Posts Tagged ‘ fire ’

When the Smoke Clears | Poets Reading The News



When the Smoke Clears

in Culture/Obituaries by

for Ya Haddy Sisi Saye aka
Khadija Saye, artistic photographer

When the smoke clears
there are lumps, charred clothing, human
meat and bones separating, melding to things
that once had other forms and other uses
or turned completely to ash,
where there should be people with faces,
slumbering between the alarm clock
or the newborn’s wail, the Bengali
argued in corridors, and under sheets
this time their color doesn’t divide the neighborhood
color that barely clads the curling flesh

Was the kitchen your only studio? The bathroom?
The wet, shiny photographs hanging on the lines
strung across the room like tongues
of sepia or monochrome, holy and native
the tub full of water with squeak toys and sponges
in the corners happening to fall in,
wanting to be part of the experience
the kitchen table overwhelmed
with pans of chemicals, with the chairs taking up the slack
and taping blankets or sheets to the windows
to urge artifice in the dark
on a sunny day, bringing pictures into being,
making magic with the camera
your mirror

I’ll bet your mum was patient, when she understood
Her cooking must’ve bathed the apartment
vied with the aromas of the pots downstairs
and next door, wiping the fumes clean with Gambia,
as if scrubbing the steps to your door, magic rising
like incense smoke from the cow horn
and the amulet medicine and muse.
Now every apartment has become an oven
that cooked the dreams from everyone’s sleep
while staying in place
dwelling in their space they could not breathe

As she looked down from the 20th floor,
sometimes marveling in the view of her city,
she was not taken in by that mirage. She
and her mother were at Grenfell—that island—
by grace not god’s. Around them was £10 soap,
the suspicions of the coppers,
empty, crumbling houses worth more
off the market than roofing lives,
amid new modern slapdash
she and none of her neighbors could afford.
Success was coming towards her
its matchless fingers primed for embrace,
but she hadn’t made it yet, a living for herself
and her mum, there was no one and nothing to whom
she felt superior, she gloried in the next achievement,
and the next, and the next. It was still illumination
lighting every pore

That perfection is what she had created,
and where she had finished;
she was humble before acclaim, overawed even,
laughing and smiling like the round child
she still was. Her art was not an idol
that she worshipped, apart and speechless
she spoke her brilliance from within
Wrongfully arrested, the police kept her cell phone
though exonerated; they took away her voice to call out
to call for rescue. Gone may be the negatives,
the dead ends, the false fronts,
the revelations, gone may be the crowns
and the Eid

yet that fire remains
that fire


– Gabrielle Daniels

Source: When the Smoke Clears | Poets Reading The News

Notre Dame Cathedral In Paris On Fire


Francois Guillot / AFP / Getty Images

The cathedral sits on Île de la Cité, a small island in the Seine in the center of Paris.

No one was killed in the massive blaze, which knocked down the cathedral’s spire. The cause of the fire is currently unclear, though there have been renovations ongoing.

Source: Notre Dame Cathedral In Paris On Fire

Hillary Clinton Reads ‘Fire and Fury’ at the Grammys – The New York Times

Fleur Jaeggy

“Stefan Zweig, in his 1941 autobiography, “The World of Yesterday”—one of the great accounts of life in Europe in the first part of the twentieth century—writes about the artists he met in Paris, three decades earlier, who were scattered and destroyed in the murders, exiles, and chaos of two world wars. He describes writers like Rilke, who wanted only “to link verse to verse perfectly in quiet yet passionate endeavor.” “You felt almost ashamed to look at them,” he writes, “for they led such quiet lives, as if inconspicuous or invisible.” This is the Mitteleuropa lineage that produces, in our day, a writer like Fleur Jaeggy.”  – Sheila Heti

The Austere Fiction of Fleur Jaeggy | The New Yorker

with a tip of the hat to A Longhouse Birdhouse

Khadija Saye: artist on cusp of recognition when she died in Grenfell | UK news | The Guardian

Khadija Saye, who has been named as a victim of the Grenfell Tower fire, had met with an influential gallery director only a day before her death. Photograph: Daffyd Jones/PA

Work of Khadija Saye, who died in Wednesday’s fire, was being exhibited at Venice Biennale and had caught eye of influential director

Source: Khadija Saye: artist on cusp of recognition when she died in Grenfell | UK news | The Guardian

abandonedbuildings: In Fever: Notes on Les Chimères de Gerard de Nerval

for Eva Collé

Don’t wait up for me tonight, the sky will be black and white

Yeh I’m in a bad mood as well. Cops are everywhere. But we know that – we murdered them. Lets talk about black stars.  Something stretched strings between them, and now they flutter like chords. Stars, a very bad mood. Pasolini wrote about singing, called it the “divine wind that doesn’t heal but rather makes everything sicker”. This is the fifth day of our fever. Cops make everything unreal. Songs get sung outside their cellular systems, from the centre of some kind of secretive world. Whisper those songs, then scream them. After that, kill all straight men. You know they want it.

