Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Ordinary Madness of Charles Bukowski

"I do not like the human race..." Terrific documentary on the life of Charles Bukowski. If you're an aficionado, you'll recognize some of the older scenes. But there is a lot of great stuff here!


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Poems

Taken from The Poetry Foundation's Poetry Off the Shelf podcast. Brad Leithauser reads 2 poems that reflect gratitude. The following commentary is quite unique, where he connects gratitude with mortality and love. Leithauser reads poems by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge and Witter Bynner.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Guante & Big Cats - Winter is Coming

Twin Cities artists Guante and Big Cats release this free download in perfect timing. Guante does the raps, Big Cats provides the music.


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Wanda Coleman, November 13, 1946 - November 22, 2013


Sad news today. Beloved poet Wanda Coleman died yesterday. While I didn't know her personally, I fell in love with her work from the first time I encountered it. She is a legend in my eyes and will never be forgotten. While she is in a better place now, her work will continue to impact and inspire people for years to come. My prayers are with her friends and family.

For an article written by Mike the Poet upon her being awarded the Jean Burden Award back in May of this year, click here. For an article in the LA Times about her passing, click here. For a video interview and footage of her reading her poems via S.A. Griffin's blog, click here. For more footage of Wanda Coleman reading a poem from Bathwater Wine, click here.

Rest In Power Wanda Coleman.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Linda Gregerson On John Donne



Poet Linda Gregerson talks about her affinity for John Donne. Via Poetry Society of America. To read the full article, click here.

 When my grave is broke up again
        Some second guest to entertain
        (For graves have learned that womanhead:
        To be to more then one a bed),
             and he that digs it spies
     A bracelet of bright hair about the bone,                  
             Will he not let's alone,
     And think that there a loving couple lies,
     Which thought that this device might be some way
     To make their souls at the last, busy day,
     Meet at this grave, and make a little stay?  

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Bun B Interview at Breakfast Club

Bun B of UGK is interviewed by Breakfast Club Power 105.1 in New York. Topics discussed include: showing love to younger artists, UGK's song with Jay-Z "Big Pimpin", UGK's legacy, the term "O.G.", Pimp C's disagreement with Young Jeezy, the possibility of Bun B becoming mayor of Houston, the Houston rap scene, publishing a children's book, the meaning of Trill, the difference between older artists and younger artists mind states, Pimp C's upcoming EP, not focussing too much on the past, his influences and inspirations plus much more.


Imagining a World Without Money

Visionary and self-taught architect, Jacques Fresco explains his ideal world that incorporates a resource-based system. No money, or other form of bartering exchange. A world without money is more than just imagination; it is very possible. Jacque Fresco believes if we decide to do this today, all things about this world can be achieved within only 10 years!
Look at our world and all the unnecessary suffering at the hands of the monetary system. Money is a flawed system that is holding humanity back. Just watch this. I'm sure you will all agree.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Ash Beckham's TED Talk

Ash discusses the current state of homophobia in our culture challenging even the word "homophobia" itself. There is no fear, just loathing. Hating things we don't understand, people we don't know or anything that is different than our day to day. 
"Homophobic" people are not scared of anything. We all have a responsibility to live our lives as active activists not passive ones when it comes to protecting our fellow humans from hate of any kind.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Michael S. Harper - Debridement

(This poem is taken from Michael S. Harper's poetry book, Images of Kin: New and Selected Poems. For more Veterans Day Poems, click here)

Debridement

Black men are oaks cut down. 

Congressional Medal of Honor Society 
United States of America chartered by 
Congress, August 14, 1958; this certifies 
that STAC John Henry Louis is a member
of this society.

“Don’t ask me anything about the
medal. I don’t even know how I won
it.”

Debridement: The cutting away of dead
or contaminated tissue from a wound
to prevent infection.

America: love it or give it back.

Corktown
Groceries ring
in my intestines:
grits aint groceries   
eggs aint poultry
Mona Lisa was a man:   
waltzing in sawdust   
I dream my cards
has five holes in it,   
up to twenty holes;   
five shots out of seven   
beneath the counter;   
surrounded by detectives   
pale ribbons of valor   
my necklace of bullets   
powdering the operating table.

