waterfall-thac-dray-nur-buon-me-thuot-daklak-68147.jpeg“The God above “God” means that our language of talking about God has become trivialized and bereft.  Needed is a way to talk, or at least think about a God who is above and beyond the limits of our imagination.  How do we talk about eternity might be another way to put it, for eternity is not endless time.  Eternity is above time, if a spatial metaphor works.  In the same way God is above the “God” we worship and pray to.  God must be rendered unfamiliar, more than we can imagine.”

C Fred Alford

The  still small voice has whispered long ago

The ending of  the day brings nearer war
Is it France or Germany this time
As on those  cruel days we lived before?

Alas it is the Holy Land  adored,
No longer holy, no longer  divine
The ending of  the day brings hints of war

David with his sling has nuclear power.
If this is true, how shall we read the signs
As  did humans  dead and gone before?

Asia,Europe.Africa, oh cower
The missiles and the war planes unbenign
The ending of  our world  draws near in war

The eyes are innocent the mouth turns sour
World  leaders who have never fought decide
Not to learn from  long wars fought before.

Oh, why so keen to start, illegal bride?
Submit to  your own prophets and their signs
The  still small voice has whispered long before.
The sacred bush will burn with nuclear fire


PaeoniaShimaNishiki.jpgWhat are a paragraph, a paralegal and a parachute?
What does ” beyond the pale”  mean? Or is it pail?
Why is patience a virtue?
What is a pathological liar?
What  does ”  for Pete’s sake” mean?
Why do we have to write thank you letters after Xmas even if we are heathens?
Why get baptised in Church.Is it the Community Spirit?
Where is our Community Spirit?

Freudian letter endings

pexels-photo-259363.jpegOf course I don’t want to marry you
Nest wishes

I  am a  devil with women
Holy yours

I was not  at all hurt by your departure
Yours wincerely

I did once commit adultery [ with you]
Yours faithfully

Please come to dinner soon
Never yours

The  day after pill failed
Yours newly

Is it my fault I had twins? I didn’t realise it was your brother the second time.
Yours demotedly

I suppose we’ll have to get married now your are expecting triplets
Your  best fiend




pexels-photo-415585.jpegI Birmingham.Honestly!
He did it  covertly in Coventry
I had a cathedral put into my bladder and a  primula in my wrist.
They said I needed an auntie or gran
The ambulance was privatised on the way to the Royal Wee.
I have  my grain in my heart.Do you?
I’ve been ill ever since I was well.
Will I be recovered in new  fabric on the NHS?
Don’t be so invectible or inaffactual
Vegetative  thinking  stops us ruminating
Much Hadam… boast free here
Standon….  no.I’ll bring a ladder
Puckeridge… it might rhyme with something rude.
Women can swear but it’s not such a good IKEA

Who sees truly what we have become?

Trivial thinking makes a waste of life;
Like polishing your shoes as Jesus dies.
Yet academics often create strife,
With philosophers more intellingent than wise

Perceptions sharp as nail bombs to the eyes
Are diverted onto other paths and lives.
Who will be the one who can surprise?
With which mind may such perception strive?

Who will listen to the chosen one?
Not the men whose faces are unlined.
Who sees truly what we have become?
In whose imagination is the true refined?

Such a furnace is this blacksmith’s yard
Refinement comes by fire and burning hard

The role of the poet with Solmaz Sharif


The Role of the Poet: An Interview with Solmaz Sharif




In 2014, I heard Solmaz Sharif read “Look,” the title poem from her debut collectionLook inserts military terminology into intimate scenes between lovers, refashioning hollow, bureaucratic language from the U.S. Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms with a human touch. (Even the collection’s title has an alternate military meaning: per the Department of Defense, a look means “a period during which a mine circuit is receptive of influence.”) At a time when the U.S. automates acts of murder, Sharif insists that war is still personal—perhaps today more than ever. In one of its most quoted passages, she writes, “Daily I sit / with the language / they’ve made / of our language / to NEUTRALIZE / the CAPABILITY OF LOW DOLLAR VALUE ITEMS / like you.” 

