Dense with still-shot images that together form a moving picture, today’s contribution to Throwback Thursday is a beautiful example of free verse poetry. Ungelbah Daniel-Davila’s “Smiling Shoulders at the Flying Star Cafe” compares the glamorous fantasies of a child to the realistic, yet nostalgic, perceptions of an adult. This vintage pick, as well as four other beautiful poems by Daniel-Davila, was published previously in the “Native American Woman Poets” section of DB 15, Winter 2012. Go check it out!
Ungelbah Daniel-Davila is a woman of many trades. On top of being a freelance writer, photographer, graphic designer, social media marketing expert, event coordinator/planner, and model, she is also Director of Communications at Albuquerque-based design firm EFG Creative, and creator of New Mexico’s first grassroots arts, culture and Americana publication, La Loca Magazine. In 2014, she released her first collection of poetry entitled, “Outlaw Neon.” To see what she’s up to now, visit her website at ungelbahdavila.com.
Another short but deeply impactful piece, this week’s vintage star is Steve Almond with his brief bit of fiction entitled, “Men Alone.” While it appeared first in DB 11, Winter 2010, this intriguing second- person account of the mysterious, solitary figures named in its title, “Men Alone” is back today because it deserves a second glance as much as the shadowy characters it follows.
“You see them there almost by accident, through a window from a rolling car. They are at once recognizable as members of a tribe coming to believe in the absurdity of their bodies, drifting through rooms whose few flourishes, supplied by old girlfriends, now seem vindictive.”
Steve Almond is an American author, short story writer, and essayist with a solid collection of published books under his belt, including most recently Against Football: One Fan’s Reluctant Manifesto, which was published in 2014. His non-fiction book,Candyfreak, was a New York Times Bestseller. His short fiction has been included in The Best American Short Stories and Pushcart Prize anthologies, and his most recent collection,God Bless America, won the Paterson Prize for Fiction. Find out more about Steve’s most recent work at againstfootball.org.
At this point in my summer travels, I find myself in Thessaloniki, Greece, just as the country’s fate (to EU or not EU) seems once again in bureaucrats’ hands. After many false starts in the past decades, I am finally close to finishing Moby Dick, a novel whose themes of traveling, obsession, and ruin resonate with the times. I’m also reading Station Eleven by Hilary St. John Mandel, an apt choice as I witness the decline of civilizations past and present. It’s also fitting that while I’m in Greece I’m gearing up to re-read another travel classic, The Odyssey, as I prepare to teach that book in the fall. I recently finished Mislaid by Nell Zink, for which I plan to write a review. Finally, I was astonished by Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih, which takes place in Sudan and is a post-colonialist response to Othello and The Heart of Darkness.
With summer in full swing, it’s only appropriate that today’s vintage selection recalls the vivid images of hot days spent at the beach, mixed with the oftentimes humorous confusion and misunderstanding of growing up. This week, take a look at Peter Conners’ prose poem, ‘The Great Undertoad of Cape Cod,” which appeared in DB 8, 2006, and perhaps reflect on some of your own summertime experiences growing up. What images come to mind?
“My friend, Andy, grew up afraid of the great horny toad lurking to pull him under the ocean waves. Were there millions, thousands, or just one waiting for him?”
Peter Conners is the author of several books including two collections of prose poetry, a novella, and a memoir, Growing Up Dead, about his “journey from straight-laced suburban kid to touring Deadhead,” as well as a couple of nonfiction works on different subjects. In addition to his writing, he is Publisher of the non-profit literary publisher, BOA Editions. To find out what Conners is up to now, check him out on facebook.
I was gonna read Kenneth goldsmith’s sort-of not-apology as a conceptual poem about white guilt
Haha just kidding it’s about white imperialism
Haha just kidding really
No but I almost did
No I just thought about it
I mean I would have to self-immolate after
Just to get the taste out of my mouth, maybe chew some gum
Sidenote I actually need to explain that I’m new to poetry a tiny little baby if u will
Had no idea who KG was before well
Before march 2015
I’ve known about old white guys for a while though (got a couple of them as grandpas even) hey I’m already 27.
Hey I’m here to remind listeners that
KENNETH GOLDSMITH’S ‘THE BODY OF MICHAEL BROWN’
KENNETH GOLDSMITH (CREATOR OF) ‘THE BODY OF MICHAEL BROWN’ (THE OTHER CREATOR OF ‘THE BODY OF MICHAEL BROWN’ IS MICHAEL BROWN’S MOTHER, WHO WAS IN THE MILITARIZED STREETS OF FERGUSON FOR MONTHS FIGHTING FOR JUSTICE FOR HER MURDERED SON. SHE STILL FIGHTS TODAY.)
KENNETH GOLDSMITH’S (‘S DENOTES OWNERSHIP) ‘THE BODY OF (OF ALSO DENOTES OWNERSHIP) MICHAEL BROWN’ (THIS PHRASE MAY CONFUSE AS TO WHO OWNS THE BODY OF MICHAEL BROWN. IT IS A BATTLE BETWEEN AN ACADEMIC AND THE SOUL OF THE PERSON WHO INHABITS THE BODY ITSELF. MAYBE YOU DON’T THINK IT’S ONE OR THE OTHER. MAYBE YOU DON’T.)
By taking the phrase as a whole to mean the performance staged by Kenneth Goldsmith, we can say that it is a thing for white people, collectively
AND THIS “thing”
I’m using the word “thing” cuz I don’t know yet what this event will become but it will be shaped by discourse. OK UGH.
This thing is a “thing” we have to contend with, because it is part of a legacy of terrorism
And some people don’t get to hide behind cute denunciations of “psychopath” “monster” “lone gunman” shit like that. An individual’s act gets stapled to members of targeted populations and gets policed as such.
IF that fucker Kenny G ever again uses the phrase “death of the author” I hope Darren Wilson calls his bluff and shoots his dumb ass.
Who’s the author who wrote the story of America with their bodies.
Who’s the individual who wrote the declaration of independence on their idle asses.
This Kenneth guy wants to deny being an individual and fails but this has consequences
That performance is an epic confirmation of my dad’s favorite saying: “you choose your friends but god chooses your family”
Either way Kenneth goldsmith is now part of our familial collective voice, fellow whites, like the movie clerks, and limp bizkit, how do you feel? Oof I feel fucked.
Does this make KG the judas? The pariah necessary for redemption, bleacher of white sins?
Fuck. Maybe? We have our ways.