November-December 2017 | Volume 13 Number 6
A Common Life
The year is quickly coming to a close; a lot’s changed since January, as everyone who is conscious surely knows. The ongoing state of personal affairs, however, those tenuous microcosms in which each of us lives, may not be so drastically touched as what the sea change rolling up on shores around the world is bringing. The tragedy is largely that the majority of voters swayed by this President’s bombastic rhetoric remain steadfast in support, while spineless politicians brought publicly to their knees seem not to have gotten up. Someone, please, scrape those mollusks from the floor!
Fortunately, we are able to dance while Washington and much of the progressive legislation passed in the last 50 years goes up in smoke, further enlarging America’s carbon bigfoot print. Easy to deny when bigfoot sightings never have been confirmed. Thus the mythology of global warming remains just that, at least in Washington’s eyes. Where are those transcripts from the years at whatever Ivy League school Mr. Big Himself attended (and where are those heralded, hidden tax returns, too)? There’s truth in them thar’ lies, I know there is.
And where is the anchor to this heaving Ship of State? In the Arts, of course, where it’s always been, pushing back. While Might is Right barrages continue endlessly as the long night into which goes the fading Past — when naivete, perhaps, kept Hope alive — the Arts sustain. And when People of Right Mind return to steer and lead (ironic, isn’t it, when Right and Right can mean such different things?), when respect for all and not just the powerful, when the burdens of a common life are tended to with understanding, when violent experience is at the whim of nature not of man, perhaps then again we can enjoy adventures in imagination that bring together riven worlds.
“Pie in the Sky,” you say? Or fruit of the tree of life?
We’ve got a great issue for you to close out 2017:
Fiction from Alexis Rhone Fancher; Poetry by Richard Livermore; Art by Fred Bendheim; Retweets from Galanty Miller’s huge and growing huger archives; David Gittens’ recap of a peace-bridge effort to South Korea; Michael Jantzen’s latest project — a proposal for eco-friendly building projects; Book Reviews; A Crack in the Sidewalk by Barbara Rosenthal; Fiction by Daniel Dragomirescu translated from the Romanian; Greg Stewart’s NY, a performance review of Odetta Hartman and Jack Inslee at Rough Trade in Williamsburg; Allen Forrest’s artful take on a conspiracy theory about “the Simpson case,” and more! Stay tuned.
SPECIAL THANKS to all those who contributed to Ragazine’s Summer and Fall Fundraisers. They’re the reason we’re still here for you — no kidding!
As always, thanks for reading — and for spreading the word.
— Mike Foldes
Greg Stewart photo Jack and Odetta, Stage Left 2 Odetta Hartman Rocks the House at Rough Trade Review and photos by Greg Stewart detta Hartman and Jack Inslee take the stage under blue...read more
Artist Statement: My current work spans the boundaries between painting and sculpture. They are abstract, shaped paintings and relief sculptures, usually on wood or PVC, which I call "shapings". My subjects are usually abstract: they are made of...read more
The following poem by Richard Livermore is excerpted from his book in progress "New Selected Poems", which will be published in Bibliotheca Universalis, a series of chapbooks organized and published by Daniel Dragomirescu in Bucharest, Romania. by RICHARD...read more
Prisms, Particles, and Refractions by Carol Smallwood Finishing Line Press, 2017 85 pp. $18.99 www.finishinglinepress.com Reviewed by Judith Skillman arol Smallwood’s new collection, Prisms, Particles,...read more
Celebrating Rumi: An Alchemical Feast of Food Poetry and Music by Greg Stewart n a blustery autumn night in the Lower East Side I found my way into a birthday celebration for the beloved Sufi poet, Rumi. In...read more
Princess Nokia and Suzi Analogue Rock the House at Villain by Gregory Stewart y name is Suzi Analogue! We gonn vibe tonight!" A whirlwind of light beams out and around the crowd. A wall of sound comes...read more
The geographic wonders of New York never cease to impress. After our sight-seeing bike ride, we took a walk around and ended up in an old building. Many of the buildings on the island have a military history. After all, it was a fort designed to protect New York Harbor.read more
Those days everybody was heading west to California, to the Rocky Mountains, so I went east to the Adirondacks, New England, the Maritimes. I hitchhiked over 30,000 miles, off and on, over three years. I’d head out from Buffalo in Spring, return in Autumn, work again till next Spring and head out once more. I backpacked on mountain trails for days on end. Hitched on expressways, highways, small country roads. Stayed a third of the time in peoples’ houses without ever asking once. Spent time with folks who lived in the country and had gardens, chickens, put food up and lived simple lives close to nature. Through all of those hitchhiking miles I never had a bad experience.read more
Summer's Over, but Don't Let That Stop You... from burying yourself in these fine reads by Mike Foldes Took awhile to get enough traction to settle down and actually plow through anything but a few hundred emails containing repetitive updates on...read more
Meter is often challenging for any poet to handle and it is discussed with easy to understand examples, definitions. It has the best chapter on meter I’ve run across and should help even the most timid poet—or even those accomplished in using it.read more