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Friday, 24 March 2017

Joanne Kyger: Eight Poems / Playtime / The buying of an American corporate oligarchy ("And if the President's a bozo? He's fine with that.")

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Joanne Kyger with Jack Boyce, on the Bolinas mesa: photographer unknown, 1969

Joanne Kyger (1934-2017): Eight Poems

Cat | by jopaulwallace

Cat: photo by Jo Wallace, 20 October 2013

Tuesday, October 28

It was a beautiful golden day
Now a black split shape
                      scuttles under
               de foot. So long, Sayonara.

             The fat cat lays down
           dozing. I could use a little rest too
        I only slept 11 hours last night,
              wrote some letters, swept the floor,
           planted 2 rows of onions, snow peas
       And now I am looking forward
                  to washing my hair.

from All This Every Day, 1975

untitled | by pinel777

[Untitled]: photo by Pinel777, 3 March 2014

"JOANNE is a novel from the inside out."

 what I wanted to say
  was in the broad
sweeping
form of being there


       I am walking up the path
  I come home and wash my hair
           
       I am bereft
  I dissolve quickly


I am everybody

from Joanne, 1970

Earlier

Into the party, with engraved invitations, I am bored when
I realize the champagne in the decrepit bowl is going to get
filled up a lot. Well then, on the greens in front of the
Mansion are walking Tom Clark and Ted Berrigan, what chums!
Do you think I could possibly fall in step, as they turn same
to far flung university on horizon, gleaming. You bet your
life not. The trouble, says Ted, with you Joanne, is that
you're not intelligent enough.

from All This Every Day, 1975

La Palma | by juliehrudova

La Palma: photo by Julie Hrudova, 12 November 2016
 "Snow fall..."   

Snow fall   on   green leaves
Eye is twitching quite dreadfully
I'm going to be more cool
and soften the dreadful hate

and pity I have in my heart
                        
                        October 25, 1992
                        Boulder

from Again: Poems 1989-2000, 2011

Untitled | by Md. Imam Hasan

[Dhaka]: photo by Muhammad Imam Hasan, 27 February 2017

 The Psychopathic Personality
"I am the commander
I do not need to explain why I do things.
That's the interesting thing about being
  President.
  Maybe someone needs to explain to ME
       why they say something, but I don't feel
I owe anyone an explanation."
                            USA TODAY 11/25/02
                            Direct quote
from The Distressed Look, 2004

Actually, Trump has pretty decent sense of the difference between acting/looking juvenile. Not today tho #TonkaOp #AuthoritarianFail: image via Reading The Pictures @ReadingThe Pix, 23 March 2017
Rock
Hit absolute rock bottom
Are you there rock?        No?

No rock on bottom
                                   
                                  
                                     April 2003
from The Distressed Look, 2004


Man smashes TV at "rage room" in Cairo. Seems medium still the message. Photo @reuterspictures: image via Reading The Pictures @ReadingThePix, 22 March 2017

November Panics

You got MY vote

   just let me know
      who you are
          Is that a dog howling?
 

                                    April 2003
from The Distressed Look, 2004


Untitled | by ilan burla

[Tel Aviv]
: Ilan Burla, 31 March 2016
The Distressed Look
        From our 'leaders' -- please be
      as frightened as you can in apartment
   buildings, bridges and airports-- 
                                    But really

                 you're on your own,
                     you rattled and oppressed citizens
                  of the 'free' world --
berserk jackals of the moment are after you!
    Look carefully at those you know --
                                       corporate crooks! have fucked

                    with your energy!

     'Freedom' is dubiously hyped to a world
against which 'our country' seems to be waging a war!
    Yes, a war against The World!   which is full of 
          creepy crawly evil turrrists.

