Sunday, May 31, 2015

'POETRY IS NOT A LUXURY' BY AUDRE LORDE

January 17, 2013

The quality of light by which we scrutinize our lives has direct bearing upon the product which we live, and upon the changes which we hope to bring about through those lives. It is within this light that we form those ideas by which we pursue our magic and make it realized. This is poetry as illumination, for it is through poetry that we give name to those ideas which are, until the poem, nameless and formless-about to be birthed, but already felt. That distillation of experience from which true poetry springs births thought as dream births concept, as feeling births idea, as knowledge births (precedes) understanding.
As we learn to bear the intimacy of scrutiny, and to flourish within it, as we learn to use the products of that scrutiny for power within our living, those fears which rule our lives and form our silences begin to lose their control over us.
For each of us as women, there is a dark place within where hidden and growing our true spirit rises, "Beautiful and tough as chestnut/stanchions against our nightmare of weakness" and of impotence.
These places of possibility within ourselves are dark because they are ancient and hidden; they have survived and grown strong through darkness. Within these deep places, each one of us holds an incredible reserve of creativity and power, of unexamined and unrecorded emotion and feeling. The woman's place of power within each of us is neither white nor surface; it is dark, it is ancient, and it is deep.
When we view living, in the european mode, only as a problem to be solved, we then rely solely upon our ideas to make us free, for these were what the white fathers told us were precious.
But as we become more in touch with our own ancient, black, non-european view of living as a situation to be experienced and interacted with, we learn more and more to cherish our feelings, and to respect those hidden sources of our power from where true knowledge and therefore lasting action comes.
At this point in time, I believe that women carry within ourselves the possibility for fusion of these two approaches as keystone for survival, and we come closest to this combination in our poetry. I speak here of poetry as the revelation or distillation of experience, not the sterile word play that, too often, the white fathers distorted the word poetry to mean — in order to cover their desperate wish for imagination without insight.
For women, then, poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence. It forms the quality of the light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change, first made into language, then into idea, then into more tangible action.
Poetry is the way we help give name to the nameless so it can be thought. The farthest external horizons of our hopes and fears are cobbled by our poems, carved from the rock experiences of our daily lives.
As they become known and accepted to ourselves, our feelings, and the honest exploration of them, become sanctuaries and fortresses and spawning grounds for the most radical and daring of ideas, the house of difference so necessary to change and the conceptualization of any meaningful action. Right now, I could name at least ten ideas I would have once found intolerable or incomprehensible and frightening, except as they came after dreams and poems. This is not idle fantasy, but the true meaning of "it feels right to me." We can train ourselves to respect our feelings, and to discipline (transpose) them into a language that matches those feelings so they can be shared. And where that language does not yet exist, it is our poetry which helps to fashion it. Poetry is not only dream or vision, it is the skeleton architecture of our lives.
Possibility is neither forever nor instant. It is also not easy to sustain belief in its efficacy. We can sometimes work long and hard to establish one beachhead of real resistance to the deaths we are expected to live, only to have that beachhead assaulted or threatened by canards we have been socialized to fear, or by the withdrawal of those approvals that we have been warned to seek for safety. We see ourselves diminished or softened by the falsely benign accusations of childishness, of non-universality, of self-centeredness, of sensuality. And who asks the question: am I altering your aura, your ideas, your dreams, or am I merely moving you to temporary and reactive action? (Even the latter is no mean task, but one that must be rather seen within the context of a true alteration of the texture of our lives.)
The white fathers told us, I think therefore I am; and the black mothers in each of us-the poet-whispers in our dreams, I feel therefore I can be free. Poetry coins the language to express and charter this revolutionary awareness and demand, the implementation of that freedom. However, experience has taught us that the action in the now is also always necessary. Our children cannot dream unless they live, they cannot live unless they are nourished, and who else will feed them the real food without which their dreams will be no different from ours?
Sometimes we drug ourselves with dreams of new ideas. The head will save us. The brain alone will set us free. But there are no new ideas still waiting in the wings to save us as women, as human. There are only old and forgotten ones, new combinations, extrapolations and recognitions from within ourselves, along with the renewed courage to try them out. And we must constantly encourage ourselves and each other to attempt the heretical actions our dreams imply and some of our old ideas disparage. In the forefront of our move toward change, there is only our poetry to hint at possibility made real. Our poems formulate the implications of ourselves, what we feel within and dare make real (or bring action into accordance with), our fears, our hopes, our most cherished terrors.
For within structures defined by profit, by linear power, by institutional dehumanization, our feelings were not meant to survive. Kept around as unavoidable adjuncts or pleasant pastimes, feelings were meant to kneel to thought as we were meant to kneel to men. But women have survived. As poets. And there are no new pains. We have felt them all already. We have hidden that fact in the same place where we have hidden our power. They lie in our dreams, and it is our dreams that point the way to freedom. They are made realizable through our poems that give us the strength and courage to see, to feel, to speak, and to dare.
If what we need to dream, to move our spirits most deeply and directly toward and through promise, is a luxury, then we have given up the core-the fountain-of our power, our womanness; we have give up the future of our worlds.
For there are no new ideas. There are only new ways of making them felt, of examining what our ideas really mean (feel like) on Sunday morning at 7 AM, after brunch, during wild love, making war, giving birth; while we suffer the old longings, battle the old warnings and fears of being silent and impotent and alone, while tasting our new possibilities and strengths.
from "Sister Outsider: essays and speeches" page 36. Published by Crossing Press, 1985.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

