June 18, 2013 at 12:56 pm (Uncategorized, Writing, culture, life, humor, creative writing, publishing, food, literary fiction, random, buddhism, exploring interconnectedness, fiction, entertainment)
Tags: culture, food, humor, life, Writing, random, love, fiction, creative, story, Breakfast Special, second helping, Railroad Crossing
Stepping carefully down from the hard packed snow mounded at the street corner curb, Lily quickened her steps along the semi-cleared sidewalk where thick snowflakes were concluding languid descents. As long as she maintained her current stride she’d cross the railroad tracks with a decent seven to ten minutes to spare before the morning train made its daily appearance. She welcomed the cool emptiness of the vacant sidewalk and street after the heat of the crowded breakfast bar. She took a huge bite out of the cinnamon roll and chewed with gusto while moving into the full length of her stride. The roll’s thin glaze, fresh dough and spice combined with the satisfying aftertaste of recently devoured eggs and buttered toast to produce euphoria resulting from finally filling a too long empty stomach. With only a single other person passing her by in a solitary snowplow going the opposite direction down the one way street, Lily reveled in having the space from one side of the empty street to the other all to herself this morning. Another deep breath of moist snowy air, another tearing off of a large portion of the sweet roll for gleefully mashing it into her mouth and Lily went on her way through the gloomy grey cast morning. All was currently just right in the surrounding snow globe world.
Then, in the space behind her, Lil’s ever alert ears detected footsteps. Without breaking stride, her attention moved from scanning any possible obstacles of piled snow or icy sidewalk ahead to the sound of someone quickly coming up out of sight at her rear. Ears itching for more information, she checked the small storefronts for signs of life forms readying to meet the day’s forthcoming challenges and found them all sorely wanting. Still, even though her auditory organs had detected the inhaling and exhaling, probably of a male closing the distance between her and him, she maintained her calm. Despite the relative darkness of the snow clouded morning it was still morning hours and she reminded herself that even in this part of the small city the to-be-evaded-by-all-means crazies had by now staggered into their own bedding for a respite from their darker versions of the daily grind. Odds were in favor that whoever’s feet were speedily devouring the cement space was as un-intent on criminal behavior as herself. If not, then grabbing her would commence a swift, albeit unhappy, emptying of the contents of her stomach all over the grabber followed by violence to whatever soft target he might unwittingly offer. Lily kept walking, scanning ahead and listening until suddenly there he was walking beside her less than a hand’s breadth away filling the cold air with steaming warmth and an awkward, “Hey, um, . . Poached Eggs . . . “
Lily abruptly stopped walking and turned to look directly at the man who was unexpectedly now at her side. When he stopped also, his feet slightly sliding on an uneven patch of ice, then stood facing her with his hands in his pockets, Lily stepped backwards closer to the store window now behind her. Recognizing the man who’d sat beside her in Big Bob’s Bar a few minutes earlier did nothing to ease her mind. She remained on red alert as she assessed his threat potential to her physical well-being. Instead of speaking, her head turned ever so slightly to the left, she gave him a much more serious looking over than she had during breakfast. When he’d been sitting on the stool with his shoulders hunched over the bar counter, she hadn’t gotten any sense of his actual height. Now it made an imposing and intimidating impression she didn’t much care for when considered in conjunction with the rest of him. His unbuttoned long wool army coat didn’t add bulk to his broad frame but rather strained to wrap around it. Looking up to make eye contact had the effect of thrusting her chin out and forcing her to adjust her balance. Hands now in her pockets, she eased off her mittens wishing she hadn’t clipped her fingernails last night. That regret passed quickly as she realized it would be a bit of reach for a useful poke in his eyes. Adam’s apple location and his solar plexus were within more effective striking ranges. Lily held her breath as packed snow cracked under his weight when he stepped back away from her as far as the piled snow mound on the street allowed. It was clear he’d accurately read her body language which prompted him to increase the distance between them to something more acceptably polite between strangers. “Hey, sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you . . um . . .”
