Poem of the Month January 2014: Miguel upon the Sand Dunes of Ecstasy and Hell

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Bridge of Silver Wings 2014 New Year quote by Aberjhani with artwork by Wellness Blog on Speakingtree.in2014 Happy New Year artwork with quote by Aberjhani “Speaking Tree” in Times of India

The real poem of the month for January 2014 is the title poem from the book The River of Winged Dreams. The simple reason is because that’s the poem (and the book) which gave the world one of the most texted, messaged, and posted quotations used to bring in the New Year. It didn’t hurt when the quote got picked up as one of the Top 10 New Year SMS Wishes for 2014 and journalists from Monterey in California to those in India embedded it in feature stories. You can even find it on the news website for the United Nations.

But the thing is this: the complete poem that the quote comes from has never been published on the web and word is it’s there are no plans to change that anytime soon. We respect that. Since we couldn’t post the complete poem we had to come up with another one that hit with the same kind of vibe. We succeeded by turning to the pages of Quotable Poet Aberjhani’s first book,  I Made My Boy Out of Poetry and are hitting with” Miguel Upon the Sand Dunes of Ecstasy and Hell.” The reviews for this poem on AuthorsDen give some excellent reasons for making it the poem of the month. But it’s mostly because what it describes is how a lot of people say they feel (well, using their own words) in their heads as we step out of the year 2013 and into the New Year 2014:

Miguel Upon the Sand Dunes of Ecstasy and Hell
(Passion for the Shaman in 1994: That Love Should Have Its Way)

Breathes burning sugar and frozen memory,
pumps holiness through each of his cells
while the sun squeezes his behind
and crumbles his spine
flips, flops, and rolls him back and forth
like a baker gone insane
slapping bread into crucified dreams of art.

His desert sky shines with goddesses
cooing clouds inside your ears
the air freezes with angels demanding
you stand up and glow like one true god.
Snakes in white tuxedos crawl rattling down your throat
and you shit poison for more days in hell
than you ever want to count again.
A dead butterfly makes love to your eyes
and you shiver semen wide across the wind’s wide naked tongue.

You are golden and rose like a beautiful ballet.
You are cold, demonic and hungry.
A storm gray and furious and white
is what your soul looks like
zooming in and out of your pitiful heart.
Look at her praying for you Miguel
and bleeding for you, loving God for you and
swallowing the whole history of His pain for you.

Miguel upon the sand dunes of ecstasy and hell
imagines he is Walt Whitman
cut straight in half by the beauty of soldiers,
dreams he is Malcolm X and Gandhi bleeding justice
inside the syphilitic mouth of a nation.
Believes he is ancient and Yoruban and female
splitting his body giving re-birth to his father,
provides comfort to ghosts fresh from their bones,
sets free the niggers in Alice Walker’s nightmare
and sings her demons into well-earned death.

Miguel burns godly and shamanistic, his chest
studded with rubies, mouth foaming diamonds,
three black owls pour feathers on his head
and he yells into the night:
“I insist unrelentingly upon ecstasy
and I demand that Love should have its way
with all my Lord’s creation.”
Miguel walks hard-on bowlegged through the desert
shouting new light into this new sky
screaming loud Ezekiel’s name.

Prophets kiss his tears, laugh hallelujah,
get him stoned on wine.
Saints wash his blood, they all sing amen,
tell Miguel to be quiet for a while.

–poem by Aberjhani (from I Made My Boy Out of Poetry)

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2 Quote Graphics for the Month of September

Originally posted on The Quotable Poet:

September 11 2001 quote by Aberjhani with graphic from AZQuotes                                                                                          (From AZQuotes)

This month’s quotes are from AZQuotes because they’re in the process of setting up such a cool website that there’s a good chance somebody here is going to sign up on it. Just not possible not to like the profile pages, love the quote selections, and truly dig the feature that lets you make quote graphics. Both quotes you see pictured here come from the poem “Angel of Remembrance: Candles for September 11, 2001.” So enjoy the one up top and the one at the bottom.