                'You' my government,
                      have made us Totally Unpopular 
                                  May 30, 2002
from The Distressed Look, 2004


This big spotted cat was painted more than 30,000 years ago in Chauvet Cave. It is the oldest known image of a leopard #IceAgeArt: image via The Ice Age @Jamie_Woodward_, 6 March 2017


#Syria A rebel fighter rests on the ground east of al-Bab. By @khalelashawe @reuterspictures: image via Photojournalism @photojournalink, 22 March 2017
 

IRAQ - A young man sits in shock next to a blood pool after a mortar shell was fired by IS fighters on civilians in Mosul. Photo Ahmad Al-Rubaye
: image via Frédérique Geffard @fgeffardAFP, 22 March 2017



#Jerusalem Ultra-Orthodox Jews celebrate the holiday of #Purim #Israel By @IYefimovich @GettyImagesNews #photojournalism: image via Photojournalism @photojournalink, 22 March 2017


MEDITERRANEAN SEA - Migrants wait to be rescued from a sinking dingey off the Libyan coastal town of Zawiyah. photo Abdullah Elgamoudi #AFP: image via Frédérique Geffard @fgeffardAFP, 22 March 2017

AFGHANISTAN - A girl looks on a window of Hazrat-e-Ali shrine at Nowruz festivities which mark new year in Mazari-i-Sharif. Photo @Farshadusyan: image via Frédérique Geffard @fgeffardAFP, 21 March 2017

GREECE - Children attend the celebrations of Nowruz at the Hockey refugee camp situated at former Olympic Complex near Athens. @lgouliam: image via Frédérique Geffard @fgeffardAFP, 22 March 2017

Afghanistan Daily Life

Maimoona, 7, poses for a photograph in a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, March 22, 2017.: photo by Rahmat Gul/AP, 22 March 2017

SYRIA - The White Helmets prepare the body of one of their comrades killed in an air strike on Mohammadiyah for burial. @amer_almohibany: image via Frédérique Geffard @fgeffardAFP, 22 March 2017 
 

GAZA STRIP - Funeral of Abou Azra in Rafah after been killed before dawn by Israeli artillery fire in Gaza. Photo @saidkhatib #AFP: image via Frédérique Geffard @fgeffardAFP, 22 March 2017

Israel Gaza

Mourners carry the body oof 18-year-old Yousef Abu Azraout out of the family house during his funeral in the Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, March 22, 2017. Palestinian officials said Al-Qidra was killed early Wednesday in Israeli shelling near the border fence separating Gaza and Israel. The Israeli military said its forces fired on three suspected militants who had approached the security fence.: photo by Khalil Hamra/AP, 22 March 2017
 

GAZA CITY - A girl sits outside her home with balloons in her hand in Gaza City. Photo @mohmabed: image via Frédérique Geffard @fgeffardAFP, 22 March 2017
 
IRAQ - Civilians flee Mosul as Iraqi forces advance in their fighting against IS fighters during #MosulOffensive Photo @ahmadgharabli4 #AFP: image via Frédérique Geffard @fgeffardAFP, 22 March 2017


IRAQ - The Iraqi counter-terrorism service advance towards the Yabasat neighbourhood during #MosulOffensive Photo Ahmad Al-Rubaye #AFP: image via Frédérique Geffard @fgeffardAFP, 23 March 2017


400,000 'trapped' in west Mosul's Old City: UN Photo @gharabli_ahmad #AFP: image via AFP Photo @AFPphoto, 23 March 2017

Iraq Mosul

Iraqi civilians walk in a neighborhood recently liberated by Iraqi security forces on the western side of Mosul, Iraq, Wednesday, March 22, 2017.: photo by Felipe Dana/AP, 22 March 2017

Iraq Mosul

Alia Ahmed sits on the side of the road with her 40 day-old grandson Abdullah after receiving food supplies in a neighborhood recently liberated by Iraqi security forces on the western side of Mosul, Iraq, Wednesday, March 22, 2017.: photo by Felipe Dana/AP, 22 March 2017