Nothing moved on the street or on the sidewalk. Thick snowflakes the size of Lily’s bare palm languidly descended between them. Her black eyes took note of his hazel ones that had the disconcerting effect of reminding her of her neighbor’s way too clever cat. She watched the man watching her consider speaking, then remain silent waiting for some sign from herself. With a little shrug of her shoulders and small shake of her head, she acknowledged his effort to put her at ease. “It’s ok. Did I take your roll by mistake or what?”
He answered with a short, deep laugh and a fleeting grin that Lily nearly missed seeing due to a mustache and beard as badly in need of a trimming as the rest of his hair. “No. But I wouldn’t put it past you to snarf it right along with yours.” Lily nodded a little and waited. She’d relaxed just enough to be aware that time was passing and her window of opportunity for crossing the tracks before the train was closing. Still she left him to his own devices for creating conversation. She stared at him and he stared back while snow continued drifting downward. When he took a deep breath, she found herself doing the same then holding it until he spoke again. “Ok, yeah, this is kinda weird even for me, but . . . um. Hey, I don’t exactly have a lot of options here, right. You follow? I mean, come on, it’s pretty lame just saying something like ‘I want to ask you out for a date ‘cause I like that you eat poached eggs . . . and lots of ‘em.’ Yeah, right. Not going so well, but, hey, it’s all I’ve got to work with here and now. Umm, maybe I should have opened with ‘Can I buy you coffee some time?’” Lil watched his ungloved hands come out of his pockets in an effort to help him talk. “Yeah, that’s not flying too well either, is it?” His left hand began nervously combing through his hair when he went silent again.
Lily bit her bottom lip while considering the man’s increasing nervousness, the distance he was maintaining and his uncertain age. Deciding keeping things polite and calm seemed like a good way to put an end to this encounter, she curbed her desire to tell him nothing was flying much less approaching lift off and just walk away. “A date? You’re asking me for a date? Seriously?”
Something about her response, or perhaps just the fact that she had responded, brought about a noticeable change in his attitude. Suddenly his hand ceased the nervous hair action, he straightened up and leaned back slightly still meeting her gaze. “Seriously. Yeah.”
Lily’s black eyes narrowed to speculative slits. “Seriously. Okay. What do you have in mind? Another round of Big Bob’s Breakfast Specials or what?”
This time his grin lasted just long enough for Lily to wonder about it under the mustache and beard. She herself grinned inwardly thinking he’d back off now that she’d set him the task of doing more than badly chatting her up on the street.
“How about ‘Or what?’” Lil frowned, but he pressed on. “As in, your choice. You pick when, where, what.” He made a gesture of handing her a plate with both hands. “Lady’s Choice.”
He nodded. “Yeah, your choice. I’ll meet you wherever, for whatever. You decide. ”
Lily watched several snowflakes settle in his unkempt thick brown hair. “My choice. Okay. Sure.” She considered several options, all of which could do the job of sending him the way of melting snow, until the ticket the theatre student she tutored had paid her with for their last session came to mind. A smile slowly appeared on her slightly flushed face. Seeing his hazel eyes narrow slightly, she had the distinct impression that he not only sensed she was trying to be sly about this but that he was enjoying it. “Next Friday. Seven p.m. Orpheum Theater. Volpone. Meet up outside. Fair enough?”
He nodded. “Friday, 7, Orpheum. Yeah, fair enough.”
She took a step on her way then stopped to make a tiny effort to play fair. “The Orpheum is at—“
“Third and Main. I got it.” He watched her take another step. “Hey, I’m Sarge. What’s your name?”
Lily started walking slowly backward. No point in rushing now as she could hear the train’s location from here. Sarge wasn’t following her. He’d moved to stand in the middle of the sidewalk watching her moving away from him and waiting for her to share her name. Instead of replying promptly, she wondered why he wasn’t looking at all smaller as she put distance between them. Only when she reached the corner where she would have to turn around in order to traverse a not inconsiderable amount of piled snow did she call out: “Lily. I’m Lily.” After speaking, she stood for a moment feeling all of eleven years old when he acknowledged her answer with a wave. She then put her attention to navigating her way over and around the hard packed snow. Upon reaching the point where she needed to turn down the intersecting street, she looked back to see Sarge was now walking backwards on the sidewalk still observing her progress. Three more steps took her closer to the passing train’s roar and cut her off from the man’s sight and he from hers.