Five impaled men loop their ribbons   
’round my neck
listening to whispers of valor:
“Honey, what you cryin’ ’bout?   
You made it back.”


Caves
Four M-48 tank platoons ambushed
near Dak To, two destroyed:   
the Ho Chi Minh Trail boils,   
half my platoon rockets   
into stars near Cambodia,
foot soldiers dance from highland woods
taxing our burning half:

there were no caves for them to hide.
We saw no action,
eleven months twenty-two days   
in our old tank
burning sixty feet away:
I watch them burn inside out:   
hoisting through heavy crossfire,   
hoisting over turret hatches,   
hoisting my last burning man   
alive to the ground,
our tank artillery shells explode   
killing all inside:
hoisting blown burned squad   
in tank’s bladder,
plug leaks with cave blood:

there were no caves for them to hide—


In the Projects
Slung basketballs at Jeffries   
House with some welfare kids   
weaving in their figure eight hunger.

Mama asked if I was taking anything?   
I rolled up my sleeves:
no tracks, mama:
“black-medal-man ain’t street-poisoned,”
militants called:
“he’s an electronic nigger!”

“Better keep electronic nigger 'way.”
Electronic Nigger?   
Mama, unplug me, please.


A White Friend Flies In from the Coast
Burned—black by birth,
burned—armed with .45,
burned—submachine gun,
burned—STAC hunted VC,
burned—killing 5-20,
burned—nobody know for sure;   
burned—out of ammo,
burned—killed one with gun-stock,   
burned—VC AK-47 jammed,   
burned—killed faceless VC,   
burned—over and over,
burned—STAC subdued by three men,   
burned—three shots: morphine,   
burned—tried killing prisoners,   
burned—taken to Pleiku,
burned—held down, straitjacket,
burned—whites owe him, hear?   
burned—I owe him, here.


Mama’s Report
“Don’t fight, honey,   
don’t let ’em catch you.”

Tour over, gear packed,   
hospital over, no job.

“Aw man, nothin' happened,”
explorer, altar boy—

Maybe it’s ’cause they killed people   
and don’t know why they did?

My boy had color slides of dead people,   
stacks of dead Vietnamese.

MP’s asked if he’d been arrested   
since discharge, what he’d been doin’:

“Lookin’ at slides,
looking’ at stacks of slides, mostly.”

Fifteen minutes later a colonel called
from the Defense Department, said he’d won the medal;

could he be in Washington with his family,   
maybe he’d get a job now; he qualified.

The Democrats had lost, the president said;   
there were signs of movement in Paris:


Fixing Certificates:   Dog Tags:   Letters Home
Our heliteam had mid-air blowout   
dropping flares—5 burned alive.

The children carry hand   
grenades to and from piss tubes.

Staring at tracer bullets
rice is the focal point of war.

On amphibious raid, our heliteam
found dead VC with maps of our compound.

On morning sick call you unzip;   
before you piss you get a smear.

“VC reamed that mustang a new asshole”—
even at movies: “no round-eye pussy no more”—

Tympanic membrane damage: high gone—
20-40 db loss mid-frequencies.

Scrub-typhus, malaria, dengue fever, cholera;   
rotting buffalo, maggoted dog, decapped children.

Bangkok: amber dust, watches, C-rations,   
elephanthide billfolds, cameras, smack.

Sand&tinroof bunkers, 81/120 mm:
“Health record terminated this date by reason of death.”

Vaculoated amoeba, bacillary dysentery, hookworm;
thorazine, tetracycline, darvon for diarrhea.

'Conitus’: I wanna go home to mama;
Brown’s mixture, ETH with codeine, cortisone skin-creams.

Written on helipad fantail 600 bed Repose;
“no purple heart, hit by ’nother marine.”

“Vascular repair, dissection, debridement”:
sharp bone edges, mushy muscle, shrapnel: stainless bucket.

Bodies in polyethylene bag: transport:   
'Tan San Nhat Mortuary’

Blood, endotracheal tube, prep   
abdomen, mid-chest to scrotum—

“While you’re fixin' me doc,
can you fix them ingrown hairs on my face?”

“They didn’t get my balls, did they?”
50 mg thorazine—“Yes they did, marine!”


