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Latin Quarter – Paris 1995

Latin Quarter - Paris 1995

When I was in Paris in 1995, I walked around the city. I shot each day for a week. I came upon this window and inside the store were these elements: Mirror, antique statue, bedpost, etc. and behind me was a building and a bike on the street. It spoke of the medium given my being upside down in the mirror. The black and white spoke of timelessness. The age and articulation of Europe as the origins of my soul, that I could apprehend catharsis itself in an image meant that I could stop. I have never shot a better image than this. It represents me, my eye, and aesthetic capacity. I hope to continue this journey when I eventually get to London, another city with windows in an urban environment.

Review of Alexandra Naughton Poem “My Posey Taste Like”

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Alexandra Naughton – “My Posey Tastes Like”

“my posey taste like coca cola. my stanzas snide like american thighs. i open up for a palm that’s colder. ashes fly like american skies.

“honey’s in the bathtub singing like she’s in a movie. dressing up my eyes. honey’s in the bathtub singing and it’s making me crazy. i just want to feel alive

“or like I know what this is.” – Alexandra Naughton, “My Posey Tastes Like”

I tried to analyze the poem above by Alexandra Naughton as follows. I read the poem and applied the denotations found in various sources, like dictionaries, mainly focusing on The Urban Dictionary (http://www.urbandictionary.com/) given Naughton’s contemporary meaning. Words I never knew were so defined, I learned about through The Urban Dictionary and in conversation with Naughton.

While I have shown Ms. Naughton the following interpretations, she said she did not like them.

I have included her poem above, so you can draw your own conclusions. But, where I once believed that poems were separate entities, whose secrets could be revealed through denotation and connotation, Naughton and I were in conflict about this particular poem’s meaning. As a poet myself, I have simply left interpretation to others because I have never felt that I wrote poetry to tell anything but what I felt. The words were never mine, for example. They always came to me either as the words themselves or as the emotion within which words seemed to have been born. Still, when I go back, I have clear ideas as to what the poems mean, but then again, I do not presume to know what they mean to others. I just hope that they are as powerfully felt as when I felt them.

In the poem “My Posey Tastes Like” (also the name of the book) Alexandra Naughton is talking about the narrator’s behavior, which is affected or attempting to impress others, to gain something from them, whether love, attention, approval, respect, or some other personal reason. It matches the emotion or mood of Lana Del Rey’s music and specifically relates to the persona inherent in Del Rey’s “Born to Die:” “[or] partying [that] is fueled by a knowing sadness, and sung in that laconic, hypnotic voice, which ultimately saves this thoroughly dissolute, feminist nightmare of a record for the romantics among us”.- Empire, Kitty (January 29, 2012). “Lana Del Rey: Born to Die – Review”. The Observer

The narrator/persona is personifying the character affected or inherent in the actor-singer Lana Del Rey, who said, “People weren’t taking me seriously, so I lowered my voice believing that it would help me stand out. Now I sing quite low… Well, for a female anyway.” – Copsey, Robert (November 23, 2011. “Lana Del Rey: ‘People didn’t take me seriously with a high voice’”. Digital Spy.

In the lyrics of “Born to Die,” there is a sense of uncertainty and co-dependency in the persona in Lana Del Rey’s song “Born to Die.” The persona wants her lover to love her and want her exclusively. The persona feels alone, and wants to know that if she tells her honey that he is hers then will this make her feel at home? She wants to be the kind of girl he likes and will accommodate him. The persona asks her man to choose his words carefully. It has been said that the song speaks of a doomed relationship. (See: Lana Del Rey: “Born to Die” on Wikipedia.)

This behavior or attention-getting in the song matches the poem, where the persona’s “posey” tastes like cola — a vanilla, cinnamon, with trace amounts of orange, lime, and lemon and spices such as nutmeg and serves as a good example of how to advertise a product, first marketed as medicine, curing headaches, to revive and sustain, which seeks to repeat business and to create brand loyalty. Today Coca-Cola is one of the most visible companies thanks to a successful ad campaign. (See: Wikipedia)

The narrator’s stanzas exist in a derogatory or mockingly indirect way. They are sexy, thick, full-bodied due to diet and culture.

