Thursday, March 31, 2011

Forbidden History: Prehistoric Technologies, Extraterrestrial Intervention, and the Suppressed Origins of Civilization

Forbidden History: Prehistoric Technologies, Extraterrestrial Intervention, and the Suppressed Origins of Civilization
J. Douglas Kenyon

Bear & Company
Rochester, VT
322 pgs
ISBN: 978-159143045-2

Charles Darwin was a keen observer of nature and an original thinker. He revolutionized biology. Karl Marx was also an astute observer of human society and an original thinker. He revolutionized economic and political ideology. The were contemporary nineteenth-economic giants who cast long shadows and subscribed to the theory of ‘dialectical materialism’—the viewpoint that matter is the sole subject of challenge and all change is the product of conflict arising form the internal contradictions inherent in all things. And yet, as much appeal as dialectical materialism had the intellectuals and working classes of certain countries, by the close of the last century failed to pass the test in the real world.

Okay, anybody who knows me knows that I am a UFO junkie. I simply love reading about all things UFO and all things on the metaphysical side. Recently, anybody who has the experience of viewing what at one time was the History Channel is aware that one of its most popular series is titled Ancient Aliens, which puts forth the proposition that not only has earth been visited in the past by extraterrestrial civilizations, but those very extraterrestrial civilizations have contributed prehistoric technologies to early or pre- Homosapiens. One of the contributors to that particular T.V. show is J. Douglas Kenyon.

Kenyon is a writer and editor who in this collection has chosen 42 essays from the bimonthly journal Atlantis Rising to provide readers with an overview of the positions of some of the key thinkers in today’s super-charged debate of ancient mysteries. Contributors include, among others, Robert Schoch, Rand Flem-Ath, Moira Timms, Frank Joseph, Graham Hancock, and John Anthony West. Not to mention these, we get the always entertaining observations of Zecharia Stichin, one of the top scholars in alternative anthropology and UFO literature.

I really love this book, and feel that its filled with tons of information concerning the origins of humankind, from the martyrdom of Immanuel Velikovsky to a scientific exploration of the Flood myth. There are just so many theories to digest in this wonderful collection. The book is some 322 pages and filled with information that any reader with an interest in this particular literature would just digest with gusto. So do I recommend Forbidden History? Well, kiddies, that’s a no brainer, of course I do. Oh, and did I mention, for the mere cover price of eighteen dollars, you get six pages of full color illustrations of everything from the planet Venus to the pyramids to the inside of the Sphinx and the Temple of Luxor. Yeah, get this book, kiddies, you can’t go wrong.

Reviewed by BL KENNEDY

Available from Amazon.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Beat Thing by David Meltzer, reviewed by BL Kennedy

Beat Thing
David Meltzer
La Alameda Press
Albuquerque, NM
154 pgs
ISBN: 1-888809-43-4

The Beat Thing Looms Up

Beat boom
Beat room for boon
Beat loom to weave yarns
Beat tombs for paying devotees only
Beat wombs & sperm banks
Beat gloom perfume sampler inside GQ
Beat Zoom benny soda in a can

Around a month ago, something unique and beautiful happened in the city of Sacramento. In fact, it happened, in, of all places, the Sacramento Poetry Center. What I’m talking about here, that one special reading, that one special gathering of poetic voices that comes rarely, but when it does, it simply knocks your socks off. This is what happened at the Sacramento Poetry Center when somebody had a unique moment and put together an outstanding reading with three poets: Art Beck, Neeli Cherkovski, and the legendary David “Doc” Meltzer.

I’ll letcha know now, kiddies, that night my gonads hardened like a classic Star Trek Enterprise, and my heart skipped 1000 plus beats, for this was the real thing. This was the Beat Thing, which brings me right into this review. Doc Meltzer simply had his finger on the trigger with this incredible collection of 158 plus pages, which will just suck the reader into its rhythmic head on collision of history and plain good writing.

“The Beat Thing” is Doc Meltzer’s truly epic poem. Its 20th century America’s answer to everything that was as close to today as yesterday. Peppered with land marked names and occasions, The Beat Thing just is, and David Meltzer IS one of the most gifted writers in America. This unique collection, this classic look at the Beat generation becomes a bebop statement onto its own. The book, like a raging bolt of energy sprays upon the landscape of the mind. It is a profound and important book, a lyric record of what some critics call the Last Literary Movement in America. It is the down and out holocaust of the American mind, and like all great works, this entire book will seduce its reader moment to moment, in items of rhythm and vocal inventiveness. I cannot say enough about this book, except that for the price of eighteen dollars, you should go out there and get a copy as soon as possible, because this is just a treat, and you won’t go wrong with the purchase.

