Hey, Exit Strata community — we believe in the currency of gratitude and appreciation, and in this vein we want to give a shout out to the small bookstores (and rogue booksellers) we know and love — that make our cities, towns, even our internet (or our sidewalks) a better place — so we’re giving you the opportunity to profile them on Exit Strata!
Hopefully, we can help them get some publicity and deserved attention, and you have the opportunity to do an informal interview/stretch your blogging muscles — think LOVEFESTSTYLE much in the vein of the 30/30/30 poetry month inspiration/tradition series… don’t worry, no technical skills required, you just email us the text and links (photo and video, too!) and we’ll do the rest. We’ll also feature a link to them in our “Bookstores We Love” blogroll!
…and yes, we are VERY MUCH interested in profiles of stores OUTSIDE of NYC, as we work towards building our Exit Strata nodal network, but, of course, if you want to do a profile on a bookseller here we’re excited for that too. contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
my electrons got all jumpy-like
from first you walked in the room
recognized yours like an overdue reunion
refugees from the counties of each other
and I bring that up now because, metaphorically, our Exit Strata electrons have been getting all jumpy-like a hell of a lot recently.
Far beyond a one-to-one connection, this piece posits a theory of interpersonal co-evolution that I’ve been tossing around lately — one that suggests that we instinctively recognize our creationary comrades: those who will make our world and life a better place, who will inspire us, challenge us, and help us evolve.
This electromagnetic impulse, lets say – the biological inclination to draw this person or these people into your self or your environment – becomes/grows into “love” with WORK: because even chemical reactions require catalysts, and require the appropriate conditions for full realization.
We come to love those people who bring this original impulse into being — through the ultimately selfless act of commitment to another person or group of people. We appreciate and feel in our very bodies how awesome it is that these people stay with us, and give of themselves and their energy again and again.
So we’re going to start out with a big hearty THANK YOU. Oh man.
We love you people.
We love our contributors, the people who come to our events, the people who write us email, the people who chat with us at our tables — and we get all jumpy for you.
You know why? Because you make us believe in what we’re doing, and you show us that YOU believe in what we’re doing. You let us know that it supports and inspires you. That it is encouraging and enabling and growing your work and your connections and your community. And because altogether, we’re feeling like we’ve, well, LEVELLED UP. To a new Strata.
Let’s hear it for 2012! Did you know it’s the United Nations’ Year of Cooperatives? I think that “country of eachother” those lines channel an understanding of is, in fact, the collaborative, cooperative future we are building here together. Read More
Adam Falkner is a poet, musician, high school English/Creative Writing teacher and former Michael Jackson dance-off champion – although he will probably deny the latter of those if asked. In addition to being published in anthologies and journals including decomP Magazine, The Esu Review, and The Other Journal, Adam’s poems have also been featured on HBO, BET, Michigan and New York Public Radio and in Time Out New York. He lives and works in Brooklyn.
Succinct Musing from Caits Who is Secretly in Love with Adam, but Only His Brain Because She is Married to Someone Else:
A few short months ago over dinner, I looked at Adam with a suspicious side eye. He appeared a blurry apparition through the candle light, or maybe from the second glass of wine I’d just finished. He was smiling a very nice smile because he is a very nice guy. I was giving him this unusual look because everything he said was eerily familiar. The voice in my head said, Are you me? Read More
Elinor Nauen has written a remarkable book, So Late Into the Night, from Rain Mountain Press (2011). The book is a long poem in 8-line rhyming stanzas, the ottava rima of Byron’s Don Juan, with some medieval variations and half-hidden games.
My master, my love, my poet, my guy -
And the traits that draw me to him: iron-
Y, for one, as modern as any high-
Tech gadget, and as assured. The siren
Allure of sympathy, thrills and sex. Why
He’s not everyone’s fave poet I don’t
Get. He isn’t for anyone who won’t Admit humor and human narrative
To the pantheon of poetic purpose.Ms. Nauen too has the range and fluid speed of Byron’s verse, the humor and… the plain-enough diction,
Smart allusions and dead-on depiction
In his characters and types.