Street-Poisoned
Swans loom on the playground   
swooning in the basket air,
the nod of their bills
in open flight, open formation.   
Street-poisoned, a gray mallard   
skims into our courtyard with a bag:

And he poisons them—
And he poisons them—
Electronic-nigger-recruiter,
my pass is a blade   
near the sternum
cutting in:
you can make this a career.

Patches itch on my chest and shoulders—
I powder them with phisohex
solution from an aerosol can:
you can make this a career.

Pickets of insulin dab the cloudy
hallways in a spray.
Circuits of change
march to an honor guard—
I am prancing:   
I am prancing:

you can make this a career.


Makin’ Jump Shots
He waltzes into the lane
’cross the free-throw line,   
fakes a drive, pivots,
floats from the asphalt turf   
in an arc of black light,
and sinks two into the chains.

One on one he fakes   
down the main, passes   
into the free lane
and hits the chains.

A sniff in the fallen air—
he stuffs it through the chains   
riding high:
“traveling” someone calls—
and he laughs, stepping
to a silent beat, gliding
as he sinks two into the chains.


Debridement:   Operation Harvest Moon:   On Repose
The sestina traces a circle in language and body.
Stab incision below nipple,
left side; insert large chest tube;   
sew to skin, right side;
catch blood from tube
in gallon drain bottle.
Wash abdomen with phisohex;   
shave; spray brown iodine prep.

Stab incision below sternum   
to symphis pubis
catch blood left side;
sever reddish brown spleen
cut in half; tie off blood supply;   
check retroperitoneal,
kidney, renal artery bleeding.

Dissect lateral wall
abdominal cavity; locate kidney;   
pack colon, small intestine;   
cut kidney; suture closely;   
inch by inch check bladder,   
liver, abdominal wall, stomach:   
25 units blood, pressure down.

Venous pressure: 8; lumbar
musculature, lower spinal column   
pulverized; ligate blood vessels,   
right forearm; trim meat, bone ends;   
tourniquet above fracture, left arm;   
urine, negative: 4 hours; pressure   
unstable; remove shrapnel flecks.

Roll on stomach; 35 units blood;
pressure zero; insert plastic blood
containers, pressure cuffs; pump chest   
drainage tube; wash wounds sterile   
saline; dress six-inch ace wraps;
wrap both legs, toe to groin; left arm   
plaster, finger to shoulder: 40 units blood.

Pressure, pulse, respiration up;
remove bloody gowns; scrub; redrape;
5 cc vitamin K; thorazine: sixth
laparotomy; check hyperventilation;
stab right side incision below nipple;
insert large chest tube; catch blood drain bottle ...


The Family of Debridement
Theory: Inconvenienced subject will return to hospital   
if loaned Thunderbird
Withdrawn. Hope: Subject returns,
Treatment:
Foreclosure for nine months unpaid mortgage;   
wife tells subject hospital wants deposit,
Diseased cyst removal:
'Ain’t you gonna give me a little kiss good-bye’
Subject-wife: To return with robe and curlers—
Subject tells friend he’ll pay $15 to F’s stepfather   
if he’ll drive him to pick up money owed him.

“This guy lives down the street,
I don’t want him to see me coming.”

“It looked odd for a car filled with blacks
to be parked in the dark in a white neighborhood,   
so we pulled the car out under a streetlight   
so everybody could see us.”

Store manager: “I first hit him with two bullets   
so I pulled the trigger until my gun was empty.”

“I’m going to kill you, you white MF,” store manager   
told police. Police took cardload, F and F’s parents for   
further questioning. Subject died on operating table: 5 hrs:

Subject buried on grass slope, 200 yards   
east of Kennedy Memorial,
overlooking Potomac and Pentagon,   
to the south,
Arlington National Cemetery.

Army honor guard
in dress blues,
carried out assignment   

with precision:

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Jack Kerouac: King of the Beats

Very interesting look at the life of Jack Kerouac. Covers his life before fame as well as his life after fame. William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, John Clellon Holmes, Herbert Huncke and others are interviewed.


