Throughout history there have been traditionally displaced people, people on the road. The Jews going
to Israel, the Gypsies, the Black people brought to America from Africa. It may have been difficult
keeping families together. In England 1800’s, if you couldn’t keep shelter and food, depending on employment,
the harvest, if there was a war, families may have become displaced. Often poverty with food security issues
in Africa makes people travel. War torn places often create refugees (with what is happening in Syria and
the Middle East). The “cult of ego” with shattered love lives in the West may create emotionally displaced
people, violence and street people. In poetry, this was brought to the fore with the Beat Poets, Allan
Ginsburg, and particularly Jack Kerouac’s On the Road and later Charles Bukowski. With displacement
comes new ground, new landscape, often being taken out of the context of “home” and the history of the place
of origin, there could be a loss of family/cultural information, a loss of family artefacts, a loss of contacts,
family friends, a loss of place. It is important to know who you are, the stories of your family and ancestors,
your cultural identity, and what it means (traditionally, cultural protocol can prevent misunderstandings and
violence, however in the post-modern world it has also become disabused by chaos operators creating violence.)
“Nature abhors a void.” Being an “outsider” can give new perspectives, giving rise to priorities and new
ideas of what is important, new hope, new dreams, who we are, perhaps feeding an arts calling and a more
peaceful cultural way in the Spirit of Good and the Holy Spirit.
With the 1950’s, after World War II, it became possible to get divorced, there became an experiment with sex and the economy at Rochdale, University of Toronto. People broken by multiple lovers became economic drivers and with the suffering, mental patients, suicides, drug addicts/alcoholics, sometimes becoming violent and being put in the penal system, street people, developed health issues. Giving rise to shock doctrine, a violent unofficial system of government.
The idea of place and/or home has come to be a fragile concept in the Transition Economy (with the change to the Computer-based system) with less employment and a streamlining of systems. The Old Economy focuses on monies, defines people through monies rather than happiness, a majority of people find themselves in rotating marriages, an unnatural state according to the tenets of the Holy Spirit (many Signs from God are about discerning happy longterm marriages). The vast majority of people should not be without a happy longterm covenant marriage on a Sign from God, most people have at least one Starcrossed Lover, the happy marriage the cornerstone of personal and Community peace. If God had wanted us to be whores he would not have sent a simpatico lover on a Sign from God for a longterm marriage.
An Arts Calling, Poetry as celebration and healing despite horrific circumstances, provides a record in time and place. All art tells a story, and is an Archive, a truthtelling of life's journey. Keeping a poetry record is a gift of time and place to future generations. If you are stationed in one place it can be good to travel by train or bus, to see how the new day unfolds, how the different karmic colours of other places, the architecture, the landscape, the people can affect and be reflected in the poetry offering. Getting on a train and traveling to a destination point, perhaps staying for a few days, and the return trip. Like a traveling writing residency. The train is so romantic, going across country, the big windows, the sleeping berths, ordering food, chatting up fellow travel companions and sitting in the quiet, writing. Amtrak (American Passenger Rail) offers a Residency Program for writers, giving away a long-distance round trip that includes sleeper car accommodation, the only requirement being that you are a writer and an American citizen. VIA Rail (Canadian Passenger Rail) offers a music/performance residency to Canadian citizens who are musicians.
Travelling to different places and practicing an arts calling, gives new inspiration, can give the artist/writer new landscape, new possiblilities, a new audience. The artist/writer as the “outsider” can be a new truthtelling, a new impression of culture and being. Poetry as a diary, can be like memoir writing, descriptive and experiential, a photo in time. The truth telling and creation of new mythologies, a cultural artifact, a work of art that tells a story of what life was like in the 21st Century, a gift to generations to come.
the vitamins of an alphabet, stretching the bounds of poetry into a wild experiment in New Age
surrealism and visual poetry, the work is enigmatic, mixing mathematical equations with words and
pictures with new word constructs. Sean Braune is a graduate student in English at York University
who has been invited to speak to Yale University graduate students on his avante garde poetry and
theories of reformation of semiotic signs. His research papers have been published in Postmodern
Culture, Canadian Literature, Journal of Modern Literature amongst others. His poetry has been
published in ditch, Rampike, Poetry is Dead, The Puritan amongst others.