Now for the Top 3 QP News Notes: All the changes coming out of the Quotable Poet’s camp this summer have been big ones. These are the top 3 but if you got something hotter let us know:

1) HOT OFF THE PRESS: You can call “Creative Flexibility and Annihilated Lives” an instant QP classic…

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2 Quote Graphics for the Month of September

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September 11 2001 quote by Aberjhani with graphic from AZQuotes                                                                                          (From AZQuotes)

This month’s quotes are from AZQuotes because they’re in the process of setting up such a cool website that there’s a good chance somebody here is going to sign up on it. Just not possible not to like the profile pages, love the quote selections, and truly dig the feature that lets you make quote graphics. Both quotes you see pictured here come from the poem “Angel of Remembrance: Candles for September 11, 2001.” So enjoy the one up top and the one at the bottom.

Now for the Top 3 QP News Notes: All the changes coming out of the Quotable Poet’s camp this summer have been big ones. These are the top 3 but if you got something hotter let us know:

1) HOT OFF THE PRESS: You can call “Creative Flexibility and Annihilated Lives” an instant QP classic published in the new edition of Words & Violence. It rocks a bangin’ new essay with a classic poem, fresh hash tags for your social-media-conscious consideration, and some deep new vibes on guerrilla decontextualization.

2) The Red Room author website shut down in July and that means the Quotable Poet Aberjhani’s pages on the site did too. It had some articles, photos and videos piled up over d6 years that nobody else had. These and the works of other writers on the site are now supposed to be on Internet Way Back Machine.

3) So after Red Room went on the auction block the QP set up two new signif writing camps to go along with his base blog and CTI page. One went up on LinkedIn and the other on Wattpad. Some people might say the LinkedIn Blog is not a good fit but the QP said it works.

 History Dressed up quote by Aberjhani with graphic from AZQuotes                                                                         (from AZQuotes)

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August 2014 Quotable Poet 90th Birthday Salute to James Baldwin

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James Baldwin software art by Joe Williams for Blacksoftware.com Shared in honor of The Year of James Baldwin acknowledging Baldwin's 90th birthday August 2, 2014.

James Baldwin software art by Joe Williams for Blacksoftware.com Shared in honor of The Year of James Baldwin acknowledging Baldwin’s 90th birthday August 2, 2014.

“There is a ‘sanctity’ involved with bringing a child into this world: it is better than bombing one out of it.”—James Baldwin’s book The Price of the Ticket

“Sociologically, politically, psychologically, spiritually, it was never enough for him [James Baldwin] to categorize himself as one thing or the other: not just black, not just sexual, not just American, nor even just as a world-class literary artist. He embraced the whole of life the way the sun’s gravitational passion embraces everything from the smallest wandering comet to the largest looming planet…” –– Aberjhani from article The Quotable James Baldwin

If you had to guess what smokin’ hot actress Kerry Washington, Hollywood big-timer Jake Gyllenhaal, and the Quotable Poet all had in common what would you say? Besides the obvious fact that they’re all talented creatives in their way?

The answer would be that they’ve all gone on record blowin’ up books by James Baldwin. Kerry Washington did the YouTube “Importance of Reading” literacy video about how she fell in love with Baldwin’s “middle road” racial politics. Gyllenhaal was part of the launch for The Year of James Baldwin. And QP Aberjhani’s got at least half a dozen articles, reviews, and essays about Baldwin online––where the poems at QP? The latest story-piece is called The Year of James Baldwin Now in Full Classic Literary Swing.

When Jake Gyllenhaal went all intellectual in a public discussion of a novel by Baldwin it caught a lot of people off guard. Why was that? Can’t the man look studly and be smart too? The QP has been writing about Baldwin for years and the 2 authors have a lot in common. Being African-American male authors is just part of it. They’re both also multi-genre authors and both are African-Americans who have spent a lot of time outside the United States.

Most readers know Baldwin for his essays, novels, and short stories. Turns out he wrote poetry too (anybody under 25 who say they knew that already is probably lying.) This is a short one from his brand new book of poems is called Jimmy’s Blues with an intro from Nikky Finney.

