Sunday, April 4, 2010

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Aung San Suu Kyi Sentenced by Burma Junta

Suu Kyi Sentence Stirs World Outrage ~Wae Moe, Irrawaddy
World leaders have expressed outrage over the 18-month sentence in the trial of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and the European Union plans tougher sanctions against the Burmese regime.
Shortly after the sentence was announced on Tuesday, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicola Sarkozy quickly responded.
“I am both saddened and angry at the verdict today…following the sham trial of Aung San Suu Kyi,” Brown said in a statement, adding that the sentence was further proof that the regime is “determined to act with total disregard for accepted standards of the rule of law and in defiance of international opinion.”

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Ghosts of Burma

Restless Souls of the Irrawaddy Delta
<-Please click pic.
~Burmese Buddhists traditionally hold two religious ceremonies—Yat Lae Hsun and Thet Pyauk Hsun—to ensure the release of the souls of deceased family members.
Mass ceremonies were held for the thousands who died in Cyclone Nargis
—yet villagers in many part of the devastated delta claim seeing the restless ghosts of cyclone victims.
If you found a friend in God
please ask them for direction
to the places they left the restless souls
to drown in their own damn'nation.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

New Orleans, City of Living Metaphor

~By Editilla O'rilla d'Aphasia
One can often see more of New Orleans in the blink of an eye or casual glance than in all of the photographs, television exposes or movies every shown.
Hidden in plain view, bundling out of flower pots or cool, shaded courtyard gardens behind little wrought iron doors with tiny windows in the middle of them, she is a city of living metaphor, and as such, must be handled with care.
In this city, neither Cliche’ nor Metaphor will honor what they seem in life nor what you would wish of them in death. There is so much here to see, hear, taste and feel. But one must allow the Lady to serve. While necessity may be the Mother of Invention, and camouflage the Art of Survival, New Orleans is a Sashay of Masques.
Even knocked flat on her ass and still down on her knees 3 years after the storm, this lovely city has them all beat for culture and surprise. Did I say "she"? "Her"?
Oh yes, I definitely speak of Her, a Scorpio Woman at that!
Respect her thusly, check expectations at the door...
--and bring comfortable walking shoes.


Due in large part to the city's layout, her placement along several curves of the Mississippi river, New Orleans is shaped like several half-wheels, with streets splayed and crashing together at complex yet interesting intersections, like twisted spokes and broken axles. Yet as one travels away from the river they spread to the edges of the other wheels, merging into equally strange angles.
I know of only a few square neighborhoods, the Quarters being the more famous--though even within its tight confines of only 13 by 7 blocks people still manage to lose their place. But then again, that is why many come to this city, to lose their place and perchance find a new one. It is a great city for reinvention, redirection and restoration. The three "Rs".
With no straight or parallel lines, and no level sidewalks,
New Orleans is not a square city at all.
She is a complex, curvaceous and clever beauty.
This is of course one of the things I love about her.

So, amongst the many methods of orientation one should leave at home when visiting here is any normal sense of direction. This is a truly sensual city, but "direction" is not one of them. Don't get stuck on "normal". Leave normal at home, with your car keys if you can. Just forget them both. I have often met completely sober visitors, normal people, absolutely at a loss as to where they parked their cars--in the middle of the day!
If one can afford to drive here (HA!) then park the damn thing. This is just not a very good town for cars. One does not get away with "making the block" here. Try that and you will get lost every time--even on foot! No. It is best to use the public transit, bikes, or cabs, so you can look about while traveling around from courtyard gardens to cemeteries to art galleries and artists markets to music venues, or entire "music streets" like Frenchman Street where there are at least six or seven really great local live music bars in just the first couple of blocks. And of course restaurants.

Cliche as it may sound, one of my favorite ways still to see the city, or just get around, is on any of the street cars.
We do not call them "Trolleys".
It was a Street Car Named Desire.
The St Charles line runs from downtown all the way through the Garden District and Uptown, then turns at the river on Carrolton Avenue for about another mile or so. Then pay again and ride back the other direction. Depending on traffic, the ride might last two or three hours for the whole trip. When catching one downtown, it is always good wait to get on the 2nd one since there are usually two in a row as they tend to get pretty full (with tourists:) You will want to snag a window seat on the right side for both directions.I prefer the very back if possible, where the conductor sits when going the other direction. There is only one seat (the conductor's) but more windows, a wider view, and usually more room. If with a companion or group, all take window seats. Don't screw around with visiting each other, lest you make the city jealous. (Y'all can do each other in private back at the hotel or bar or wherever:) Look out the windows. Open the windows. Do not lean out the windows to take the last picture of your life. Shut up and listen. Get your cameras ready, since a good picture will jump out of nowhere here and it will most likely be one of the prettiest and/or the funniest (and tragic) things you will ever see in any other city.

