Poetry



J. August Buehler, Martin Zet: the animal and the city and flowers
Getting down and into it, I hope to write for some time with no other objective than to entertain, let you know and otherwise dispel the feeling of just sitting here. The coffee’s gone cold, and the plaster snake remains unpainted. The warmth of those around me, Marketa, Crafty, Dave, Penny, Marisa, One, Blue Shoes and Loser Mate, blows in through the open door, curls the papers on the floor, trembles the windows. , How should one cut and paste these lives, and should they be given at all? We went dancing and drank wine. We went for a ride. The walls bend around the room. The tequila is hot and burns holes at the bottom of the well. We stagger on in the morning. Get on buses and traverse the city., I have my arms around a loose assortment of people, souls, burnt out and scrappy warriors, those who ache and stumble, blind, longing, but full in the morning and drained at night. We half play and are getting serious about it all, about putting our stuff up on the walls, getting it out and opening up. Getting old. The pictures all come back now overexposed with the light exploding from around the dulled edges, into the eyes and washed in living reds, blacks and whites. We celebrate to live and die as we pull back the sheets, grip around the middle, cough once and then again, leaning forward to make coffee, get out of bed, get back into it again, to keep busy, because after all it’s in those moments when nobody calls and you’re on your floor and the waiting’s begun and the dust settles, an old thing, the waiting, a country thing that actually reverses in the city; inside out it becomes a panic thing, a horny thing, a shuffle through magazines looking for that article, or a tapping of the finger, cleaning the windows, anything’s better than watching the dust turn around your breath and settle on your legs and hands, resting evenly on the floor. , Best to drink coffee and smoke a cigarette, and dance, in tune in humming in motion in flight. I love to ride a motorcycle around curves like running my hand over a smooth hot piece of metal and then the moment you stop at a crossroads and the engine cools and ticks and the silence falls like a body, and lightens again as the light and sounds of crows fill the space. The colors are green and red and blue and so solid you have to squint to mix them, blend them, so they streak a little. The air is sharp here, too, like down by the stream that runs near your home as we walk with your two pointers lopping ahead. It takes two to crash through the door and up to the chest and put your face in the water. Two to climb out and dry on the bank. A solid stand of oaks. An open, breathing space., Spring in the city brings beautiful lies in the shape of hopeful permanence, in the shape of devastating city symmetry. A longing to be inside people and their things, where the heart leaps and burns. , And it’s time that gets it all in the end, time as it erodes and changes us and undoes us. We let go and float and hope for the best, for a time when somebody will claim us for their own, that will settle matters and eternalize us, make us whole human and undespairing. And time, unflinching wench, gives up nothing, not even a shrug or a wink. It doesn’t exist it’s not real. It’s beautiful and terrible and lives and doesn’t care., Two dangerous animals butt heads and rut over fallen timber, where love is hate too and inside out it dangles tauntingly in front of you and you never see it and one day it is gone and you never see what became of it. And that’s okay too., I like walking through the city, the brushing of the bodies, the strange tactile sensation of sticky summer movement through a crowd and all the breath goes up and over the town and chimneys. Summer brings street corners at night and exchanges, slow parting, the screech of windows opening, cries from the alley slumber and Hamlet at the Globe, the sound of falling apples and wine. Summer brings stasis and stopping and sun that lingers and offers itself on sheets of metal and cloth that stains red and goes hauntingly pink, rouge and then night. Summer brings murder and release. Summer heaves and breathes and sweats all weekend under lime and oak, and summer never goes away. It starts with a crack under an object, a tea cup, as if the cup were emitting what it knew all along, and pours out what was pent up for months, through the doors and windows and laughing its way into your clothes and the back of your neck., So I follow now in furs the animals as they retreat to the herd and head for the forest, their heads held high. When I was young I hunted animals, deer mostly, and shot a few, and I can smell all those smells now. The flashes and waits, panic and angelic feel of fur and blood. I respected what I killed because I was taught to, but I was also taught