Sunday, July 07, 2019
After the ceremony, we all convened at the Casco Bay Room at the Harraseekut Inn for a celebration and dance party. My mother and sister and my dear friend Richard Cambridge and his girlfriend Elizabeth joined in. Good friends from other classes, and a few alums came as well. I stayed till about 10:30 pm, dancing with T. and Robin Talbott and Emily Levang and Meghan Vigeant, to pop rap tunes and r&b classics. Then I retired to my room and read a novel by a Stonecoast alum I had won at a literary quiz event the night before, a great book called, On Hurricaine Island, an action thriller about a civilian detention center for terrorism on a small island off the coast of Maine.
At breakfast the next morning about six of us decided to form a Slacker site to stay in touch. Sarah Mack, a pop fic writer, volunteered to set it up for us. I rode back to Cambridge with my mom and sister. I left my plastic cap and gown in the hotel room and said goodbye to the Inn which has served us well over the past two years.
I'm now preparing for a poetry reading on Saturday, August 24th at the Green Room in Somerville, organized by Lisa DeSiro as part of her Solidarity Salon, and also creating a map for a class on the lyric essay I will propose to teach in the winter at the Boston Center for Adult Education.
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Last weekend I performed "Dear World You are Courted to Death" at Revels Riversing at the Weeks Footbridge on the Charles. It was a glorious fall equinox night as revelers sang spirituals into a spectacular sunset over the river.
Thursday, June 27, 2013
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Wednesday, September 07, 2011
small ephphanies you take me into your secrets
I'll take you into mine, rigid white sprouts of rich
decay....Inside fushia, the world streams, monkeys
across the stone faces of god.”
Hugh as Connie Fox from Blood Cocoon
There we are cheeks pressed against
each other --- your round baby face
and blue eyes crowned by a cap and
me blowing a pink kiss with fake fur
thrown over shoulders. November
and you read at the Somerville News
Writer's Festival about your grandson.
You and I have been affectionate pals
ever since you called me a vampira
from reading my first chapbook
I think back on all of your work I
have devoured and reviewed with such
pleasure, always amazed at your cosmic
wonderment and lush and clashing
details of earthling
activites. You were enamored of feminine beauty
and dared to become a woman
yourself with lacy tights and lovers. You even
gave her a poetic voice.
We traded music and reviewed each others'
styles....your cat-like playing on the piano,
lifting from each composer the swatches
of genius you wanted to invoke, and then
you writing up my “Spell on You” and
naming me a new Marlene Dietrich for the
velvely smoothness you generously heard
in my voice.
You investigated traces of the ancient
gods, a unique authority on pre-Columbian
American cultures and the green unity
of all things.
Ganesha, Moloch, the Buddha, Yama –
your fascination with the gods sparked
thunder in your verse. You were never
afraid to reach up and outward to over-
turned stars. In “Way way
off the road” your most authentic travelogue
memoir you recounted the “Hippy, Post-
Beat, Flower-Children, Invisible Generation,”
of which you were a member.
In “Defiance” – the book with the howling
fox on the cover you wrote:
“I was more beautiful than Beauty herself,
but more beast than the beasts in the forest,
far from my friends, the poetry that a bird
that never comes to sing in my brain, seventy-four
years of Bach, Holst, The Little Girl
with Honey Hair, now clouds, everything clouds,
and when there aren't any more, the hand of Nothing
touches my shoulder,
“It's time to
become a cloud.”
You are a cloud In Michigan and a star
in Paris and a mountain in the Andes
and a red flower in Brazil.
I remember you with the pigeons around
us at Au Bon Pan in Harvard Square –
you always scribbling poetry and
conversing with strangers to make
them friends. I am grateful the
suffering is over and know that you
dreamed into your death like an oracle.