At any point along the trip one may want to disembark for drinks or food or just to walk around. I highly recommend doing this. Get lost in the Garden District and just catch the next car every 15 or 20 minutes. Walk a few blocks towards the river to Magazine Street, where loads of galleries and shops are lined up like beat-up trunks full of treasure from a Ghost Liner.
My favorite shop on Magazine these days is Dirty Coast.
My favorite restaurant on that street amongst many favorites is Joey Ks. One may also be able to get a transfer rather than paying full price again. Ask the conductor. They will tell you anything and most of it will be true. Make sure to ask too if going to somewhere specific like Commanders Palace or someplace off the line. They will holler as you draw nigh.

There is also the Canal Street Car line and another which runs along the river to the bottom of Esplanade Avenue, the downstream border of the French Quarters.
That latter one, I think called "Riverside?", does not seem to be as regular as the other two. The Canal line is wonderful as it runs all the way to City Park, which is worth a trip all its own.
It is one of the largest city parks in the nation and is riddled with bayous and lakes. The city museum is there, as well as a huge sculpture garden.
New Orleanians LOVE this park and you can feel it in the air as very much a "heart" of the city, among her many, many, many sweet hearts.
I have several friends there who happen to be huge old trees. There are also several great local eateries around the park too. Again, ask the street car conductor for advise.
From there I believe one can take a bus straight down
Esplanade Avenue back to Rampart Street at the edge of the Quarters---just in time for cocktails at the Bombay Club !

Editilla O'rilla d'Aphasia
~publishes the daily New Orleans Ladder, a site for New Orleans news, Nola bloggery, videos, poetry, photography, music, food, incessant rantific exegesi on the Flooding of the New Orleans by the Exquixotic Corps of Engineers and humor yea'where'yat, post Kafkatrina Recovery for the City That Care Forgot
and the Presidente left for dead.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Three Little Bigs
~From Rope-A-dope Collaborative

~Review by Editilla O'rilla d'Aphasia
The Tao begot one.
One begot two.
Two begot three.
And three begot the ten thousand things.
~Tao Te Ching
Just ain't alot ya'can say about Zen now is there, eh? HA!
But, still, we try and such is the Joy and Life of Art for yer oh'so humble Editilla. It is one of the few things these days which begs me pause, breath or a second thought as arguably the last thing I have to keep the hellhounds at bay...
--disrailed Post Apocalypse NO.
Fine Art speaks for itself for me.
She takes care of fools and errant troubadours.

The picture above may not be quite "Life'sized" though the Books thereof are truly so, weighing in at perhaps 1/2 oz in toto, and 4 1/2 X 3 1/2 inches...
about the size of a cigarette case.
But, then again, how "big" does an expression have to be to carry "Life" or reconnect us with our reality? The smallest thing we use as our singular identifier used to be the Thumb Print. Now each of us can be had for a nano's ass, all the way up to Steven Hawking's diagram of Universe as a four dimensional manifold, which looks co(s)mically like that famous Zen Thingy: o
Hence, the idea of printing and publishing a book run "Thumb'sized" has always struck me as novel.
(Sorry, couldn't help that one:)(Foot In Mouth Disease)
But to show my own hand here,
I wash them every time before handling one of these...
--Gorgeous ...Little ...Darlings.
They are Hand Made. They are a Sight To Be Held.

What, Friends, Is A City?, by Mark Yakich,
is printed, as each member of the tryptic, in an edition of 96.
Y'all better hurry then and call these folks at Rope-A-dope...
(--as such wondrous pieces of work won't wast wong!:)
Small vineyard, High Quality Vintage. Gourmet. Vajra Diamond.
This edition of 96 is for 8 poems, which are placed 4 to a section, which itself (each section) is folded together as its own book, and hand bound.
These are contiguous placements that unfold in such a surprising way to give just 4 poems, their own of 2 Books in 1.
Nola Book Fair bookmakers of course know how this works, how the design and structure, the physicality of a Book --when so ingeniously applied-- will hold and present and preserve 1 Word as well and informatively as if it held 1000 words. But, it just delights Editilla to no end like opening a treasure puzzle.
Of course you will just have to hold it to feel the Author's name impressed on the hand silk screened covers. Just Beautiful.
But Mark Yakich's writing inside speaks even more so.
Here is one that grabbed me like a wrench:
After one draws a hundred
bodies from the river one
knows what all bodies look
like naked: it's not bone
here, a kneecap there.
But what if
you've never
drawn
a body?