February 19, 2013 at 8:35 pm (creative writing, culture, education, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, history, Indigenous People, Lakota, Native Americans, Pine Ridge Indian reservation, politics, publishing, random, Uncategorized, Writing)
Tags: 1973, American Book Award, Amnesty International, Before Columbus Foundation, Book, Brave Bird, civil rights, girls, history, Indigenous, Lakota, Lakota Woman, Mary Crow Dog, Maze of Injustice, memoir, random, review, Rosebud, South Dakota, teenagers, Trail of Broken Treaties, women, Wounded Knee, Writing
Young Indigenous women are some of the most invisible and unrepresented people on Earth. That is one reason to read Lakota Woman by Mary Crow Dog, nowBrave Bird, with Richard Erdoes even though it was published in 1990. Another reason is that it won the American Book Award in 1991. Yet another reason is for the insight it provides into some of the tough issues young women on reservations continue to confront: violence, rape, alcoholism, drug abuse, racism, exploitation, poor education, grinding poverty. This is not a calm, quiet memoir of a certain time and place written by a woman looking back in nostalgia with some polite veneer of wisdom gained by mature hindsight. Lakota Woman offers the perspective of a very candid, blunt spoken, tough, and passionate young woman who makes no apologies for anything. This is a woman who now knows who she is, where she came from, and why. Part of her story includes giving birth to her first child during the siege at Wounded Knee in 1973 after refusing to leave in spite of the increasing danger. While Lakota Woman does not offer any in-depth analysis of the American Indian Movement, the Trail of Broken Treaties or the Native American Church, it does offer a no punches pulled, first person female perspective based on direct experiences with all of them– a young Lakota female perspective seldom encountered in the mainstream American culture.
I am a iyeska, a breed, that’s what the white kids used to call me. When I grew bigger they stopped calling me that, because it would get them a bloody nose. I am a small woman, not much over five feet tall, but I can hold my own in a fight, and in a free-for-all with honkies I can become rather ornery and do real damage. I have white blood in me. Often I have wished to be able to purge it out of me. As a young girl I used to look at myself in the mirror, trying to find a clue as to who and what I was. My face is very Indian, and so are my eyes and my hair, but my skin is very light. Always I waited for the summer, for the prairie sun, the Badlands sun, to tan me and make me into a real skin. (p.9)
Such are the words of Mary Brave Bird of the Brule Tribe from the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. Consider the memoirs current teenaged women of Rosebud, Pine Ridge, Standing Rock and the Cheyenne River Reservations might share–if anyone dared put them into print. Lakota Woman might offend some, might make some very uncomfortable, and distress others. It certainly won’t bore anyone. It definitely offers a great deal to think about regarding women, culture, family, history, spirituality, politics, and values.
Mary Crow Dog/Brave Bird online http://marycrowdog.com/index.html
Wikipedia list of American Book Awards http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Book_Award
American Book Awards – Before Columbus Foundation http://www.beforecolumbusfoundation.com/about-bcf.html
Maze of Injustice, the failure to protect Indigenous Women from sexual violence in the USA, PDF file of Amnesty International http://www.amnestyusa.org/pdfs/MazeOfInjustice.pdf Perhaps this report offers one explanation for the legistative difficulties faced by the VAWA. Why would non-Native men want to start allowing arrest and prosecution of the non-Native men who rape Indigenous women on reservations? No rocket science required.
