The experimental writer, artist, and musician Stephen Emmerson has been running a podcast entitled “Post Apocalyptic Poems.”
Post Apocalyptic Poems is a new series which imagines that an unspecified event has taken place which forces families to take shelter in underground bunkers.You can only take 6 books of poetry with you. When you emerge from the bunker after 3 or 4 years these books will be the starting point from which you can help to rebuild culture. You can also take one novel and one non fiction book. What would you choose?
Landscape and lifescape, how can we know which is which, in other words inside outside, but we like to make the difference, isn’t it important to make the difference? If your outside becomes your inside, or vice versa, well you’re a reversible coat. Do you remember the 80s? I was wearing a bomber style awesome jewel/chain design. One side has more primary colors of red, blue, yellow and orange the other side has …
How is your creationism? So here we are at the end of the world, not far from a medium city, and my outside has become my inside, with the sweating walls, and 20 minutes of writing before my hands become little freezers, arising to peel oranges and stretch on the balcony, the sky without clouds, and soon off for a beach walk, at the end of January the light is different.
How is your lifescape? Here is a poem from Vicente Huidobro, a new kind of surrealism born out of Chile, it is not Pablo Neruda, it is a new kind of creationism, with the great energies that converged upon Paris, with Apollinaire and Reverdy, also Arp and Delauney and Borges.
Collage was invented by the surrealists and Max Ernst took it to another level. Now, of course, collage is a common method, but it is still magical. There are so many ways to do it, in language and visual arts etc. Play Yr Kardz Right is almost 3 years old. It came after Rides, which was written while riding the London underground, and it uses a lot of the same methods of collage. Play Yr Kardz was inspired by the work of bill bissett, among others. There are four parts to the book. Here is a reading of part two of Play Yr Kardz Right, written while visiting Katowice, Poland for Christmas, over the course of a few years, and also while riding the London underground in London, U.K. It is nomadic and surrealist, and perhaps also absurdist. There are a lot more poems, of course, and lotsa yummy surprises. The rest of the book is available from Dostoyevsky Wannabe.
I am teaching an online class, in March 2020, for the The Poetry School in London. The nature of life is change and clinging to the illusion of permanence often leads to suffering, of one kind or another, but rather than anxiety, this life, full of change, can become a source of joy and wonder. Nomadic surrealism, with its emphasis on journeying between worlds, without clinging to a fixed position, is also a source of change and wonder, seeing the so called banal and everyday as full of mystery, if we can just attend to it with fresh eyes, a beginner’s mind. This studio course will be a journey, together, through change, loss, joy, and wonder. Come join us, wherever you are in the world, the more the merrier.
This prose poem was written in the mid-seventeenth century by the Spanish Jesuit priest, scholar and philosopher Baltasar Gracian. It is taken from the book A Pocket Mirror for Heroes (trans. Christopher Maurer).