You are forever in our hearts.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Thursday, June 03, 2010
Sunday, June 07, 2009
Sunday, January 04, 2009
The Book of Arrows by Mike Amado
Edited by Jack Scully and Nancy Brady Cunningham
Červená Barva Press, 2011
In all its beginnings
In all its blooming
In all its endings
-Mike Amado, December 2008
This was penned by Mike less than a month from when he left us. In this book we try to show you a picture of Mike's early life in Plymouth and his family (Beginnings). How his poetry evolved from the dark to tell us about things which he believed were wrong and should be changed, especially the wrongs done against "Native Americans" and the warehousing of kidney patients into dialysis units (Blooming). In October of 2008 Mike knew that his time was coming to an end and this book includes seven poems written during the last months before his death (Endings). Mike had almost 500 unpublished poems. In his final months he put some of them in collections on his computer in what he called books. Most of the poems in this volume were under the heading of The Book of Arrows; thus, our title. This collection is fondly dedicated to Michael "Mike" "Spokenwarrior" Amado (April 23, 1975-January 2, 2009).
Jack and Nancy
And if I were to cut the thread,/it’ll be my best act of rebellion./I was brought up to be a fighter. Mike Amado was the bravest of poets. Not only for his writing, but also for the way he lived. He took on his doomed life with poetry of honesty and hope. The few times I was fortunate to meet him he was, outwardly, a happy man, not mutually exclusive from his suffering. Moreover he was a deep thinker and writer of great poetry. He truly was a fighter for those who needed a champion and against the illness to which he finally succumbed. His legacy is that bravery, his poetic career and this book of poems.
—Zvi A. Sesling, author King of the Jungle & Editor, Muddy River Poetry Review
The Book of Arrows. No kidding. Mike Amado filled his quiver, took aim, and let these poems fly like his life depended on it. It did. An arrow for a childhood of poverty where he slept in the living room so he dreamed on the pillow/just underneath a picture of cats on a fence. An arrow for school which he loathed, often sick, embarrassed in pants from the irregular store, so he learned to learn on my own. An arrow for the dad who left him with only his name so he took his Native name Spider Song because Native custom says that name/passes from mother to child. Arrows for an awkward adolescence of denim jackets, tight jeans, mohawks, and heavy metal all beaten on his teenage passion, the drums! An arrow for European invaders, protesting, dressing and dancing in used regalia at the pow wow. Arrow after arrow for the disease that chased him down from the age of seventeen, challenging death, Who says the story ends? Who says indeed and Mike Amado wasn’t giving in without having his say. I never understood when someone called a poet or poem brave. These poems are not acts of bravery, the living of the life of these poems is what’s brave, a life of dreaming, loving, protesting, drumming, writing, standing on stage as the Spoken Word Warrior.
—David R. Surette, poet, author of The Immaculate Conception Mothers’ Club
Mike Amado has left us an astounding body of work that is both insightful and unsettling. Each poem reads like a memoir tinged with an a keen awareness of the unspoken. Michael, from the Hebrew,/Who is like God,/an Archangel with a sword. To call his work compelling is an understatement. Mike’s poems live. Mike’s poems sing.
—January Gill O’Neil, author of Underlife
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Coleen T. Houlihan and I went to Salem for Halloween last night, where over 100,000 gathered to storm the streets as bees, and witches, Plumber Joes, and Jokers. There were men in drag and divine 50's Satin dolls. Coleen and I braved one sure to make you sick ride and then ate a caramel apple and had a class glass of wine at Captain's restaurant on the wharf.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Cervena Barva Press announces the release of Lo Galluccio's Sarasota VII, a prose-poem of 65 pages
that was inspired by the works of Paul Auster, Margurite Duras and Elizabeth Smart. In two parts, this
experimental work of passionate memoir explores how death and place and desire intersect in a studio in
Florida overlooking the Atlantic ocean. Part 1 explores one lover's loss of his sister Teres, from "evil winning
in the motives of a handful of boys." The voracious pull of black holes and the pure ice water of Saturn intermittantly
tug at the book, as a deconstructed symphony. In the 2nd part, Galluccio writes of her own father's fade out and
her resolve to become whole.