The poem is autobiography, a life in full with frank insights. It’s the voice of a poet, a woman, a wife, a devoted friend, a child of the prairies and an East Village artist. She muses deeply and turns flippant. She has fun, and that’s one of the joys of the poem. The form is in masterful hands and knows it and shows it. She plays with words, for laughs and for the Word. At times the tone is instructive; she means to share what she’s learned, as well as what she’s loved. Read More
PR: Mary Oliver’s gift is to describe the natural world simply, in a way that reveals the deepest secrets of our human heart. She is grounded in the reality of survival – life and death – predator and prey; yet never loses her eye for the eternal, for amazement, and for the magic of transformation.
From “Wild Geese”
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
But little by little
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do -
determined to save
the only life you could save. Read More
For your full multimedia pleasure, please click on this link to listen to selections from the Sō Percussion catalogue as you read! (oooooooooh, fancy!)
Who is Sō Percussion? And what are they doing with that cactus?
Well… what *aren’t* they doing.
These Brooklyn-based percussive polymaths come to Carnegie Hall tonight as part of the outstanding, genre bending, boundary pushing “American Mavericks” series put on by Carnegie Hall (and a range of neighborhood partners). I love these guys SO much (the puns are impossible to avoid here!), and they are a perfect example of the type of collaborative, expectation defying, community fostering, teaching, sharing, mentoring, hard working creatives that Exit Strata strives to emulate, encourage, and promote! Read More
colleagues, others with whom we may share a practice but whose influences are vastly different than our own.
An introduction to an entirely new voice that speaks to you, as an adult out of these systems, is a rare and potentially life-altering gift… one that Exit Strata’s international creative network has the chance to offer all of us, as we replicate that atmosphere here in the virtual Commons. Read More
Collaborating on Gowanus
Last Fall, I felt renewed to write poetry again, and for further stimulation I entered a workshop, “Time Glide – Going Vocal” given at the St. Marks Poetry Project by Anne Waldman and Ambrose Bye. Among Anne’s first assignments was to write an ode. I was reading the poems of Elizabeth Bishop closely, often while listening along to a recording of her reading her poems. An errand took me into Gowanus, and there I felt as the opening lines of the poem suggest. I lingered and strolled, and the poem came quickly. I drafted snatches on a pocket notepad I’d started carrying, then went home and wrote the poem in a day, in early October, with a few small changes in the following days. May I say that Elizabeth Bishop’s poems helped me structure an ode?
The workshop was collaborative in nature and oriented toward sound and performance. Odes had originally been set to music, so I was thinking about music for the poem (as Anne no doubt intended). I knew Cosmo from the wonderful yoga classes that his girlfriend, Shannon Sodano, taught with Cosmo accompanying on electronic cello. The sessions near the fountain in Grand Army Plaza, with the sounds of the fountain and the wind in the leaves and Cosmo’s beautiful music were memorable. I had a CD that Cosmo had made of his solo work, so I listened repeatedly to it with collaboration in mind. I especially liked “Yellow Shoes.” By experimenting with reading along while the music played, I confirmed that the music left space for the words while adding the tremendous dramatic drive and beauty in the music. I asked Cosmo if I could create an audio piece using his music, and he readily agreed.
Ambrose arranged for me to hear “Yellow Shoes” in headphones while I read the poem aloud at a lectern in the workshop. He recorded me in one take. (It was a busy workshop, teeming with energies.) There’s a moment in the poem when the poet sighs, quite inadvertently. That was a matter not only of breath column, but also of girding myself to allude to my “receding” in front of my workshop colleagues. Ambrose produced the mix of poem and music, and Cosmo liked the result, commenting that there must be a touch of Gowanus in his own mind and work. Ambrose included it in the CD of the workshop’s creations, “New Festivals of Rhizomes & Wraiths.”
Inspired by Lynne’s interest in posting “Gowanus” online in Exit Strata, Cosmo and I have agreed to collaborate again on another piece. This time, he’ll create new music to a poem of mine.
March 21, 2012
Below you can see the visual I created for my piece, Big Bang Theory. If you create hybrid pieces like this, or have ever been inspired to, we would love to showcase these inter-media-ry explorations either here or in our print publication (as suits each entry).
If you never have created pieces like this, and would like to start, we can help you learn how to use either physical or digital graphic design materials. No dough? No problem! I created this using the open source/online editor, Picknik, which is free to use — and with a 99cent glue stick, a printer, and some imagination there are endless possibilities for analog equivalents.
Please let us know if a workshop on a topic such as this is up your alley!
The original text for Big Bang Theory can be found here, at The Trouble With Bartleby.