The narrator opens her thighs (exposing her pussy) for a person, who is heartless and absent emotionally. Here, the event of great consequence to very few will work in an acceptable way, and take place in reality.

Like America, which could be construed as mindless, stereotyping, bigoted, ignorant, and could be related to what the American government ends up doing or could be friendly and intelligent is something, in this case, the skies are the only thing known to science that has been made more beautiful by pollution.

So, the girl is in the bathtub singing, like she is in a movie. She is putting eye makeup on that is more dramatic for night time, but tires often of the “smokey eye” style, and it makes her crazy. She just wants to feel alive or certain about what kind of relationship she is having, but in her uncertainty and compromise, we sense the relationship is doomed. Power cannot be wielded, where there is no interest.

Museum of Capitalism Proposal by Mario Savioni

As follows are two drawings I did for the Museum of Capitalism contest. The statement follows that explains my submission.

 

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“Rosebud”

The project 1044, AKA “Rosebud,” is a courtyard design with three sides that is open at the front. On the sides are high walls, outer and inner. The inner wall is lined with small skylights that cast light down into the basement, where there are small “support rooms.” Each contains a bed on the floor and one chest of drawers. The outer wall is black with the exception of real or faux leg and arm bones lying horizontally in the wall material. In the courtyard are umbrellas and tables with topiaries as well as a fountain containing a “Rosebud” sleigh as seen in the Citizen Kane movie. The back wall of the courtyard houses a bas-relief of Karl Marx, three embedded guillotines, two stairwells leading down to the basement, and a quotation from Marx’s Capital. (See: 1044-1.jpg)

The outer wall of the courtyard with the horizontal bones has a cut-out shape that resembles half of a mechanical wheel that represents a ladder that cannot be climbed. The inner wall has a slanted top. The three guillotines align the back wall and are under the bas-relief and next to the stairwells.

The ground of the courtyard is black with odd, white broken porcelain inlays, symbolizing crushed/broken human bones. This view is seen in the middle section of the 11”x17” image (See: 1044-2.jpg).

In the basement of the Capitalism Museum, at the bottom of the stairwells, is a great room containing only a grand chandelier celebrating opulence but also having the feeling of emptiness and aloneness.

Small rooms align the great room. They have ceilings no higher than 5 feet and are no larger than what it would take to house a chest of drawers and a small bed. The skylight shafts, one for each room, are connected to the inner wall in the courtyard and cast light into the rooms.

“Rosebud” symbolized a psychological event that either created an inhumane personality or triggered/validated a genetically predetermined one. We have learned in psychology that we can create personalities or bring them out due to environmental influence. Capitalism is that type of manifestation of a dark side of humanity that is a velvet glove, at best, with an iron fist. It is fascism, dictatorship, and the delusion of hope for The People, and plays on their greed. I am hoping one gets a sense of this during their visit to the Capitalism Museum.

 

Looking down at Capitalism Museum

The Good Writer

A good writer gains some distance from what he has felt and thus if you ask him, if this is him, he will smile. This is because he can’t quite remember what he has written. That is the old him, a shadow of himself.

Scarcasm, Introducing a New Word

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Scarcasm, a new word.

The effect of sarcasm on someone who likes the sarcastic person, but who can’t get a word in edgewise. Eventually, the person gets it that they aren’t ever going to be liked no matter how many times they try. It is also the signs of someone wanting to break it off with you. “When will this person get it? I have been so mean!”

