Language, the words, the birthing stones of poetry exist in a time warp. The words used by the playwright
William Shakespeare are not all of the same words used by New Age writers of the 21st Century or the
language of the street today. Meme, the underground language of a people, is an idea that is communicated
from person to person and is replicated by imitation, through writing, speech, songs, art, gestures, rituals,
the Internet which may morph. Sometimes the meanings of words may morph, and change as someone uses the word
in a different or surprising new context, giving the language new life.In middle school, the children
were speaking in pig Latin, you used to add ee to the end of words amongst other abstractions,
“ginnagee, ginnagish, ginnagou”, This Writer could never quite understand. Meme is evident in HipHop Music,
largely Black culture and the patois of Jamaican people. In Quebec, the French-speaking working class
of Montreal birthed “joual”, the word “joual” is the morphing of the word cheval (horse). The working
class of East London (those in the area who could hear the bells of St. Mary-le-Bow church)
have Cockney a type of rhyming slang in evidence since 1859. So if you said “my ones
and twos” you meant your shoes. Also different sub-groups of the population, surfers, ethnic groups,
writers/musicians sometimes present creative use of language, presenting as an instrument of the language.
When a specific concept in meme takes fire it becomes in common usage by the larger population.
Meme is an insider’s view of a culture, sometimes used to avoid trouble, enemies,
the establishment and on a good day as the pure joy of an artistic rendering, a celebration of us.
Poetry is the gift of good anarchy, at its best with new original word juxtapositions and when really exciting the creation of new words. As you write a certain marvellation in word creates itself, perfectly suited to that spot in the work, it is something you feel more than intellectualize, and by feeling know the meaning, the poem, and the poet. The creation of new words begins with a good core base of language knowledge, tip of the tongue syndrome and a need for celebration, as if reaching for the stars. Sometimes words from different languages are used, spellings and meanings morphed into an entire celebration of light and new.
The following New Age Poets are noted for unusual juxtapositions of words, creating excitement and originality that occasionally spills over into the creation of new words.
Zo Alonzo Gross
Historically, I have also noted the occasional morphing of words by the women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance.
In rock n’ roll history, the song, “Wooly Bully” was released by Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs, in 1965. Domingo “Sam” Samudio said the title of the song was the name of his pet cat. The song lyrics were an exciting meme mix of TexMex (Spanish-Mexican and English), the song was top of the charts, although some radio stations wouldn’t play it because it was difficult to understand.
Words shape meaning. In the violence of the war economy North America and the violence of the world, a new language is powerful. The old language of sports and headlines of newspapers, the concept of war was often told through the use of words that reflect the patriarchy, hard words like contractors, assault, automatic, agitator, blindside, brutality, cannon, genocide, despot, fugitive, furtive, fortification, offensive, vanguard, uniform, trauma, marauding, and more, words of violence. The creation of a new language, based in love and dance could free the Poet’s soul, all our souls, into spaces of sunlight and the new possibility of peace, perhaps creating the new post-apocalypse society of the New Age, spearheaded by the “thinkpeace” of the Internet manifesting a happier, more cohesive Local and World Community.
“Never love a wild thing, Mr. Bell,” Holly advised him. “That was Doc’s mistake. He was always lugging home
wild things. A hawk with a hurt wing. One time it was a full-grown bobcat with a broken leg. But you can’t
give your heart to a wild thing: the more you do, the stronger they get. Until they’re strong enough to run
into the woods. Or fly into a tree. Then a taller tree. Then the sky. That’s how you’ll end up, Mr. Bell.
If you let yourself love a wild thing. You’ll end up looking at the sky.”
“She’s drunk,” Joe Bell informed me.
“Moderately,” Holly confessed. “But Doc knew what I meant. I explained it to him very carefully, and it was something he could understand. We shook hands and held on to each other and he wished me luck.” She glanced at the clock. “He must be in the Blue Mountains by now.”
“What’s she talkin’ about?” Joe Bell asked me.
Holly lifted her martini. “Let’s wish the Doc luck, too,” she said, touching her glass against mine. “Good luck: and believe me, dearest Doc – it’s better to look at the sky than live there. Such an empty place: so vague. Just a country where the thunder goes and things disappear.”
And Agamemnon Dead is a magnificent celebration of New Age poetry by Poets from Ireland writing this
century. In the introduction Editor Peter O’Neill laments the politics of who is published in the mainline
press and who is not, as if meritocracy is a game that lives in the shadows. This volume of poetry breathes
into the shadows and manifests life. This cross-section of Poets, each with their own voice and distinctive
style is the first breath of peace after the 30 years of sectarian violence in Northern Ireland that led to
the repatriation of Ireland under Home Rule. The war began in the late 1960’s and was largely disbanded after
the Belfast “Good Friday” Agreement of 1998. In the beginning times of The Troubles, no one talked of the
violence, it was verboten, and people murdered and brutalized, missing pieces of the sky. In the 30 years
of violence, more than 3,500 people have died.
