Alice Notley (Poet)

Alice Notely (poet)
Alice Notley (poet)

The Elements
BY ALICE NOTLEY
You must do battle with Eros I am
more worried about space, pressed for details
collapsed in chaos with my sword holding up the sky the
girl said. They cared not for love lying ever that they loved
But I your leader wounded in gender and bleeding
for Eros fought it away from my true beginning as now.

Always climbing that hill in several ways.
One goes past the Baptist Church and through the ugly
trees, houses I only visualize in dreams
you have no right to pursue me to my origins man
as bipolar as the one candidate, forgettable
as the other. We once lived in a postwar barracks blue
heated by a black stove of assumptions
Eros a youth admits no equal; Aphrodite the slut;
Chaos is whom I admire that keeps forgetting
love in favor of this terrible mixity I am
for example … these poems. Out of the pre-beginning

a different beauty. They want you to confess
something like in church, that a man will
save you. But I am your leader savior and poet
I am your general out of the desert thee
most ardent void precursor of love
Eros approaches again not the man but quality
sculpted genitals arush with the words
of unreason: I will never die. Which I is I
if I can remain chaotic I’ll tell you who you are

that you’ve never anticipated, but know
the only one. Without a thing. To be is not
to have; nor to belong; nor to have been born.
You are not the child of earth. Beauty still thy name.

To learn more about Alice Notley and read more selections of her work please visit: Poetry Foundation bio for: Alice Notley

Collage Fan by Alice Notley
Collage Fan by Alice Notley

Notley: I’m a hugely but quietly disobedient person, and I have not conducted my life the way any of the other poets have. […] I don’t teach, and that’s very disobedient right now.

Turner: Epic, disobedience—and gender, being a woman, that’s a third theme of your work. What about disobedience and feminism?

Notley: Everybody’s sexist. Most women are sexist. It’s a tremendous fight and it’s totally ongoing. Men have all the prestige and all the power in the poetry world, still. Women have space now, they have space but it’s not the same as prestige or power. It’s as if I’ve had to re-write all of the history of poetry so that I could be as great as I want to be. My “project” is to be a great poet. I’m not interested in poetry schools; I have absolutely no interest in any of that.

The excerpts are from: “At the Mercy of My Poetic Voice”: An Interview with Alice Notley BY Lindsay Turner (November 12, 2013)
To Read the full interview please visit: the Boston Review (interview by Lindsay Turner with Alice Notley)

Alice Notley book cover for Songs and Stories of the Ghouls
Alice Notley book cover for Songs and Stories of the Ghouls

Turner: …we’ve been talking about stories and narratives, but of course it’s—your book is, poetry is—“songs and stories.” What about the “song” part? Is there something about poetry’s singing that makes it better able to “speak for” the ghouls? Or: how do you think about the sounds your poems make?

Notley: …Poetry is the sound of poetry, even when it’s telling a story. Its definition is the way the voice changes when you read a poem. The ghouls let me speak for them because only I will. But that’s because I’m a poet; I’m not in it for the money. I’m at the mercy of my poetic voice and of their voices. No choice in the matter.

The heroine of Alice Notley’s noir epic poem Negativity’s Kiss (Presses Universitaires de Rouen) is named Ines. This is short for “inessential,” which is what Notley says the poet is, and, really, what we all are. She believes poetry is a great healer, and, wishing to remind us that our planet is small, when we die, poetry is what we return to. Ines writes poems that are emitted from what Notley calls “the garble,” which is all the information we receive through the media and the internet as opposed to our known senses. Ines, like Notley herself, wishes to use her poetry to make things better, but in the world of Notley’s noir, this isn’t possible. To visit Source of Quote click here: http://www.kcrw.com/news-culture/shows/bookworm/alice-notley-negativitys-kiss

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in memory of MC Phife Dawg

Tribe Called Quest video still from Oh My God featuring Malik a.ka. MC Phife Dawg)
Tribe Called Quest video still from Oh My God featuring Malik (MC Phife Dawg)

A Tribe Called Quest was an American hip hop trio that was formed in 1985, and was composed of MC/producer Q-Tip, MC Phife Dawg aka Phife Diggy (Malik Taylor), and DJ/producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad. A fourth member, rapper Jarobi White, left the group after their first album in 1991. He continued to contribute to the band sporadically before rejoining for their 2006 reunion. Along with De La Soul, the group was a central part of the Native Tongues Posse, and enjoyed the most commercial success out of all the groups to emerge from that collective. Many of their songs, such as “Bonita Applebum”, “Can I Kick It?”, “I Left My Wallet in El Segundo”, “Scenario”, “Check the Rhime“, “Jazz (We’ve Got)“, “Award Tour” and “Electric Relaxation” are regarded as classics. The group released five albums between 1990 and 1998 and disbanded in 1998. In 2006, the group reunited and toured the US.