Buy from the publisher.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

EARLY/ LATE: New and Selected Poems by Philip Fried reviewed by BL Kennedy

Early/Late: New & Selected Poems
Philip Fried

Salmon Poetry
Cliffs of Mohen, County Clare, Ireland
161 pgs
12 Euro
ISBN: 978-1-907056-57-4

Celestial, Inc.

I regret to inform you that, in the purview of immutable
discretion, it has now become necessary to downsize the elect.

It may seem strange that of the great body humankind some
like yourself, predestined to salvation, should be laid off.

But please bear in mind that the Boss does not guarantee for
all an eternal position, and even those initially receiving the
wages of grace may be let go.

One of the perks of having the opportunity to review books for this blog, is that every now and then you get to go down to the mailbox and get slapped in the face with just a wonderful treat. Such is the case with Early/Late: New and Selected Poems by Phillip Fried.

I have never had the opportunity to encounter this poet, so you can imagine how I felt upon opening this collection and simply falling in love with the lyrical brilliance of the work included within the pages of the book. Here is a New York based poet whose poems have been widely published in various journals and have appeared in many anthologies, including Salmon: A Journey in Poetry (1981-2007) and Poetry after 9-11: An Anthology of New York Poetry. In addition to being a poet, Fried is the founding editor of the Manhattan Review, an international poetry journal that critics have called nothing short of excellent.

I couldn’t believe the pleasure, the sheer pleasure that I had in reading these poems. Lemme put it this way: it was like learning to breathe again. The sheer beauty, the focus of these poems is almost like taking a stroll through New York’s museum of Modern Art. The images invoked by the poet seduced me in that lazy, dazzling, quickly paced New York minute in which you simply kick back and watch the universe unfold in the best Texas two steps this side of Jersey. I am so honored in having for the first run discovered the work of Phillip Fried, so honored that this author actually sent me a copy of this book, asking me for a review. But mostly, I am honored, so very honored, in having to have the opportunity to experience these brilliant poems for the very first time. If you have the extra cash, 12 dollars American, to invest in this very excellent and beautifully composed collection, I say “brother, sister, get off your living room couch, go to Amazon, go to your local bookstore, do whatever you have to do to pick up a copy of Early/Late: New and Selected Poems of Philip Fried.

Order the book from the Publisher.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cosmic Children by Michael Hathaway, reviewed by BL Kennedy

Cosmic Children

Michael Hathaway
Chiron Review
St. John, Kansas
55 pgs
ISBN: 0-943795-84-2

Poem Scribbled On Burger King Napkin at 6:30 am

An irritating idiotic joy
wrestles me-
& wins
in spite of bombs& church fires
& evidence everywhere
that humanity has reached
the year 2000 of the Common Era
still festering,
still thriving
on selfishness, stupidity
& hatred

in spite of knowing
someone exists somewhere
who would kill me
for how I was born,
for who and how I have loved-
& the only reason I’m still alive
is because our paths haven’t crossed

This poem means nothing
except that I have watched
another golden purple sunrise.

You want a chapbook that’s a delight to read? Poetry for the masses, so to speak? You want about cats, dogs, places, and places in between places? Then I think you should order a copy of Michael Hathaway’s collection Cosmic Children. This is just a fine 56 pg chapbook published by the Chiron Review that I simply couldn’t put down.

Now mind you, this collection came out in 2009 and is already in its second or third edition. But Hathaway has a grace and unique style in his approach to poetry and prose that one just cannot pass up. I really dug the immediate sincerity and clarity of the work included in this chapbook. I kind of saw it as a promise: that after years of reading poetry, there is still something out there that can just catch me off guard with all the punch of a cool elephant joke. Hathaway’s poems pull you in. They dazzle with the mystery of a talisman or a cool jazz shamanic solo. You read these and after a while, man, baby, you’re in heaven. I particularly care for part 2, letters to Anita Bryant. The writing in this section just took me by surprise, or should I say, it tripped me with a live wire. Hathaway’s work will just capture you with the love of a cool May morning. No overcast skies here, just a wet mouth open and a passive aggressive approach to Utopia.

