Hello Miss Pretty Bitch by Emily Yoon thru Poets Respond!!

Emily Yoon

HELLO MISS PRETTY BITCH

the street drummer
calls out in Korean
no doubt thinking it
a compliment
a pleasant surprise
cinched with red ribbons
for Christmas the day
select theatres will gift us
with The Interview
a comedy in which
two American journalists
ignite Kim Jong-un’s face
freedom has prevailed
the film’s star Seth Rogen
says about the release
the same was thought
at the time of Korea’s release
from the Japanese Empire
though then the Korean War
began and compared to war
what’s so bad about a movie
anyway even war can be funny
and now a drummer
in New York says
you got a smile 
that could light up
the whole town 
though I’m not smiling
thinking about villages
and cities of what became
North Korea set on fire
sending puddles of twilight
into sunless skies
as if flames could stab
but his freedom
of speech prevails
freedom always prevails
which is why we get to see
two Americans
incinerate a Korean face
on Christmas
hold our popcorn
and chocolate bars
and laugh as the dictator
explodes in tune
to a pop song
laugh as American
soldiers would laugh
at Korean children
chanting hello hello 
gibu me choco-let
with wartime hunger
laugh as they choose
which face
to light up

Poets Respond
December 28, 2014

Emily Yoon: 

“I wrote this poem as a reaction to how friends and acquaintances responded to the news, and how Seth Rogen Tweeted, ‘The people have spoken! Freedom has prevailed! […]’ on the film’s release. 

As a Korean-born person, it was always curious to me how many people in the US feel entitled to dehumanize North Korea 

and condemn North Korea-South Korea relations under the name of humour and freedom of speech, 

without enough awareness on the role of the US in the Korean War and the subsequent demarcation.”

SUBMIT your own poem: https://rattle.submittable.com/submit/30232

This poem has been published exclusively online as part of a new project in which poets respond to current events. A poem written within the last week about an event that occurred within the last week will appear every Sunday at Rattle.com. “

http://www.rattle.com/poetry/hello-miss-pretty-bitch-by-emily-yoon/

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Sadjat Buat Adik- poem for my little brother, by Rivai Apin

Poem for my little brother
 .
Ever shorter the day
Fingers unbendable chilled by the evening
Fingers exhausted by searching for form
 .
There is always
The singing of a dream dreamt, one you will hear at last
You should
Let the light at dusk meet the light of day
and carefully attend to that
 .
Tomorrow is another day
And it will keep getting shorter

 

This modernist poet died in poverty and obscurity in 1995 in Jakarta. Political prisoner.

Political prisoner on Buru island with Indonesian writers, journalists, playwrights and poets. Tens of thousands of left-leaning and progressive Indonesians for periods up to 14 years.

Apin was one of the very few who managed to write something during his imprisonment. Memoirs: Jiku Kecil (19971-1973) about his unit and a couple of poems (1974-1979).

Many died in these prison camps. I don’t know enough to say whether they can be more closely described as how we understand concentration camps. Some combination of death, hunger, humiliation, reform and punishment.

 

Dutch translated by Linde Voûte
Gedicht voor mijn broertje

Steeds korter de dag
Vingers onbuigzaam verkild door de avond
Vingers vermoeid door het vinden van vorm
 .
Er is altijd nog
Het zingen van voorbije droom dat je eens zult horen
Je zou
Schemerlicht de dag moeten laten ontmoeten
en oplettend toezien
 .
Morgen is er weer een dag
Maar hij wordt steeds korter
 .
Uit: Ik wil nog duizend jaar leven. Negen moderne Indonesische dichters. Meulenhoff, Amsterdam,1979. Poetry International Serie. Put together by Harry Aveling.
.
BUY:
ONE book left in the Netherlands, antique and with nice prints: http://www.bol.com/nl/p/ik-wil-nog-duizend-jaar-leven/1001004005110174/
.
 .

KOKUMỌ: Lucille Clifton. Grandsons!!

CLIFTON_resized

KOKUMỌ

Photographs, my grandsons spinning in their joy.

universe
keep them turning —turning
black blurs against the window
of the world
for they are beautiful
and there is trouble coming
round and round and round

Lucille Clifton
In: the Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry.
Ed. Arnold Rampersad; Associate Ed. Hilary Herbold.

 

BUY the book:

USED: http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?sts=t&tn=oxford+anthology+of+african-american+poetry
NEW from a local bookstore: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780195125634

Obi Nwakanma- four seasons!! And now it is so so very cold here. Nigeria!

image_column-one

Favourite lines:

Icicles fall from trees,...they limber
like the gods terrified into silence,
like tall brooding deities looming out of the fog:

The cypress -whitening-
...;wearing her best habit,
a pale green in the forest of ghosts-

And so I walk through this windless night
through the narrow imponderable road
through the silence - the silence of trees- 

I hear not even the gust of wind
I hear only the quiet earth, thawing underneath;
I hear the slow silent death of winter-

when the sun is yellowest

...to every good, to every
flicker of stars along the pine
shadows;
to every tussle with lucid dusk,
to every moonlit pledge, to
every turn made to outleap
silvery pollen, 

I have desired to listen,...


USED and NEW: http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=2685567879
NEW through independent bookstores, book on Nigerian lyrical poet: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781847010131

“Obi Nwakanma is one of the Nigerian literary awards winning troika invited by Harvard University to represent New Voices From Nigeria at a recent Africa Events Reading (the other two being Maik Nwosu and Akin Adesokan also featured on this site).

Poet and journalist, he featured at the Poetry International Festival in 1995.

