Weekly Poetry Pick

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Saul Williams is a force of nature. A prolific and prophetic poet who emerged onto the slam poetry scene in the late nineties. He was the star of the films Slam and Today, was the lead in the Broadway musical Holler If you Hear Me, has released five records and six books of poetry. His spoken word performances are some of the most powerful that I have ever witnessed and I highly suggest you enjoy more of his work here.

She

We sleep
In the same house
But it is we
Who have a
Long distance relationship

I presented
My feminine side
With flowers
She cut the stems
And placed them gently
Down my throat
And these tulips
Might soon eclipse
Your brightest hopes

To aim
Is to take oneself too seriously
By focusing without instead of within
re arrange and re member
Aim…I am
The right letters are there
It’s the wrong composition…

 
The above excerpt from Saul’s slam masterpiece She. This is some of my favorite writing of all time. He is one of the few authors who can still send a shiver down my spine with every time I read his work. This poem explores the plethora of thoughts, emotions and feeling experienced during the relationship with the mother of his son. With vivacious and poignant imagery he shows how two people sometimes no longer fit together. This is one of his finest and if you enjoyed the above sample, I hope you will seek out his other work. There is truly a plethora of greatness authored by Saul Williams.

 

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Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

 

 

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Weekly Poetry Pick

poetry

 

Attila The Stockbroker is my absolute favorite poet of all time. A punk poet and folk singer who has written seven books of poetry released forty albums and performed over three thousand concerts. He has toured nonstop for thirty-five years and has maintained a DIY attitude his entire career. Arguments Yard, his autobiography came out last year and if you need some sharp-tongued, high energy social surrealist poetry in your life I highly suggest you check out his work here.

USE OF ENGLISH

The phrase ‘politically correct’
is not at all what you’d expect.
But how has it been hijacked so?
I’m going to tell you, ‘cos I know.

You’d think it should mean kind and smart
Radical and stout of heart
A way of living decently.
Well, so it did, till recently.

And then some cringing, nerdy divs
Sweaty, misogynistic spivs
Sad, halitosis-ridden hacks
all wearing lager-stained old macs
with spots and pustules and split ends
and absolutely zero friends
(Yes, living, breathing running sores:
The right wing press’s abject whores)
Were all told, by their corporate chiefs
To rubbish decent folks’ beliefs
To label with the phrase ‘P.C’
All that makes sense to you and me
And write off our progressive past.
Their articles came thick and fast
The editors gladly received them
and loads of idiots believed them.

You’ll find that most who use the term
Will only do so to affirm
Sad, bigoted, outdated views
they’ve swallowed via the Murdoch news.

 

 

I giggled aloud whilst reading this poem for the first time. The line hovered between linguistic elegance and hateful bile is breathtaking. Attila’s use of a simple rhyme scheme adds a bit of irony and taste that wouldn’t be present if this work was written in free verse. He cleanly states his views and challenges the reader to step above what is socially acceptable. Very on point, Attila drives his point home in his classic style. If you enjoyed the above, I highly suggest delving deeper into his works.

 

 

Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

Weekly Poetry Pick

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Dorianne Laux is an award winning poet whose free verse poetry has a simple and elegant meter to it. Her ability to draw the reader into the beauty of the everyday is astounding. Laux has taught creative writing at the University of Oregon, Pacific University, and North Carolina State University and lives in North Carolina with her husband.  I strongly encourage all my readers to visit her site.

Ray at 14

by Dorianne Laux

Bless this boy, born with the strong face
of my older brother, the one I loved most,
who jumped with me from the roof
of the playhouse, my hand in his hand.
On Friday nights we watched Twilight Zone
and he let me hold the bowl of popcorn,
a blanket draped over our shoulders,
saying, Don’t be afraid. I was never afraid
when I was with my big brother
who let me touch the baseball-size muscles
living in his arms, who carried me on his back
through the lonely neighborhood,
held tight to the fender of my bike
until I made him let go.
The year he was fourteen
he looked just like Ray, and when he died
at twenty-two on a roadside in Germany
I thought he was gone forever.
But Ray runs into the kitchen: dirty T-shirt,
torn jeans, pushes back his sleeve.
He says, Feel my muscle, and I do.

