[Transcript] Clementine von Radics – Patron Saint of Manic Depressives

for the way we work our broken fingers through the dirt
 'til we convince the good to grow there

Patron Saint of Manic Depressives
by Clementine von Radics

for Vincent van Gogh, Patron Saint of Psychotic Manic Depressives
often, I think of Vincent and the meat that once was his ear
how he gave it to a pretty girl that was not certain of his name
and then spent the night alone
trying not to bleed to death
and ever since my own diagnosis
some part of me is always alive
and inside that moment, and I picture
scared girl
the bleeding painter
the jagged flesh between them
and sometimes I am the girl
sometimes I am the dripping blood
but most often, I am the one offering up some unwanted mess of myself
and calling it a gift
on the worst days,
to be manic depressives is to stand on ground
that can’t promise to stay beneath you
it is to be both violence and victim
both the knife and flesh that welcomes it in and so often in these poems
in a lovers bed
in my mothers kitchen table
I offer up the truth of this illness
and watch the people I love, pull themselves away from me
I am chaos
I am a barely hidden bar fight
and I know exactly how many people believe
that makes me impossible to love
there are days I believe it too
I am in love with a good man
he sleeps beside me every night and every time he says he loves me
my first thought is: why?
can’t you see all the nicer people with fewer problems
my second thought is that: who else is gonna love me when he decides to stop
it is so easy to lose myself in the mess of this
to say I love you and mean only I’m sorry
but I try and think about Vincent van Gogh,
how his first teacher said only a mad man could paint like that
only in madness could you hold so much joy and grief in the same paintbrush
and in that thought, every drop of paints and blood joins in the same river
like every sunflower bursts like a star from Vincent’s wild heart
you know
art historians say his mania is the reason he saw the starry night skies swirl like that
his illness became his genius
which became his revelation
and thank the stars for that miracle
for the way we work our broken fingers through the dirt
’til we convince the good to grow there
I have spent countless nights grieving my own brain
but tonight, I sing of its brilliance
in the way that only I can
and thanks the stars for that
for this new joy
for this good blood
for the beauty I find in the river it takes to carry me there
and I swear
I will not apologize for what allows me to see the sky
not tonight
not ever again


[Transcript] Sam Sax – The Politics of Elegy

Politics of Elegy
by Sam Sax

Like anyone, I can make a list of the dead
I can make them my dead, by making the list
I can write my name, the name, names below it
I can craft and obfuscate and collapse
I can publish it
I can ask; who of us is left to tell their story?
This land of plenitude and pens, of plateaus and platitude and pens
This land is my land
The song says: this land is mine
How long have humans buried each other in the earth?
How long have we sung their names into absence?
How long have we been paid for that singing
Every architect expects to have people to inhabit their building
Every poet intends their poem to outlive them
Every piece of furniture in my room is shaking its head
What’s the difference between weeping alone and on camera?
What’s the gulf between an epitaph and an epic?
What’s a eulogy but a coin rising in the throat?
Eulogy from the Greek means praise
Praise from the Latin means prize
Every public dirge is burning capital
Every shirtless picture of him I keep is a small Virgil
Every hell I’ve traveled through is an expensive bird in my mouth
I was paid a thousand dollars for writing a poem about a dead man who hated me
I was paid and each dollar is a ghost in my wallet
I was paid and I am trading his body for bags of food
I am never more dangerous than inside the arms of a man who will die before me

*please correct me if my listening is wrong, below in the comments section :)

Boyfriend Interview – from CUPSI 2014 (Transcript)

Tagged favorite for absurdity, delicacy, heartbreak, sweetness, and delivery.

