Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category
The Politics of Ashok
March 29, 2008
Or rather, Ashok Karra’s thoughts on my political side. I am most grateful for his ongoing engagement and interest in my work.
Today, Ashok was moved by a recent poem that appears in Jacket, “Two if by Land, I Do”:
…As always, Amy King is well-aware of what I, as a student of Leo Strauss, would call the ancient/modern distinction. The fundamental difference between us and the medievals/Romans/Greeks is that we base politics on the fact men are not angels…
In the past, Ashok has explored “Everyone Has a Decision To Make“:
I want to meditate on the above poem in order to see the relation between speech and coming to a conclusion within one’s own thought. My own feeling is that this has broad implications for how we conceive of politics. If we cannot be sure of our own moral stances, how can we be so sure others are wrong? …
Many, many thanks, Ashok for your thoughts on and with these poems!
“The true critic is he who bears within himself the dreams and ideas and feelings of myriad generations, and to whom no form of thought is alien, no emotional impulse obscure.” –Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
One Response to “The Politics of Ashok”
Women of the Web!
March 29, 2008
- Deborah Ager
- Daniela Gioseffi
- C.M. Mayo
- Amanda Johnston
- Jean Emerson
- Maria Mazziotti Gillan
- Danielle Pafunda
- Lori Jareo
- Janet Holmes
- PJ Nights
- Jenni Russell
- Shanna Compton
- Elizabeth Treadwell
- Arielle Greenberg
- Carmen Gimenez Smith
- Elisavietta Ritchie
- Jen Tynes
- Carly Sachs
- Karren LaLonde Alenier
- Anny Ballardini
- Juliet Cook
- Kaya Oakes
- Anne Boyer
- Kristy Bowen
- Michelle Detorie
- Ana Bozicevic-Bowling
- Amy King
- Lina ramona Vitkauskas
- Liz Bradfield
- Patty Paine
- Jennifer Bartlett
- Reb Livingston
- Cheryl Townsend
- Meghan Punschke
- Kate Bernadette Benedict
- Barbara Quinn
- Kim Roberts
- Jill Chan
- Christine Klocek-Lim
- Grace Cavalieri
Smorgasboard of Virtual Immortality
March 26, 2008
Though I would like to imagine my election last night to the post of Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere is due to my incredible blogging skills, I certainly must acknowledge that if one considers the other nominees (as well as many who weren’t on the list), it becomes clear that my election was, at least in part, a popularity contest, as Billy, the Blogging Poet and election founder himself notes in his congratulatory remarks here. There are blogs out there that provide so much more poetry-worthy information and enthusiasm that, well, just check out the blog roll to your right and find that I am far from alone or superior in my promotion of poetry and poetics. Obviously, the election of this position has not been widely spread, since just 872 people voted in total. That said, I vow to send word out and promote the next election, as well as think aloud about the possible responsibilities the title might hold in light of the incredible activities that have and continue to take place at the hands of the former laureates, Jilly Dybka and Ron Silliman.
But now that I have achieved virtual immortality, or mortal virtuality, my first act as laureate is to declare power, as we know it, bankrupt. I realize I am among the choir, but I find it important, especially now, to point a finger at the war the U.S. began, and maintains at extreme cost, on false pretenses and without the support of the countries seated at the United Nations’ table, since we are nearing a voting period. The “Policeman” of the world has ridden its course, and we have to start an articulate buzz about the demise of this kind of brute, money-motivated power – among ourselves — so that we can begin re-building our international diplomacy skills, and most vitality, engage the next generation of U.S. citizens in the process.
I listen to NPR some mornings and report war details, including death tolls, to my students now and then. Once in awhile, a handful will get flustered and demand to know why “we didn’t know these details before,” especially in relation to the genesis of the war. These outbursts are common enough that I think, If just a few more adults were talking to young adults about the specificities and the perils the war will provide for their futures, maybe these Millennials won’t be so easily media-duped once they truly become the voting majority.
An indicator of such change has appeared in the form of one Governor Spitzer, coincidentally, today. Generation Y (or the Millennials) are known for their socially-conscious interests, which bodes well for Spitzer’s proposed legislation in the last 24 hours, which includes civil marriage equality, election law reforms, and a fundamental right to privacy for women. Spitzer is following through with his campaign promises, “because it’s a statement of principle that I believe in, and I want to begin that dynamic.”