The two MCs began to focus on a range of social issues, from date rape (“The Infamous Date Rape“) to consumerism (“Skypager“). The songs were noticeably shorter, more abrupt, and bass-heavy. Guests on the album included Leaders of the New School (which included Busta Rhymes), Brand Nubian, and Vinia Mojica. Their innovative sampling, layering, and structuring of jazz records led many critics to label their style as jazz rap – a term which Q-Tip disapproved of, as he felt that while it described groups such as Stetsasonic well, it misinterpreted A Tribe Called Quest, who (aside from the song “Jazz (We’ve Got)”) did not base their songs around jazz.

The Low End Theory performed very well on the charts and was RIAA-certified gold on February 19, 1992 (it reached platinum status by 1995). In the aftermath of their success, the group once again toured and contributed the song “Hot Sex” to the soundtrack for the film Boomerang in 1992.

To learn more please visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Tribe_Called_Quest

***

I can only recommend YOU purchase A Tribe Called Quest The Low End Theory (Full Album) as the current copyright laws prohibit freebees sharing the Diggy…

I tried to make the Tribe accessible but seems if I refuse to Pinterest my soul, sharing the love won’t happen.  Apologies for feeling old school about the internet.  I do believe in supporting the artists and in honoring the memory of Phife.

This is the stellar Track List:

00:00 01 Excursions
03:58 02 Buggin’ Out
07:37 03 Rap Promoter
09:51 04 Butter
13:31 05 Verses From The Abstract
17:31 06 Show Business
21:26 07 Vibes Anf Stuff
25:46 08 The Infamous Date Rape
28:41 09 Check The Rhime
32:19 10 Everything Is Fair
35:19 11 Jazz (We’ve Got)
39:29 12 Skypager
41:44 13 What_
44:13 14 Scenario
48:26 15 Check The Rhime

The above A Tribe Called Quest video for Oh My God is being posted here in part for the sensible advocacy of condoms by MC  Phife Dawg and for NO Commercial Purposes.

sugar blues cover

Dufty warns (in 1975) about the rise of diabetes, and its correlation with soft drinks and sugar in snacks. Today, the epidemic of diabetes simply proves him right. The book Sugar Blues is full of data that support the urgency of his warning.

“Western medicine and science have only just begun to sound alarm signals over the fantastic increase in its per capita sugar consumption, in the United States especially. Their researches and warnings are, I fear, many decades too late…I am confident that Western medicine will one day admit what has been known to the Orient for years: sugar is without question the number one murderer in the history of humanity–much more lethal than opium or radioactive fallout–especially those people who eat rice as their principal food. Sugar is the greatest evil that modern industrial civilization has visited upon countries of the Far East and Africa. ..Foolish people who give or sell candy to babies will one day discover, to their horror, that they have much to answer for.” (59 to 60 pages Sugar Blues)

Dufty uses the narrative form to delve into the history of sugar and history of medicine. He mentions whistle blowers, such as Semmelweiss, to remind readers of the discontinuities in standard science. He also delves into the history of Cuba, history of slavery, history of tobacco and tobacco curing to present the sociology of sugar.  The status of sugar, as a product of refining, was compared to drugs:  Heroin is nothing but a chemical. They take the juice of the poppy and they refine it into opium and then they refine it to morphine and finally to heroin. Sugar is nothing but a chemical. They take the juice of the cane or the beet and the refine it to molasses and then they refine it to brown sugar and finally to strange white crystals. (page 22)  Later, the euphemism, “made from natural ingredients”, is cited as equally applicable to heroin and sugar. (page 148) (sited from wikipedia)

Deqn Sue’s “Bloody Monster” (and other songs about love)

a Deqn Sue( NPR Music Tiny Desk) Concert:

Deqn Sue Snack pic*Note: the song “Bloody Monster,” (on the EP called Snack) was written after Deqn Sue received racist comments from her roommate.
Set List:
“Bloody Monster”
“Flame”
“Magenta”

The above video is being posted here for NO Commercial Purposes.  If you’d like to hear more and support the artist, please check out Deqn Sue’s Album: Zeitgeist (on I-Tunes)

Deqn Sue Zeitgeist pic

If You Have The Spirit To Help The World . . .