Of the biggest excitement for This Writer, and indeed, I suspect for any publisher is the discovery of new poetry synergies. “That’s not poetry” begs the question “is that poetry?” and with great delight after some reflection elicits the response “that IS poetry”. This is the essence of Poet Braune’s mysterious off road journeys. The first part of the vitamins of an alphabet is reconstructed language synergies, new juxtapositions and conjugations that play on words and meanings, surreal, inflight language with occasional rhymes that play with the light. Perhaps conjuring a more sophisticated child than the DaDa movement of World War I with totally nonsensical art without meaning in response to the atrocities of war. As if a children’s game of rhymes only more intriguing, more enlightening, as if a response to some hidden dialectic of violence.
“My grapheme is a grape for a hematoma is a grappa opa in oneiric states of
aire. Rerum the reruns against stairs:”
“Your hair looks like a green, leafy vegetable
or the vitamins
of an alphabet”
Perhaps alluding to power constructs, “the alphabet”, a loose construct of international conglomerates running the world, the violence of shock doctrine (a violent unofficial system of government) and “the cult of ego” values of the West.
“We are all little flowers tended by arrogant gods and galoshes,
As the cultural matrix in the West implodes from the weight of chaos and violence, stress from miscreant personal/political agendas, a burgeoning population and the Transition Economy, out of the Existential darkness, a new direction emerges in the light of understanding the cultural milieu and the Holy Spirit paradigm.
The second part of the Chapbook is titled “Three Poequations (After Smithson)” and presents a series of mathematical equations woven with words and ideas. Perhaps an experiment in poetic enlightenment for math/physics scholars.
The third part of the Chapbook is titled “Four Variations on the Signifier” and presents a definition of signifier in relation to semiotics. “ a sign’s physical form (such as a sound, printed word, or image) as distinct from its meaning.” Playing with the word signifier and morphing it into 4 new words each with its own picture, perhaps an experiment in poetic enlightenment for English majors and artists. Playing with language, weaving mathematics with words/ideas and new word constructs with pictures, Poet Braune enlightens and recreates the magic of poetry in New Age synergies. the vitamins of an alphabet, enlightening and innovative, a brilliant poetic event from Sean Braune and above/ground press.
Available @ above/ground press.
panpiped panacea, Ukrainian poet Yuri Izdryk writes a prayer for peace. Yuri Izdryk is a Poet, Writer,
Artist, Musician born in Kalush, Ukraine, 1962. He is best known in the West for his novel Wozzeck, an
English translation. Poet Izdryk’s latest collections of poetry are IO and Ab Out, he publishes poetry
regularly on his online blog. This Chapbook of poetry was translated from the Ukrainian by Roman Ivashkiv
and Canadian Poet/Translator Erin Moure.
Russia and the Ukraine, has a rich history in dissident poets, people who are writers who report on human rights abuses. In the Ukraine in the 1800’s to bring down the wrath of the Russian government, the closing of pressworks, the banning of books, all you had to do was print your writings in the Ukrainian language (rather than the official Russian language). (e.g. Poet Taras Shevenko (1847) and Poet Leonid Hlibov (1863)). In 1923 Ukrainian Poet Pavlo Tychnya was forced by the Russian government to write a letter rejecting his opportunity for the Nobel Prize. (and he was not the only Poet/Writer that Russian government did this to). In the 1930’s many Ukrainian writers were murdered under Stalin’s Russian government. Ukrainian Poet Mykola Rudenko published details of human rights abuses, was arrested by the Russian government, only to be awarded by the Ukrainian government in 1993. Human rights abuses in the Ukraine have also been a concern in the mid-20th century and there are many more contemporary activist Poets/Writers/Artists. Currently, human rights abuses in Russia are reported in the mainstream media, particularly notable are murders of political rivals of Vladimir Putin and anyone who defects from his inner circle who criticizes him, the murder of Russian journalists as well as the incarceration and rape of two dissident members of the rock group, Pussy Riot. The Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991, with many of the outlying states declaring independence, including the Ukraine. In 2014, violence in the Ukraine was sparked by a pro-Russian faction, perhaps backed by the Russian government – Volnovakha bus attack, 2 battles at the Donetsk airport, battle of Debaltseve, the Mariupal attack and more insurgencies that have been spelled by peace talks and ceasefires.