This person has power over the other person because they have something the other person wants, whether sex, friendship, to be acknowledged by, to be seen as a part of their intellectual class, whatever. The power dynamic is usually one, where the other party would be willing to receive insults. These insults attack the recessive person’s self-esteem chipping away until finally the recipient believes that the relationship is so scarred that there is no point in continuing. (“No one wants to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with them.”) But, underlying the relationship, not that there ever was one, is the idea that while the sarcastic person thinks they are being cool or clever, he/she is actually making a fool out of themselves because to harm another person, who is genuine and sincere, is ignoble. The fact that the recessive person only sees the good in the person being mean is proof of their own goodness/correctness in this dynamic/relational event(s). It is the same as bullying, where the psychology behind the act is a transference from the past or associative experience that causes the sarcastic person to be mean, but what is horrible is that the sarcastic person does not take ownership or perhaps they can’t, an injury is still an injury. In addition, the sarcastic person sees weakness in the other person. That weakness is akin to the weakness the sarcastic person reacts to in him/herself often without realizing it or even taking evil satisfaction in the application. In this sense too, the sarcastic person is still being weak for attacking another person, who exhibits recessiveness/innocence that they themselves have: The abused abuse.

I also find this behavior in cliques, where even the seemingly nicest people: religious, new agers, hipsters, etc. have limits as to who they include. This limit speaks of the inherent incapacity of human beings to ever truly get along with everyone else.

How used in a sentence.

It finally dawned on him that he was spinning his wheels. He cared about her, but it was pointless. She hated him for some reason unknown to him. No matter how kind he was to her, how complimentary, she would always respond to his posts or even in person with a coldness that kept him at bay. When they met it was through her work, which was perhaps the antithesis of his own. He wrote about how men looked and thought about women, which from her point of view was suspicious and nasty. He understood her perspective and respected it, but in so doing, it felt like he was being negated. He was open to her and infatuated. She was almost half his age. She was 30 and he 55. She had a clear complexion. She was thin and sexy. Every word she mouthed was an act of intelligence, but they also felt like veiled threats. He initially attacked her for things attributed to her in an article about her writing, but later he realized that there was nothing he could say. The layers of her criticism of men were steeped in an underlying event that forever changed her. She had been raped. All bets were off. She was anxious. She smoked marijuana and had a medical marijuana card because of the anxiety it had caused. She wouldn’t actually meet his eyes but for looks that were attentive but also weighty and seemingly plotting. She was always careful with her words, but they hurt him. She was always correct. Everything he talked about seemed to be of no consequence. His total life experience, his honesty, and his very being seemed to be negated by her experience. She said he reminded her of an ex. He took that as a compliment, but then again perhaps it was not. Perhaps, her ex- was the one who created this exacting and vacant woman, who he could not help but be drawn to. After all, she represented, or at least her work represented, the great chasm that men and women could not cross. They had different intentions for getting involved with one another that never seemed to be compatible. At one point, he realized that such relationships were about power. He wanted to know what she knew and she held it over him with her indifference and insults. He was attracted to her and she cursed him for it, made him feel like it was unacceptable.

As time went by he had bought her books, which were at least five in number. He loved each one because he could see in them a depth that her spare writing disguised. He loved how they were written and felt to his ears. The protagonist in her latest novel, for example, was both interested in her lover but also at a distance. It reminded him of a poetry book that was based on a femme fatal, who also seemed to have been injured and who was attracted to damaged men, who were much older and almost like criminals compared with her lithe, virginal beauty.

This is what she meant to him. She was exactly what he wanted, someone young and intelligent and impossible in any other context, except that she encouraged a kiss and even allowed him to kiss her stomach, where she was complaining about how fat she was getting, which of course was not true. She was petite and it distorted him. He could feel her spirit saying no. Her never actually looking into his eyes, so much body language telling him not to go any further and so he did not. But later, she would text him and ask him why he didn’t continue kissing her on her lips or on her stomach. He said he felt a coldness, a disallowance.

He learned from a third party that she was now “In love;” not with him, of course, and knowing this, confirmed his suspicions. He tried to stay away from her, she frightened him. On the last occasion, he has promised to buy her book. He was excited by it, but when he arrived, at the corner of so and so, it was awkward. She was never so far away. She wasn’t even attractive to him. She seemed dirty and sinister. Her teeth were, he assumed, darkened by the weed. As usual, her hair in black-highlighted, thick curls reminding him of dreadlocks, was tilted as she seemed to look down as they engaged in the transaction. He had promised to pay double for her book, but only had two twenties. He gave her both telling her to keep the rest. He said he wanted to support her.