“He Bought the Sunday New York Times” - Lowell Murphree

He bought the Sunday New York Times
on the day before his 65th birthday.
as an act of self-conscious generosity,

On the day after his birthday
he was still making his way through 
the lead article in the Book Review on Bellow.

“Why was it taking so long?” He wondered.
He could read less than one four-column page 
before the suffocating avalanche of
words rolled him.

It wasn’t that the names being dropped: Hemingway – Heidegger
were scratchings on a stranger’s tombstone. He 
knew these writers, knew being and he knew time, knew 
the “thumb against her nipple” man and the 
the stupefying languor of gulf island heat.

He saw quite clearly the chair, the room, the university town 
where he had met the Nazi at a place arranged by Englishman
John Macquarrie. The not unkind face of

his college roommate appeared to him, throwing a new blue gray, 
soft cover copy of Herzog
on their shared desk in 1969. 
Familiarity was not the problem.

Other titles surfaced (“markings” Hammerskjold 
would have called them) 
Somerset’s Summing Up, thin, gold and brown 
SK’s Point of View for My Work as an Author in block letters on a white cover.

“Failure to assess a life in progress,” he thought,
and sipped his tea.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

NOT ONLY THAT, HE CAN COOK TOO - Laura Lee


No herringbone brick walkways in this dirt garden,
Just hard-packed earth, cool under my feet in the shade
Of the scarlet runner beans climbing their pole.
Vichyssoise served from a silver tureen aboard the Queen Mary
Reaching through the foliage to harvest the glossy aubergines,
Bell peppers still ripening in the hot sun as I pick them,
Mud-splashed tomatoes, broken stems releasing an aroma of high summer,
I fill my apron like Nellie in the paw-paw patch.
American boy slurping soupe de poisson and vin ordinaire
I carry the loot into the ancient kitchen where you're making your bones.
You go to work cutting and chopping,
Your Sabatier performing a scherzo of slicing.
Tromping over wet-black sand along the Bassin d'Arcachon
The table is laid with white linen.
The sun goes down and we dine.
A Gitane glows against the night sky.
Your first oyster, a gift from Monsieur Saint-Jour

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Some poems from the 2013 Archives

#1. Invitation

            “I knew too that through them I knew too that he was though, I knew too that he threw them.  I knew too that they were through, I knew too I knew too, I knew I knew them.” 
            “If you can see why she feel that she kneels if you can see why he knows that he shows what he bestows, if you can see why they share what they share, need we question that there is no doubt that by this time if they had intended to come they would have sent some note of such intention.”
            Many others did go and there was a sacrifice, of what shall we, a sheep, a hen, a cock, a village, a ruin, and all that and then that having been blessed let us bless it.”   - Gertrude Stein, Idem the Same – Let Us Describe
                              
The Queen’s Henchmen
request the pleasure of your company
at a Lynching – to be held 
at 23rd and C Streets NW
on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 –
just past sunset.

