Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Elizabeth Alexander on What Poetry Does for the Human Soul

Elizabeth Alexander 

on What Poetry Does for the Human Soul

By: 
“…and are we not of interest to each other?”
Elizabeth Alexander is among the most entrancing and spiritually invigorating poets of our time, and only the fourth poet in history to read at a U.S. presidential inauguration. Her recent memoir, The Light of the World, is one of the most breathtaking books on loss ever written. In her On Being conversation with Krista Tippett, Alexander reads the poem “Ars Poetica #100: I Believe” — perhaps the most beautiful meditation on poetry’s role in human life ever committed to words — found in her indispensable collection Crave Radiance: New and Selected Poems 1990–2010 (public library).
Please enjoy:
ARS POETICA #100: I BELIEVE
Poetry, I tell my students,
is idiosyncratic. Poetry
is where we are ourselves
(though Sterling Brown said
“Every ‘I’ is a dramatic ‘I'”),
digging in the clam flats
for the shell that snaps,
emptying the proverbial pocketbook.
Poetry is what you find
in the dirt in the corner,
overhear on the bus, God
in the details, the only way
to get from here to there.
Poetry (and now my voice is rising)
is not all love, love, love,
and I’m sorry the dog died.
Poetry (here I hear myself loudest)
is the human voice,
and are we not of interest to each other?

BRAINPICKINGS



Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Amy Winehouse / Love Is A Losing Game


Amy Winehouse
Love Is A Losing Game


For you I was a flame
Love is a losing game
Five storey fire as you came
Love is a losing game

Why do I wish I'd never played
Oh what a mess we made
And now the final frame
Love is a losing game

Played out by the band
Love is a losing hand
More than I could stand
Love is a losing hand

Self professed... profound
Till the chips were down
...know you're a gambling man
Love is a losing hand

Though I'm rather blind
Love is a fate resigned
Memories mar my mind
Love is a fate resigned

Over futile odds
And laughed at by the gods
And now the final frame
Love is a losing game





Monday, August 17, 2015

Amy Winehouse / You Know I´M No Good



Amy Winehouse
BIOGRAPHY
YOU KNOW I´M NO GOOD

Meet you downstairs in the bar and heard
Your rolled up sleeves and your skull t-shirt
You say what did you do with him today?
And sniff me out like I was Tanqueray

Cause you're my fella, my guy
Hand me your stella and fly
By the time I'm out the door
You're tear men down like Roger Moore

I cheated myself
Like I knew I would
I told ya, I was trouble
You know that I'm no good

Upstairs in bed, with my ex boy
He's in the place, but I can't get joy
Thinking on you in the final throes,

this is when my buzzer goes

Run out to meet your chips and pitter
You say we married, 'cause you're not bitter
There'll be none of him no more
I cried for you on the kitchen floor

I cheated myself
Like I knew I would
I told ya, I was trouble
You know that I'm no good

Sweet reunion, Jamaica and Spain
We're like how we were again
I'm in the tub you on the sink
Lick your lips as I soak my feet

Then you know this little carpet burn
My stomach drop yeah and my guts churn
You shrug and it's the worst
Who truly stuck the knife in first

I cheated myself
like I knew I would
I told ya I was trouble,
you know that I'm no good

I cheated myself,
like I knew I would
I told ya I was trouble,
you know that I'm no good





Saturday, August 15, 2015

Amy Winehouse / Tears Dry On Their Own


Amy Winehouse 
BIOGRAPHY
Tears Dry On Their Own

All I'll can ever be to you
Is a darkness that we know,
And this regret I got accustomed to.
Once it was so right
When we were at our high,
Waiting for you in the hotel at night.
I knew I hadn't met my match,
But every moment we could snatch,
I don't know why I got so attached.
It's my responsibility,
And you don't owe nothing to me,
But to walk away I have no capacity.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Amy Winehouse / Valerie





Amy Winehouse
BIOGRAPHY
VALERIE

Well sometimes I go out, by myself,
and I look across the water.
And I think of all the things,
of what you're doing,
and in my head I paint a picture.