So purchase a copy of Cosmic Children by Michael Hathaway. It’s a collection that I don’t think you’ll soon forget.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Art of Milad Kabboush Presented by Mounir Chami

The artist Milad Kabboush came from a city on the Syrian coast to Damascus to study art. He was greatly effected by his grandfather who was a sculptor and he carried from his home town his grandfather's ashes and the mood of the sea. He lives in a small house in the old city which is his beautiful muse with its walls and alleys infused with the smell of jasmine.

He lives in altered state while drawing / painting. He prefers isolation and he refuses to talk with anyone while he works. His is a world of meditation and creativity.

He chose to to explore the mysteries of faces, which are the most expressive part of the body in his eyes. Kabboush hides from the lenses of "Photographers" and "Journalists" . He belives that real art does not need any spotlights or directed advertising campaigns , but it needs the right time to be known.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Traveler: A Science Fiction Novel of Time Travel by Terry Duke

The year is 9900. The human species has changed itself in profound ways. Genetically redesigned babies are born from a tank, not a womb. People are smarter, stronger, faster, kinder, and better in every way than the original human ape. After reaching maturity, humans do not age, get sick, or die of natural causes. They are virtually immortal. The world's population is small and new people are created only to offset the rare accidental death.

That future society is different from what today's humans would call normal. Couples do not marry. There are no families, though many people belong to loose friendship groups called "tribes." There are no children or elderly people. Everyone is a healthy adult. Pregnancy is obsolete. Sex is casual and recreational. Work is done by machines and computers.

The latest scientific development is the invention of time travel. The cautious inventor, with the approval of his society, experiments by sending a person into the future and back - by a few days, then a month, then a year, and so on. Finally, a man is sent forward to the year 10,000 - but he does not return. A robot sent forward to 10,000 does not return either. Nothing returns that is sent to any date after January 1, 10,000 - and no one knows why.

Something unimaginable, mysterious, and ominous will happen to earth and humanity on January 1, 10,000 - but what? How can humanity defend itself from the coming disaster when the nature of the disaster is unknown?

Each person must choose his or her own way to prepare for "The End of Time."
One man receives instructions from the future to journey into the past on a mysterious mission. He becomes The Traveler.
What he does changes everything.

Order from Amazon.

Check out Terry Duke's website.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

In the Room of Never Grieve: New and Selected Poems 1985-2003 Anne Waldman,reviewed by BL Kennedy

In the Room of Never Grieve: New and Selected Poems 1985-2003
Anne Waldman

Coffee House Press
487 pgs
ISBN: 1-56689-145-0

Fast Speaking Woman, Part II

-an homage to Maria Sabina

I’m a rolling speech woman
I’m a rolling-water woman


woman never under your thumb, says
skull that was a head, says
bloodshot eyes, says

I’m the Kali woman the killer woman
woman with salt on her tongue

I had the honor and the opportunity to study with Anne Waldman at the Jack Kerouac of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University in Bolder, Colorado. It was an opportunity that changed my life; that sometimes happens when you go head on head with a master poet.

To quote Patti Smith: “When Allen Ginsberg passed from us, it was Anne Waldman who dutifully gathered up his many burdens and continued his work as a poet, activist and teacher.” If anything, this book is a testament to that work and that dedication, for I cannot think of a poet in America who is as outspoken and giving of her craft as Anne Waldman. In the book In the Room of Never Grieve, we’re given a healthy sampling of Waldman’s work as a poet. From the 20th anniversary edition of her classic “Fast Speakin Woman” to her classic collections such as “sKIN, Meat, BONES”, “Kill or Cure”, and samples from “Ovis: All is Full of Jove”, to her collection “Marriage: A Sentence”, Waldman entices us with her chants and poetics, often walking on dangerous ground. She weaves us as she weaves words and worlds around both spirit and dream. She is a writer’s writer, and that is hands down the simple truth about Anne Waldman.

This is an expensive book, but it’s a book of poetry that belongs in the library of any serious scholar of the craft. So, the next time you’re online, the next time you tramp through Bolder and find yourself in the vicinity of Naropa University, or find yourself in any well-stocked bookstore, I cannot give enough praise for this collection.

Buy from the publisher.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Donovan: I Am the Shaman

About Donovan:

Donovan was one of the few artists to collaborate on songs with Beatles Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison. Donovan has played with folk greats Pete Seeger, Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, as well as rock musicians Jimmy Page, Jon Bonham & Jon Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin, Jeff Beck as well as Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones. Recently Donovan completed the successful album “Beat Cafe” as well as a new box set “Try For The Sun: The Journey of Donovan” and a book, “The Autobiography of Donovan: The Hurdy Gurdy Man” (Arrow Books).