Dress: Formal, Masks and Hoods -
the four being lynched
must never know the identities
of their executioners, or what/
whose sin required their sacrifice.

A blood sacrifice –
to divert the hounds -
to appease the gods -
to cleanse our filth and
satisfy our guilty consciences.

Arrive promptly at sunset –
injustice will be swift.
There will be no trial,
no review of evidence,
no due process, and
no accountability.

Dress warmly -
a chilling effect will instantly
envelop Foggy Bottom.

Extrajudicial.
Total impunity at the top.
A kangaroo court in
a banana republic.

B.Y.O.B.
Refreshments will not be served
because of the continuing resolution.

And the ones being lynched?
Who cares?
They are pawns in a game.
Our game.
All suckers, all fools,
all knaves who volunteered to serve - us.  
And the truth?  The truth?
What difference at this point does it make?

In case of inclement weather,
or the Queen’s incapacitation,
the Queen's Henchmen will carry out 
this lynching - as ordered, as planned.

March 8, 2013




#2. Monday, April 15, 2013

The wicked witch of the East?
The old, decrepit, ancient East?
She dead.
House fell on her ass during the storm. 
Feet all shriveled up.
That witch ain’t going nowhere!
Ain’t gon bother nobody!

But the wicked witch of the West?
The new, modern, amoral West?
She’s alive and kicking.
Causing all kinds of trouble.
Done signed a deal with the Wizard –
the lying Wizard. 
Dorothy has her hands full with those two.
And the lion ain’t got no courage.




#3. Trapped in a purgatory…

“The top of the pyramid – the organization is composed of Technologists who only pretend to have power, although they are only actors in the theater of mirrors.  When the mirror is broken they die, because the internal drive of their actions vanishes.” – Svetislav Basara, The Cyclist Conspiracy

Trapped in a purgatory
of their own conceit…

The web of lies they weave
gets tighter and tighter
in its deceit
until it bottoms out -
at a very low frequency -
and implodes.

It may be just a matter of perception –
they can’t undo their wrongs
for fear it’d undermine their
perceived authority –
an authority they think they require
to stay in charge.

Yet all the while,
the more they talk,
the more they lie,
and the deeper down the hole they go.

There’s nothing I need to go back to -
nothing to re-litigate -
nothing to defend -
and certainly nothing to prove
to the unworthy.

Just wait…
just wait and feed them rope.

5/14/2013





#4. August 14, 2013 – Man and the expanding universe: art

moral courage dies
and corruption’s stench prevails –
lies erase the truth

my LinkedIn friends keep endorsing me
for Government.  But me and Uncle Sam

are a shrinking universe.  I’m leaving
the troop that errs, the team that lies,

leaders who destroy lives for sport, as art - 
themselves a crime, a sin, a plague.  Farewell.   




Sunday, December 14, 2014

Mountain verse – December 13, 2014 (12/13/14)

I took the wrong turn –
or missed my turn –
but still reached the bakery,
the destination.

It’s easy to get all caught up
in structure and technique
when you are writing/reading prose –
but with poetry, anything can happen.

A friend – of a new friend,
and an old friend, and a distant relative,
and a classmate – introduced himself
to me. The world is so small.
You’d better not mess up!

And a homeless man sat at my table,
gathering change for a bus ticket
to Charlotte. I shook his extended hand,
but shushed him –
it was during the poetry reading –
as any good librarian would.
Though I had no change,
I thanked him for his company.

There are plenty of gypsies
and monks – like me – in these hills.
And I am learning to love
their bending, curving, never-ending ways –
they speak to the centripetal forces
already in my soul, and carve
a path of least resistance
through their mountain home.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Randomized sonnet lines for November 22nd

United endlessly in time and space;
I write it out in long hand,
before that smile. Our spirits span the miles
your presence left me longer. I forgot,
it matters not. I worship at your feet,
or at least switch out the soundtrack
in blood and tears: and all the while our fears
on an urban starry night
the heavy downpour, like clockwork,
except for their perfection.