SUNDAY

The mint bed is in
bloom: lavender haze
day. The grass is
more than green and
throws up sharp and
cutting lights to
slice through the
plane tree leaves. And
on the cloudless blue
I scribble your name.
–James Baldwin (from Jimmy’s Blues)

 

If you check out the Amazon page for the book you’ll see where Maya Angelou described Baldwin as “a giant” and the Booklist Review says “Poetry was the current that powered his novels, essays, and plays…” That’s more than enough to join the Quotable Poet in giving Baldwin a shout-out for his 90th birthday on August 2nd and for checking what The Year of James Baldwin is all about.

Jimmys Blues book of poetry by James Baldwinpost by MS/24
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July Q&A with the Quotable Poet on Goodreads

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Quotable Poet July 2014 Quote of the Month

Quotable Poet July 2014 Quote of the Month

“At some point, a flash of sustained clarity reveals the difference between what someone would have you believe is true, and what you know from the depths of your own heart to the peaks of your soul to be true. What happens after that is up to you.” –– Aberjhani, from Putting Text and Meaning to the Guerrilla Decontextualization Test (courtesy of BrainyQuotes)

Readers on Goodreads will be in the best position to get answers from the Quotable Poet about his writings during the June 30 – July 3 Q&A. But they’re not the only ones who can participate since the QP announced on his FB page that anybody interested can also submit questions for the Q&A through his “Contact the Author” page on the Bright Skylark Literary Productions website:
http://www.author-poet-aberjhani.info/contact-the-author.html

Here at the Quotable Poet we want to ask… What do you consider yourself to be the most when it comes to writing, a poet or a fiction and nonfiction prose writer?

That’s a legit question because when you look at the list of published books on Goodreads and Amazon, they’re almost exactly 50/50, with half of them poetry collections and half of them fiction or creative nonfiction. You can take it even deeper than that when you look at the works themselves and see that his novel and memoir contain both prose and poetry.

Plus the quotes in the new book, Journey through the Power of the Rainbow Quotations from a Life Made Out of Poetry, come from more than just poetry sources. It’s also legit because different search engines describe him in different ways. Some put “Author” first, some say “Columnist”, some say “Poet”, some say “Historian” and some say “Artist.” So what does the QP say?

We have to give props to the peeps at BrainyQuote and Share Images for this month’s quote art graphic. Not only is the leopard in the background a seriously cool cat for real but the text comes from one of the QP’s uncollected essays, “Putting Text and Meaning to the Guerrilla Decontextualization Test.” How many out there take time to do their own original research and produce original quality excerpts? Not a whole lot. Maybe somebody should ask the QP about that at the Q&A but there’s good chance he won’t have any answers because he spends too much time writing to keep up with quote websites.

July Q and A with Quotable Poet Aberjhani on GoodreadsPost by MS/25
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June 2014 Quotable Poet Salute to Author Maya Angelou

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Collected autobiographies of Maya Angelou“We are so blessed that she [Maya Angelou] lived during our lifetimes and that we were wise enough to recognize and celebrate her often.”—Aberjhani on Twitter, May 28, 2014

Did you catch how some celebrities on the web called out certain other celebrities on Twitter and FB last week when the Quotable Author-Poet Maya Angelou died? The criticism was that they were just using the amazing writer’s death to collect pings and draw traffic for themselves now that she had passed but a lot of them had never acknowledged her while she lived. Do you think it matters? Or is it never too late to give up some respect for people who have earned it?

One quotable poet who did show Ms. Angelou R-E-S-P-E-C-T while she lived was the author of Journey through the Power of the Rainbow. He tweeted like everybody else when the author died and even got RT by the Oprah Magazine South African edition: Quotable Poet Aberjhani Tweet and Quote on Maya Angelou favorited by O The Oprah Magazine
Before Angelou passed, the authors were back-to-back on the Ranker list of 50 Amazing Contemporary International Poets. The original list was supposed to be alphabetical, which would have put the Quotable Poet at number 1, but Angelou has occupied the number 1 position since the list first popped up.