Was thinking about that for a while this morning, then I thought about the human world. I’m sick of it as well. Was thinking that murder in the suburbs is the only real expression of the continued need for human love, where everything is turning to ice, yet everything is frozen in gold. When the sun hits the earth it shatters into all human data, calendars of the places music goes when its notes disappear. The same places the dead live, I guess. But this has little to do with what we say when we’re wasted, and everything is flooded with animal light. The human horizon covered in ashes.

A guy walks into the ocean. Kill him. The gesture is futile. He walks out of it again. Won’t shut his mouth, talks for several centuries about the devil and the hunger of screaming birds. Don’t waste your sympathy. The sky is packed with them, terminal birds that screech of all the terrible things that might happen. And behind them, timeless bells transforming all to the metal stains of what has already happened. And behind all of that are stars tracing out the fixed raptures of what ought never to have happened. There is no death anywhere. Our hatred of the rich is entirely justified.

Toward the end of his life Antonin Artaud wrote a poem complaining that no-one ever touched his body. But he seemed to think it was a good thing, that if anyone did then it would split to a million fragments and fill the known sky. Poor Artaud. Little did he know this goes on every night. There are bodies that fragment each dusk, that split into countless wild lenses that fall to earth at dawn and form a strange calendar of imaginary incidents, frozen cities, addictions, etc. What this implies is not utopian. The straight world never touches anything. It’s victims never do anything else.

Because I’m fearful the sky will shatter I would like to turn it to stone, to turn it to seven pebbles, each to mark a day of our fever. As in set fire to cars, put glue in locks, sugar in petrol. Also include bodies. Also include the shock and the curse of our loss. As in recite that curse, until the voice becomes a song, or the word becomes something outside its borders, the barricades we built across this life of great mourning in which the seeds of our hurt would bloom. The fascists who murdered Pasolini are now the owners of the world. Do not mourn or forgive. Shriek one time. Shatter glass.

The thirteenth returns, and everything we once thought inaudible. There is gunshot, there is fire in the suburbs, the fixed stars falling like cops or roses, the darkened rituals of the middle class. We replace them with pinpricks, with new forms of arson, and the dreams of a thousand archers haunting Trafalgar Square. Nothing returns. Our bodies, the names of stars. But nothing is forgotten, everything falls. Thirteen the only number, the sounds of thirteen fevers crackling inside our dreams. There are no dreams. We never sleep. An unknown light in the corner of our room.

Source: abandonedbuildings: In Fever: Notes on Les Chimères de Gerard de Nerval

Spiral Orb Two Wendy Burk



Pinus ponderosa (Ponderosa Pine)

Mt. Lemmon, Coronado National Forest

June 12, 2010 at 10:55 AM

Wendy Burk

I: Hello.

Ponderosa Interview

I: I feel very peaceful here and am wondering if it feels differently to you. You are surrounded by trees that, like you, were damaged by fire. What we would call corpses are scattered around you. Do you feel this? Can you describe what it is like?

Ponderosa Interview

I: Everything seems to be in a process of returning. You grew out of the soil; now your cones and needles fall down to the soil; bark litters the ground. All of these will become soil. Tell me about this.

Ponderosa Interview

I: What is it like to be in a fire? What is it like to withstand a fire?

Ponderosa Interview

I: What was it like, and how did it happen, the process of regaining peace here—if it is true that peace is what you feel?

Ponderosa Interview

I: You are old. How many fires have you seen?

Ponderosa Interview

I: What is your hope for the next hundred years?

Ponderosa Interview

[11:30 AM]

Source: Spiral Orb Two Wendy Burk

Standing Rock is on fire — this is what camp looks like on its last day

Oceti Sakowin Camp on Feb. 22, 2017.Source: Jack Smith IV/Mic

Water protectors set fire to camp structures as law enforcement prepared a final raid on Wednesday.

Source: Standing Rock is on fire — this is what camp looks like on its last day

*: On Poetry, #10: All of a sudden the city on fire

4. What they will say  is yours 

Is your body, are your hours, are your efforts, your own? Or does the narrow world say that the only thing left for you is your pain? It is easy to feel like your time belongs to your employers and your body to men or the family or the state but that your pain is yours entirely, that your struggle is a field you cultivate yourself, a thorny one of your-own-damn-fault. This is their other weapon: to make the opposite of what is true seem true.  But what is actually true is that in the world as it is now pain is the one thing we can be certain we are never in alone.

5. Another kind of poem  

The narrow world would have women and other people make people and care for them just to donate them as brutal, sensate, pained material of the world in this arrangement. It would ask us to gestate food for its nightmare. It would ask us to reproduce, with our love, fodder with a pain scale, then surplus, fodder, too, and only what can feel the pain exacted upon it.  But when we feed & grow & tend each other it is not to feed & grow & tend the machinery of expansionist death. There are reasonable things we can do to refuse this.  That is another kind of poem.

*: On Poetry, #10: All of a sudden the city on fire.

QUESTIONS FOR POETS, text by Anne Boyer | Aesthetic Education at MUTE

~ Cecilia Vicuna

QUESTIONS FOR POETS, text by Anne Boyer | Aesthetic Education Expanded Newly At MUTE.