Hungering for freedom from the wretched pain,
and smile and grin and laugh with joy untapped,
we wring our hands and weep, the punks we are.
The hereafter far surpasses the present.
A man carrying a large book on the outside –
we’d reap in joy what we had sown before –
and reasons for a friendship come and go.
The poems you’ve sent: they are my prayers, my hope,
though other things fall through the cracks of space.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Randomized sonnet lines for November 21st

We need something dramatic,
to soothe digestion and aid regularity.
Whole peppercorn and clove buds
are sounds, simple wavelengths colliding off.
Now your daddy and his sister were just –
but the sparrow compensated for the zig-zag
nor constricted by its strait jacket.
She dead. House fell on her ass.
Standing water still stinks,
Or is it only the individual?
Drank a little, too, more towards the end.
A few notes from my morning walk - Rock Creek Park,
as men and women we thought we knew his pain:
but I move it to Word
and fado I have known –
the rhapsody of love and hope. Revive
to the sweetness of stolen waters.
The rhythm, the beat of the music determines
that I betrayed my teachers and
yet as we speak, I pace the halls
by the single light they think that we emit.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Lisbon notes that almost got lost

August 23rd

caracois and caroleta
the cobblestone sidewalks
are quaint, but the cracks
between the stones are filled
with cigarette butts and dog-shit

August 27th

Filomena bought me
a dozen handkerchiefs in Lisbon
only in Portugal
can one find “quality” stuff, you know.
Two weeks worth –
for life’s little messes

August 28th

News.
Major bank failures in Portugal –
Marina on the move in Brazil –
Al-Nusrah holding peace-keepers
hostage in Golan Heights –
The tin man needs a brain.


Final day in Lisbon (September 5th)

Early bus ride to Marfa
self-guided tour through the Palace
lunch – frango no forno
librarian walk through the library
chat with the single restoration contractor
bus ride back to Lisbon

subway to Rossio
½ kilo Cape Verdean coffee
½ kilo Angolan coffee
tea from the Azores
postcards for next year’s poetryfest
rendez-vous at Martinho de Arcada

coffee and pastries with old friends
photo at Pessoa’s table
too tall Super Bok

the pen ran out of ink
about the same time that
the page ran out of space
on which to write
I wrote on the back
of a boarding pass

Monday, November 17, 2014

Bonus: 14 randomized sonnet lines

in the seeking and the striving
a something that just won’t fit in
for a man like me
distrustfulness and self-suspicious fear
Was crowded out by bills and laws and hate
about where it all came from, deep inside.
my favorite part.
Total impunity at the top.
And you accommodate, first haltingly,
In what is otherwise a boring, gray
Is it a mistake, a crime to feed it, to allow
resisting silently
misplaced the way back, through the years, of all
a poetry-writing man. I digress.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Bonus from the archives - Experimentation in Standard Time

Experimentation in Standard Time

Autumn urban afternoons
get shorter and sweeter -

standing in the middle of Eye Street
I await a very specific angle on the bow,
as my ship called Earth comes about:
a unique perspective on how time passes –

in the distance you can see Virginia:
how many beats per measure
are there in Standard Time?

the future is reaching back to join us,
to warn us, to help us alter course
to starboard so we can pass port to port –
the present and the future,
like two ships,
passing in a storm.

We post to a blog or sing a song:
we write some non-rhyming words
we call poetry –

and time is a social construct
a contractual agreement we accept
from fear of things we don’t know –
dawn to dusk, high noon
to the darkest part of night –

a 24 second shot clock.
I sink a three pointer
that leaves a vacuum in its wake –
the chain nets echo its refrain.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Bonus from the archives: End of ModPo - Final words

Final words

Goodbye but not farewell.
We will continue our conversations
and social media chats –
with new friends,
with old friends.

And we will continue writing poems:
together in small groups,
and at home, alone,
in the midnight hour that is not
midnight, but that
floats between isha and fajr -
the darkest part of night -
when passions die,
and distractions fall to the side.