Donovan is heading up the musical wing of the David Lynch Foundation, fulfilling his 40-year interest in Transcendental Meditation. DONOVAN, his wife Linda, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are promoting Transcendental Meditation in schools.

Find Donovan on Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and iTunes

About David Lynch

American filmmaker, writer, musician and visual artist.

Over a lengthy career, Lynch has employed a distinctive and unorthodox approach to narrative filmmaker (dubbed Lynchian, which has become instantly recognizable to many audiences and critics worldwide. Lynch’s films are known for dreamlike images and meticulously crafted sound design.

Lynch has received three Academy Award nominations for Best Director, for his film The Elephant Man (1980), Blue Velvet (1986), and Mulholland Dr. (2001), and has also received a screenplay Academy Award nomination for The Elephant Man. Lynch has twice won France’s Cesar Award for Best Foreign Film, as well as the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and a Golden Lion award for lifetime achievement at the Venice Film Festival.

The French government awarded him with the Legion of Honor, the country’s top civilian honor, as Chevalier in 2002 and then Officier in 2007, whilst that same year, The Gaurdian described David Lynch as “the most important director of this era.”

Working the Wreckage of the American Poem - Remembering Todd Moore

In March of 2010, Todd Moore (poet, essayist & co-founder of the Outlaw School of Poetry) was suddenly taken away from us. I remember standing on 4th St., in traffic, trying to digest the message I received from his son, saying that Todd was gone...

This anthology attempts to represent the effect that Todd's writing & general philosophy of life had on numerous writers in the Small Press. It is merely the tip of the iceberg. Here's who contributed: Michael Adams, RD Armstrong, Captain Barefoot, Miles J. Bell (UK), E. R. Biggs, Gary Brower, Harry Calhoun, Alan Catlin, John Dorsey, Hugh Fox, Nelson Gary, S.A. Griffin, Elliott Gorn, Gary Goude, Dale Harris, Brent Leake, Father Luke, John Macker, Ann Menebroker, Tony Moffeit, Biola Olatunde (Nigeria), Niall O’Sullivan (UK), Joe Pachinko, David S. Pointer, Casey Quinn, Misti Rainwater-Lites, Ben Smith (OZ), Rick Smith, Joe Speer, Belinda Subraman, William Taylor Jr., Mark Weber, Patricia Wellingham-Jones, Lawrence Welsh, Neal Wilgus, Don Winter, F. N. Wright, Anita L. Wynn, Scot Young.

Retail Price $15

Lummox Press

176 pages, 6 X 9, Trade Paper
ISBN 978-1-929878-93-2

The Last Stand by Nathaniel Philbrick, reviewed by BL Kennedy

The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
Nathaniel Philbrick
Viking Press
New York, NY
466 pgs
ISBN: 978-670-02172-7

It was, he later admitted, a “rashly impudent” act. He and his regiment were pursuing hostile Indians across the plains of Kansas, a portion of the country about which he knew almost nothing.

There are two things that my friends wish that I would shut up about. One is the siege of the Alamo, and the other is the Battle of the Little Bighorn, a.k.a. the Last Stand. Now the author of Mayflower and In the Heart of the Sea, Nathaniel Philbrick gives us The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

This is an incredible project and hands down one of the best books on a pair of legendary figures and their meeting at the Battle of the Little Bighorn that I’ve ever had the opportunity to read. Whether this part of American history is cast as a tale of bravery in the face of impossible odds or of arrogance receiving its rightful payback, the Battle of the Little Bighorn is one of the most potent and embattled episodes of American history. Nathaniel Philbrick tells the story with a passion, as a pair of legendary figures loom over the story itself: George Armstrong Custer and Sitting Bull. Custer was a civil war veteran with a reputation for recklessness. Sitting Bull, ten years Custer’s senior, had also been a brave warrior who had more recently emerged as a leader of an alliance of Sioux and Cheyenne, the tribes of the Northern Plains.

Philbrick gives us a detailed account of each moment leading up to this legendary battle. We can feel Custer’s sweat and we can feel the passion of both Sioux and Cheyenne as they close in on Custer and his split-apart regiment. This book also provides a stirring account of the account on Major Marcus Reno and the rest of the Seventh Calvary. I couldn’t put this book down. It’s just one of those things that when you pick it up, you don’t stop turning the pages. Philbrick, who was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History for his book Mayflower and the winner of the National Book Award for In the Heart of the Sea quickly gets to the bones of the story with a spellbinding pace.

