Something wonderful….

Because the news and the weather can be just too oppressive for words, here is a wonderful tonic for the soul: In a Heartbeat, a short film by Beth David and Esteban Bravo. Enjoy.

 

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Wise Words for Troubled Times….

There are times when the troubles swirling around us seem overwhelming. When the last thing we seem able to do is stop and see with openness and clarity.  When in the midst of chaos, active, in-the-streets resistence looms paramount while art – and philosophy – often feel like rarified responses. In the recent issue of Poet’s Country Sam O’Hana sits down with American philosopher and gender theorist, Judith Butler to discuss an analysis of poetry at Guantanamo and International Consortium of Critical Theory Programs. Judith offers the following on just why and how we need art so badly in times like these. [Read the whole interview if you can – or at least part of it edited for Lit Hub. I’ve known Judith since we went to college together. Her words are always fascinating, thought provoking, and well worth your time.]

“Finally, it is hard to stay sensate during these times, to see and feel and hear what is happening. There is always the temptation to turn it all off, to exit, to suspend the knowledge of reality, to take leave. In some ways, literature and the arts help to make the world bearable so that we can tarry there longer with the desire to know and understand, to engage, and to transform what calls to be transformed.”

 

…Judith Butler, Philosopher/Gender Theorist
Poet’s Country No.2

 

 

I Woke Up

steampunk-eye

steampunk art

I Woke Up
By Jameson Fitzpatrick

and it was political.
I made coffee and the coffee was political.
I took a shower and the water was.
I walked down the street in short shorts and a Bob Mizer tank top
and they were political, the walking and the shorts and the beefcake
silkscreen of the man posing in a G-string. I forgot my sunglasses
and later, on the train, that was political,
when I studied every handsome man in the car.
Who I thought was handsome was political.
I went to work at the university and everything was
very obviously political, the department and the institution.
All the cigarettes I smoked between classes were political,
where I threw them when I was through.
I was blond and it was political.
So was the difference between “blond” and “blonde.”
I had long hair and it was political. I shaved my head and it was.
That I didn’t know how to grieve when another person was killed in America
was political, and it was political when America killed another person,
who they were and what color and gender and who I am in relation.
I couldn’t think about it for too long without feeling a helplessness
like childhood. I was a child and it was political, being a boy
who was bad at it. I couldn’t catch and so the ball became political.
My mother read to me almost every night
and the conditions that enabled her to do so were political.
That my father’s money was new was political, that it was proving something.
Someone called me faggot and it was political.
I called myself a faggot and it was political.
How difficult my life felt relative to how difficult it was
was political. I thought I could become a writer
and it was political that I could imagine it.
I thought I was not a political poet and still
my imagination was political.
It had been, this whole time I was asleep.

Source: Poetry (January 2017)

Jameson Fitzgerald © Jacques Servin

Jameson Fitzpatrick © Jacques Servin

 

 

Jameson Fitzpatrick teaches Writing at New York University(NYU) in New York City