Saturday, November 2, 2013

2 New Locksmith Happenings (And a Free Download)

Richmond, CA representative Locksmith gets busy on MTV Rapfix Live with Sway. His verse follows Gangsta Boo's verse. They saved the best for last. But first, I'd like to draw your attention to a new song Locksmith is featured on with G-unit rapper Kidd Kidd. He's on the first verse. Here's that:



Here's Locksmith on MTV:




If you like what you hear, Locksmith's album The Green Box is available for FREE download via DJ Booth. For that, click here.

An Excerpt From Power, Freedom and Grace


The Infinite
“The winds of grace are always blowing; it is for us to raise our sails.” – Ramakrishna

When my granddaughter was four years old, I took her for a walk on the beach. It was a beautiful night, and the stars and the moon were out. I turned to her and said, “Tara, I love you very much.”
                And as soon as I finished the sentence, she said, “How much?”
                I said “Well, I love you more than the stars and the moon.”
                And as soon as I finished the sentence, Tara said, “Why?”
                I said, “Because you came from there.”
                And she said, “How?”
                I thought to myself, I don’t know if I can explain this to her, but I’ll try. “You know, Tara, when you eat your fruits and vegetables, it’s the light of the sun and the stars and the moon that made the food you eat. And when you eat the food, you’re taking the light of the stars to make your body, because everything comes from the light.” Then I had another thought, and I said to her, “Even your eyes are made out of light. The stars made your eyes so they could see themselves.”
                Tara thought and she thought, and for the first time she was quiet. But as we were leaving the beach, she said, “Grandpa, look up. The stars want to see themselves.”
                And it’s true. The infinite Being, the one song, which is the universe, moves and breathes and looks at itself through your body. The universe is looking at itself as the stars. The universe is looking at itself as the chair you sit upon. The universe is looking at itself as me, and it’s looking at itself as you. We are the eyes and the ears of the universe. The universe looks, tastes, smells, feels, and hears itself in so many ways through each creature—through a honeybee, through a bird, through an antelope, through a butterfly.
                If you could have just that little feeling of how the universe expresses itself through you, then you would be a better channel for that expression. There is nothing you cannot be or do or have, but you must get yourself, or what you think of as you, out of the way. It’s just a shift in attitude, that’s all.
                Just allow the universe, the infinite, to express itself through you without interfering. Allow the infinite to see itself through you, to think itself through you, to experience itself through you. At the deepest level of your being, you are already powerful and free. When universal intelligence is flowing through you without interference, your life flows with effortless ease. This is the experience of grace.
                Through your body-mind, you create and experience the world of objects and events in space-time. Through your intellect, you create and experience the world of ideas. Only through your soul can you create and experience the world of power, freedom, and grace. In the depths of your being is the light of pure Being, pure love, and pure joy. When you live from here, a new world opens. This world is unbounded, infinite, eternal, joyful. And this can be your world, if you want it. In this world, there’s no limit to your power, freedom, and grace.
                Understand the ideas in this book, follow the suggestions, and you will unlock the mysteries of your own existence. Who are you? What do you want? To know the answers to these questions is to know your true self. Once you know your true self, you will know true happiness, the intoxication of love, spirit flowing in its pure essence—unimpeded, unrestricted, full of mystery, magic, and adventure.
                Happiness resides in the realm of spirit. To find happiness is to find your soul. To find your soul is to live from the source of lasting happiness. This is not happiness for this or that reason, which is just another form of misery. This happiness is true bliss, and it follows you wherever you go.

To purchase a copy of Deepak Chopra's Power, Freedom and Grace via Amazon, click here.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Persian Proverb



I found this in an old poetry anthology I was recently reading:

"He who knows not, and knows not that he knows not, is a fool, shun him.

He who knows not, and knows that he knows not, is a child, teach him.

He who knows, and knows not that he knows, is asleep, wake him.

He who knows, and knows that he knows, is wise, follow him."

I don't know what the art work has to do with the quote. It appeared in my google search for "Persian Proverb." And it used to hang in my old apartment, so yea. The quote is attributed in the book as anonymous. A Persian proverb.

Jack Hirschman - Red Poet

Documentary film about San Francisco poet Jack Hirschman. With over 100 books of poetry published in 55 years, prolific is an understatement. The film tells his story, how he got into poetry, wanting to be a poet from a very early age, his politics and also selections of Hirschman reading his work, plus much more. Today, we celebrate Jack Hirschman!