"She was beautiful, elegant. Like a tall clear glass filled with raw pasta."
"The Himalayas have been dyed in countless hues,
without any brush.
In the souls of the petals
resounds the music of Jal tarang
The eyes of the saplings turn bright
when they bring thy light.
The lassitude takes leave of
the wings of the birds.
The waves of the sea dance in ecstasy,
pray for the safety of the seas for man.
O Usha, O revolution-maker, the mother of changes, Let me be good again !"
Bawa Balwant, from Usha
Blackout Poetry Without the Blacked-out Page
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, pg. 211
just the hint of a pause abandoned that line.
kick that silver stretch mark.
admire the spit, the faint red skin.
wonder at the transparency.
that kiss was clear glass passion.
desire sleeps so soundly.
children grow up. she wanted her body back.
she shrugged. she sat up and twisted.
she flooded the room and the mirror.
Many of us cannot help looking because of what Susan Sontag has called “the perennial seductiveness of war.” It is a kind of rubbernecking, staring at the bloody aftermath of something that is not an act of God but of man. The effect, as Ms. Sontag pointed out in an essay in The New Yorker in 2002, is anything but certain.
“Making suffering loom larger, by globalizing it, may spur people to feel they ought to ‘care’ more,” she wrote. “It also invites them to feel that the sufferings and misfortunes are too vast, too irrevocable, too epic to be much changed by any local, political intervention.”
So now that war comes to us in real time, do we feel helpless or empowered? Do we care more, or will the ubiquity of images and information desensitize us to the point where human suffering loses meaning when it is part of a scroll that includes a video of your niece twerking? Oh, we say as our index finger navigates to the next item, another one of those.
As war becomes a more remote, mechanized activity, posts and images from the target area have significant value. When a trigger gets pulled or bombs explode, real people are often on the wrong end of it. And bearing witness to the consequences gives meaning to what we see.
"AGAMEMNON: all of you will swear allegiance to me
ACHILLES: [skateboards by] who the fuck is this clown?"
Where Were You When The Lights Went Out (2013)
Yemeni Artist SALWA ALERYANI
In this series, Salwa Aleryani collects electricity bills from her family and writes on them different verses from poems that reference light and darkness, literal or metaphorical, seeking to criticize the current blackouts and lack of electricity Yemen is experiencing at a time when they are producing more than sufficient energy resources. From this, she tries to understand how that darkness affects ones emotions and mental state, since one can predict that without electricity an individual is left in a state of active discovery rather than mere a routine. Even in darkness and stillness ones mind is always occupied with thoughts that allows them to reflect and ponder. In addition, she also tries to reflect on the value of those two outlets; electricity and poetry, and how much they shape our perceptions of darkness and guidance, if one is to think of light as guidance. In these two samples, the artist chose verses from Mahmoud Darwish(top and middle) and Wallace Stevens (bottom) .
Click on Images for Translation.