In one fell swoop, Spitzer has shown why the last guy lost his state seat (and receives my cheers in the process). He is doing what any good politician in this stage of the game should do: he has noticed this very large young generation of up and comings, along with their sympathetic parents who are persuaded by their “live and let live” attitudes, and has begun cultivating a socially-conscious history devoted to egalitarian principles that may one day win him a presidency. The old conservatives of stalwart religiosity will fall away if they carry on with their proclamations; this generation is not swayed by threats of hell, impositions on their beliefs, and demands that they behave according to a higher authority.
Related to the above news but on a personal note and in line with the smorgasbord title, I would now like to call attention to some hypocrisy related to myself, though I fear me and my colleagues here at NCC are not alone in the campaign against it. In a world where such conservative companies as Morgan Stanley, Wal Mart, American Express, Motorola, etc. provide domestic partnership benefits to their employees, how can I acknowledge that in the supposed bastion of liberalism, academia, I do not benefit from the same basic allowances provided to my married co-workers? Acknowledge and publicly protest I must, especially since I haven’t been as active as I’d like in the efforts so many on my campus are in engaged in, demanding civil rights for all – thanks especially to Elizabeth Wood for maintaining this blog about Nassau Community College’s battle for those rights!
Last but not least, I must adamantly thank Robin Reagler for nominating me, the other bloggers whose good company I enjoy, and those of you who voted for this poet. I hope to live up to the title, or at least, find a way to fill the shoes with each of you now and then!
p.s. Post on a poet coming soon …
15 Responses to “Smorgasboard of Virtual Immortality”
March 26, 2008
PBS Gleanings today:
Apparently, the paternity thing is not an issue among scientists.
“Least Respected Dog” is the title of the dog that pulls the most weight but is the lowest in the pack for the Inuit people.
These amazing sled dogs can run the equivalent of five marathons a day.
The sled dogs can fall into freezing water and get out without problem – water that would kill a man in about three seconds.
They can also fend off polar bears, even fighting them when necessary.
–from “The Rise of the Dog” on PBS
I’m thinking a bit about the public space of virtuality today. Or the virtuality of public space. Today. Looking over Charles Bernstein’s “Electronic Pies in the Poetry Skies” January 2001 post to the Electronic Book Review, I thought I’d post a few statements, pulled from a larger list, for meditation value tonight:
* In some ways, the intimate space of email discussion can leave one feeling more vulnerable to animosity than in “live” settings, where the presence of others serves as a buffer.
* Freedom is never free.
* The Internet provides new opportunities for rumor, gossip, exploitation, and innuendo.
* In some of the new Internet environments, there is a fairly high tolerance for flaming, ad hominen attack, libel, and diatribe, as if resentment is a measure of honesty.
* The Web necessitates ever more editing, more intensive intervention, lest our alternative spaces be rendered vacuous, or desperate, by default launching people into the official flows of information.
* Yet righteous outrage is as likely to shut down exchange as provoke it.
* Web space is not so much disembodied as differently bodied. And those different bodies can be as scary as the demons that haunt our dreams for human freedom.
* While the proliferation of unmoderated spaces does of course allow for some of the otherwise unheard to speak, in the resultant din it may be impossible to hear them.
* We remain vulnerable to destabilization by agent provocateurs but also by provocative agencies within ourselves, our desire for purification through self-immolation.
* It’s not technology that will change the possibilities for dialogue but politics.
* If the discussion is always starting from scratch, the participants with greater experience may drop away.
* Public space requires protecting rights as much as allowing access.
* The contribution of small press publications is that they articulate specific, not general, aesthetic values; that they do not allow market forces to be the primary arbiter of value; and that they provide sharp contrasts with the otherwise available literature of the time.
* It may be as useful to participate in a conversation “over your head” as “at your level.”
–excerpts from Charles Bernstein’s “Electronic Pies in the Poetry Skies”
Hey, did you get your daily dose of vote today? And did you see the beautiful company I’m in?!
11 Responses to “Evolutions”
Remember That Time?
March 26, 2008
Hey Michael Lauran,
Remember the time all five of us went to Vieques, Puerto Rico, and Jen Demartino and I narrated every move you made as you made it? Remember how our narration took the form of nostalgic questions? Remember how we drove you crazy? Remember when we all went rafting and swimming in the Bioluminescent Bay and then ran away when the other tourists got pissed at our narration? Remember the time that parrot nearly took my hand off? Remember when the pilot flew us in his hoopty-like mini van with wings from San Juan over the rain forest, and he gave me the controls since I was sitting in the co-pilot seat? Remember when you all screamed in real terror? Remember when the locals told us later that he was a total drunk?