February 5, 2013 at 1:48 am (creative writing, culture, entertainment, exploring interconnectedness, fiction, humor, life, literary fiction, poetry, publishing, random, Writing)
Tags: animation, Book, books, entertainment, excerpt, fiction, free verse, Haper Collins, horror, literary fiction, novel, poetry, random, reading, review, Sharp Teeth, Toby Barlow, video, werewolves, Writing
Quick and dirty is the way this book review post goes today.
Who wants a werewolf story?
Who wants a love story?
Who wants a horror story?
Who wants a lot of free verse?
Who wants a L.A. story?
Who wants a dog story?
Yes, indeed, Toby Barlow’s Sharp Teeth serves up horror tacos filled with hot she wolf women, blonde surfer dudes, dogs galore, mystery men, several varieties of criminals and features some very sharp teeth indeed. Add a dash of the unexpected humor along the lines of bad boys playing bridge with blue haired old ladies and this razor blade of a novel via verses will have you wondering whose really howling at the moon rising above the waves lapping sandy beaches everywhere. Is there anything easier to read than free verse? I doubt it. If you’re searching for a guilty reading pleasure please go ahead and take a bite. Beware: Barlow’s verse is served bloody rare liberally seasoned with sex and violence.
via Tobybarlowny YouTube
Taste some ink at Harper Collins http://www.harpercollins.com/browseinside/index.aspx?isbn13=9780061430220
February 2, 2013 at 8:27 pm (creative writing, culture, entertainment, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, fiction, humor, life, literary fiction, publishing, random, Uncategorized, Writing)
Tags: "Water", 2013, Alaska, Alexis M. Smith, Book, creative writing, culture, entertainment, fiction, Glaciers, life, literary fiction, love, Middle East, novel, Oil, Oregon, Portland, publishing, random, review, Tin House, Tin House Books, war, World Book Night, Writing
Hmm, it’s Sensual Saturday and sometimes that means a musical posting. Tell you what, if you click the link to Glaciers by Alexis M. Smith there’s music at the other end via the video playing on the novel’s homepage. Music covered now, okay? Now for those of you searching for something sensual for your Saturday there’s this lovely little novel just stuffed full of stories of scopes large and small. Alexis M. Smith has inked a wickedly sweet little tome with an expanse far beyond its 174 pocket-sized pages. Some folks might be inclined to savor this book tidbit by tiny tidbit over a week’s time. Some other folks, like myself, may savor it whole in the course of a single day of word craft pleasure-seeking. While there’s nothing erotic about Smith’s Tin House Books publication, her prose elicits a certain sort of response some of us experience when stimulated by wordcraft so easy-going that one has no sense of any effort on the writer’s part at all. Glaciers reads like gently flowing stream water encountering a rapid or two along the way to keep you on your toes.
So what’s it about? Love, longing, the past, the future, Amsterdam, war, families, Portland, storytelling, Alaska and glaciers of several sorts. Smith writes about a young woman, a young man, a library, and a war. Yet another anti-war book of the most subtle yet most earnest kind.
Her eyes close, and she begins to drift. She thinks of these things: Spoke and the war; the oil in Alaska and the oil in the Middle East’ the glaciers melting’ and the water that connects them all. the glaciers will melt and the water will rise. Everything will be washed though. All the young lovers in their hats and party dresses. All the plane trees and the elms. All the tall houses. All the narrow brick lanes and city squares. Glaciers take the cities, cities take the architecture, the architecture takes the bodies. (p. 151)
Glaciers melt. Glaciers are melting. Keep in mind ever-expanding scopes.
What postcards are you saving? Why?