The Painting, by Kate Schapira, paradoxically continues Rope-A-dope's 96 Unfolding of Literature. Paradox, the twin sista of Irony, in that The Painting is a Book. That is what I want to ultimately present here: each of these books and everything from their makers is A Work of Art on its own.
However, unlike so many "Pretty Books of Poetry" these works would not exist without the marrow they carry inside
which makes bleeding real.
In this, these bones are some of the prettiest I've seen dance.
Only this time the Book folds out into 5 squares to lay as an equilateral cross upon which to read the 4 poems hung there.
I just like to sit and look at the damned thing!
It has this regal deep purple inset sheet at each end, set in an off gray/blue cover which is itself impressed with designs and a simple color drip as if something bizarre spilt across it from the inside...Hell, I really have a hard time describing an Artifact which is so goddamned beautiful. Natural sensuality happens all over da'place in New Orleans in the blink of the eye on a sideways glance, but to think of these books as Made...
--just leaves Editilla speechless.
They speak for the damned and the blessed Sinn Féin.
Get Down! Get Back Up Again!
Really, I wish I could play music like this:

like age, alteration and handling
the painting as blue and pink smears
as women, men and trees, dresses and baskets
as series of visits or payments
as mustard and dark brown smears, later

as wall of the room that doubles
as bed and cardtable room, folds,
reopens, divides


Case Fbdy. by Kate Shapira, actually holds enough poems for a Table of Contents: 16. I saved this one for last since we know something of cutting up words (albeit where talented people use a scalpel Editilla generally goes for a chainsaw:) And, I have a link to another favorite Book not like this but much older and along the same lines: A Humument by Tom Phillips.
I recommend y'all read all about what he did, but the coolest thing for me was taking a rather stolid, misogynous, racist, effete Victorian novel and transforming it into a completely different way'mo'betta story... --by covering each page with a painting and leaving open to view only certain "randomly" chosen words to tell the tale. Really something lemme toll'yaz.
Here in Case Fbdy. Ms. Shapira states:
"The titles and some of the language in these poems come from a found page of text from a medical journal
or a book of unkown author, title, or date
(but presumably published after 1887)."

Weellll that about says it all, eh? HA!
Editilla always hangs onto any book which gives me a word to look up on the first glance. This time the word is: Fluctuant.
While one may think they know what a word means, I've learned with all things Rope-A-dope it behooves one to check it out.
(And Everyone Loves Medical Journal Stuff Right? Riiiight!:)
Kate Schapira knows how to use a scalpel:
At intervals
Coughing removes the streaks

on linen, replaces the blood.
If you were to. Rings, fluctuant,
are essentially chronic. In
sight of. Your held. No
room. There'll be no scar
to see. Procedures are
uncertain, syrups are soothing,
the doctors are very local. At intervals
the pin holds you to it and rages
in you, and reminds you. You're
in. They're sure. You will.
The table, covered in oilcloth,
will make a complete recovery.

We hope to have let this Fine Art speak for Itself here.
They did not ask me to do this "review". And like any good friend or fine thing, I can not recall how or where I ran across
Rope-A-dope Press. But, Editilla wonna toll'ya one thing:
we hope you all run your finger across them too. Soon.
I could go on and on about the Talent and Technological Dexterity behind these amazing these little books.
Why don't you all just check them out.
Gotta be the cheapest Book Shipping around.
Thank you so much to all the Authors, Artists and
Bookbinders of Rope-A-dope Press.

Thank y'all,
~Editilla O'rilla d'Aphasia

Friday, August 8, 2008

8-08-88~~8-08-08 McCommunism

"McCommunism."The Olympics: Unveiling Police State 2.0 ~Naomi Klein
~The games have been billed as China's "coming out party" to the world. They are far more significant than that. These Olympics are the coming out party for a disturbingly efficient way of organizing society, one that China has perfected over the past three decades, and is finally ready to show off. It is a potent hybrid of the most powerful political tools of authoritarianism communism -- central planning, merciless repression, constant surveillance -- harnessed to advance the goals of global capitalism. Some call it "authoritarian capitalism," others "market Stalinism," personally I prefer "McCommunism."

8888 Poem..”Peace and justice are indivisible” ~Burma Sitmone
Twenty Years ago..
There was No Internet
There were No Cell Phones..
To tell the truth of what actually happened behind…
The invisible wall of the World’s Biggest Jail Known as Burma…
There were killings of innocents..
The day and date were known among Burmese as 8888!
more here