Monday, October 11, 2010

Whale Sound and Flaubert's Babies

Nic Sebastian, a poet and founder of Whale Sound, is "building an audio poetry collection of her readings of contemporary poets" and I'm so delighted to have her read one of my poems, Flaubert's Babies, here in her lovely voice with the right measure of pathos, as part of this collection. The posts which've garnered the maximum amount of hits on this generous project are here. Enjoy!

Whale Sound Feeds will soon be downloadable as podcast series and made available through iTunes.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Ocean Desires

My artwork, titled Ocean Desires, is on the cover of Art and Poetry journal, Blue Fifth Review, Winter issue, 2010: Body Series. Another work, also a part of this issue, is Veilless Woman.

I also am glad to share that Ocean Desires served as a source of inspiration for editor (of Asian Cha), writer and poet, Tammy Ho Lai- ming, as part of thePoetry Project, initiated by her. Please feel free to share your thoughts about Tammy's poem/ my artwork/ just about anything...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Peace be with Ai and Shvarts


Words, you say, young girls in a circle, holding hands,
and beginning to rise heavenward
in their confirmation dresses,
like white helium balloons,
the wreathes of flowers on their heads spinning,
and above all that,
that's where I'm floating,

- Ai

<an excerpt>

What that street is called

You’re like a house-coat, you are worn, God is above you and inside.
You’re delicate, frail, you crumble like a porcelain cup – God’s glow
Is shining through it, probably, it’s all becoming clearer now.
He’s pecking through your mortal shell before our very eyes,
You’re stooping – and no wonder! – look who’s sitting on your shoulders.
Oh! I’d accept that burden, but my name’s not written down,
Let’s stroll along the boulevard, watch the band play in the rain,

- Elena Shvarts

(an excerpt>

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Fireflies in the Dark

"Friedl. We called her Friedl. Everything was forgotten for a couple of hours. We forgot all the troubles we had."- Helga Pollakova- Kinsky, Voices of Children, a documentary.

Few Childrens' Books touch me the way, Fireflies in the Dark, did. It's the story of a Bauhaus- educated Viennese artist, Friedl Dicker- Brandeis, also a Jew, who was sent to the Terezin concentration camp along with scores of men, women and children, and eventually executed at Auschwitz. Although Terezin was not a death camp per se, living conditions within the camp were still unhygienic and rampant with sickness.

Faced with deportation from Prague to Terezin, a ghetto established by the Germans in Czechoslovakia, Brandeis chose to bring art supplies and dyed sheets (which, later were altered into colorful costumes for a kids' play production of a Czech fairy tale called Fireflies) to the camp and spent a considerable amount of time, goading kids to come up with creative outlets and discussing the way they viewed art. She was an ardent believer of using art as therapy and the kids loved her for that. She spoke about the importance of inculcating creativity in kids and how not to succumb to temptations of adhering to notions of producing mini- adults. "Childhood is not a preliminary, immature stage on the way to adulthood," she said.

At the end of every art lesson, her students signed their artwork with their real names as opposed to transport numbers (with which they were identified summarily). Susan Goldman Rubin, the author, goes into great detail, profiling the extent of Brandeis' determination towards making the kids' lives more bearable. Liberally illustrated with artworks by the Terezin children, this book reaffirms the ability of art to kindle hope in the minds of young. It's especially a good read (recommended for ages 6- 9) at a time when there's also renewed interest in Brandeis' philosophy, her paintings, interior decorations and stage designs.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A quote that caught my fancy!

"You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions."

- Naguib Mahfouz, Egyptian writer, 1988 Nobel Prize winner for literature

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

One word caption challenge

Yesterday, I was going through some pictures that we'd clicked on our trip to Ile- D'Orleans, an idyllic location in Quebec city, Canada last summer (Yes, I'm into reliving the 'past' these days!). Somehow, I just couldn't get beyond this one... Can you try to describe this picture in one word? Please try... It'll be fun!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

sipping a cup of hot coffee

some silence trickling down
a soar lane with no streetlights
warming, jostling alive, a breath escapes
steam whirs and i hear the sizzle
calm droning from inside the seashells
oysters squirming, a pearl descending
i remember the lady at Starbucks
the student with numbed shoulders
an icecreamy smile and i gulp more silence
don't wanna wake my family up
let them usher further into
blankets while i think about the muse
Zelda and her Save Me the Waltz
silence is good

This poem has since appeared in Poetry Friends.