Boyfriend Interview – Haley Mosley (Transcript)
taken and edited from Hellen Wilson comment in Youtube

Interview for a boyfriend!
Your middle name?
How long has it been since you wore a diaper?
How old were you when you first noticed you had feet?
How tall one lying down?
A glowing thing or a burning dark,
Quick, pick one!
How many needles will fit between my eyelids?
How big was your first?
Your last?
The last light switch; do I flick it?
Can you handle candles?
What’s it like to wear no skirt?
How many bras have you sniffed?
Define addiction.
Define a lover’s hip.
How many languages are enough?
How can you free yourself without getting committed?
And what’s it like inside yourself?
And I see your feet are like freaky small
And that your hair smells like fly shit
But feels like fishes eyes
And that you have three nostrils.
And the third one is for jizz.
Your eyelashes are made of spider legs
And they move on your own when they got angry
Or turned on.
Can you believe me when I say,
Your shit steams beautiful?
Did I stutter?
Did I stutter?
Did I?
How many lines ago was that?
Can you count the juices in the fridge, honey?
and know that I’ll always want more?
What do you see through eyes so brown?
Can you see that mine are glass?
Can you tell that they’re not windows?
Can you quantify exactly more or less all that you want from my eyes to be?
You have less eye brows.
And one, two, too many tails
And your tendons are made of Twizzlers
And you only drink Windex orange blue orange juice
And your hands are made of pancakes with lifelines
And your bellybutton has an eyeball in it
But we’re not supposed to ask whose.
And your earlobes have lips and sometimes they
Whisper sweet nothings to the pigeons on the park benches while
You stroke your fingertips against various things,
Like pigeons,
Like me.
Like me?
Well, I broke up with my boyfriend and then spent the night,
And my mom’s roommate convinced that we just need more hangers
And I start all my sentences with: oh, well, look
And I ran through my apartment, counted all my pairs of tights
And I noticed not a single tear looked a thing like him
And I heard that song that he reminds me of
And it was the birds screaming the earth back awake
So I drank a whole bottle of V8 and went to sleep
And I broke up with that boyfriend and then spent the night
And my roommates convinced I can
Just go back tomorrow
and I dropped my sister’s black vintage gloves in the mud.
I dropped my easiest class and told everyone:
I’m a pyro
And I’m still not quite done with that last guy
I spent the night with
And I’ll never be as high with anyone else
As I was with dell and I never called him dell
When I was with him
I never understood people when they said they could remember a touch
Until I felt his thick palms four days after he left
And when he said he wasn’t coming I ate a strawberry
And tasted nothing
And I haven’t eaten fruit since
And I haven’t made sense since 10 days before he left
Now I’m way past losing track of who left last
And now I wear lipstick
With a disclaimer:
When I dropped him, I shattered.
Translation, no men has pleased me since.
But I’d like to watch you try.
So, your last name?
Do you have any pets?
Can you be with a woman,
you’ll never be able to please?

A Street Called Straight by Omar Offendum (Acapella)

A Street Called Straight by Omar Offendum (Syrian American hip hop artist)

I took a stroll down the street called straight
met a medicine man
about a third of the way
predecessor to the pusher-man
with something to say
about an apple a day
keeping the sickness away

I valued his advice at face
at first
’till he enlightened me
to how precisely nature worked
giving us citrus fruits
in winter time for Vitamin C
just met each other but
I’m already invited for tea

as fate would have it,
he and I turned out to be related
a small world’s even smaller when you’re Arab …ain’t it?
made it a point to soak in all his information
about regenerative meditation
and preventive medication
like a modern Ibn Sina
with a pretty calm demeanor
and a remedy for everything
that plagued the Arab nations
yet when asked of how to cope
with our impossible fate
he just said follow the middle path
to a Street Called Straight

I took a stroll down the street called straight
met a spiritual teacher
about two thirds of the way
predecessor to the preacher-man
with something to say
about a prayer a day
keeping the Satan’s at bay

he spoke of angels on our shoulders
and the angles of our solar
systematic self-destruction
metaphysical corruption
with a danger to our polar
ice caps

’till it’s out of our control
and in the hands of our beholder
we philosophized for over
20 minutes like that
taught me lessons
any questions he would
give em right back
said the answers were within us

and I didn’t like that

but I realized later
why he did it like that
I had so much more to learn
the clock was ticking …couldn’t stall
committed his words to my memory

his wisdom was enthralling
yet when asking him
what was the most important to recall
he just said follow the middle path
Straight Street and that is all