not to, to be up in a tree and see the world move as light falls from the sky, and the trees fall to the earth, softly, in time. The early dark fall mornings in the back of a car, green alien light from the dash and turning off the highway down a dirt road as we crunch though snow to a place where animals may be. Where they are, we are assured, or we wouldn’t be there. Again the silence of noise, the slamming of car doors and the heat of coffee in a red plastic thermos cap, burning my hands, blow nose, sling rifle, feel fear, walk into the brush, boots sliding cautiously not to snap branches. The city too hunts and holds, prepares, launches and falls, as much of autumn is sliding fear and coolness and even walking. , Winter in the city brings truth in the shape of boxes opened, kicked into the street or stored until one day, surprisingly unlidded, unstopped, unmasked. Winter brings love, too, in the shadows of ash fires, in the dullness of moments, the window streaks and hearts., We could dance in winter and feel each other through sweaters and jeans. We could follow the trails of Cesky Raj or not and get lost, because of the helplessness of it, the letting go of the sun this time, and the human, animal, warming that happens under blankets, at night, as we give up and become ourselves for each other, in winter, in embrace, and here winter love sets in, and then the animal, and the city., , every day now I go further—when, the cast iron splinters against the wall, , it would be so easy to knife into, a sea as cold and blue as this one, with its white lights and boiling icebergs, that shoot into the sky like sculpted dolphins, , in all this silence the sea moves, under foot in the darker chambers, where fish heads are nailed to stone walls, and rusty anchors sink through forest floors, , , Sounds. Like sound dreams and sound people. Light from inside out, in sound relief. It may take years to find the right one. To image what is in the sound. To ease the splitting of morning and night. To heal the separation. In fact, to salve what burned and itched for so long, at the point of separation. With noble face often times more animal—more forest animal—than city human. With camera in hand Marketa stands at a great distance and draws shades of life from the tactile visible world and then infuses them with memory and story. Parked cars implode in the dead of night. Come morning, the punched glass runs over scorched metal like slow water, touches the street and its light penetrates her open eyes., , And here, as this cityworld’s landscape gapes openly into dawn, she scales down the side of a building with her carefully concealed camera hitched tight in a special leather holster made just for these excursions. Poised against the stone of the building, her gloved fingers tented, the black tips of her rubber shoes resting on a heavy stone window ledge, she listens for, and hears, the creaking beds and doors of human lives as they rise and fall headlong into the day, as they engage the madness of traffic and work, as they open themselves up to the dangers of conscious life and motion. , , The stories unfold from there, she knows, and so she waits with her eyes half open, flickering vermilion slits. Just as the air begins to assume a certain quality of light that almost glistens, she lets herself fall hissing into the cool darkness of the shadows below and then swings out on blue ropes until they lock her into place, hovering over the street. Hanging in emptiness, she snaps away at the mystery of strangers emerging into the morning. She turns quickly on a swivel as a window bangs open behind her. , , A repetition or a ritual, leading to frozen gray sound dreams of the profound within the mundane. In open space, she hears first and then sees. Nobody ever looks up as the gossamer threads that hold her over the street on an airy windlass send her singing back up to the rooftops, the evidence of something having happened, captured and curled, slowly cooling within the bowels of her camera., Tall Woman, , tall woman slinks in black leather and red canvas shoes, opens doors at night, as lights blink off and street lamps tremble like cold spoons, between your teeth, the snuffing of the lamps , knows no bounds to the sad and aching heart, still it goes on under the skin of tall woman, in the voice she no longer uses, she is open, she is so open that everything hurts, they say she’s mad, and bruises at the slightest touch, she’s so in love , and they say the hills have drawn up like smooth muscles around the city, she peers over the broken-teeth landscape , and pads silently past the haunted train station, where dead artists film the night in colored sheets, and strip your eyes , but she resists , and plunges deeper into the heart of the city, behind the busted-out box of paints and magazines, , where she grates open the iron door