Remember the times we went swimming in such a clean & clear ocean and then how we went back to our hotel each night and got free drinks at the lovely outside bar? Remember the very cool kick-ass locals we vowed to stay in touch with? Remember when that local “lady” of the village cornered Jen on the dance floor and danced up and down the length of Jen’s body singing, “Trabajo,” over and over until Jen couldn’t look anymore panicked?
Remember the time Jen moved to L.A. and became some famous casting agent who shows us the town & goes dancing with us when we visit? Remember the time you were living in San Francisco, and I was missing you? Remember when you sent me & Jen a Regina Spektor video that reminded you of Jen’s and my antics? Remember the time I wrote you a blog post that barely touches on our history but denotes the love we share just enough? Remember when I signed a blog post to you, “Love, Amy”?
4 Responses to “Remember That Time”
March 25, 2008
FAMILY PORTRAIT 2007
Gina Myers has tagged me for my first meme ever. I’m delighted to share five things about myself that you probably don’t know:
1. When I first moved to New York about nine years ago, I was on a guest list for an “exclusive” private party called, “The Bitches Lounge.” I frequented the scene on a regular basis for maybe a year and got to see the rich and famous up close. I danced a few feet away from Donatella Versace’s nose; I insulted Bill Maher by drunkenly insisting that he was “that actor”; watched Queen Latifah cause a stir, among other notables, etc. I’ve also attended other swank events that I no longer seem to be invited to, including a party at George Plimpton’s upper East side apartment, where I told Marisa Berenson she was hot and that I loved her, as well as sparring with Anthony Haden-Guest in the kitchen, literally, until our host intervened to make sure I was okay. Incidentally, Mr. Plimpton had enormous, gentle hands.
2. For a period in my adolescence, I was a hardcore born-again Christian. We’re talking a lust for churches where people are “touched by the Spirit” and then speak in tongues while doing a little jig, sometimes falling and writhing a bit at the end. Most churches were not radical enough for me then.
3. I was once arrested for “Loitering in front of a known crack house with the intent to purchase and use crack cocaine.” Yes, that’s a real charge, and yes, I was strip searched.
4. When I worked in a high risk Labor and Delivery Unit, the nurses came to trust me with duties that did not necessarily fall within my job description. One of those was to transport the ‘expired’ babies on weekend shifts to the unmanned morgue, where I had to place them in the refrigerator. I think the nurses were glad to be rid of the task, after exhaustively and diligently caring for the mothers and their families. Pardon any morbidity, but I have held many dead people in my hands, no small thing.
5. Health item: I am terribly myopic and have a hearing deficiency. I do not wear my glasses regularly and refuse contacts. The inadequate sight and sound combination often comes back to me in the form of, “Why didn’t you say hi to me yesterday? I was waving and calling to you from across the street/cafe/bar!” Others have simply written me off for ‘ignoring’ them.
I also have a heart condition called Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome (WPW) that I have consistently refused surgery for over the past few years. But that’s another story.
10 Responses to “MEME”
Can This Blog Falter?
March 22, 2008
I suppose if you come with certain expectations, yes. But do you? I never really know why I come here. At least, overall. Blogs are very much public diaries — the rules don’t apply really. It’s a take-or-leave-it situation, no? Why visit? I mostly go to blogs to find out the happenings of other poets and artists. Sometimes I go for the news or political commentary, but mostly I go for blogs of a personal variety. I suppose I’m nosey.
So two notes for the day. I should be grading numerous essays. Instead, I haven’t been feeling so well as of late, so I watched the best film of the Batman series: “Batman Begins.” Get it if you’re home-bound or just looking for a decent adventure flick. It’s the smartest from the lot.
Toot toot (that’s my own horn) again because baby makes two (I think this change in number — instead of “Baby makes three” — is apropos of our current state of affairs): my poem, “Cynthia McKinney Cast the Lone Dissenting Vote,” was just nominated for a Pushcart Prize along with Matthew Zapruder’s “Automated Regret Machine” from the journal, Order and Decorum. I feel like I hit the lottery.
See this post for the first baby (or lottery hit). Th-tha-that’s all folks!