Alexis M. Smith http://alexismsmith.com/
Tin House Books http://www.tinhouse.com/home
Take note: I discovered this literary delight via World Book Night 2013–it’s one of the selections for the free books being given away. What a wonderful reading gift! http://www.us.worldbooknight.org/books/2013
February 1, 2013 at 10:11 pm (culture, education, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, history, journalism, life, politics, publishing, random, Uncategorized, Writing)
Tags: "Wandering Ghosts", Book, Civilians, crimes, current events, Democracy Now, ethics, Geneva Convention, history, human life, interview, Kill Anything That Moves, miitary, My Lai, National Archives, news, Nick Turse, policy, politics, publishing, review, values, video, Vietnam, war
Recently I shared with some friendlies that I was reading Nick Turse’s Kill Anything That Moves, The Real American War in Vietnam. So far only one friendly has responded to my friendly email and that was basically to share the information that they had already read some of the many books on the Vietnam War–hence, implying that they weren’t interested in reading another tome. So I thought, yes, why indeed would anyone whose has attempted to make some sense out of a seemingly senseless waste of lives want to read Turse’s latest book? Why? I believe the answer involves the Vietnamese Civilians all too often callously dismissed as Casualties of War. Damn this sounds familiar. Care to insert Afghanistan Casualties of War? Iraqi Casualties of War? Pick any war and couple it with casualties. Civilians as totally expendable human resources is not a new concept. It’s been around a very long time. By the way, if you think this doesn’t pertain to you in any way, shape or form, please do think again. Why? Because unless you are part of the military forces you are indeed a civilian to be treated with absolute contempt by those with no regard for the tenets of the Geneva Convention–that nice little old-fashioned little agreement about how to treat people during any modern war. Somehow I doubt the Geneva Convention agreement is part of either a drone’s programming or of the human charting its course. It certainly has no value to those who send soldiers to wars. Hmm. Might it be helpful to consider the military forces at work in Vietnam as precursors to current drones? Perhaps. But there are serious limitations to drones conducting military strikes as drones are incapable of rape and torture. At least I think they are –so far. Have no doubt that some computer programmer somewhere is hard at work solving these drone limitations. Too bad that creative brainpower isn’t invested in something like combating pollution.
Now back to Turse’s tome which is all about the standard operating procedure of murder, rape and torture of Vietnamese civilians whose “hearts and minds” were supposedly being saved from the communist menace. Why read this book?
In Vietnam, where the “lives” of the deceased are believed to be inextricably intertwined with those of the living, it is thought that those who die a “bad death” may be forced to suffer as “wandering ghosts,” trapped in a limbo between our world and the land of the dead. In this shadow land, they forever reexperience the violence that ended their lives, unable to attain peace until the living truly acknowledge them and the fate they suffered.3 The idea of such wandering ghosts is an unfamiliar one for most Americans, but we should not be too quick to dismiss it. The crimes committed in American’s name in Vietnam were our “bad death,” and they have never been adequately faced. As a result, they continue to haunt our society in profound and complex ways. (p. 261)
Turse makes the case that it’s high time Americans quit turning a blind eye to the dark side of our history in war, politics and business. It’s time we all took a long hard straight on look at the military industrial complex that strives to rule the world with an iron fist. With knowledge, however nasty and unpleasant it may be, comes power. There’s a very important war emerging in the world involving everyone on the Earth. It helps to know one’s enemy. The enemy has left quite a few revealing footprints. Some of them lay in the history of the war waged on the children, women and men of Vietnam. There are older footprints, newer ones and ones currently underway. What will it take for “us” to change how we view casualties of war–and war itself? What will it take for “us” to refuse to play the game of murder, rape, torture of our fellow human beings just because some power-hungry egomaniacs demand we play? Don’t forget “we” are all totally expendable–our sons, husbands, wives, daughters, mothers, fathers, all our relations are absolutely of no account in the war games.
So yes, read Nick Turse’s book – and learn why the Winter Soldiers threw their medals at Congress. It’s not a fun read. It’s not enjoyable. It’s not a “feel good” book. It is an important book.
Democracy Now! www.democracynow.org
Written transcript of interview http://www.democracynow.org/2013/1/15/kill_anything_that_moves_new_book
Geneva Convention http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geneva_Conventions
January 22, 2013 at 8:50 pm (creative writing, culture, education, entertainment, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, fiction, life, literary fiction, music, poetry, publishing, Uncategorized, Writing)
Tags: 3013, April 23, books, culture, deadline, entertainment, fiction, Free books, German, Give, Ireland, January 25, life, literacy, literature, love, publishing, random, reading, signup, UK, USA, videos, World Book Night, Writing
Never know what will be discovered when following the “dots” in cyberspace. Today I discovered World Book Night in the USA, April 23, 2013. Event also flows in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Germany. You too can sign up to give away free books to people. Yes, you read that correctly–on April 23, 2013 people will be giving away free books to promote reading. As a life long reader I totally support this event.
