Our #POETRYSLOWDOWN always says we are the news you need, the news you heed, the news “without which men die miserably every day” (Wm. Carlos Williams). We are the news between the headlines, fast-breaking, late-breaking, heart-breaking news; we are the heart-making news. Here we hear a case where the headline, late-breaking, heart-breaking news and poetry’s news converge, as we make an homage to the man who put his heart and poetic feet in his mouth and made food and language exuberant art forms: Anthony Bourdain, whose life ended in France this week. We cannot know his sorrows or life anguish, as much as he was in our public eye, televised daily in his out-sized anthropologist fearless foodie role invoking stunt-like stories about food-making, but we can cherish his working life as a writer—fearless and fierce and open and joyous.
In a dark time, the eye begins to see, I meet my shadow in the deepening shade; I hear my echo in the echoing wood—A lord of nature weeping to a tree. I live between the heron and the wren, beasts of the hill and serpents of the den. What’s madness but nobility of the soul at odds with circumstance? The day’s on fire! I know the purity of despair, my shadow pinned against a sweating wall. That place among the rocks—is it a cave, or winding path? The edge is what I have. A steam storm of correspondences! A night flowing with birds, a ragged moon, and in broad day the midnight come again! A man goes far to find out what he is—death of the self in a long, tearless night, all natural shapes blazing unnatural light. Dark, dark my light, and darker my desire. My soul, like some heat-maddened summer fly, keeps buzzing at the sill. Which I is I? A fallen man, I climb out of my fear. The mind enters itself, and God the mind, and one is One, free in the tearing wind.
Ah, but the poets knew! Hear we are (hear hear!) at your Poetry Slow Down, our weekly hour news shoe since 2008—if the show fits, hear it!–the news you need, the news you heed, the news “without which men die miserably every day” (so says William Carlos Williams), produced by Zappa Johns, and I’m your show’s creator and host, Professor Barbara Mossberg, aka Dr. B, and my team, including Nico Moss, and I’m here live at the Diplomat Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden, on Mothers Day, as we unruffle the mystery of how and why chickens are being brought in as a front line to combat elderly loneliness, especially in nursing homes . . .
July 16-24, 2018
Experience the breathtaking beauty of the Dordogne and Garonne rivers, which together have shaped the scenery and culture of the Bordeaux region of France. In addition to the world-class wines made possible by Bordeaux’s perfect combination of climate and soil, the region has built a rich tapestry of culture and tradition from Gothic churches to opulent châteaus and medieval villages, all thanks to these magnificent waterways.
I’ll admit some of them run over a thousand pages. Some are translated from Sumerian on clay tablets. Some are from Spanish, Greek, French, olde English, and quirky as the day is long. Poetry, prose, drama, spoken, written, sung, they have messages for us for how we live our daily lives. I’m reporting to you live from Washington, D.C., fresh from thinking about my students at the Clark Honors College, University of Oregon, and through their eyes, the meaning of classics lights our world, and heals the heart, and gives us hope. Is that all, Dr. B? No, it is not. Through the eyes of our next leaders of society, classic texts are good nutrition, vegan, organic, and gluten free. Thank you joining in!
In which we hear from Zappa Johns about new-fangled farfalle from the internet’s video games of virtual physics for “interactive fiction” in the digital era (that would be now), including “Car Boys” and BeamNG.drive, the poetry in the news this week of the world’s most daring free solo climb up El Capitan, Bob Dylan’s under-the-wire Nobel Prize lecture on the roots of his lyric balladic contributions to Literature (think Odyssey), Robert Creeley’s meditation on rain (definitely a dab), W.S. Graham on morning (“listen”), and Nate Cameron’s reflections on his own bold climb of poetry beginning with poetry’s El Capitan, the Odyssey. We’re board hanging, putting on morning, making it last, with the Poetry Slow Down.
Further readings on Car Boys:
On Car Boys, Which Changed Everything
Game Realities, McElroys, And The Power Of Meta-Narrative
© Barbara Mossberg 2017