The songwriting teacher said all I needed
was a thesaurus and a rhyming dictionary –
but it hasn’t proven sufficient –

and there are no final words, anyway,
no bridge, no chorus, no refrain,
just a tight hug, a soft sigh, a tender kiss,
and a throw-away “see-you-tomorrow,”
maybe, if you’re lucky. And all my
countrymen are poets, and sailors.

Friday, November 14, 2014

14 randomized lines that begin with the definite article "the"

the forms, the rhythms of your loveliness,
The passion, pain, excitement of the day.
The hull, the shell wherein no true love thrives
The eager group, polite despite, is dressed
The legends say something happened in Chaneysville.”
The chilled sweet wine, fermented, aged and pure.
the peace and calm you brought me, the silence
the buildings that house all our livelihood
the answer to this question.
the recognition,
the future is reaching back to join us,
The love we almost had lives on, and waits
the direction for our deliverance
The ladder: an escape; a rescue;

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Lines that begin with "this"

This cautionary tale includes one plea:
This earthly form of dirt and dust and clay,
This flesh that toiled and suffered on the earth,
This frame that housed a spirit and a mind
This is the Captain, this is a strategic launch!
this lynching - as ordered, as planned.
This morning I watched videoed reading The Raven.
this morning I’m bubbling over
this morning. Stay in open, well-lit places.
This pause affords me time to write to you
This plan, this life so fraught with strife, so full
This poem started its life as a sonnet,
this random moment, our lips may never meet,
This same Spirit appears infrequently,
This sonnet owns no ending, just a star,
This vessel that once breathed the breath of life.
This word is all that I possess to give,

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

14 more randomized lines

Bonus:

When passing passions blue bid me adieu,
My heart and soul in pain are drenched.
To guide, to entertain, and to enthuse.
Our friendship, our love is a complex being,
but truth shouts out despite the dirt and dust.
Revealing my ill soul’s intent
that makes it a noun, a name that describes  
old songs all night long –

I’ll search the constellations for that star
has transferred
I cannot sleep.  For days on end I'm just    
to bend us at its will
Of everyday travail, I take a pause
Until today. We meet again.

Monday, November 10, 2014

14 more randomized lines

Bonus:

My wife said I should write a poem
along this trail –
But quality of intellect and
a knight in shining armor - this is Second Life, silly.
Sharing with us our laughter, and our fears.
sip some scotch with it,
My friend, my lover, object of my quest,
of war’s battles, of the fray;
Georgetown sidewalks packed with shoppers, tourists
conjured you up and breathed into you life?
a concert I attended night before last –
that there is no birth or death,
their leaves too long,

Saturday, November 8, 2014

14 more randomized lines

quiet, flat. Where were all the shoppers?
need to conjure up my parents and my grandparents,
are gaps in time, that soon take flight –
like blood coursing through America’s veins.
And blossoms tantalize our eyes; in haste
and scale the highest peak –
and sweet, but I can’t remember
Remember years ago when we first met?
the same old routine…
as defined by classic standards)
El Gusto, playing Chaabi,
an emptiness that is shrinking
My passion source has wandered far from joy;

and shopping sprees and pundit prophecies

14 randomized lines...a sonnet!

We exist independent of the filth
and every opportunity
Oolong’s second infusion tastes much smoother than the first,
I thought it was a clever argument, but one that was closed
We grew, became adults with his success
Music and Harvest” is says at the base
like dew, early, early
I struggle to preserve.  The touch, the taste
the crystal ball:
festers, breeds ten plagues –
or a pull of reefer.
cowers and hides behind a mother’s skirt,
Sit down, sit down…
A wistful word,

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Bonus: "if"

if accurate, we hit the mark,
If deer could speak
If Grandma Lena were here today,
if I am early or late …
if I could write a song of love
If I were a sculptor
if I were you – the dictionary –
If only I could rap to you
If reading sonnets opens up your vision,
If so, then they will die for you,
If so, then you will die for him,
If the goals we set are true.
if their internal energies allow it –
If there was a command out of order
If this continues through the night
If we choose
if we could only find the entrance…
if you don’t cook it right…”
If you don’t, we won’t like it. And you won’t like it either."
if you want me to –
IfTheyGunnedMeDown