By simply placing words from the Defense dictionary in small caps, and deploying them in scenes of intimacy,” John Freeman wrote in the Los Angeles Times, “Sharif has begun the process of renaturing them, putting them in the readers’ hands for examination.” Look confirms what I’ve known since 2014: Sharif is poised to influence not only literature but larger conversations about America, war, and the Middle East. I spoke with her about her influences, the role of the poet in today’s world, and the stories behind Look.


In an essay you wrote for the Kenyon Review, you said, “When I am asked to describe my poetry on airplane flights, at dinner parties, I describe it first as ‘political.’ Then, ‘documentary.’ And these two things seem to, for some, preclude aesthetic rigor.” There’s a popular conception that overtly political can’t have aesthetic value—that a political message degrades the aesthetics. Is your work a deliberate effort to rebut this notion? 


Clichéd, bad writing often means clichéd, bad politics, and vice versa. Aesthetics and politics have a really vital and exciting give-and-take between them. I think June Jordan is an exciting example. She was politically astute and radical, but she was also a classically trained pianist, so when you’re reading her work, it’s incredibly music driven and decided. It’s exciting for me to think of poets that are allowing their politics to also be shaped by these aesthetic considerations, and wondering when the poetic will lead you to the kind of political surprise that a dogmatic approach wouldn’t allow. These are the artists that live on the fringes of what is aesthetically and politically accepted.

When I say “living on the fringes,” I’m thinking of Edward Said’s idea of the “exilic” intellectual pursuit. It’s this artistic presence continually outside, questioning and speaking back to whatever supposed “here” or “we” or “now” we’ve created. The word fringe is belittling in a way I don’t intend—I mean a nomadic presence, or a mind that is consistently on the run, and preventing these political moments from calcifying.

Sharp women writers



Natalie Daher | Longreads | April 2018 | 15 minutes (4,014 words)

The subjects of cultural critic Michelle Dean’s new book Sharp: The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion — including Dorothy Parker, Janet Malcolm, Joan Didion and Nora Ephron — have appeared in Dean’s writing and interviews again and again over the years. It’s not difficult to see how Dean would develop a fascination with opinionated women — she is one herself. Lawyer-turned-crime reporter, literary critic, and Gawker alumnus, Michelle Dean’s has had her own “sharp” opinions on topics ranging from fashion to politics, from #MeToo to the Amityville Horror.

The book is more than just a series of biographical sketches. Dean is fascinated by the connections between these literary women — their real-life relationships, their debates, and the ways they were pitted against each other in a male-dominated field.

We spoke by phone between New York and Los Angeles and discussed writing about famous writers, the media, editors, and feminism.

* * *

You started your career as a lawyer, then you transitioned into journalism. You’ve written about crime, law, women, books — how did those experiences prepare you to write this first book?

Well, it’s funny, right, because by the time you actually publish a book, you’re somewhat beyond it. The crime stuff came in as I was finishing the book.

I don’t come from a particularly literary background. I only came to think about literary life relatively late. I was an undergraduate debater, which is a deeply nerdy and embarrassing thing to admit, but also really formative for me. I ended up in law school by a circuitous route.

Buy the book

I think you can see a lot of that spirit in the book, because there’s one level on which the book is just an argument for debate, or for spirited argument, which is something that you’d think the world doesn’t lack right now. Except that a lot of it isn’t reasoned, or witty, or eloquent, or perceptive. It’s just yelling all the time. Lawyering is thinking and reasoning by principle. In that sense, it ties into sharpness pretty easily.

Must writers write?

what's new pussycat.jpghttp://writerunboxed.com/2018/05/06/writers-write-right/


“Generic advice is generic

To my way of thinking, this advice is really aimed at those people who have been talking for years about one day wanting to be a writer, but who haven’t started writing anything yet despite having the time, emotional space, and capacity to do so. But far too often, it’s thrown around like a qualification that must be met every day.

I think we need to give ourselves a break; to stop feeling guilty when life events conspire to overwhelm us. You are not less of a writer when you take time off to care for yourself or your family.

Writers write.

But not at the expense of their own well-bring.

Have you ever guilt-tripped yourself for not writing? How do you feel about this advice?”

For comments click the link