Poetry as an artform in the Ukraine has evolved through pro-Ukrainian lyric poetry with rhyming (Taras Shevenko, 1847) to Russian socialist realist literature of the mid-20th century. The latter type of literature was in support of the communist government, an essence of a false and mandatory optimism. Contemporary poetry evolved into free verse and a type of Modernism, that became more of a truthtelling, often dwelling on the darkside, the violence and crisis of the Postmodern Ukraine.
The poetry of Yuri Izdryk is an evolution in form for Ukrainian poetry, embracing the New Age in free verse with occasional rhymes perhaps influenced by the American style in hip hop and rap music. The poems are presented in the Ukrainian language on the lefthand side of the page, This Writer’s eyes gaze on, the elegant hieroglyphs weave, perhaps like some half-forgotten dream, a life in mystery, to drift to the English translation that reveals the cloth. The repetitive words of synopsis creates a lyrical cadence like a prayer, as if rocking the cradle, as if God is not dead despite the violence, there is hope on the wind.
to close this world like a book half-read
where the author clings to a cumbersome plot
where hordes of heroes are sold at a discount
where the heroes’ sorrow is elevated to the imperative
where each page resembles all its predecessors
where all that’s precious is buried in footnotes
or is buried in a flower bookmarking the middle
or in someone’s grey notes left in the margins
to close this trash to slam it shut throw it in a heap
or deep in the river – let the current take it
to save only the flower shriveled and shortlived
to have faith in it . . . – to rewrite everything"
A play on violence, perhaps hatred, the violence of negating a written work, throwing it away only to be saved by a dried flower “to rewrite everything”. This poem sets the stage for what is to come. In the background appears to be an argument in a broken love affair, a love interest that leaves, a reflection of the hell of a broken covenant. Perhaps a parallel for the violence of the Russian government against the sessionist Ukraine.
In look, folk, erorythmia, a prayer, des-pair is the Poet’s wish for love, for communication with the parting lover, an end to the war. In anamnesis the violence of the ended love affair, forgetting the past, plays out in images of strangulation with allusions to alzheimers disease and the German philosopher Martin Heidegger. (Martin Heidegger was alive during W.W. II and is best known for his treatise “Being and Time”, philosophy that brushes with phenomenology and existentialism).
In nomen, and panpiped panacea he is so tortured he feels rejected by God and as the bombs fall in inferno images, you can imagine the violence. This poetry inculcates the hell of a war zone. Perhaps he is confusing God with the Russian government, uses the allusion to represent the psychological malaise and a lack of beauty and peace. No doubt, The Holy Spirit will be revealed in the wartorn Ukraine, after going through hell, the light and peace at the end of struggle.
The broken romance reaches new heights in “pacific dreamer”:
“and sometimes a tail
my dreams are filled with floods and flows
the moon the sun and the peach –
are often the same thin”
The images are those of nature and violence and the psychological torture of being in a war zone. Despite the darkness, in the Spirit of the New Age, the flowering of the New Freedom, the joy of playing with language, the cadence and occasional rhyme, occasionally new word constructs emerge. One of the poems is named “des-pair”, perhaps highlighting the brokenness of love. He uses the word "supergeil", a half German word (meaning super cool/horny) in relation to the German philosopher Martin Heidegger. The last word of the last poem in the work is “z.e.e.n.d” perhaps a play on “the end”.
Shining through the darkness of violence, the poetry is in the tradition of Ukrainian spiritus, “we shall overcome” and peace, an end to war. As in the words of one tired feminist protestor “I can’t believe we are still protesting this shit.” An exciting evolution in New Age poetry, panpiped panacea by Yuri Izdryk.
Available @ above/ground press.