waiting there, banjos sally forth, volley thrice the alley shadows , bob jauntily down the street and away, she knows the work that still must be done, and there’s more to come, only she’s tired, and that’s fine, tall woman leans against the stone wall , sinks to the cool pavement and closes her eyes, leather colds to her legs like thorns and ice with sound, when she crosses her heel over the top of her foot, moon shapes, it’s night in the city and quiet where animals walk alone, tall woman with back to wall in no cage in no manner, the stalking panther turns in bladed grass to the heart of vision, , , , Rain Stones, , It pains to stand in the rain, and smoke this cigarette , my knuckles bleed, and it hurts to see the ends come together, of all I have done today, with the stones in the garden, , Marisa raps on the glass , and opens the window, , I can’t stand it—, my shirt is soaked to my back, I climb through the window, and pinch her baggy breasts and pull her , knotty gray hair, , , the police break in the door, we wail and shout, and throw eggs and steal their guns, , Marisa is in love, she says, with me, and we smoke her shoes for food, and through the clouds and walls and years, we pick the child of room and space, and wonder how it could ever be better, how it was never before and how, , when Marisa stands on her gangling toes, in green sandals, I place the rain stones, in the garden in such a way that it turns, but gold, and we can’t help the dance, , we could never help but dance, , , Crafty!, , CAn’t get the boot off without the skin come too! Ah., I gotta scoop the water, too, over my hot feet, and they spit like bacon and steam the car windows, inthe strEEt. Jagged. I rip the nail in two, hot potatoes!, and stomp the ice puddle with both my feet. AH! AH! , They’re staring at me, I see them, thou they think I don’t or care., Bits come off me! Ripe baking meat and fish heads burst., Light shoots from my eyes in great buttery gouts!, Ah! That’s crafty one. Newspaper wraps stops up the bleeding meatloafs AH!, They can’t see what I read deep designs in the cRAcks in the pools on the street!, They don’t know how I fold sheet plastic neat or crumple beer cans down to dimes, with my bare hands till they sing for holy mercy, and I AM! Or pinch Marcy’s bottom, and makes her laugh till she cry! WITH LOVE!, SLAP! SLAP! CRAFTY!, , , Home Is Everyday Now, , For the opening of new space, for the life of fridge and plant and all the accumulated stuff of two lives., , It’s hard to know the balance of where to begin, and come to terms with how it will end., Death of the moment comes like a snowball in the eye, a faint shriek on the edge of wake , a slide down a slippery slope. , , No more can we pretend we are alone and safe., Our youth is done and closed., The cardboard boxes of photos and darts have long parted in the rain., Now before us stands kitchen waiting to be cleaned., There is a shine there in the crack between the doors., Someone must open the window and let it in., , Unknown voices of neighbors who both shout like guns, and cast stick shadows over the streets., The redwood beads in the window sway and click , and give us pause,, the nights deepen such and we imagine, somewhere the floors creak, and those too become known., , , , Each one framed in a memory and placed on the wall, and only later, much later, in the yellowy of age , do we recall how one step there was silence and two lips over,, a memory on the wall, but it’s the getting used to, the familiarity,, that damns and sets us free. The very knowledge of one, goes deep, far deeper than the knowledge of many, the vines on the walls, the age of the walls, the new paint on the walls., , There are echoes here of what can come from a piercing look, your eyes which anchor me to earth, which tie me to now, which know far more than they admit, , from the soundest of ice breakers, floating on water, warm enough to know how long , the sadness of knowing exactly how long , and the blueness of knowing exactly how long , with the heart and the beat, and in there, somewhere,, is the pulse of the forest gone home, and the home gone forest., , We imagine writing into the night by candlelight, I look up, watch you moving your hand across the page, and now I know , that was you I saw along the green moonlight path , between the solid stand of oak, the grass so lush it blazed., , Show me your lasso, ring me around the knees, drag me down, I beg you,, to the earth, so I eat the earth between your knees, and cry there between your knees., , I can no longer help myself, nor do I want to. , The daytime has invaded our space and, filled it with light , has covered our paper notebooks , with salt and lime,, , there’s nothing left and the bed heaves and buckles in the corner, , the chimney smokes openly the herbage of what we’d stored , , and the dogs we never had howl , bang their tails inside cupboards, , the blue art of one-stroke paintings , slashes across the white walls., , And we paint them again, the journey and the painting, the journey out , the front door to the nearest restaurant with good light., We are clearly mad, the way we talk nonstop and fill our white cups time and again, they never seem to empty, they never go away, they too are familiar, , the cups and the filling and the drinking, the neverendingdrinking, and the neverendingopening of the menu of what we bought, and what we sold, what we lost and what we gained, we no longer stop and reflect, buy candles and hesitate., , We milk the cow, shoulder the scrap heap and move the hill., The animals bay from the cellar, and shit on the floor., That too gets done and learns to shine—, and becomes dear., , The worry and the fear and the slap and the damn of the, tree horns in our chests and guts, , , get expressed in the beaded, necklaces curled in jade nuggets and white soapsuds , in a small bone cup on the lacquered , trunk in the corner where rest a chair and bowl of mandarins., , There was the day balloons filled the space of all colors and shapes, of salmon and robots and clowns and hunting knives and gilded fangs., , They filled the space with their rubber noise and false cheer., How like the balloons, how like the balloons to do such a thing., And through it all I waved my arms and from the other side,, from the very far side of the room, you stood and waved back, , , the noise and roar of the balloons were testament to the motion , of our bodies, this sea , these lost snatches of air in the sudden explosion come home., , You waved and slashed out with your arms and I could see you, fall finally and rest,, all came tumbling down, the balloons, red and green and orange, bulrush and mandolin and Chevy ’55, , pounded down around you., , You lay and laughed there on the floor, all awash, all agolden, and I waved to you, happy to see, happy to be, at least this near, at least this far, knowing that there will always be more., , The City, , the city in new architecture believes, in ends to its days, , as the door opens in smooth shadows , tall woman steps out into the long light of August, and squeezes her thick hands between the white stones, she fears nothing but the sound of the dust, powdering her red canvas shoes, , as billboards gone one with the gallery, as Marketa rises from bed and scans the skies , for ancient animal traces, all in a moment each moment we are revealed , in the landscape of the city no longer feared, , as madman One lost and pounds the pavement , in drag torn from his body of disjointed ruins of limbs , as he pounds a hole in the pavement and slips through, he knows the ends of the days and the city, , as it goes and so it goes the city it goes, as young girl Marisa hangs from a live wire and sways, on the new moontime wind, she sways and thinks and fears only her soiled dress, what mother will say and the city it groans, , , , and opens its borders and is clean and shine, concrete ducts tremble and shear, the sun pounds glass towers and burns on a slow turn about, hovers in open space , on one hundred million threads of thin steel and copper, , how it can be so real and clean, , as canals sunder and surge into pure air and sound, there is no worry and fear and fear and we all step back, Dave walks his black dog in the shade, as his knees crack like walnuts and he bends , and slips on a snail that makes him laugh, and the city sees and winks, , in the new heat, Marketa slips on her sunglasses and pulls back her hair now white, for now she sees through the shadows of lives, her wisdom is old old, as ravaged color streams on the banks of storm and field, her insight burns her will and will consume her in time, her hair is white over her ears and her ears , as she bides on the corner near the newsstand , the news comes and goes and she lowers her eyes behind her glasses, as the city puckers and breathes under her feet, , , , as men and women tumble through sliding doors at six, eye for the release of home, as the city turns one degree to the sun, as the shadows fall over my hands , and Grace grips by the throat, and incants her way to free and song, as the city belongs, the city belongs and fears no more the end, of bad falling stars , the end of perfect art longing, the end of asking and taking, the end of letting go and be, , , somewhere high over the A-frames and gabled rows, Marisa is electrified, a slender pin of light piercing the bellows of the sky, she forms a blazing pinwheel in slow loops on locked arms, her burning rags wrap her body and sear, , , , as Dave turns once and slides to the pavement with his dog Penny, she rests her head in his crotch, her hind legs twitch and she gets old, Dave gets older slower, they get old and hold no grip, time slips away and the city it does hear, , the city is no older and no younger than it was, the city has opened its doors and windows, and all inner lights and shadows have gathered in the center square, for Marketa removes her glasses and presses the camera to her eye, she holds poised for the shot to capture what will never be, to never be the city now knows and understands and draws up its shoulders, holds its head erect and breathes through its land and bleeds with its rivers, the city it breathes and knows it bleeds and in the sudden flash:, the city lives, ,