Bonus: "after"


after a late Saturday night
after a long day of work, classes, whatever,
after all the parades and football games
after all, a possessive lover without gender who
after calculus class,
after human death –
after the end,
after the migration,
after the party was over

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Bonus: “Before”

before
before dawn breaks
before daybreak –
before getting wiped away –
Before I fall asleep each night I read
before I killed myself at the end
Before I learned to read and write
before I started school
before I wrote a poem
before Sunday’s resurrection.
before sunrise…
Before that smile. Our spirits span the miles
before the Chinese built the bridge –
before the final hour ...
before we get to Danville -
before, in 1862, in 1861? Who advised
before, we have to change the narrative

"Through"

Today's bonus looks at occurrences of the preposition "through."

through another day of passage
through cracks in the wall of time
through generations of Americanization.
through generations of race-mixing
Through life's transitions.
through my eyes, down my arms - muscle memories
through ordered words
through our arrogance
Through our ignorance
through our lives
through our willful rejection of truth
Through poetry
Through positive values, like happiness
through the classics, the epic works
through the frequency of my heart
through the night
through the rush
through the woods
through this night of nights

Monday, November 3, 2014

"From"

So, in observance of aleatory poetry week at ModPo, I am blogging on a different site lines of poetry starting with the preposition "to," but on the flip side, the preposition "from" is also interesting.  Here is a list of "from" lines:


from 88five to 103five
From a dark and distant past
From a distant shore
from a market in Afghanistan
from a pure source.
from a state of bondage
from complex reality   
from deep within
from fear of things we don’t know
from feeling the fear they already bought
from her brown-green pods
From hoping that this dream will soon come true.
from inside the nested circles
from leaving
from mechanical mosquitos 
from my childhood
from my heart is all my fault.
from North Carolina
from one end of the line
From our loved ones.
From places strange, from shores untold.
from Songwriting, another Coursera
from that magical place 
from that office the next time 
from the far side 
from the flock and
from the neck up
from the outside crass
from the realm of nothingness
from the right path 
From the Shenandoah
from the Strategic Studies Masters program
from the swamp below 
from the waist down
From this latest dusk we begin
From time to time he visits
From time to time I feel
from time to time, like water
from total triple darkness 
From troubles, closer still to hopes ideal.
From two to ten.
from walking too long 
From what we sense and feel and know to be
From which to understand
from yesterday’s yesterdays
From you I understand loyalty
from you

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

"Post-strike Analysis" by ModPo'er Lowell Murphree

The gunman was intercepted delivering
flowers when the missiles struck

Surgically separating
pistil from the stamen

Let me say before the commercial break
that we hit what we were aiming at.

We have partners in
degradation.

His red petals
flew up like larks

into an infrared
sky.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Sunday, July 13, 2014

epistemological and ontological assumptions

We need time and space to unpack our lives –
condensed, compressed, repressed, concentrated
for far too long on trivialities,
technicalities, false flag theatrics –
Let’s touch the core of what we call our truth:
shall we preserve the status quo, believe
objectively this love will conquer all?
Or should we seek to transcend (abolish?)
the dead-end that’s approaching
for a different, enlightened way?
Or is it only the individual
that matters in the end, the beginning?
Or maybe just break all the rules,
and then, unshackled, unrestrained, renew?

Monday, June 30, 2014

Recent poems

June 18, 2014
An evangelist spoke to our class today.
Liked my questions and offered me a job.
Told him my last job
was in a bureaucracy
with a corrupt hard drive
and a virus-laden operating system.
He wrote that down in his note pad.
It’s all poetry, I told him.
Didn’t know he was also a poet!

