Your weekly dose of fresh poetry #126
aggression and bad moods
have pulled me down into dark places.
Enough! From now on, I'll
laugh and love.
Life is not always fun. This newsletter, this inbox poetry magazine, wants to bring some lightness to you every Friday. Lightness and empathy in the form of poetry. Sometimes, however, lightness is best attained when writing about the things that weigh on you. And if you live in the greater Paris area like we do, there is not much weighing more heavily on you than the barbaric behaviour of some of the locals when they participate in traffic. Those in cars, but mainly those riding motorised two-wheelers, can become extremely scary and aggressive monsters. They behave like cavemen, and -women, and then yell at you for not giving them all the space they think they require. The injustice of this type of behaviour often gets the better of me. And then I yell.
The biggest problem is, that 9 out of 10 times I am driving my car around here, I am not alone in it. I drive mostly in the capacity of a private chauffeur for our children. Which is fun. But it also means that, when that injustice gets to me, I am not being a good role model for them. They see it, and they take it as an example. So, I need to be better. I have turned it around. I told them that I was going to try and not let it get to me. Now, they see me working to be a better person. It’s not always easy, and I do make mistakes. But that’s okay. And that’s what I want them to learn and see and live. You are a person. You can do better. You will try, you will make mistakes, and you will learn. All part of life.
So, to all those barbarians on wheels around here, and elsewhere in the world, thank you for helping me be a better role model for my children. I hope their awesomeness one day will rub off on you.
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The poetics in life
A few months before moving to France, we took a short trip to the UK. By Ferry. It was called a mini-cruise. You board the boat in the evening, sail the night and arrive in the morning. Spend a day in the city and then return home by boat in the night again. It was fun. We visited Newcastle and Gateshead. It was there that I encountered my first Invaders art piece: a tiled work of art clearly inspired by the Space Invaders computer game of long ago. Later we would learn that this was made by a French artist and that there are many installations by this artist to be found in the streets of Paris. And around the world. There’s even Flash Invaders, a mobile app to see if you have found a real Invaders piece. Fun to play with the kids while roaming the streets. It makes them, and us, more aware of their surrounding. Tomorrow is the last day of an exhibition in Paris celebrating the 4000th installation of an Invader piece.
Art can be so inspiring. And although I do love the kind that is carefully curated in museums, I also love the one you can find on the street. Whether these streets are virtual or physical. Street art is contemporary art. What I like about them often goes beyond their aesthetic value and colourfulness. It’s often a commentary on the world we live in today. Artists can help you reflect on the world, make sense of it. You don’t have to agree with their opinions, but they have often surprising ways to provoke reflection. Also in Paris, there’s a wonderful exhibition in the Tunnel des Tuilleries. Walk through the art. In the summer it will be replaced by another theme, most likely to do with the Olympic Games of next year.
As you know, I am venturing into the world of NFTs. And as this is a new phenomenon, it’s also, by definition, contemporary. These days, it’s moving out of the purely digital realm, into the real world. Even beyond the physical meetings organized for believers, so to speak. This week I went to an exhibition in the basement of the Madeleine Church in the heart of Paris. This exhibition displays a very cool collection of NFTs on screens. You can see it until 31 January this year. That’s not all. On the same day, I went to see this one, another one opened in Dubai. It gets even better. I submitted a poem for that one, and it was curated to be shown in the exhibition. The Nfty Dreams DAO x Foundry Art Exhibition Dream On, Dream Big! is open at The Foundry in Dubai until 23 February.
Monasteries are intriguing places. The word alone brings about images of beer breweries and Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose. When you combine that with the thought of travel in a poem, it’s mesmerizing. This poem, by the poet that goes by the name artsandletters and ghostshoes is precisely that. Enjoy reading SCENE IV: a nunnery.
Haiku can be difficult to read, or too easy. But if written right, they can convey a world of imagination in their short description of an observed natural phenomenon. Alex Price hits the spot perfectly with this one:
Sunil Bhandari writes beautiful poems and has a wonderful voice for reading them out loud. In Calcutta - A Lover’s Epitaph, this magic is combined with a video of an artist drawing an illustration to the poem. A collaboration that is well worth your time to enjoy. Watch (and read) Calcutta - A Lover’s Epitaph:
Amazing, Turpan! Always a joy and adventure to read.