Holder of a BA degree from the University of Jos in Nigeria, Nwakanma was a visiting scholar at one of the pre-eminent universities in Nigeria, UN at Nsukka. Formerly an Assistant Editor at the Sunday Vanguard, he is currently a visiting scholar at The Meeting School, Rindge, NH, where he teaches Literature, Creative Writing and Journalism.”

http://www.poetrysoup.com/biography/obi_nwakanma

“Thirsting for Sunlight, his biography of the tragic modernist poet, Christopher Okigbo, was published by James Currey (UK) in 2010.
His collection of poems, The Horsemen & Other Poems, was published by Africa World Press (New Jersey) in 2007. Nwakanma’s first collection of poems, The Roped Urn, was awarded the Cadbury Prize in 1996 by the Association of Nigerian Authors, and he received the Walter J. Ong Award for Distinguished Achievement in 2008 from Saint Louis University.
His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in various anthologies and publications including Okike, Vanguard Review, Callaloo, and Wasafiri. His poetry has been translated into Spanish, Dutch, German, and Turkish.
Obi Nwakanma has also worked as a professional journalist, reporting internationally for Newsweek, Neue Zurcher Zeitung, and as Group Literary editor for the Vanguard,one of the major national newspapers in Nigeria, for which he continues to write a weekly column, “The Orbit” in the Sunday Vanguard.
5474688568_2a1f5c5b3b_b He is currently working on a novel, a new collection of poems, and a book on The Mbari Movement, Transnationalism and Modern African Literature.”
In FULL:
ICICLES fall from trees, molten with age, 
without memory - they stand aloof in their 
nakedness - they limber; 
like the gods terrified into silence, 
like tall brooding deities looming out of the 
fog: 

The forest hugs them 
carves them into stones, 
Etches them into the slow 
eastern landscape: rivers, hills 
the slow running water, 
times broken inscapes…

The willows are burdened with ice 
the white shrouds of burial spread 
upon the earth's ravaged face; the eyes 
unseeing, the mouth unspeaking, 
a gust of wind proclaims the anger of 
immemorial ages; the cycle, the 
eternal ritual of mystical returns - 

The cypress - whitening -
boneless; wearing her best habit, 
a pale green in the forest of ghosts -

And so I walk through this windless night 
through the narrow imponderable road 
through the silence - the silence of trees -

I hear not even the gust of wind
I hear only the quiet earth, thawing underneath; 
I hear the slow silent death of winter -

where the sun is yellowest.
 
But above, Monadnock looms 
like some angry Moloch, her 
white nipple seizing the space

drained of all milk.
.
.
 

A she-devil beckoning to worshippers 
seductive - her arm stretching outwards -
to this lonely pilgrim
lost in the mist: 

Behold the school of wild bucks 
Behold the meeting of incarnate 
spirits -
Behold the lost souls bearing tapers 
in rags of rich damask, 
Down Thomas - the saint of 
unbelievers - down the road to bliss 
Down to the red house, uncertain 
like a beggar's bowl hanging unto the cliff 
of withdrawn pledges, where the well is 
deepest.
.
.
 

I have dared to live 
beneath the great untamed.
 

To every good, to every 
flicker of stars along the pine 
shadows; 
To every tussle with lucid dusk, 
To every moonlit pledge, to 
every turn made to outleap 
silvery pollen, 

I have desired to listen - to listen -
to the ripening of seasons.
.
.
.
 

Winter 2001
This is ONE of a continuing sequence.

Franny Choi: speaking about vaginas! Rebel mouth.

Vagina poem (I think) by spoken word poet Franny Choi. What are a vag’s ghost stories? What a poet.

Second Mouth
BY FRANNY CHOI

Other-lips whispering between my legs.
What they called black hole not-thing
is really packed full of secrets. A rebel mouth

testifying from the underside. Careful
not to let it speak too loudly. Only hum
demure in polite company—never laugh

or spit on the sidewalk or complain
lest we both be dragged under the wheels of
one of those. Or worse coddled

smiled at as at a lapdog acting wolf.
Or worse called ugly a cruel joke. Or—
there are always worse things.

Too many messengers shot. But then
who wouldn’t fear an eyeless face
whose ghost stories always come true?

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poem/247316

http://frannychoi.com/lit/

Spring Haikus by Issa – Japanese poet.

Image

 

Early spring –                                From the bough
stream flows                                 floating downriver,
toward my door                            insect song.

In spring rain
A pretty girl
yawning.

Face of the spring moon –
About twelve years old,
I’d say.

The cricket
proudly pricks up its whiskers
and sings

My spring is just this:
a single bamboo shoot,
a willow branch

Moist spring moon –
raise a finger
and it drips.

The spring day
Lingers
In the pools.

Blossoms at night,
and the faces of people
moved by music.

 

A world of trials,
and if the cherry blossoms,
it simply blossom

 

Moon, plum blossoms,
this, that,
and the day goes.

Not very anxious
to bloom,
my plum tree

The new year arrived
in utter simplicity –
and a deep blue sky

People working fields,
from my deepest heart, I bow.
Now a little nap.

Before I arrived,
who were the people living here?
Only violets remain.

 

Black History- Poetry. John Agard celebrates the British Anthem!

ImageImageImage

Alternative Anthem

Put the kettle on
Put the kettle on
It is the British answer
to Armageddon.

Never mind taxes rise
Never mind trains are late
One thing you can be sure of
and that’s the kettle, mate.

It’s not whether you lose
It’s not whether you win
It’s whether or not
you’ve plugged the kettle in.

May the kettle ever hiss
May the kettle ever steam
It is the engine
that drives our nation’s dream.

Long live the kettle
that rules over us
May it be limescale free
and may it never rust.

Sing it on the beaches
Sing it from the housetops
The sun may set on empire
but the kettle never stops.”
― John AgardAlternative Anthem: Selected Poems

450615725-2

He has a twinkle in his eye!