June 22, 2014
21 years in a lockup, black passport
cancelled, holes punched in the cover:
I never felt bound by its darkness,
nor constricted by its strait jacket,
but always freed, liberated, emancipated
by the song of curiosity in my soul.
Let us not disdain the leaders
of the instruction manual factory –
Jesus said feed all the sheep –
but don’t forget that among them
are whores who will turn a trick
at the drop of a dime,
and pimps who’ll sell their own
mothers if the price is right.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Open letter to a MOOC doubter about ModPo

 

​Dear Professor MOOC doubter:
     I was one of the 30,000 students enrolled in ModPo, Modern and Contemporary American Poetry, via Coursera, hosted at Penn.  I am a living witness that there is human interaction in a large MOOC course, and there is one-on-one contact and individual attention between the student and the instructor and staff.    
     In ModPo, it was not unusual for Prof. Filreis to plug himself into a discussion group or even to send a personal e-mail to students in far-flung locations.  Many can attest to that, and to the fact that it seemed that Prof Filreis never slept during the course!  He was everywhere and in everybody’s conversations and discussions.  Additionally, his seven teaching assistants were equally engaged with students via the discussion groups.  And in the second year, he designated 25 community TA’s, in the US, in the UK, in India, in France, and in Phillippines, (and others) and they multiplied the interaction effect.    
     In weekly live webcasts, many of us met up in Philadelphia (a small contingent always travelled up by MegaBus (cheap tickets)) for face-to-face discussions.    
     In DC, we formed a weekly meet-up at a local bookshop for additional face-to-face discussions.
    
     So you see, there was lots of individual attention for those who sought it out, as well as for those sought out by the instructor and his staff.  But you have to do the work, both students and the instructor and staff.  Doing the work is what makes the difference, not the structure or the size of the classroom.    
     Thanks for reading this note.    
Raymond Maxwell

Monday, April 14, 2014

MOdPo'er Lowell Murphree is donating proceeds from the sale of his book of poems, Bindings, to ModPo'er Jamie Givens health fund.  Please buy the book and please donate to the cause, because ModPo is not just a poetry class, it is a movement.


Ok ModPo, THIS is it!
BINDINGS by Lowell Murphree is now published and let loose on the world!
Here is a FREE pdf for all our wonderful community to enjoy! Lowell and Jeremy will not take any financial reward from this enterprise, all we ask is that if you like the book you will make a donation to Jamie's health fund – let's see what a difference poetry can make!
 
Brigitte Pellat Here is the link http://www.gofundme.com/jamiegivens

www.gofundme.com
Our dear friend, Jamie Givens, is on a two year journey to wellness after being ...diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer this year. The sole owner of a licensed massage therapy practice, Jamie hasn't been able to work since October 29, 2013 due to the cancer and treatment. Covering daily expense...See More
 
BINDINGS by Lowell Murphree
The book can now be downloaded at Dropbox, here is the address.
Please share it with any of your friends outside this group who may enjoy Lowell's work. Poetry has raised nearly $100 for Jamie's health fund, and it would be fantastic if we can generate more interest and more donations
 

 

Monday, April 7, 2014

DC Poetica, April 6, 2014.

Counterclockwise from bottom left: Lori, James, Treva (on computer), John, Susan, Ray, Kelleyanne.  Ursula is the photographer. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

NaPoWriMo 2014!

Cross-posted from napowrimo.net

 

Get set . . .

On March 31, 2014
Tomorrow is the first day of NaPoWrimo. I hope you are feeling excited and inspired.
Today’s poetry resource is the Big Poetry Giveaway. Now in its fifth year, the Giveaway celebrates National Poetry Month by giving participants the opportunity to get books of poetry, for free!
I know that by the time I post the first “official” prompt, it will already have been April 1 for a while in some parts of the world, so here is an extra little prompt (totally optional — as all our prompts are) for those of you who are experiencing NaPoWriMo earlier than me.
The prompt for all you early birds is an ekphrastic poem – a poem inspired by or about a work of art. There’s no rules on the form for an ekphrastic poem, so you could write a sonnet or a haiku or free verse. Some well-known ekphrastic poems include Rilke’s Archaic Torso of Apollo and Keats’ Ode on a Grecian Urn. But ekphrastic poetry is alive and well today, too, as your efforts today will reflect.
Happy writing!