Since I've come home,
well my body's been a mess,
and I miss your tender hair,
and the way you like to dress.

Oh won't you come on over,
stop making a fool out of me,
why don't you come on over, Valerie.

Valerie
Valerie
Valerie

Did you have to go to jail,
put your house out up for sale,
did you get a good lawyer.
I hope you didn't catch a tan,
I hope you find the right man,
who'll fix it for you.

Are you shopping anywhere,
change the color of your hair,
and are you busy.

Did you have to pay that fine,
that you were dodging all the time,
are you still dizzy.

Well since I come home,
well my body's been a mess,
and I miss your tender hair,
and the way you like to dress.

Oh won't you come on over,
stop making a fool out of me,
why don't you come on over, Valerie.

Valerie
Valerie
Valerie

Well sometimes I go out, by myself,
and I look across the water.
And I think of all the things,
of what you're doing,
and in my head I paint a picture.

Since I've come home,
well my body's been a mess,
and I miss your tender hair,
and the way you like to dress.
Oh won't you come on over,
stop making a fool out of me,
why don't you come on over, Valerie.
Valerie
Valerie
Valerie
Valerie
Valerie
Valerie
Valerie
Valerie





Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Amy Winehouse / Just Friends



Amy Winehouse
Just Friends


When will we get the time to be just friends
It's never safe for us not even in the evening
‘cos I've been drinking
Not in the morning where your shit works
It's always dangerous when everybody's sleeping
And I've been thinking
Can we be alone?
Can we be alone?

When will we get the time to be just friends
When will we get the time to be just friends

And no I'm not ashamed but the guilt will kill you
If she don't first
I'll never love you like her
Though we need to find the time
To just do this shit together
Before it gets worse
I wanna touch you
But that just hurts

When will we get the time to be just just friends
When will we get the time to be just friends, just friends
When will we get the time to be just friends, just friends
When will we get the time to be just friends, just friends
Just friends




Sunday, August 9, 2015

Amy Winehouse / Wake Up Alone


Wake Up Alone
by Amy Winehouse

It's okay in the day I'm staying busy
Tied up enough so I don't have to wonder where is he
Got so sick of crying
So just lately
When I catch myself I do a 180
I stay up clean the house
At least I'm not drinking
Run around just so I don't have to think about thinking
That silent sense of content
That everyone gets
Just disappears soon as the sun sets

This face in my dreams sees in my guts
He floats me with dread
Soaked in soul
He swims in my eyes by the bed
Pour myself over him
Moon spilling in
And I wake up alone

If I was my heart
I'd rather be restless
The second I stop the sleep catches up and I'm breathless
This ache in my chest
As my day is done now
The dark covers me and I cannot run now
My blood running cold
I stand before him
It's all I can do to assure him
When he comes to me
I drip for him tonight
Drowning in me we bathe under blue light

His face in my dreams sees in my guts
He floats me with dread
Soaked in soul
He swims in my eyes by the bed
Pour myself over him
Moon spilling in
And I wake up alone
And I wake up alone
And I wake up alone
And I wake up alone





Friday, August 7, 2015

Amy Winehouse / Back to Black



BACK TO BLACK
by Amy Winehouse
BIOGRAPHY


He left no time to regret
kept his dick wet
with his same old safe bet
me and my head high
and my tears dry
I get on without my guy
you went back to what you knew
so far removed from all that we went through
and I tread a troubled track
my odds are stacked
I’ll go back to black

We only said good-bye with words
I died a hundred times
You go back to her
and I go back to.....

