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Archive for December, 2012

Kaimana Review for Adele Ne Jame’s The South Wind

December 25, 2012


(from KAIMANA 2012, Paul Nelson, editor.

Hawai’i Literary Arts Council)

by Alan Botsford, editor of Poetry Kanto and author of Walt Whitman of Cosmic Folklore

In an evidence-based world, we are forever trying to solve the puzzle of the play of appearances and trying to fit the pieces into place. For the poet, however, the pieces won’t fit, the puzzle will never be solved. Out of depths Orpheus-like and at the borders Janus-faced, Adele Ne Jame travels as exile and maker in an exploratory trajectory between seen and unseen, alive to the always-changing pathways towards the sayable. In The South Wind, a new collection of graceful, exquisitely-wrought poems, she navigates her way through the winds of loss, violence, and the ravages of history–via lament and mourning–towards the possibilities of new life. Each poem marks a destination reached that is hard-won, hard-earned, composed of the poet’s alchemic power, emotional steadiness, and spiritual nimbleness. And each destination marks a recovery, however provisional, through poetic remembrance and verbal music, of what time and war have undone.

In the poem “The World is a Wedding,” for example, Ne Jame in three steely-eyed, deft stanzas captures the dynamics of her late parents’ domestic life in New Jersey. The scene she depicts, while evoking their Lebanese origins, is an extended family’s meal together as they recount stories of exotic travels. In the final stanza, with the visiting whirlwind of uncles and cousins now departed from the house, Ne Jame offers this glimpse:

When the house is empty

Mother sits alone

in front of the T.V. watching

an old movie, the hero smoking a cigarette.

Father’s already asleep in the small room

off the kitchen, having given himself up

to the next small loss, to King’s Display

where in a shabby darkroom on West 45th Street

he will develop more prints

for the movies, ten-foot blowups of stars,

heroes on the marquee, the crowd passing by.

In the poem, Ne Jame’s progenitors remain real and hauntingly present to her. Indeed the archetypal Father will be forever among the “ten-foot blowups of stars,/ heroes on the marquee.” Yet the poem’s coup de grace occurs with the implication that the poet herself joins “the crowd passing by” in order to escape the Father’s shadow (History by any other name), an escape which, as Abraham Lincoln famously said, is impossible. If, then, the poet meets the requirements of a historical reality all too ready and willing to assert its control over the poetic imagination, it is a trade-off the poet consciously makes. Being bound thus to memory also frees up energy available to her as poet and is a function of the way she chooses to relate to the world.

You could say she harnesses the elemental wind to her poetic craft, intending the energies of a poem to be felt for what they are—modes or nodes of realization, not only of representation. When bringing such awareness into language, the poet as maker almost has to step aside, for a very clear force is writing through her, one that would declare: I have mastered the art of leaving, I perceive the forms and change them. The hugeness of the heart and vision, in other words, is mindfulness in action. We can learn much from this poet. She touches the nerve of our humanity and looses a freedom our hearts cry out for. We can, her poems remind us, vitally wake up to the voice we hear at dawn.

Poetry Pacific: new poetry e-zine

December 24, 2012


A new poetry e-zine, Poetry Pacific, has been launched recently

in Vancouver, Canada by poet and editor Changming Yuan. He

has sent the following message:

we have just started our own literary e.zine called Poetry Pacific. it has an extremely humble start, but we are committed to expanding it into a serious publishing enterprise in the near future. at very least, it will last longer than most other small magazines, since ours is a 2-generation publication. for a quick view, here is the link:: would you please spread the word: all your contributors and readers are welcome to send their poems to us at

Do have a look at the new Poetry Pacific and consider sending

poems in 2013.

…poems by a.b. here

poetry site Nonforgotten

December 5, 2012


The poetry site:  Nonforgotten 

Editor Wayne Pounds, an American poet, author and professor

based in Tokyo, founded this internet poetry mag/blog earlier

this year and has attracted quite a number of contributors, all

well worth reading. In his words, “Nonforgotten” is

“A site dedicated to voices from the unforgotten dead.

Forgotten in their day, perhaps, silenced, oppressed, or

just unknown (the common fate), here the dead speak

in the first person to tell their stories.”



(Visit the site for those interested in sending submissions.)


Pounds’ newest book, “The Fate of Bones: Adventures

in Family History,” was twenty years in the making and

is now available on Amazon. Click here for more information

and purchase.