So this is what Anne Boleyn whispered to the men who took her head—both her husband and her executioner—so this is what the henchman replied; for nowhere has sinner and saint been so exquisitely linked than in Lo Galluccio's Sarasota VII. As the curtain parts, it is not polar opposites that are revealed but a single conjoined child. Traversing Sarasota VII (it has less in common with reading, more so the navigation to heaven or the surrender into hell) is like giving definition to the word 'passion.' This is how to say profoundly simple words with often incomprehensible meanings: Love. Desire. Hate. Birth. Destruction. And who hasn't attempted this— to grasp the single rose in the pit of thorns. And who hasn't, on occasion, failed and been banished? But Lo's beautiful, prophetic prose lulls us, even as we burn, and she tells us to "Fossilize the monster" and "Tend our rings like vain kings." She is right. We must. For something so terrifyingly beautiful should, forever, be.
Coleen T. Houlihan, novelist and poet, "the Human Heart."
Saturn in astrology is often called the planet of discipline, limitations, karma, and boundaries. Lo Galluccio explores these aspects of the human condition in Sarasota VII,, noting: "with every death we're given an opportunity to expand or to contract." Her finely drawn study contains great depth, revealing both simple and complex souls whose crashing hearts echo the breaking waves of the Atlantic; swelling and shrinking, drying and drowning, dying while they still go on living. Like Saturn, these people have had something crash through them, only to create a ring of debris they carry to balance their skewed axis. As in the heavens, there is much beauty and much destruction, where even light cannot escape black holes, and "nothing's pure and nothing's stable." Galluccio takes the reader on a journey from a hotel room in Florida into the expansive cosmos of the soul, revealing a woman caught up between passion and intellect, raging to be free while seeking to merge; loving, losing, dominating and submitting in her evolution to reconnect and be whole.
Karen Bowles, Luciole Press
The first public reading of "Sarasota VII" will take place September 29th at Stone Soup at the Out of the Blue Gallery on Prospect St. in Cambridge. Then on October 19th, Lo will perform with electric guitarist Ivan Korn, adding an improvised score to selections from the work and songs at the Witch City Cafe in Salem, MA.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Červená Barva Press, 2008
"Crossing the intersections between media, militarization, and post-9/11 consciousness, Amado's Stunted Inner-child Shot the TV, gives us a view of the complicated relationship between society and self, consumerism and identity."
-Edward J. Carvalho (Doctoral Candidate, Indiana University of Pennsylvania and author of solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short)
"Take Mike Amado's red Morpheus pill and follow him down the rabbit hole of America's mad matrix of warped dreams, tabloid icons, chrome-eyed military men and infopreachers....His writing is elastic, vivid and wise. With a heart for an undetermined and undetermining God, Amado's revolution cannot be downloaded. It's amazing any of us make it out alive."
Laurie Anderson The Dream Before (for Walter Benjamin) lyrics
"Hansel and Gretel are alive and well And they're living in Berlin She is a cocktail waitress He had a part in a Fassbinder film And they sit around at night now drinking schnapps and gin And she says: Hansel, you're really bringing me down And he says: Gretel, yu can really be a bitch He says: I've wated my life on our stupid legend When my one and only love was the wicked witch. She said: What is history? And he said: History is an angel being blown backwards into the future He said: History is a pile of debris And the angel wants to go back and fix things To repair the things that have been broken But there is a storm blowing from Paradise And the storm keeps blowing the angel backwards into the future And this storm, this storm is called Progress."
Laurie Anderson The Dream Before (for Walter Benjamin) lyrics
MEMORIAL DAY by Lo Galluccio
I might have stood with my Mother
just and unjust wars
weeping for my Dad who died
jaundiced in the infirmary of society
not on the opera bloodied battlefield.
Instead into the cold confines of
film spectacle to see young Scandinavians
wrestle with writing and go mad,
jumping into the cold cobalt sea
off Oslo piers--
Two days ago Caravaggio’s dead Madonna
in crimson cloak crossed my mind as a Reiki healer
pulled my ear lobes. The church rejected
her because she was so heavy and lifeless,
daring to lie there dead,
not asleep for ascension’s sake--
That day I left behind my watch and black wrist band.
Strange, he’d made me undress--
the badboy of the Renaissance who loved his sword
and put his head into Goliath’s -- eyes bulging
with crazed fury, held by David’s victorious angelic fist.
To be today, not to be seen, to swear allegiance
to something else.