I took a stroll down the street called straight
met a carpenter hard at work
at the end of the way
predecessor to the architect
with something to say
about not doing tomorrow
what should be finished today
he manipulated wood and metal
’till it followed function
building all through Via Recta
and Cardo Maximus junction
something told me he was wise beyond his years

I had a feeling
from the way that he’d exposed the beams
and ornamented ceilings
with an ambidextrous half
nonchalantly jest and laugh

saying that my western education
made it hard to grasp
his connection to the past
deep-rooted in his craft
but was more than willing
to share with me
the tools he knew I lacked

and for that I would be grateful
learning how to build the monumental
for the playful
and the humble for the faithful

yet when asked of how we’d stack
against our impossible odds
he just said follow the middle path
Straight Street to the Gods

Acts 9:10-12

Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias;
and the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.”
And he said, “Here I am, Lord.”
And the Lord said to him,
“Get up and go to the Street Called Straight,
and inquire at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul,
for he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man
named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him,
so that he might regain his sight.”

A Guide to Succeed in Heartbreak (from CUPSI 2015)

How to Succeed in Heartbreak by Victoria Morgan

How to succeed in heartbreak without really trying!
First, do nothing
Become one with your couch
Eating whole stack of Oreos like leaning towers of feelings
Watch Jane Austen adaptation until your eyes become raisins
Relish in Colin Firth emerging from the lake in a white shirt

If you must do something? Drink
But keep it classy, put your cheap wine in a glass,
you aren’t a pirate!

Talk to yourself, talk to yourself in the mirror,
on public transportation, in the middle of the fountain at the mall!

Because, there are things you never got to say
And you don’t have to swallow them

Join Tinder!
Make your profile picture a model
And talk to no one!
Just keep swiping until you get carpal tunnel
That way you can reject 50 people a minute
and it feels like killing ants!
…with apps

Kiss as many people as you need to get the stamp of his lips off of your brain
Go to museums; realize other things have history too…
Play hide and go seek with your REM cycles
You’re not sure which is worse to wake up from
The nightmare about your sides splitting open
or the dreams about him holding your jar like it meant something to him

You might as well tape your eyelids to your forehead
Because at least you can lie to yourself while you are awake

Stay up until 3, or 3.30, 4
Brew tea with the bags under your eyes

Write, write until you’ve used every metaphor in your library
You start using the same one over and over
Because there’s only so many ways to describe being destroyed

But once you get there, that’s just the foundation
Next, gather up all of the chinks in your chain
And fasten them together
Make chain mails, and write that bitch into battle
Take his name, the one that still hurts to say
And use it as a war cry,
then, actually cry
Because there is nothing shameful about clearing your eyes

Do not pick yourself up
Do not be okay
Because heartbreak is not about being okay
It’s about remembering that you were okay before
It is about saying fuck okay
It is about taking all your broken pieces and building yourself a castle
Because I don’t care who you are
You’re a goddamn queen
It’s about saying, fuck this poem

No one succeed at heartbreak
I build myself a throne room out of pizza boxes
and empty lunchables
and I can’t stop crying into my Campbell Chicken Noodle Soup

But one day, I’ll cry myself a fountain of youth
Let’s go back to beginning

I’m tired of self-help tips and friendly pick me ups
I drink a bottle, and bottles and bottles,
pretending their mouths belong to someone else,
But I’m done feeling sorry for myself,

Because why apologize for loving until you burst?
My capacity to feel needs no pardon
My heart needs no mending
I’m not broken
I’m just a little more,

Kim and Salome: ‘Silent Theft of Power’ [with Transcript]

A very cool way of looking beyond Kim Kardashian pop-culture glossy-magazine facade. Clementine von Radics trace the parallel between Kim and the biblical narrative associated to Salome’s Dancing of the Seven Veils. The tale tells how Salome, encouraged by her mother Herodias to make King Herod kill John the Baptist. Because John the Baptist criticized Herodias marriage to King Herod.

Would Kim’s tale be told centuries later in scrolls and paintings?

Kim Kardashian Redux by Clementine von Radics

Salome dances her dance of the seven veils.

