WHITE STOCKINGS – eBook Now Available on Amazon

WHITE STOCK COVER_2015I am very pleased to announce that my new ebook, White Stockings is now available on Amazon. 

So if you have a Kindle, purchase away and dive into some poetry. From every book purchase, I will donate $2 to the Ukrainian Federation of America for humanitarian aid.

About White Stockings – Summary + Commentary
The ebook addresses the Ukrainian crisis via the poetic stories of fictionalized Baltic women snipers. From April 2014 to the present, I have been dedicatedly tracking the news events surrounding the Ukranian crisis. As a Lithuanian-American with family members closely tied to the tragedies and oppression of the annexation of the Baltic states by the Soviet Union (post WWII to the 1990s), the series of events happening in Ukraine is saddening. Innocent women and children comprise much of the 6,000+ death toll. As a result of the destruction throughout villages and towns in Eastern Ukraine, many are homeless and have become refugees.

Fellow family and friends still living in/traveling regularly to Lithuania and Ukraine are beyond nervous and outraged by Putin’s recent geopolitical moves. It is all too familiar, and propaganda flows freely.

Let’s be clear: With Putin’s direct knowledge and under his orders, Russia illegally annexed parts of Ukraine. 

As I write this post today, NATO commanders are pleading with Russia to stop fueling the fighting during what was supposed to be a ceasefire.

My goal with this project was to raise awareness of the conflict by turning a violent metaphor on its head. My hope is that there will be peace and stability on the region soon. Ukraine deserves to remain free and independent without fear of its dictatorial neighbors devouring provinces as was done in the Soviet era. That time is over.

Make no mistake, the issues of the region are complex, beginning with the root: energy sources. Russian propaganda will turn the conversation to how the West is the aggressor and imperialist, bring up painful anti-Semitic accusations, and purport that Ukraine is the instigator (and even the perpetrator of violence against its own people) to prove that separatist action is justified. There was no justification for Russia to annex parts of an independent country that no longer belongs to them. The logic here is skewed: should we return to centuries’-old maps of the Ottoman or Roman Empires to justify amassing land? Or what of the argument that mostly “Russian-speakers” live in the areas being annexed and completely support being part of the motherland once more?

This is about natural gas and money, which turns the conversation rightly to the benefits of EU and US becoming green…much, much larger issues. Currently, about a quarter of European Union gas comes from Russia, and at least half of that supply flows through Ukraine.

How do we we want to live: peacefully, globally, sustainably OR power-mad, warring, isolationist, and all-consuming? If the latter factors rule the day, how does humanity evolve—see the bigger picture? To pose this question, I use the metaphor of precision in my poetry collection: via the sniper scope: what is blurred or clearer outside the range or what is narrow-minded, calculating, and fixated?


 

Order here. $2 of every book purchase goes to the Ukrainian Federation of America for humanitarian aid.

 

White Stockings – Teaser Cinepoetry

Some of you know that I have been tirelessly working on a new poetry manuscript called WHITE STOCKINGS for the last year (since the unrest erupted in Ukraine). As a Lithuanian-American, I strongly support Ukraine’s right to independence. I stand with many in the Baltic countries who are banning together to back the Ukrainian people. My contribution is small, it is an artistic/poetic examination of Russia’s tendency to eye, spy, and dominate her neighbors. This is a teaser, a first, short cinepoem I produced myself. More to come…

 

Sheep Year

Chinese-New-Year-of-The-Sheep-Ram-Goat

Sheep year is time to heal after the chaos of 2014’s Horse year. What is of value now is intimacy, family and close friendships. We can be more caring, kind and sensitive with each other. Develop a gentle heart, open to love and acceptance on all levels. Another theme of Sheep year is to express your creative side. Now is the time for art, creativity and cultivation of beauty. If you ever wanted to explore your creative side, this is your year. Do not give up, be pessimistic or become discouraged because Sheep can only move forward! This animal is unable to move backwards or sideways. Sheep year is most fortunate for Sheep, and for Sheep’s most compatible signs Rabbit, Horse and Pig. Sheep correlates to the Western sign of Cancer.

Missionary Okiagari

SONY DSC
Now this quiet seems quiet.
Now these pallid proclivities.
Now I swallow hard behind
the chickadee tree, 
institutional glass,
ugly starfruits. 
Now little Poetry Priest
gets up. 
Now thick, round rainmaker
tightens laces 
woven through bootholes.
Now seahorses swallowing my toes.
Now here’s your big brash girl—
with a spadix in her teeth, wanting so much.

 

Okiagari-koboshi, “the getting-up little priest” is a traditional Japanese doll. The toy is made from papier-mâché and is designed so that its weight causes it to return to an upright position if it is knocked over. Okiagari-koboshi is considered a good-luck charm and a symbol of perseverance and resilience.

Language Straddle

DSCN1107

6 – Do you have any theoretical concerns behind your writing? What kinds of questions are you trying to answer with your work? What do you even think the current questions are?

Russian sociolinguist Bakhtin wrote of heteroglossia, the idea of language hierarchy or conflict within the mind and how it influences language decisions. This meant quite a large deal to me having spoken Lithuanian primarily as a child, and then English, and then studying Spanish. Soon, there was a distinct “language straddling” going on within me and I became rather entertained by the notion of being able to switch between and/or amalgamate words, if necessary. I believe this theory plays a large role in my loose method of writing. It at least fuels the playfulness in my work. Montaigne wrote of the meaning of “to essay” and referred to the Latin translation “to test” or “to try”. Early in my master’s study, I was quite drawn to this notion and still view the process through this lens.

READ MORE…

NEOVASCULAR PETALS AS OUR LOVE WANES

hair_lrv

Pistils, blunt florets

here at rest and in motion

your tender components

organic and aqueous

your voice sweet pollen

in my lungs

like pending interrogatives

 

The geometry of your blooming eyes

is a spider under an atom bomb

running your perfect brush across me

 

shut off as a Cadillac mastodon

over my love months

and now dawn to you

vaporous skin I loved you

 

unraveling in your arms

like an 8mm film

READ MORE…

MAY ALL BEINGS ENJOY HAPPINESS (MAITRI SAYS)

Each day is a rabbit.
Everything is an uncomfortable list;
it is everything that is uncomfortable,
this is the point. Hummingbird, whale,
rabbit, deer, dog, goldfinch—there is never
any future point, there is just now
and the next thing. A crown brain.
The next cradle mole burrowing,
the next thing: pain. The next thing: seed.
The next thing on the cloud. The next thing
you don’t want to know. The next goldfinch.
You are so beautiful to me, you have always
been a UFO to me. You have always been
a wave of mud to me. You have always. Been.

Spider. Switching ambulances. Death.
What do you see through me?
What do you make of it?
String and lanyards. What is my name?
Every day is a dog. I guess you caught rabies.
What is your “job,” the “enemy”, flint?
Where is the next holographic deer,
she is vain and bitter in daisy puffs. Where
is the riverbank, the nerves, the grapefruit?

Each day is a whale.
It is everything whole parted.
You are so foul to me, you have
always been a parcel to me. You have
always been ingenuous laughter. You
have always. Been. What do we know
about your egg energy: what do we know about
eggs? Storms are your favorite and longing
is the best way to write a poem.