I go back to us

I love you much
It’s not enough
you love blow and I love puff
and life is like a pipe
and I’m a tiny penny rolling up the walls inside

We only said goodbye with words
I died a hundred times
You go back to her
and I go back to

Black, black, black, black, black, black, black,
I go back to
I go back to

We only said good-bye with words
I died a hundred times
You go back to her
and I go back to

We only said good-bye with words
I died a hundred times
You go back to her
and I go back to black



Amy Winehouse, Back to Black

The gifted singer's penchant for four-letter words only adds to her essential Britishness, claims Stuart Nicholson

Watching Amy Winehouse live is a confusing experience. There's this skinny, slightly gawky teenager (well, she still looks like a teenager) on stage and yet, via an amazing feat of lip-synching, the voice of a 40-year-old black woman from Brooklyn is coming over the PA.
It is nothing short of mesmerising, as you might expect of an artist whose quirky, eccentric and fearless lyrics explore avenues alien to most songwriters. Witness 2003's debut album Frank, which, thanks to risque tracks like 'Fuck Me Pumps', 'Stronger Than Me' and 'In My Bed', was shortlisted for the Mercury Music Prize and earned Winehouse nominations for two Brit awards.
What was particularly intriguing about the 22-year-old was how she managed to sound like a Fifties jazz club singer while singing outre lyrics about life in contemporary London. This compelling duality is continued with a deft change of backdrop on Back to Black, wherein she assumes the role of an Aretha Franklin-style soul singer complete with doo-wop backing groups while again singing of her contemporary urban experiences. It should keep popular culture students busy for the next 20 years in the way that Mick Jagger in the mid-Sixties prompted countless theses on the subliminal black person within. None the less it works - even though this area of pop culture has been mined remorselessly for the past 50 years - by dint of its clever melody lines and smart lyrics.
As if to emphasise just how wise she is, Winehouse has kept each track to around the length of a 45 (remember those?), enabling her to make her point and move on without running the risk of outstaying her welcome. So whether it's the rousing, churchy 'Rehab', in which Winehouse describes how her father tries to wean her off alcohol ('Try to make me go to rehab/ I say no, no, no'), or the serious soul of 'Love is a Losing Game', Back to Black isn't shy of betraying its debt to pop.
What the American market will make of it, though, is anybody's guess. Indeed during 'Me and Mr Jones (Fuckery)' I had this crazy fantasy in which I pictured the effect of this song being pushed on the American FM pop stations. Given the uproar in middle America a couple of years ago when Justin Timberlake exposed Janet Jackson's left nipple at the SuperBowl, trying to imagine what our Stateside friends would make of Amy Winehouse and the word 'fuckery' was worth the price of the record alone. The medium may be American but the message is very British, which is why if Amy Winehouse continues in this fashion she could end up being a national treasure.
Recommended: 'Rehab'; 'Me and Mrs Jones (Fuckery)'; 'Love is a Losing Game'; 'Tears Dry on Their Own'


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Cristina Peri Rossi / Saturday Night

Cristina Peri Rossi

SATURDAY NIGHT
by Cristina Peri Rossi
Translated by Tatiana de la Terra

In the solitary dawn
through drifting secondhand smoke
and sidewalks sticky with spit
I go out walking
to escape the nocturnal silence of my room
seeking bright lights
oh, those neon friends who always ward off
my internal wolves
my hungry demons
(my Vallejo ancestors).
I go in search of something
losing myself in the narrow streets round the harbor
looking for company,
oh, the sweet drugs that since Baudelaire
have run along the gutters of cities at nighttime
—London, Paris, New York, Madrid—
oh, the unknown flesh that stirs, aroused by a look.
Finally I find it: some sleazy joint that’s still open
a prison cell of solitary pleasures
a peep show hidden between the trees:
a bookstore open all night
where I can wallow among the books
luxuriate in other people’s verses
and finally reach orgasm
with one of Allen Ginsberg’s self-destructive poems.