The highlight of this poetry is the celebration of the vernacular and the Celtic lilt of language, inside New Age synergies for peace. The anthology begins with a long poem by Michael McAloran, a Ulysses (James Joyce) cracker barrel, an argument/celebration on the edge of a broken love affair. The death imagery, the broken train of thought, enigmatic and dislocated fragments with slashes between thought structures. A fantastical poem. Michael McAloran has written over 10 books of poetry and is the poetry editor at Bone Orchard Poetry.
Amos Greig has been involved with the literary community of Belfast and Ireland for 25 years, writing, published in 4 anthologies and a book of poetry, he is the Editor of A New Ulster. Belfast Child is a juxtaposition of violence/death with life and a brush of Imagist influence using allusions to nature.
Dylan Brennan is an emerging Irish Poet currently based in Mexico. He has just published Blood Oranges, his first full book of poetry in 2014. The poetry presented here is a travelogue of Mexico, particularly good is The Men in Fake Uniforms. The story of being interrogated by the police while travelling on a bus, being taken off the bus and another tourist being left behind. Bones of Anonymous Children, Deliver Us and Misspelled Messages all have themes of violence and human rights abuses brilliantly written.
Christine Murray is an Irish Poet and stonecutter who has written books of poetry and archives women’s and new poetry at http://poethead.wordpress.com. Someone Wants Lovecraft’s Head presents the sad state of love lives in the West, “Someone thinks hate kills hate.” An exciting read.
Arthur Broomfield is an Irish poet, writer, Beckett scholar and editor of Outburst. He has been published in Ireland and the U.K. In A learned treatise on why Irish poetry moved from a dessert to a desert he laments the lament of all poets, why are they not published more. He also presents After Market Day, Finestere, 1882 by Henry Jones Thaddeus a classic gift of poetry that is not out of place in this New Age anthology.
Peter O’Neill is an Irish writer, poet and editor. He has written a trilogy based on experiences living in France and 2 books of poetry that received critical acclaim. Novel – set in Cork explores the theme of a 17 year old boy looking for his first sexual experience, brilliant nature imagery and an expounding use of the Celtic vernacular that almost reminds This Writer of Black meme. Also noteworthy is Trinity College Dublin 2014, a university student’s experience of being in a lecture hall presenting the beginnings of war and sexual attraction. “When old age sat with her memories going through every one/ living out some paradigm of Nietzche’s eternal return”.
Anamaria Crowe Serrano was born in Dublin, Ireland. She is a Poet, teacher and translator of poetry. Her work is brilliant, on fire and brilliant with passion. The truncated broken delivery of sexual violence, a protest, an indictment of the war economy. on first reading Stuart Kendall’s Gilgamesh “I digress the real garment is not wispy gauze but woven with my pubic hair (4)/ the primitive joy of it/ against your thighs and your crotch” (4) Bethesda houses your civility healing is irrelevant after this. The words are spread across the page with spaces as if struck by lightening.
Strider Marcus Jones is a lawyer, Poet, and ex-civil servant born in England but his people are from Ireland and Wales. He is widely published in literary journals and has written 5 books of poetry. Love is Stripped to Sharing Bread and Pouring Out and In are excellent examples of his work, erotic and surreal, the poetry lives like a painting in the shadows of silence. At the end of the latter poem are the Celtic words “mo anam chara/ mo ghra” which in English mean “my friend, my true soul”.
Sarah Brown Weitzman is widely published in anthologies and journals. She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and a Fellowship Award for poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts. A History of Blue is a Celtic New Age synergy, profound in parts with a celebration of Imagist influences.
Eithne Lannon is a teacher and Poet living in Dublin. She has been published in The Letter, Irish Journal for Laconian Psychoanalysis and A New Ulster. Ritual is the theme of washing the body of a dead infant, compelling. Everywhere brushes with Imagist influences, an original play with language.
“ego scatters as soft rain through intimate air,
sound-ripples wane after birdsong and the sky
is tinctured with a vacancy suspended in its wake.”
Colm Kearns, born in Ballybrack, Co Dublin. He is a Poet with an MA in Comparative Literature, the majority of his work is published in The Runt a magazine he co-founded. He runs an open mic in Dun Laoghaire pub Scott’s. Euro 88 and the poetry excerpts from his latest project, the “history of UEFA European Championships”, is an inside look at soccer matches in poetic prose, all the action, all the intrigue.
And Agamemnon Dead, poetry in New Age synergies, the theme of violence and love intertwines, enlightens and sings in. A very strong presentation of leading New Age Irish poets, a classic. All the poetry bling from Ireland this Christmas.
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