Now–if you’re willing to give away free books–Sign up at http://www.us.worldbooknight.org/
It’s really easy to sign up. There’s a great list of books to pick from.
Spread your love of reading and writing!
January 19, 2013 at 5:21 am (culture, education, ethics, history, life, politics, publishing, random, Uncategorized, Writing)
Tags: Book, Democracy Now, ethics, history, human nature, interview, Kill Anything That Moves, Nick Turse, politics, publishing, video, Vietnam, war, Writing
I confess I’m not really wanting to read Kill Anything That Moves, The Real American War in Vietnam, because it sounds like a truly horrific book, yet I feel a sense of obligation to read Nick Turse’s work. Truth needs telling. Just from watching Democracy Now!’s interview of Nick Turse it’s pretty clear this is about the dark side of human nature and that’s not pleasant ever to encounter. Too often we think of war being an arena in which everything is allowed. Why is that? Why is it permissible for people to commit horrible transgressions against other human beings–women, men, children–during a state of war? Suicide is condemned in many cultures. To take control of one’s fate and decide whether or not one wishes to continue living is generally frowned upon. Yet–it is acceptable to kill OTHERS–just not yourself. Why is it “Okay” to kill other people during war or at other times? Why is it okay to rape and torture other people during war? Turse’s book delves into the atrocity as norm character of the Vietnam War. I fear it reveals a great deal about human nature that we’d rather turn a blind eye to. Yes, it’s been a long time since Vietnam. But there are ongoing wars. Has the conduct of war changed? Somehow I doubt it. I’m waiting for the time when some politicans declare war and everyone refuses to fight, thereby putting an end to the insanity.
Nick Turse site http://www.nickturse.com/books.html
Democracy Now! www.democracynow.org
Review forthcoming after I get my not so eager hands on Turse’s tome. If anyone out there has already read the book–no fear of spoilers–feel free to hold forth on it via the comments.
November 29, 2012 at 6:23 pm (creative writing, culture, entertainment, exploring interconnectedness, fiction, history, life, literary fiction, publishing, random, Uncategorized, Writing)
Tags: Battle of Hastings, Book, books, creative writing, culture, Evil Machines, fiction, free book download, historical, history, Kingsnorth, literary, Paul, publisher, publishing, random, read, reading, resistance, Terry Jones, The Wake, Unbound, video, Writing
Ever wish book publishers paid some real attention to what really interests your reading brainpan? Hmm? Care to put your dollars and scents, yes that’s a deliberate misplay on words. Cents is so predictable. Let’s play with sense a little more. After all they’re very important to your nose, your taste buds and your memory–scents are. Got that? Okay, now let’s get back to Unbound–as in being unfettered, untied, unchained, unhindered–and free to move about at will. Would you like to pick the books you’d like to have published? You can at Unbound. Seriously. You might have to forgo some of that instant gratification that characterizes much of modern culture but eventually you can get what you want–as long as some other folks want it too.
Case in point:
Author Paul Kingsnorth is pitching The Wake on Unbound. The Wake is a historical novel about resistance fighters after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. What the novel needs are pledges, supporters, interested potential readers willing to pay for the digital, hardback, or collector’s edition of the novel. There are other perks offered for greater levels of support for Kingsnorth’s novel–such as Dark Mountain’s anthology. The book has garnered 70% of the pledges necessary for publishing via Unbound. Unbound is a bit like Kickstarter for publishing. Sort of. Agents are still part of the publishing mix. View that tidbit as you will.
