Postmodern Collage Poetry

A blog about writing collage poetry, post modern poetry, multi lingual poetry

Friday, September 29, 2006

A Week In Italy

This is a photo of the piazza in my mother's home town of Vestone in northern italy. If you see the words in the back, Albergo Italia, that is my family's Albergo which we owned from 1516 until 1994.

Whenever I go back to Vestone, the town where my family is from I always have a sense of deep rest. You see I was introduced to a sense when I lived in Bolivia that allowed me to find peace in my origins.

In Bolivia they always talked about their Ylakta o
or the land where their dead are buried as a mystical place a place of groundedness. I have always felt this way about Vestone. It is a small town and it is not the kind of romantic, warm place that so many imagine about Italy. But Vestone and the Valle Sabbia is where we are from it is our Ylakta.

As a poet we seem to always yearn for the innovative but I have always believed in Collage and the fact that we as poets should recombinate poetry and art into something new that is made from good strong material. So many poets try to put on aires and make themselves something they are not- but for me Vestone and its reality always sits over my poetry and makes me stay honest----

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

What the Pope Said

The conflict between Islam and Christianity is over 1400 years old. The list of injustices is in my opinion equal. While it is normal among Western Seculars to lament the intolerance of Christians the reality is that Islam and Christianity have both committed heinous acts of violence and neither has a perfect record.

Having said this Islam and Muslims seem to have a problem with critique. It is ok to criticize Christians and their beliefs but if one dares to criticize Islam or the "prophet"
there are riots and violence perpetrated by Imams and Mullah's. This is a double standard that cannot go unchallenged.

We in the West are perhaps too secular, as a Catholic I lament our society's move away from its Christian roots but I do not think there is any argument about the Enlightenment in the West and the fact that Church and State should be separate and that the human person is sacred regardless of their beliefs. Most Muslims do not believe this as a fact. In Islam the state and Mosque are never separate. In Rome they are building Europe's largest mosque in Saudi Arabia Christian guest workers from Eithopia are beaten with wire because they possessed a Bible in their private rooms.

Pope Benedict used a quote from a Byzantine Emperor in is talk. The Byzantine's fought Islam as they destroyed the culture and religion of Asia Minor and the Byzantine's spent 1400 years protecting Europe from Islam. This is why his use of this quote was inflamatory because the Byzantine's were honest about a conflict with Islam.

The line about whatever new the Muhammad brought into monotheism was evil was perhaps impolitic but it seems we are not to have a chance to have vigorous debate with Islam and this is a problem for the world. Islam does not have the right to opt out of the 21st Century.

In the end it is time to take sides. The facts are that the West, the culture of Rome, Greece, Christianity, the Reformation, Enlightenment, Industrial Revolution, Modernism and Postmodernism is not morally equivilent to Wahabism, Iranian Fundamentalism or the Muslim Brotherhood. The West has a great and a better history that has made the West freer stronger and more open.We in the West should not compromise our principles especially the right to criticize any religion. We in the West should never allow anyone to take away Descarte from us Cogito Ergo Sum.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Loss, Friends, Weddings and Pork Chops

September is strange month. I was married in September on the 20th- I was in Italia on September 11th, yes the September 11th, I met Waltraud in September and the White Sox clinched the Pennant in September and my book was picked up by an editor in September it is a mixed month.

Friday night we went to Bill Allegrezza's wedding, our table was poetic tour de force, Chris Glomski, Jennifer Rupert, Garin Cycholl, Shadla, Kristy Odelius, Kerri Sonnenberg and Jeff Weeter. It was allot of fun watching Bill become a married man.

there were other writers there- but they are fiction writers and you cannot trust fiction writers...fiction writers are to poets like painters are to illustrators one is an artist the other is craftsperson. But there are some fiction writers who write Poetic Prose, but there are no poets who write Prosaic Poetry poetry is what has made Dante, Shakespeare, the Bible and Whitman iconic.

Thinking about September 11th I cannot get the image of the Princeton Jct train station out of my mind, the photocopied signs, "Lost my Husband" "Have you seen my Wife?" violence is blinding the world and there are no answers that suffice...