He understood the awkwardness of being attracted to someone, who clearly didn’t like him on the level he was beginning to understand himself. He sensed her entertaining him, the kisses, two in number, were like exhibits in a case against him. If not for the lines he drew in the sand, he could understand how other men might not draw them. He knew on some level, she was playing a dangerous game, but her intentions were innocent; she just wanted to control what for her was not controlled in the instance that brought all this on. Some other man had done a number on her and he was now paying reparations.

At this point, he finally realized there was no point in going on. He would read her books and perhaps comment on them as his heart felt they were true and call it a day.

It’s Impossible to Find Out If Self-Driving Cars Are Safe, Says Report — TIME

The issue about self-driving cars is that in the event of a collision, who is at fault? If Google builds these cars, are they going to be held responsible for the accidents these cars create? How do you predict how a car responding to a program will behave?

Furthermore, the issue is not one of safety, but who benefits? Underlying the technology as far as I can tell is that it takes out the truckers, who as Unionists and who inherently wield great power in deciding whether or not to move product(s), can be taken out of the equation and all products can be delivered without a hitch because profit is the motive.

Nothing can be protested. Everything runs regardless of whether or not it is good for the people in general. We are creating a system of events that is exclusive. Bartlebys are no longer asked to do something. The machines can do it by themselves.

 

One of the arguments for self-driving cars is that they will be safer than human-driven vehicles.Human error is the cause of 94% of car crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Those errors include drunk driving, speeding, distraction, and fatigue. But a new report finds that self-driving cars can’t be tested enough hours…

via It’s Impossible to Find Out If Self-Driving Cars Are Safe, Says Report — TIME

A Review of the Book uncertainty

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Another review/comment by Marta Pombo Salles. This time about uncertainty (See: http://www.blurb.com/b/2134039-uncertainty):

“I loved reading this wonderful book that mainly describes an introspective journey as it deals with the most inner thoughts and feelings associated with life, love and death. It is full of symbols, metaphors and images written in an elaborate and beautiful prose poetry including a few poems.

“Love appears as something that never lasts, has its highest points, moments of happiness, until one of the two people involved breaks the relationship for a given reason, which is the fact that one person cannot, is not ready or willing to give what the other wants like having children or certain financial security, for instance. Thus love becomes ‘a temporal illusion’, ‘nothing but an empty shadow’ and, therefore, ‘tragedy and sorrow’ for the male person(s) we see in the different short texts and stories of this book.

“On the one hand he longs for it but, on the other, he fears the uncertainty of love, of a new relationship that will not last; sometimes it is even a relationship he doesn’t want to last for the fear of commitment which is tantamount to enslavement, while others it is just a dream of an unrequited love, what he imagines could but cannot be.

“The situation will always repeat itself showing a man’s eternal dilemma of wanting to be alone and free and thus not accepting a whole pack of commitment, wife and children, for instance. Actually this man wants to love and be loved but, alternatively, he truly fears commitment because he sees it as enslavement. He needs freedom. He also needs loneliness and sadness as much as he fears and dislikes them.

In this context sex becomes a temporary substitute for fulfilled love but it only brings him emptiness afterwards, like a dog wanting a meal, becoming satisfied and then smelling ‘the meat of a new dish.’ He sees himself as a fallible person and admits his mistakes in his various love relationships. In this sense, he appears as someone human, authentic and not like a typical flawless hero that only exists in fairy tales. In the book there is also critique on the typical woman who is just interested in the material values of a man. The figure of the artist appears as someone living ‘the passion and the moment’, but when this disappears ‘life is a bitter pill’.