 

 

I found the above poem thanks to the Writer’s Almanac Podcast with Garrison Keillor. I truly enjoyed this work. The writer does a commendable job of paying tribute to the deceased while showing the love she holds for Ray. It pushes the reader to connect with their own life and draw the parallel that when someone passes, they are never truly gone. I found a lot of comfort in the message from this poem and look forward to reading more work from this poet.

 

 

Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

 

George Orwell Complete Poetry Review

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-…Nothing believing, nothing loving,
Not in joy nor in pain, not heeding the stream
Of precious life that flows within us,
But fighting, toiling as in a dream…-

 

I’ll be honest, this collection of poetry wasn’t what I expected. More accurately it wasn’t what I wanted it to be. I desperately wanted left leaning, anti-totalitarian verse draped in social satire. I wanted elegant lines questioning the very intention of imperialism. I wanted first hand experiences of humanity falling into mob mentality. I really wanted to fall in love with this book.  I wanted to be as infatuated by this collection as I’ve become with Orwell’s essays and novels. I wanted this to be the shining gem of Orwell September. I wanted this to be something, it was never going to be.

For a little background, this collection was published in October of 2015 after being withheld for many years by Orwell’s estate. By the author’s own admittance, he never held much fondness for his poetry.  This book gathers some of his earliest writings from his youth  all the way to his later life. It does a commendable job of prefacing them, so the reader can more fully appreciate the events of Orwell’s life. From the standpoint of historical interest and curiosity’s sake, it is fun to see how much his style evolved, but that is about where the fun ends. The poetry just isn’t very good.  In the words of  Dione Venable, the editor of this collection, “Orwell wasn’t a wonderful poet, but in his poetry he’s gloomy, he’s funny, he’s happy, he’s sad, and in the last things he wrote, you feel his pain.” As you read through it, you see him experimenting with  various styles and rhyme schemes but few ever seem to really resonate.

Now that the negatives are out of the way, there are a few pieces in this collection that are quite good.  In particular I enjoyed Ironic Poem About Prostitution and As One Non Combatant to Another. The dark satire that reverberates in these works is familiar to the fans of his writing. They provide a glimmer of what I had hoped for when I found this book. Other than a few lines from a smattering of poems, this entire collection left me feeling a bit flat. It was eighty two pages of mediocrity. I appreciated seeing another side of such a highly exalted author. I enjoyed seeing small shades of his excellent novels in these poems. Unless you’ve read everything else he’s ever written or your inquisitive nature just can’t let this one go, I would suggest you just pass on it. Sadly, this is the first Orwell I’ve ever read that I can’t really recommend.

 

 

Pagan
So here are you, and here am I,
Where we may thank our gods to be;
Above the earth, beneath the sky,
Naked souls alive and free.
The autumn wind goes rustling by
And stirs the stubble at our feet;
Out of the west it whispering blows,
Stops to caress and onward goes,
Bringing its earthy odours sweet.
See with what pride the the setting sun
Kinglike in gold and purple dies,
And like a robe of rainbow spun
Tinges the earth with shades divine.
That mystic light is in your eyes
And ever in your heart will shine.

 

 

Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry blog here  or download his e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

Bored Shenanigans Podcast – Episode 09

All joking aside this episode might actually offend people especially those that can’t take their beliefs being questioned.

After the standard up front B.S. we get into two topics that are important to us, Politics and Skepticism, you guess which one of us goes with which topic.

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Welcome to Bored Shenanigans.     

Welcome to Episode 9: Dammit Think for Yourselves People 

Also Cody reads one of his poems Live! And Brewer’s reign of terror at the beginnings of the show ends.
And we have a new fictional character. Introducing Larry Sanders!

*NOTE* this episode will have Show Notes and they may get up dated throughout the week so check back.