The men all eye her like wolves on a hunt. “This beautiful thing.”
Finally undressing for them, finally they can see her exactly as they want to.

The first veil drops.

In 2007, Kim Kardashian’s ex-boyfriend released their sex tape against her will. Kim Kardashian, rather than hide in shame, uses the publicity to promote her own career.

Salome dances like a dream half remembered. Salome moves like a siren song and everyone aches for the hot sugar of her hip bones.

The second veil drops.

In 2014, Kim Kardashian walks down the aisle and the whole world watches. If only all of us were successful in our revenge. If only all of us stood in the backs of those who betrayed us in our Louboutin heels. Serving the world we created for ourselves.

The third veil drops.

Kim Kardashian knows exactly what you think of her. She presses her cloth tighter against her skin.
Her smile is a promise, she never intends to keep.
Salome shows her body, but never her eyes.

The forth veil drops.

The four things most recently tweeted about Kim Kardashian were:

@kimkardashian suck my dick
@kimkardashian can I meet Kanye?
@kimkardashian I love you, fuck me
@kimkardashian I love you, please love me

Women are told to keep their mouth shut.
Women are told to keep their legs shut.
Some women are kept quiet for so long they become experts in the silent theft of power.

The fifth veil drops.

Kim Kardashian made 12 million dollars last year.
Last night, uncountable men in their miserable jobs told their miserable friends how Kim was nothing but the dumb whore.
But Kim Kardashian will never even learn their names.

The sixth veil drops.

The seventh veil drops.

And Salome sat beside King Herod and he swore unto her,
“Whatsoever thou salt ask of me, I will give, unto the half of my kingdom.”

And Salome smiles, says,
“Bring me the head of John the Baptist, punish those who will hurt me.”

[Transcript] Usman Hameedi – Poem Postmarked for the Middle East

Capture the conflict (probably, in the allegory) of love between a man and a woman, and religions.

Poem Postmarked for the Middle East
by Usman Hameedi

 We were two states solution complex
She, Star of David necklace
Me, kaffiyeh around neck
But some things were simple,
When I glance from across the room,
Faith smiled.
Radiance of Mecca.
Adonai and Allah asked our people for Friday prayer,
so I attended Sabbath services.
and Faith was the only Jewish woman at Jummah.

Forbidden commandments, while Abraham children fought bloody.
We parted Red Sea, exodus to smooth lands of milk and honey.
Our bodies intertwined like messages in Torah and Quran.
Beneath the starry splattered paint masterpiece of God.
I held her. Answered prayers thankful.
Our moaning jaunt out the war cries.
Harsh Hebrew and Arabic.
Our orgasms were our resistance.

When you’re lover is the target.
Political terms have their face.
Bullets aimed at their skull
In conflict, dialogue is survival, it is necessity despite its difficulty
Yes, we poach the elephant in the room
Words like sharp ivory tusks.

This conversations were jagged rocks thrown at tanks.
Learning is an ugly experience.
Faith pissed me the fuck off.
I tried her patience, still
We knew an angry fist is just wilted fingers.
Flowers falling in drought.
Our hands were open invitations.
Kisses solid rockets.

Muted those that told us our holy books cannot coexist.
I am terrorist. and Faith is occupier.
with Peace Treaties on our tongues
We exhale new scriptures in to the wall of mosques and synagogues.
Hoping to purge asbestos animosity.

We knew it was temporary.
I forgot the expiration date.
Before leaving, she said,
“Habibi, please share our story.”
Dead sea trickled from her emerald eyes…
And I mourn, sat shivered, for months..

Hym shly nvshmt shly… (My sea, my breathing)

I wanted to reconstruct my collar bone into Jerusalem, so you can breathe prayer onto the western walls of my chest…
Even from Israel, I hear Assalamualaikum spoken in your accent
carried on wind whisper
I respond, press my hands into the Atlantic, Shalom.
My rippling affection crossing continents.

WIll I ever see you again?
If I do, I will be an atheist, rediscovering his former religion.
Barukh ata Adonai
I’ll hold you, like prayer beads.
Humbled by the beauty of Faith.

Transcript by me, please comment corrections if there is any mistake.