Those who progress, through the anguished yet learned struggle of the mind, reach a stage where they must assume the full mantle of Cassandra.
She Who Scolds Ravens
The devil bowed his head because he knew that he'd been beat.
He laid that golden fiddle on the ground at Johnny's feet.
Johnny said: "Devil just come on back if you ever want to try again.
"I done told you once, you son of a bitch, I'm the best that's ever been."
The boy said: "My name's Johnny and it might be a sin,
"But I'll take your bet, your gonna regret, 'cos I'm the best that's ever been."
Valerie Nieman worked for three decades as a journalist while honing her skills as a poet and fiction writer. Her third novel, Blood Clay, set in Piedmont North Carolina, will appear in fall 2010 from Press 53. She is the author of a collection of short stories, Fidelities (West Virginia University Press), and a poetry collection, Wake Wake Wake (Press 53). She has received an NEA creative writing fellowship in poetry, two Elizabeth Simpson Smith prizes in fiction, and the Greg Grummer Prize in poetry. A graduate of West Virginia University and the M.F.A. program at Queens University of Charlotte, she teaches writing at N.C. A&T State University and is a regular workshop leader at the John C. Campbell Folk School and the North Carolina Writers Network. Visit her blog at http://worldwright.blogspot.com/ and her website at http://www.valnieman.com/.As you might expect from this stellar background, Nieman’s choices of poems are in the top quintillionth of the best (okay, I’m exaggerating, but I always wanted to use the word “quintillionth” in a sentence, and the hyperbole fits). In past issues she has given a lot of extra time to contributors. In 13, for example, she asks each poet three questions, thereby adding the author’s background, philosophy and creative impetus to the mix.
Xenith began life as an ASCII text zine that existed only in late 90s AOL inboxes. We began dual publishing issues on our website just before the new millennium in an attempt to broaden our audience. We released over forty issues in less than five years, earning a devoted following and press exposure, including an appearance in the New York Times Upfront Magazine.
Wil Hough, one of the founding editors at Rose & Thorn, first spent a decade as NOVLPapa in the old AOL Amazing Instant Writers Group. While earning his living as a faux finishing artist specializing in Impressionist and Post Expressionists wall art, he best expresses his contrarian outlook through poetry, essays, and short stories.
Yu-Han Chao writes with delicacy and power. Her poems speak on many levels about life, relationships and personal nightmares. Her work flows from a mix of traditional Chinese culture, contemporary Taiwan and post-modern America. The resulting poems contain beauty and often wisdom. Many are worth reading over and over again.
The Chinese do not give each other clocks as a gift, because to song zhong, give clock, means to see someone to their grave, to be present at their deathbed, to give last rites.
These books are places to lose your life, page by page; like sleep, a way to waste time, to follow another’s words down a lane of forgetting. Afterward, they sit on shelves or lay in dusty corners, are stuffed into rotting cardboard boxes and congregate in attics, waiting to grab my attention once again.
How could they know that their words cease to be words at all to me but become, instead, an artist’s brush (or more nearly the paint itself ), bold strokes and small nuances that I am sure to miss on first reading. I sit with them, study them as I would a work of art in a gallery, straining to discover the artist’s essence on the canvas or catch the one detail of great importance to him. Sometimes it is a fleeting beauty that cannot be described regardless of the medium used — paint, glass, ink or paper — whatever it is, is just there, a moment of discovery tucked away in a remote place, preserved for the discriminating viewer or, in my case, fearful reader.
I want my penis to feel the tears of women
and understand the animal cruelty of its nature.
I want my penis to be deaf, never listening
to the voices that define what it means to be a man.
On Saturday, the 76-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate said that if he is to be reincarnated he will leave clear written instructions about the process. He said in a statement that when he is “about 90” he will consult Buddhist scholars to evaluate whether the institution of the Dali Lama should continue at all.
is written, collated and edited by a range of UNISON activists who are committed to the union's objectives. They come from differing branches, backgrounds and opinions, sharing a commitment to trade unionism, collectivism, international solidarity - supporting a trade union that is committed to a fundamental change in society and that puts the interests and values of working people at its heart, working through the democratic process of society.
We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.
In celebration of Wild Violet’s 10th anniversary, we are holding a special reading and celebration. The event will take place at 8 p.m. on Saturday, October 1, at Milkboy Coffee, 2 East Lancaster Ave. (U.S. Highway 30), Ardmore, Pennsylvania. There will be a $5 cover charge.
While watching sharks stalk their prey to eerie soundtracks may make for heart- stopping television, the fact is that sharks are responsible for the death of only two to three people each year. Yet people kill nearly 73 million sharks annually, primarily for their fins to meet a demand for shark-fin soup in Asia. Nearly one-third of all shark species are threatened with extinction.
[These] songs are old and they seem to know their own burdens. Here memory is like thick perfume, cloying—a scented cover for panic. Things are disappearing, between these pages, and uncertainty is rife. It is easy to get lost, cloaked in dust, shadows of unreliable light between freight trains.