SYRIA - A rebel fighter walks past a roller shutter bearing the Syrian flag, in Rahbet Khattab in the Hama province. Photo @omar_hajkadour: image via Frédérique Geffard @fgeffardAFP, 23 March 2017


BULGARIA - An elderly woman pulls her shopping cart in front of an abandoned residential building on the outskirts of Pernik. Photo @dilkoff: image via Frédérique Geffard @fgeffardAFP, 23 March 2017


INDIA - Children play outside their home in the slums of New Delhi. Photo @Chandanphoto #AFP: image via Frédérique Geffard @fgeffardAFP, 23 March 2017

India World Water Day

Indian women collect water from a shared tap at a slum in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, March 22, 2017. India has the world's highest number of people without access to clean water. According to UNICEF, the U.N.'s children's agency, nearly 78 million Indians — or about 5 percent of the country's 1.3 billion population — must make do with contaminated water sources or buy water at high rates.: photo by Rafiq Maqbool/AP, 22 March 2017
Playtime

7 comments:

TC said...

About the top photo, a word may be in order. Keeping in mind we were all young once! Jack Boyce, the axeman, was felling those trees in that eucalyptus glade, out Mesa Road, in order to build a palace for Joanne. Dear souls all, and the picture reminds that beneath the overgrowth of talk and tale, there is the complication of reality, as it went down. Not long after that picture was taken, Jack fell to his death from the unfinished sleeping loft of the still roofless palace in which the woman he'd built it for would never live. As for Joanne's very funny poem about the dream in which Ted and I figure, it shows her wonderful wicked sense of humor at its very best, I reckon. She had Smarts, she had Touch.

(Brit Pyland helped out with the selection of poems, hail!)

William Keckler said...

Sorry to hear. Her Selected (with that lovely cover of galvanizing stillness) will ever be floating to the top of this or that ziggurat of preferred forever reads. Thinking now of her poem about her father that has such love wrapped around the coldness of facts and, well, coldness. This one often returns to me, but often returns to many, I suspect, since it's much anthologized: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsWVbWsid0Y

Hanford Woods said...

Tom,
Thanks so much for all this. Susan and I were sitting in a car in which there happened to be a copy of Joanne's Japanese Journals. Random readings, enjoying that special clarity of mind distilled into beautiful prose, and such a range of feeling. Led me back to the eulogy she delivered just two or three months ago at Bill Berkson's memorial: haunting, enchanting. And then we learn of her death the following morning. One by one the lights go out, but how brightly they have shone through our time.

STEPHEN RATCLIFFE said...

Thanks so much for posting this Tom, showing us such sides of Joanne -- that attention to details of house and yard in "swept the floor,/ planted 2 rows of onions, snow peas"; that out-of-the-blue humor in "And I am now looking forward to washing my hair"; that clear-eyed view of the craziness going on in the world beyond the one she chose to live in here in Bolinas in "corporate crooks! have fucked with your energy! 'Freedom' is dubiously hyped to a world against which 'our country' seems to be waging a war! Yes, a war against The World! which is full of creepy crawly evil turrrists. 'You' my government, have made us Totally Unpopular." And also that great photo of Joanne and Jack Boyce --- and all of these followed by evidence of the disasters still going on . . . Sobering stuff.

TC said...

William, Hanford, Steve, very many thanks. J's poems keep on responding to the delicacy of the moment, though she's no longer in it. That range of feeling took in so much. Touch is, well, touching...

Brenda Hillman said...

Your usual brilliant collage, Tom-- I'm so moved by how her poetry stayed fresh, vital, cranky, resonant. i'm sharing this link right now.

TC said...



Thanks Brenda. Caught us woolgathering a bit there, among the memories.

The nights here spent revisiting Joanne's poems, strange, thoughtful uplifting.

May our poet friend's soul find rest (hers once often restless, as so many of ours), and peace, and serenity, indeed may all souls be somehow permitted to do likewise, if only for a moment, and let's include the souls of all animals in this as well, while we're at it, as it's a Saturday night.