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Jan Beneš: Eleven Poems
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Ludmila Mikulková: Poetry
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Martin Zet: Performance for Myself
V této autorské knize propojuje Martin Zet viditelné / hmatatelné / uskutečněné / formulované, do jednoho celku
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Páter Bedřich Bridel: Slavíček vánoční (Little Chrismas Nightingale)
"Slavíček vánoční (Little Chrismas Nightingale) is a part of the Bridel Creche....he picked out a medieval composition called The Nightingale of St. Bonaventura and creatively transposed into Czech." From the epilogue by K. Kroupa.
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Paul Polansky: TO UNHCR, WITH LOVE
Paul Polansky's lastest book To UNHCR With Love is a joint publication of DIVUS and Jejune Ultima. The clear and straightforward poetry of Polansky represents the experiences of the Roma, Ashkalija, and Egyptians (RAE) in a dangerous situation in which they are trapped within the borders of state politics and pseudo problem-solvers UNHCR. In the book there are also illustrations by the Kosovo Romany refugees who spent four months of one summer in a parking lot on the Greek Macedonian border, and reportage by Romany journalists., Polansky lived in Prague and in other parts of the Czech Republic in the 1990s, published six books of poetry and a novel called The Storm, which played an integral role in revealing and publicizing information concerning the Nazi concentration camp for Roma in Lety., , Welcome to Limbo , Kosovo RAE Refugees and their 21st century hell, , , Paul Polansky has spent the last four years listening to the voices of the people in this book. In between compiling reports for various aid agencies, he sometimes transforms the story of the Roma, Ashkalija and Egyptians (RAE) of Kosovo into poems. The voices in these poems are theirs, punctuated by his own interjections; the drawings are theirs as well. This little book contains perhaps the grimmest chapter in a story which makes no sense., In April 1999, NATO bombed Kosovo. In June of 1999 Kosovo Albanian extremists bent on driving all non-Albanians out of the province burned down the homes of the people in this book. After two months in ”Internally Displaced Person” (IDP) camps, these people fled Kosovo for Macedonia in September 1999. They have been living in an officially orchestrated limbo for four years. , The suffering of the Kosovo Albanians at the hands of the Serbs has been well-documented. The media carried images of their suffering and Milosevic sits in the Hague because of those and other crimes. But the same suffering, when visited upon the RAE of Kosovo, has received no such media (or indeed military) response. I have personally spoken to more than one professional in the refugee field who didn’t even know that such a wave of Albanian ”revenge” had taken place. Some would say these matters are incomparable because what happened to the RAE happened on a smaller scale than the Kosovo Albanian exodus. And some are forced to conclude that human rights violations against ”gypsies” matter to almost no one, except to people like Paul Polansky. , Back in 1999, the people speaking in this book camped on the Kosovo-Macedonian border for eight days before the Macedonian government finally agreed to let them enter. Their flight and standoff at the border made the New York Times, to the embarrassment of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, which had been charged with keeping the RAE in Kosovo as IDP’s At the time Macedonia did not even have the legislation in place to make it possible for these refugees to apply for asylum there. , When the Kosovo Albanians were fleeing the Serbs, the international community saw to it that at least some of them were brought to the US or other Western European countries. But when these Kosovo RAE escaped to Macedonia for the exact same reasons – houses burned down, relatives killed, threats of murder – they were told their option was to immediately return to the exact same villages they had just been burned out of in Kosovo. UN policy in the Kosovo protectorate states that assistance in rebuilding housing will only be given to those who return to the very same places which they have