So, if you have a love for history and if you are like me, a total nut for the story of John Armstrong Custer, then I strongly suggest you purchase a copy of The Last Stand.

A Poem from Ljiljana Milosavljevic, Belgrade-Serbia

Ljiljana Milosavljevic, born 1952 in Belgrade-Serbia. Lives in Smederevska Palanka. Writes poetry and short stories.

One published book of poetry:
The Homeland of the Heart (2007)

Singular and Plural

I got up
It’s a holiday
Where should I start from
I won’t go far

The day will go by
As many others

I’m writing down my thoughts
As a trail
Of silence
This morning

I’m spilling words
To hear somebody

Why are you silent, song
Gnawing on the table’s leg
I’m waiting

It’s going to fall
And I feel like playing

Yesterday I made a mistake
With some bank account
Making believe I’m looking at something
Sinfully thinking of you

You always remind me
That I’m alive

Popcorns white
Multiplying in the pot
Which way shall I go

To be whole
I cannot

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bohemian New Orleans: The Story of the Outsider and Loujon Press by Jeff Weddle, reviewed by BL Kennedy

Bohemian New Orleans: The Story of the Outsider and Loujon Press
Jeff Weddle

University Press of Mississippi
Jackson, MI
220 pgs
ISBN: 978-1-57806-974-3

Louise Webb sometimes shocked visitors through the years by eating bits of bone from Jon’s and Tommy’s ashes she kept in a locket worn around her neck. When the mood struck her, she took out a piece of bone and ate it.

Author and college professor Jeff Weddle has accomplished something not short of astonishing with Bohemian New Orleans: The Story of the Outsider and Loujon Press. I simply could not put this book down. Weddle is an assistant professor of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alabama, whose work has appeared in Publishing History and Beat Scene.

In this book, we are informed that in 1960 John Edgar and Louise “Gypsy Lou” Webb founded the Loujon Press on Royal Street in New Orleans’s French Quarter, and the small publishing house quickly became a giant. Its literary Journal The Outsider featured, among others, Charles Bukowski, Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlingetti, Robert Creeley, Denise Levertov, and Walter Lowenfels. Loujon also published books by Henry Miller and two early poetry collections I Hold Your Heart In My Hand and Deathmask on Crucifix by Charles Bukowski. Bohemian New Orleans traces the development of this courageous imprint and examines its place within the small press revolution of the 1960s.

Drawing from correspondence, back issues of the Outsider, contemporary reviews, promotional materials and interviews, Jeff Weddle does a bang up job. This is a story of a love affair with the arts, and one another in a time when literature was less a career than a calling. John Edgar and Gypsy Lou, working primarily out of the Big Easy, were the most colorful editors in America, and Loujon Press was a brave and beautiful endeavor. This is a thrilling story about a couple who briefly illuminated the New Orleans literary landscape at a dramatic time in American letters.

Yeah, so if you have a chance to purchase a copy of Bohemian New Orleans: The Story of the Outsider and Loujon Press, I’m gonna tell you to go for it., because if you are interested in American Literature in the latter half of the last century you will not put this book down.

You buy the book from the publisher.
There is a DVD by the same name available from Loujon.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Augeries of Innocence by Patti Smith, reviewed by BL Kennedy

Poems: Augeries of Innocence
Patti Smith

New York, NY
61 pgs
ISBN: 978-0-06-083266-7

The Lovecrafter

I saw the book open upon the shelf
I saw you who was myself
I saw the empty sack at last
I saw the branch your shadow cast

Earlier this year, when Patti Smith won the national book award for her memoir Just Kids, I could not have been happier. I have been a Patti Smith fan since the mid 70s, having encountered her early books such as Seventh Heaven, Wit, and Babel, not to mention her remarkable career as a rock and roll star. So, it is a real treat to find this very concise and handsomely bound collection of a mere 61 pages.

What can I say? This is the first book of Patti Smith in more than a decade, and it marks a major accomplishment from both a poet and performer. Her visions, her ballads, and her prayers will just absolutely penetrate the reader with their clarity. With this volume, Smith joins that great tradition of troubadours, journeymen, and wordsmiths, for she is an artist that responds to the world much like Blake and Rimbaud responded to theirs. Patti Smith is an American original, a Johnny Appleseed, if you will, whose poems serve as an oracle for the poet.

I love this collection, which is handsomely bound and published by Ecco Press. Should you buy it? Well, DUH! If you’re a Patti Smith fan, you already have it. If you’re not, what the hell’s wrong with you?

Order from the Publisher.

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