The above video is: Allen Ginsberg (poet/vocals) with Paul McCartney (guitar, drums, hammond organ & maracas) and Philip glass (keyboard) performing:  “Ballad of the Skeletons” (video directed by Gus Van Sant)

When You Need No Pressure on the Wound

If you measure your self worth by your good deeds and your good deeds do not “pay off,” as expected, leaving you depleted or resentful instead, you’re not doing the real work you were called to do.  You’ve been bluffing.  Maybe unwittingly, but it’s time to stop lying to yourself.

Maybe, part of your problem is that you heard you need to walk around in another man’s shoes before you can judge him, and in trying to wear shoes that don’t fit, you ended up less helpful and more klutzy.

One time there was a man who went to a gallery in New York and he climbed to the top of a ladder, where at the top was a magnifying glass and when he held it to the tiny word, it read: “YES,” and this delighted him.

It’s important to further what is honestly useful, however, and an EQUALLY useful word for women to know is, “NO.”

I’ve selected the following information to assist anyone who has problems with feeling unappreciated or used in relationships and is looking to break free of the cycle(s):  

The Author of this “unprofessional advice” goes by the blog name: Light (Please Note Light’s Disclaimer regarding on-line advice at the end of the post)

Light’s policy states that you may copy and share this information if you DO NOT alter the words in any way or sell the material.

“Try Someone Else”
Copyright 2009

by:
Lightshouse.org

How to stay out of the Scapegoat Role,
the Doormat Role, the Sucker Role
and the Unappreciated Role…

1. Force yourself to stand up straight and speak up loud and clear. Don’t shrink. It’s hard at first, but make yourself do it. It gets easier every time.

2. Make eye contact and ask what people mean, ask them to explain, ask for favors, ask what time it is, ask for things to be handed to you, ask, ask, ask. People who never ask for consideration or assistance and always say yes are sending doormat messages and shouldn’t be surprised when others expect them to tolerate mistreatment. It makes you an easy target for getting unappreciated and used, and not just by bad apples, either. You’d be very surprised how even good, well-meaning people will disregard you and disrespect you if you act like you have no needs, you have no complaints, you have no spine and you have no thoughts, opinions, wishes and plans of your own.

3. Practice saying “No”. Again, just do it. If it feels overwhelming, try it with small things first, and work your way up to bigger situations. You don’t need a reason other than not wanting to. Just say the word “no” and let the other person be the next to speak. Beware of people who ask you to do things by asking you first, “Are you busy later?”, or “What are you doing this afternoon?” You’re about to get pinned into a corner. Whenever you’re approached with something like, “Hey, are you busy on Tuesday the 12th?” make it a habit to always immediately reply, “I’m not available, why?” (You can always change your mind later if it’s something you want to give). When you say no to some things, it teaches people they need to ask for – not just assume you have to give – what they want.

4. Know that the more compliant and submissive you are, the less respect you will get. I used to mistake a lot of agreement for being polite. Then I realized that most others take a lot of agreement for “pushover” and “worthless”. It was a surprise to find that the reason I was always treated like dirt was my own submissive behavior. Shockingly, the more I learned to say no and put boundaries, etc., the kinder people were to me! I had always thought if you wanted people to treat you well, you should be agreeable and do things they wanted! (“Oh, why doesn’t so-and-so think I matter – haven’t I been NICE enough?”) So I’d try to be even nicer and get even LESS respect!! Now I know that if you want people to be respectful and kind to you, you must show some spine.

5. Don’t consistently give more than you get. That goes for work, friends, everything. 50/50 is the goal. Sure, sometimes it will be 60/40 or 70/30, but IN BOTH DIRECTIONS. That means sometimes you should be getting 70 and the other gets 30. Not them always being the one to get 70 and YOU 30.