Maya Angelou Number 1 on Ranker ListsThe most we could find on the Internet by the Quotable Poet Aberjhani writing about Maya Angelou was a review of her inauguration poem for President Bill Clinton, On the Pulse of Morning, and his article about the possibility of her winning a Nobel Prize in Literature. The review of the poem is a short one you can check out on LibraryThing: http://www.librarything.com/work/76843/reviews/9575484 . This is an excerpt from the article on the Nobel Prize in Literature, which was written before Angelou received her Literarian Award:

Although Angelou has never received a Nobel, a Pulitzer Prize, or American Book Award, she is nevertheless: an acknowledged presidential inauguration poet (for William Clinton, 1993); the acclaimed author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings in addition to other noted memoirs; an honored actress; a celebrated television literary personality; a life-time appointed Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University; and an all-around lionized icon of letters in her own right. In addition, like [Toni] Morrison, Angelou’s work has been frequently celebrated by [Oprah] Winfrey and the media tycoon has referred to the author as one of her mentors.
Maya Angelou Long-listed for Nobel Prize in Literature, by Aberjhani

Rest in Peace Dr. Angelou,

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May 2014 Poem of the Month: Savannah Moss by Jerry P. Bolton

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American Poet Essays Book by Aberjhani number 1 on RANKER List                                                                    Ranker List screenshot of Best Essay Books.

Three nice bullet points (the information kind, not the killing kind) from the Quotable Poet this past National Poetry Month 2014:

1) The first was the return of Creative Thinkers International, which official word has it landed a year-long sponsorship grant from an “Angel Networker.” That would have been cool for any month but being NaPoMo just made it sweeter.

2) The second bullet point was really more of a treat than a surprise because it’s what he does, spread the good word on poets and poetry so  everybody can get some. At the beginning of the month we got Poets of the Past and Present in 2014 Spotlight Part 1 and he closed the month out with Gifts of the Poets Eugene Redmond and Coleman Barks Part 1 . If you’re a fan of the poets Jalal al-Din Rumi, Henry Dumas, Coleman Barks, or Eugene Redmond… then you especially want to miss the second post. If you want to check out why the Quotable Poet is described around the world as “a writer of conscience” then you don’t want to miss the first one.

3) The third big deal was the Quotable Poet’s book The American Poet Who Went Home Again topped the list of “Best Essay Books” on Ranker. Readers of the book know the essays range from autobiographical and historical to funny and tragic, but it also includes poetry written by other brilliant poets about Aberjhani. It’s a fair question when people ask this book or others by the Quotable Poet have never been featured in his hometown at The Savannah Book Festival and maybe he’ll write about it sometime. Right now we’re featuring Savannah Moss by Jerry P. Bolton as the May Poem of the Month because it’s from The American Poet Who Went Home Again and it talks about the man and the hometown, Savannah, Georgia:

Savannah Moss

entering Savannah I stop to stare
rich history here
writers write
poets compose
history’s prosperity
for
filthy lucre
and because they cannot do anything else
they sing about the town like she was a two-bit whore
Hard-Hearted Hannah…
you know the rest
to some she is molasses-and-biscuit southern belle
so I stopped to stare
if a stranger looks hard enough at a place
concentrates completely on the stare
things others don’t see come into view
like a hunchback way of looking at things
hunchbacks look at things different than you and me
so, you concentrate
when that level of awareness comes
you are hunchbacked
look around
people are laughing
downtown dandy’s and back alley girlies
laughing their collective asses off
rube
huge oak trees
strange fruit grew there
silver tears dripping from them
fretting and whining about lost confederate glory
moss hanging like women’s tresses
like pubic hair in spots
yesteryear
things just ain’t the same
Savannah
Mysterious city

Old Town Trolley take your coins
tell you about Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
bullshit and reality all mish-mashed together

lot of history here
people live on history
can’t do without history
history can be good
or bad
what the hell’s so grand about shit in the past
when the present is thrilling
Aberjhani
the new Savannah
has a hero
a poet
laureate, maybe
a poet hero
they respond to this poet
awards, honors, galore
ever sat down and read Aberjhani’s stuff
mean really read it
cause the guy lays on you so damn much to mull
read and shake your head
damn
you say
that’s some good shit
Savannah
spawned something here
Johnny Mercer
meet
Aberjhani
ring that bell, that bell
in the tower down at the
Savannah Cotton Exchange
ring it

by Jerry Pat Bolton


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Quotable Poets for National Poetry Month 2014

