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Archive for June 2014

Dear Darwish by Morani Kornberg-Weiss reviewed in The Electronic Intifada


Collaborating with Mahmoud Darwish without his consent

23 May 2014

Interactions between Israelis and Palestinians are inherently power-laden in nature. Whatever else takes place in such contacts, the inescapable fact is that encounters are between occupier and occupied, between people backed by the force of the Israeli state and those oppressed by it.

When such interactions are also combined with questions of aesthetics, poetics and authorial voice, the situation becomes perhaps yet more complicated. Does art have the potential to challenge power relations and create spaces in which inequality can be confronted and redressed?

Can poetry create a space where constructive encounters might take place, ones which shift the power balance? And what does it mean for such an encounter if one of the parties is dead, unable to negotiate their role for themselves?

These are questions raised by Morani Kornberg-Weiss’ debut collection of poetry, Dear Darwish (BlazeVox Books).

Kornberg-Weiss is an Israeli poet living in the United States. Like most Israelis, she served in the Israeli army. Unlike most Israelis, however, she has also spoken out against the country’s human rights abuses, and has stated publicly that she supports aone-state solution — although she questions its feasibility given the right-wing tendencies in current Israeli politics.

Dear Darwish takes the form of a series of poems addressed to the late, great Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. They are intended to be, as Kornberg-Weiss says in one poem:

without mediation.
A movement towards.
A form of contact.

Some are confessional, some pleading, some contemplative or they explore issues such as Israeli military brutality or the destruction of Palestinian history. A sequence entitled “Nakba Museum” tackles the global recognition of the Jewish Holocaust — “I would have to plan a trip around the world in order to visit every Holocaust Museum, education center and memorial” — and criticizes the fact that the Nakba — the expulsion of more than 750,000 Palestinians and the destruction of hundreds of villages in the lead-up to Israel’s establishment — remains marginal in most countries’ cultural mainstreams.

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Apollo by Geoffrey Gatza - Reviewed in Galatea Resurrects

 by Geoffrey Gatza



Apollo: A Ballet By Igor Stravinsky by Geoffrey Gatza
(BlazeVOX [Books], Kenmore, N.Y., 20140


“…this [artwork] itself is our catastrophe…it says that the catastrophe…has already occurredbecause the very idea of the catastrophe is impossible.”
-Jean Baudrillard

Did the universe begin as a mistake, a crime? As some horrendous mishap? According to Christian mythology, in its beginning, Creation was a smooth-running paradisical garden inhabited by only a solitary couple, Adam and Eve, along with all the natural creatures and God. God told Adam and Eve they could do anything (eat anything) in paradise, except they could not eat the fruit of two trees at its center—the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life—perhaps more potent or toxic fruits whose taste would catastrophically cause them to become self-aware and dissatisfied. Unfortunately or perhaps fortunately, Adam and Eve listened to the snake, “the serpent” and ate the fruit of those trees. God cast them out of “paradise”—and thus began the bumpy history of civilization.

In the same way, at an unsuspecting lulling blissful moment in oblivion of spring 2011 (“April is the cruelest month”), poet and publisher Geoffrey Gatza decided to visit an exhibit at the local art gallery, the Albright-Knox art gallery on Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo, New York. The day was rainy, and Gatza took with him an umbrella. Art galleries are similar to paradise. The walls and floors are spotless; the lighting is precisely beneficially measured; the abundant spacing of the artworks is idyllic. As Gatza absorbed and enjoyed discussing one of the works at the Albright-Knox gallery with friends (noting that white is an “ambiguous” color), he was asked to leave by a security guard because he was carrying an umbrella.

In this way, Gatza was also cast out of paradise. In my opinion, both the fates of Adam and Eve and Gatza are similarly somewhat arbitrary and predictable. Though God expressly gave them this one restriction, as God of all Creation, he must have known that Adam and Eve would succumb to doing what they were told not to do. The mysterious prohibition itself tasted of forbidden fruit. This Adam-and-Eve tale could only be some sort of preface to the unfolding of human development, with the so-called “Fall” in the Garden as the revelatory opening of the discourse of humanity becoming responsible for its actions. Had everything gone as outlined and continued in endless bliss, many essential events and ideas that in Christianity’s own doctrine lay ahead could not have taken place, including the giving of the Law, the ideas of grace and ascension, the Apocalypse, the appearance of Elija and of God’s son—Jesus, who, in his lifetime, compared himself to that self-same serpent in the wilderness being “lifted up,” that is, articulated and embraced for what it really meant and was (is). (Ferlinghetti once said about Kerouac that he liked his writing once he understood what Kerouac was doing.)

Read the Whole Review Here 

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Tony Trigilio interviewed by The Collinsport Historical Society Podcast


 THE COMPLETE DARK SHADOWS (OF MY CHILDHOOD) is a book-length poem by Tony Trigilio about everybody's favorite gothic soap opera, DARK SHADOWS. The concept behind the book is grand: Billed as a multi-part experimental biography, the first book in the series spans the first 183 episodes of DARK SHADOWS to feature Barnabas Collins. The book is currently available in multiple formats from Amazon.

In this episode of THE COLLINSPORT HISTORICAL SOCIETY podcast, Patrick McCray speaks with Trigilio about binge watching, the mysteries of the show's earliest episodes, and how memories from his childhood have colored his return to Collinwood.

Listen to the episode streaming above, or download it as an MP3 by clicking HERE.

And subscribe to THE COLLINSPORT HISTORICAL SOCIETY podcast on iTunes for free by clicking HERE!  


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