Read an excerpt from The Wake here –>> http://unbound.co.uk/books/the-wake/
Visit Unbound’s home –>> http://unbound.co.uk/ Yes, you can buy books already published here too. See if what the authors are serving agrees with your reading taste.
Kingsnorth chatting about The Wake:
PS. Some bait to get you to take a gander at all Unbound offers.
A freebie from Unbound for which the clock is ticking now. Click the cover art to get there asap! midnight-Deadline November 30, 2012 at midnight -their midnight I suspect.
Sign in/up at Unbound, it’s absolutely free, to get a digital copy of Evil Machines FREE. Be quick–this offer ends at midnight on Nov. 30, 2012.
November 23, 2012 at 4:13 pm (art, creative writing, culture, education, entertainment, exploring interconnectedness, fiction, history, life, literary fiction, poetry, publishing, random, Writing)
Tags: Book, Bryce, Courtenay, culture, death, education, entertainment, gift, history, humor, life, publishing, random, read, The Power of One, Writing
Turning on the computer this morning made this Black Friday actually a day of mourning in the world of readers and writers with the news of Bryce Courtenay’s demise due to stomach cancer. Not going to bother relating all the chatter on the various news threads regarding Courtenay’s passing. But I will say this: The Power of One is a damn fine book. If you’re looking for a great read for a young person–whom you don’t mind repeatedly reading derogatory words about certain chickens–then throw The Power of One at them and see if they can catch it. In my opinion, keep in mind the “my,” this is a great reading gift 365 days year round for any reader–or boxing fan. This is a story of guts, spirit and power. Enough said. Salute the late Bryce Courtenay by reading his books. If you’re already a Courtenay fan please feel free to share your thoughts about any of his books.
Clicking the book cover will take you to a Wikipedia page about Bryce Courtenay.
August 15, 2012 at 7:46 pm (art, creative writing, culture, exploring interconnectedness, Indigenous People, life, music, Native Americans, poetry, publishing, random, Writing)
Tags: art, Book, Crazy Brave, creative writing, culture, Eagle Song, Joy Harjo, life, memoir, music, Native American, poet, poetry, random, reading, review, sax, video, Writing
Click cover image to visit Joy Harjo online.
“I often painted or drew through the night, when most of the world slept and it was easier to walk through the membrane between life and death to bring back memory. I painted to the music of silence. It was here I could hear everything.” Joy Harjo
Joy Harjo’s memoir, Crazy Brave, is one wickedly beautiful piece of intensely personal poetic writing. This is not a fact crammed autobiography tossing up gossip and shallow dirt galore. This is a sharing of a poetic journey of becoming self in this strange world we inhabit. Harjo’s word craft strives to bridge the differences of perception and perceiving that often keep people unaware of their connections to each other and the universe. This is a memoir that offers a sense of what it means to be Joy as she unfolds to embrace her creative gifts. Don’t read this book expecting to learn all about Joy’s journey into Jazz or how she feels playing on the international stage as a musician-poet. Read this book as an opening act to learning about one woman’s love for art and music as life. This is a book about spirit and love and suffering along a path that knows no limits or boundaries between time, space or place. Certain experiences and people are shared as part of her journey as Joy contemplates past, present and future life. Dealings with lovers, friends and family are offered as part of the pathway to learning to speak and sing. It’s about making choices and listening with trust to the knowing even when it speaks ever so softly. It’s about making a commitment to the poetic spirit in the fullest sense of living.
“To imagine the spirit of poetry is much like imagining the shape and size of the knowing. It is a kind of resurrection light: it is the tall ancestor spirit who has been with me since the beginning, or a bear or a hummingbird. It is a hundred horses running the land in a soft mist, or it is a woman undressing for her beloved in firelight. It is none of these things. It is more than everything” (JH p. 164).
Like many poems Crazy Brave can be read in one sitting yet it will stay with you long after the last page. It may well haunt your dreams and intrude upon your waking hours. The poetic journey is one without beginning or end. It’s an ongoing adventure. A work in perpetual progress. This is a memoir that reveals the poetic power of prose that sings a life song.
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