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“Stars ink your fingers
with a lexicon of flame
blazing rare knowledge.”
–from poem titled Poets of the Angels by Aberjhani
(courtesy of Bright Skylark Lit Prods & Postered Poetics)

National Poetry Month is usually an easy time to write this blog because the Quotable Poet has written a lot of poems about poetry and picking one would have been stress-free. He’s also pumped out enough articles and essays about other quotable poets to fill a book…which he’s probably done already. Take for example this handful from just the past year and just last week:

1. Poets of the Past and Present in the 2014 Spotlight
2. Text and Meaning in T.J. Reddy’s Poems in One-Part Harmony 1
3. Text and Meaning in Robert Frost’s Dedication: For JFK
4. Text and Meaning in Langston Hughes’ The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain Part 1

Around March 28 his Bright Skylark crew posted a new killer graphic on Goodreads to celebrate NaPoMo and we noticed the quote on it came from the poem Angels of the Poets. It’s a poem that already has 3 popular quotes from it… That seems almost average for about half the poems in The River of Winged Dreams. But this one is about the deep side of what some poets trip on when they slide into their creativity mode. So it’s a good fit for National Poetry Month.

Another good popular quote says “Turnabout is fair play.” That means since the Quotable Poet put out so many cool vibes about other authors and poets it seems time to share what a couple have said about him. These popped up on Quotes.net which describes itself as “a huge collection of literary quotations and movie quotes from endless number of famous authors and featured movies, collaboratively assembled by contributing editors.” Um, OK.

Zinta Aistars of Smoking Poet quote about Aberjhani from Quote.net

Jim Morekis of Connect Savannah quote about Aberjhani from Quotations.netPosted by MS/24

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March 2014 Quote of the Month and Words for World Poetry Day

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Language of the rainbow quotation 1 by Aberjhani with Pegasus artwork by Postered Poetics“The language of the rainbow is a lexicon of light devoted to concepts of faith, unity, hope, endurance, and joy.”
–from Journey through the Power of the Rainbow by Aberjhani (graphic courtesy of Bright Skylark Literary Productions)

Why no poem of the month for February 2014? Because most of us were waiting to see if the announcement that Creative Thinkers International was going offline on February 5 was true. Turns out it was. To us that was a serious Black History Month 2014 moment all by itself.

Investing close to 7 years into building a community from 1 member to a humanitarian organization of more than 500 is not easy to do. But it happened because the Quotable Poet opened the doors of the CTI Initiative after 9/11 to basically everybody willing to share positive vibes with the world. It wasn’t the kind of thing you can compare to Whatsapp with its one-million-people every day sign-ups because it wasn’t just about selfie culture.  It was about making things like bullying, starvation, wars, terrorism, and generally not-giving-a-f*ck go away.

CTI went offline once before but then made a great comeback with new member sign-ups and fresh blogs, photographs, and video posts every other day. The question now is can it do that again? The Quotable Poet did not say straight up that it would but in his last blog post on the website this is what he wrote:

“The need to take one central outpost of the CTI concept offline while continuing to examine the best ways to maintain and further extend its legacy does not mean an end to the resilient singing heart of CTI. It means a metamorphosis–– like that undertaken by the caterpillar which wraps itself in a cocoon before transforming into something very different from what it was–– is in progress.” ––Aberjhani

This can mean a lot of things and maybe that’s his point.

You might have noticed that the quote used at the beginning of this post doesn’t come from a poem in The River of Winged Dreams or Visions of a Skylark Dressed in Black. It’s a preview from the collection of quotes Journey through the Power of the Rainbow and might not be from a poem at all but it’s all about hanging in there and toughing it out to see what happens next.

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2013 in Review Kicking off the Quotable Poet 2014

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This is cool WordPress, THANK U, and thank you everybody who checked out this site. We shook the blog up some in 2013 with posts on classic creative writers and political thinkers who influenced the Quotable Poet in some way. Now we’re kicking off the New Year 2014 with a previous poem of the month format. The title for January is Miguel upon the Sand Dunes of Ecstasy and Hell .

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,900 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 48 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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