fled. So, for example, should an RAE family wish to return to Kosovo and live next door to their relatives in some other town than the one they left, the UN will not assist them. This bizarre policy may be an outgrowth of the stated intention of the international community to ”preserve” some semblance of a ”multiethnic society” in Kosovo. For the people speaking in this book, it renders the return to Kosovo impossible. This basic fact has not been grasped by those responsible for the policy for four years., The people in this book have been living in limbo. They have never been recognized as refugees. Their ”temporary leaves to remain” in Macedonia were extended a few months at a time over the years, always with the threat of their being deported back to Kosovo. They are not the only RAE to have fled; over the years other RAE from Kosovo drifted across the border to join them. Incredibly, some of these later refugees, in particular Albanian-speaking Ashkalija, were helped by the UNHCR to reach the US and Canada (rumor among the refugees has it that bribes were involved). None of the original refugees from September 1999 were helped to the West, especially not the Serbian- and Romanes-speaking Roma, whose chances of survival in Albanian-dominated Kosovo are the slimmest of all. But perhaps it is for this very reason that the UNHCR tells them to return, so they can be living proof of the policy that ”multiethnicity” is alive and well in Kosovo, everyone happily returned to where they fled from, problem solved., In May 2003 the RAE’s temporary leave to remain in Macedonia was finally cancelled and the barracks in the Roma ghetto town of Shuto Orizari where the refugees had been living were closed by the Macedonian government. The UNHCR cut off electricity and water to the facility and told the refugees it was time for them to move into ”private housing” in the ghetto. The refugees refused since they knew what ”private housing” meant – windowless cellars with no toilets and landlords who raise the rent from one day to the next., On May 19th the RAE packed up, pooled their resources, and hired buses to take them to Greece. They were stopped in the customs parking lot and prevented from entering Euroland. From May 19th until August 8th they lived outdoors under a broiling sun in that parking lot. UNHCR brought them only the barest minimum of water and food, only enough to prevent deaths, while insisting that the refugees either return to the ghetto town or to Kosovo; the UNHCR also refused to allow hygiene supplies to be delivered to them., The poems in this book are from those 12 weeks at the border, as are the drawings. But they really have been four years in the making, and the latest twist in the story, occurring at the time of printing of this book, does not bode well for the Kosovo RAE., After doing the bare minimum to make sure no one died, UNHCR issued an ultimatum: either be moved to the ”private housing,” or be left at the mercy of the Macedonian police. The refugees were told they would first be taken to a ”processing center” for 48 hours before being assigned to their private housing. They had been living in the parking lot for 12 weeks. Metaphorically speaking, they had been left out to dry for four years. Afraid that someone would soon die from the conditions in their border camp, they accepted., The ”processing center” is an abandoned factory in Kumanovo. People are expected to sleep on mattresses on the concrete floor, one right next to another. No privacy. Conditions are ripe for the spread of disease. It is impossible for the refugees to practice their necessary cultural restrictions with regard to the separation of genders under these conditions. The promise of 48 hours was an outright lie. Those who ”welcomed” them for processing told them they could expect to stay there at least a month., Victims of crimes for which they can expect no justice, the Kosovo RAE are being pushed into the arms of underworld traffickers by this inhumane treatment. Why are the UN restrictions on assisting returns to Kosovo so counter-productively rigid? What is wrong with the UNHCR in Macedonia? Why can’t it help these people move on to lives with dignity? , , , Gwendolyn Albert, Prague, Czech Republic, August 2003, ,
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Petr Marek: About Animals Humans
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Pierre Daguin: 33
Poems by a French Artist, graphically designed by Markéta Othová
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NEW BOOK BY MIKE DIANA

One box

528 pages

in 2 books

LIVE

& DIE

this is

AMERICA

 

PUNK'S DEAD SIGNED

Photographs & Flags
by Simon Barker aka SIX

 

 

AMERICAN UMELEC

No. 1/2012
 

America in recent art, philosophy, literature, poetry and even comic.

PAINTING BLACK

Big Black Book by the Atomic Age visionary Josef Bolf