6. Walk away if your needs aren’t getting met. Your life expectancy is about 75-80 years. Many of those years are now gone. Life is too short to keep trying to make other people and situations fit you that can’t possibly do so. Move out easily and head right into what seems to suit you better. Remember, everyone else is taking care of themselves (or should be and has the right to be) as well.

7. Learn to say “I’ll think about it” as your default response to requests. Many scapegoats and doormats have “yes” as their default, and then they panic because they didn’t REALLY want to do the things they agreed to, and now they feel stuck keeping their word. Flip that around and do it backwards. Always say you’ll think about it and that you need time to consider it (no matter what) and THEN GO THINK about if you HONESTLY WWAANNTT to do it and get back with a good decision. Anybody who tells me they cannot wait for me to consider something is then automatically told NO! Remember, controlling people will pressure you to answer fast. Never do that. Always answer slowly. Take an hour, a day or a week. That gives your brainwashed brain time to un-brainwash and consider YOU.

8. Accept imperfection as inherent in all things and people, including yourself. Let your friends screw up now and again and love them anyway, and make sure you are getting the same in return. As long as you – and they – are making an effort and meeting each others’ needs otherwise. Reciprocity and equality should always be present as much as possible.

9. Start thinking of yourself as somebody. Say your name. Think about what’s important to you. Express it. Find what you’re about and what you want to be a part of. If you have something that’s important to you, it will help pull you out of disorderly thinking and into well-being, because commitment to that thing (whether it’s being a good parent, doing something in your community, building a better mousetrap or anything else you think is important and feeds your soul) will help you work out all your kinks.

10. When someone mistreats you, distance yourself in self-preservation. That doesn’t mean be a shrinking violet. It just means that once you’ve picked up that someone is unempathic, a user, narcissistic, whatever – to the best of your ability, limit your exposure to them. Don’t sit near them, don’t agree to work near their office if you have the option not to, don’t say yes to things they ask. Get quiet, get distant, get unengaging, don’t look at them much. If it’s a work situation and you have to have contact, limit that contact time with them as much as you can and avoid speaking to them alone. Speak to them about important matters only when others are present. If it’s not a co-worker but a partygoer, mutual friend, neighbor, stranger, etc., turn tail and LEAVE THEIR PRESENCE. Also keep away from the circle of people immediately surrounding this person! These will not be healthy people, much as you might like them, and you will get sucked into the toxic web even worse than if you contacted the problematic person directly, because a NICE person has pulled you in. You’ll feel sorry for them, etc., and feel even more stuck in it. They have to learn to take care of themselves, as you’re doing.

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Neither lightshouse.org nor Light’s Blog, nor any of its contributors are professional mental health service providers. Any and all information disseminated through this site is entirely non-professional. The content of this site is not to be substituted for (or in any way interpreted to be) professional assistance, advice or determinations of any type. By visiting Light’s House and/or Light’s Blog, you are agreeing to take full responsibility for all your own actions.

Neither Light’s House/Light’s Blog nor any of their contributors takes any responsibility for the choices and actions of any visitors, readers of its materials, or anyone with whom the abovementioned parties are associated. Light’s House also assumes no responsibility for any content from sites for which it has provided external links and/or web addresses.

NOTE: The video featuring Allen Ginsberg is being posted here only for educational/semi-political/entertainment reasons and for NO COMMERCIAL PURPOSES.

Thao Nguyen and “the beast within” her

The above PBS News Hour video was Published on Mar 3, 2016
Thao Nguyen offers her Brief But Spectacular take on self-expression and “the beast within.”

Thao Nguyen "going beast"
Thao Nguyen “going beast”

Beyond Making Music

Thao Nguyen moved to San Francisco in 2009, and soon began working with outreach projects including the non-profit organization the California Coalition for Women Prisoners.  In 2013 an album with the Get Down Stay Down, We the Common, followed, the album’s title track dedicated to Valerie Bolden, one of the women she met on her prison visits.

The above video by Thao & The Get Down Stay Down  “The Feeling Kind” (Official Video)

The above (LIVE performance video) is Thao Nguyen and an NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert.  For track lists, downloadable albums and more music from Thao Nguyen you can visit the NPR Site: NPR.org artists

The above videos are being posted here for NO COMMERCIAL PURPOSES.