Life is also a ticking clock that reminds him of ‘the hour of my death.’ The artist or the writer is someone waiting for success while he fears falling into poverty. This is a person who wants to be understood by his family and the people in general. His purpose is to tell the truth. For instance, the last lines of the poem ‘The Hidden Pleasure of Waiting’ seem to contain a very powerful message, a bam!, an intent to awaken in the reader the kind of revolt we need in our present downfall, the revolt Simone de Beauvoir once talked about: ‘I understand why artists and writers,/In general are poor;/ There is no business in telling the truth anymore.'”

A Review of Mario Savioni’s Blue Emptiness by Marta Pombo Sallés

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A Review of Mario Savioni’s Blue Emptiness by Marta Pombo Sallés – Mar 18, 2016.

“I enjoyed reading this book for its beautiful, elaborate and cultivated language. I love the musicality of the words, especially in the poems. The whole book is full of wonderful metaphors and images about many aspects of life and human existence, full of philosophical thought as well. I would say the main topic is the artist’s life journey and his difficulty to be understood by a too materialistic society where people value you for what you have and not for who you are. This artist, whether a writer, photographer or musician, also experiences the difficulty of being understood by the different women that appear in his search for love. How can he make it all compatible? Do the others really understand him? Are they prepared to accept him the way he is? To share a life with him? All he wants is ‘the complete freedom to express what he is feeling, not politeness.’ And he obviously writes about himself. Why shouldn’t he? Our perception of reality is always subjective. There are also many lines about nature, full of water, mostly associated with emotions. It is all very lyrical, deep in thoughts and feelings. It touched both my mind and my heart though I could not understand all the aspects or details of the book. However, I could find many things to identify myself with like the search for our individual identity which can often lead to a conflict in relationship with the collective we belong to, also in search for a community identity. Finally, I’d say don’t worry if you don’t understand all the details of the book either. Literature always offers some free space for personal interpretation. Just give it a try. It is worth doing it!”

Review of the book After

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http://www.blurb.com/b/1986861-after

I have recently obtained a review of my book After by Marta Pombo Salles.

As a reader I truly enjoyed the book After by Mario Savioni, which I would define mainly as a strong claim against human injustice. This wonderful collection of poems reveals the author’s main concern about unfairness in the world. Some poems are critical of the capitalist system: ‘I look to our leaders and I see that/There’s money in stealing/In lying, in raping/Out of some fear that there would not be enough.’ There is also strong critique of America’s imperialism that leads to endless wars such as the conflicts in Afghanistan and Palestine, and greed for oil in the Middle East.

“America’s discovery and foundation appears to be the result of ‘The disease of man,’ ‘Killing the Indians/Building ugly towns.’ Yet the author sees hope in America’s initial good moral principles that have been perverted since the beginning. In general, he sees hope in our world even though life is hard for those who suffer. In this group of people the figure of the artist/writer, a truth and beauty seeker, appears as someone not being valued in a too materialistic society, not making enough money to live and by his dreams: ‘I think as artists, we dream and never wake./The blue sky is the work of our pens/And inks that cast a failed light.’ Under these circumstances love becomes very difficult. You can love a woman but you fear financial problems that won’t make the relationship last. Some of the poems deal with the impossibility to fulfill love and to attain a lasting relationship. Moreover, the artist/writer sees himself as part of the collective psyche co-responsible for allowing human injustice.”

Finding and Supporting Great Contemporary Writers

In response to:

http://www.abebooks.com/books/features/50-classic-books.shtml?cm_mmc=soc-_-facebook-_-MERCH-_-link

We need to read the new writers too, or else, we are only feeding the mouths of companies or descendants of dead writers. Things are being said now that are at the cusp of truth, that have meaning in this context. So many writers are not doing their writing for a living, but on the side, in distraction, piecemeal. They starve, suffer, and end up lost and confused. While, I support and am often with some dead writer’s tome, I am ashamed of myself that I am not also with books of the living. Aren’t there any contemporary Jean-Paul Sartres, Deleuzes, or Heideggers, for example? I did buy a book by a New York Times Critic about critiquing, but then I also bought Carver’s What We Talk About When We Talk About Love and Arnheim’s Art and Visual Perception.