Monday, August 3, 2015

Adele / Rolling In The Deep


Adele

Rolling In The Deep

There's a fire starting in my heart
Reaching a fever pitch, it's bringing me out the dark
Finally I can see you crystal clear
Go ahead and sell me out and I'll lay your ship bare

See how I leave with every piece of you
Don't underestimate the things that I will do
There's a fire starting in my heart
Reaching a fever pitch
And it's bringing me out the dark

The scars of your love remind me of us
They keep me thinking that we almost had it all
The scars of your love they leave me breathless
I can't help feeling

We could've had it all
Rolling in the deep
You had my heart inside of your hand
And you played it
To the beat

Baby I have no story to be told
But I've heard one of you
And I'm gonna make your head burn
Think of me in the depths of your despair
Making a home down there
As mine sure won't be shared

The scars of your love remind me of us
They keep me thinking that we almost had it all
The scars of your love they leave me breathless
I can't help feeling

We could've had it all
Rolling in the deep
You had my heart inside of your hand
And you played it
To the beat

We could've had it all
Rolling in the deep
You had my heart inside of your hand
But you played it
With the beating

Throw your soul through every open door
Count your blessings to find what you look for
Turned my sorrow into treasured gold
You pay me back in kind 
And reap just what you sow
We could've had it all
We could've had it all
It all, it all it all,

We could've had it all
Rolling in the deep
You had my heart inside of your hand
And you played it
To the beat

We could've had it all
Rolling in the deep
You had my heart inside of your hand
But you played it
To the beat






Sunday, August 2, 2015

Adele / One and Only


One and Only

By Adele
You've been on my mind,
I grow fonder every day,
Lose myself in time,
Just thinking of your face,
God only knows why it's taken me so long to let my
doubts go,
You're the only one that I want,

I don't know why I'm scared,
I've been here before,
Every feeling, every word,
I've imagined it all,
You'll never know if you never try,
To forgive your past and simply be mine,

I dare you to let me be your, your one and only,
Promise I'm worthy,
To hold in your arms,
So come on and give me a chance,
To prove I am the one who can walk that mile,
Until the end starts,

If I've been on your mind,
You hang on every word I say,
Lose yourself in time,
At the mention of my name,
Will I ever know how it feels to hold you close,
And have you tell me whichever road I choose, you'll go?

I don't know why I'm scared,
'Cause I've been here before,
Every feeling, every word,
I've imagined it all,
You'll never know if you never try,
To forgive your past and simply be mine,
I dare you to let me be your, your one and only,
I promise I'm worthy, mmm,
To hold in your arms,
So come on and give me a chance,
To prove I am the one who can walk that mile,
Until the end starts,

I know it ain't easy giving up your heart,
I know it ain't easy giving up your heart,
Nobody's perfect,
(I know it ain't easy giving up your heart),
Trust me I've learned it,
Nobody's perfect,
(I know it ain't easy giving up your heart),
Trust me I've learned it,
Nobody's perfect,
(I know it ain't easy giving up your heart),
Trust me I've learned it,
Nobody's perfect,
(I know it ain't easy giving up your heart),
Trust me I've learned it,

So I dare you to let me be your, your one and only,
I promise I'm worthy,
To hold in your arms,
So come on and give me a chance,
To prove I am the one who can walk that mile,
Until the end starts,

Come on and give me a chance,
To prove I am the one who can walk that mile,
Until the end starts.




Saturday, August 1, 2015

Adele / Don't You Remember


Don't You Remember

by Adele

When will I see you again?
You left with no goodbye, not a single word was said
No final kiss to seal any sins
I had no idea of the state we were in

I know I have a fickle heart and bitterness
And a wandering eye, and a heaviness in my head
But don't you remember, don't you remember?
The reason you loved me before
Baby please remember me once more

When was the last time you thought of me?
Or have you completely erased me from your memories?
I often think about where I went wrong
The more I do, the less I know

But I know I have a fickle heart and bitterness
And a wandering eye, and a heaviness in my head
But don't you remember, don't you remember?
The reason you loved me before
Baby please remember me once more

Gave you the space so you could breathe
I kept my distance so you would be free
I hope that you find the missing piece
To bring you back to me

Why don't you remember, don't you remember?
The reason you loved me before
Baby, please remember me once more

When will I see you again?