Cafe Ekermann by a plaque, painting and several photos. It was more literary than the others, but the regime closed the cafes in order to avoid people meeting in such manners. It is unlikely many were able to without severe consequences.

The literature here is difficult to imagine, for many of the heroic writers here wer killed in battle or martyered or something of the like. but it is a truly amazing story, when some bits may be pieced together.

May peace and the love and liberty in knowledge keep you these days and always.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Hunter S. Thompson

I don't usually post political stuff here (and I won't make it a habit) but I thought this was perfect for this group.

He knew who I was, at that time, because I had a reputation as a writer. I knew he was part of the Bush dynasty. But he was nothing, he offered nothing, and he promised nothing.

He had no humor. He was insignificant in every way and consequently I didn't pay much attention to him.

But when he passed out in my bathtub, then I noticed him. I'd been in another room, talking to the bright people. I had to have him taken away.

-- Hunter S. Thompson, on meeting Dubya at a Super Bowl party in Houston in 1974

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Frank & Ernest