Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from October, 2006

Be an Action Hero

All you have to do is vote. Voting is action.

I was a legal resident of a country for five years, where my life was affected in every way by its government, politics, and laws, but I could not vote. It was a great lesson for me, having no voting voice and no way to actively express my views or influence the environment that in turn influenced my daily life. I learned that the privilege and responsiblity of voting should never be taken for granted.

If you can't find your voter's registration card, don't let that stop you. If you are a registered voter in the U.S., all you need is to present your driver's license in order to vote.

And, remember, this election (as are all elections) is not about ourparties, but ourcountry. Our country which has lost nearly 3,000 soliders in Iraq. Our country which has a deficit of $43 trillion at last count. Our country which is building a wall between us and our neighbor, ally, and second largest trading partner. Our country where tens of t…

Prose Posing

As I drove to the post office last week, I found myself hoping to find something alegre in my box, and I did: a special edition of a highly respected literary magazine. My alegría, however, turned to disappointment when I found in those pages the same item I find in many other magazines and literary outlets in the U.S.: too many pages where prose poses as poetry. It's a trend that has gathered great steam over the past 20 years, and it is a literary crime.

Free verse does not imply no verse. Free verse is "free" to find its own structure, visually and rhythmically, free to rhyme externally, internally, or not at all. What it is not free to do is convert itself into pure narration.

If you can easily convert a poem into contiguous sentences whose primary quality is that of narrative, then you're reading prose posing as poetry. In his poem Poetry for Supper, the Welsh poet R.S. Thomas imagines two poets talking and writes:

'Listen, now, verse should be as natural
As…

Sunshine Within Shadow

The murder of five Amish girls last week stunned the world. The event highlights yet once more the importance of tending to mental illnesses, too often left untended until physical violence reveals their presence and their depth. It showed us that the land of the free is now, is still, the land of the vulnerable. In her excellent report in Newsweek magazine on the shooting aftermath, Susannah Meadows reveals some details that initial broadcasts did not.

The Amish community requested that a fund be established to help the Roberts family, knowing that Roberts' wife and children have a double grief to bear, and a "shame by association" that they cannot help or change. From the moment the tragedy happened, the Amish community so brutally attacked has consistently spoken of forgiveness--in the face of the greatest loss known to human kind, that of losing a child.

When deranged gunman Charles Roberts entered the school house with his cable ties and guns, the two eldest Amish gir…

Mil Cosas

Mil Lubroth was an American artist of Polish and Russian descent who came to settle in Madrid, where her chic, short name took on an extra meaning. In castellano, Mil means a thousand. Just right for an artist whose work could never be "pinned down," or categorized by any one theme or direction.

To experience Lubroth's work is akin to hearing a chorus of voices from Sheherazade's 1001 nights: it is to see and feel a thousand things united in one intriguing and beautiful visual journey. If you are anywhere near Madrid during October, invite yourself to a banquet of Mil's "mil cosas" atAnnta Gallery. The exhibit that opens October 5th is the first retrospective of Lubroth's work since her death in 2004.

Spanning 50 years, these works reveal an artist who was never less than mature and skilled in her work. There is no sign of awkward beginnings, improvement over time or deepening development. Here is Minerva, beginning her artistic trajectory fully f…