Berfrois

September 2016

Ben Fama Interviews Precious Okoyomon

Ben Fama Interviews Precious Okoyomon

Precious Okoyomon’s writing is like local honey I see being sold at the rest stops in upstate NY: raw and sweet, with positive health benefits if you consume regularly.

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Ed Simon on the Whiskey Rebellion

Ed Simon on the Whiskey Rebellion

Herman Husband – itinerant preacher, politician, regulator, radical – would amble among the woods surrounding Pittsburgh. Here on the trans-Appalachian frontier, the native North Carolinian with his shoddy patchwork clothes and with his biblically long beard.

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Joe Linker on the Whiskey (Radish)

Joe Linker on the Whiskey (Radish)

by Joe Linker To my odd ears, usquebaugh, from which whiskey derives, reminds me of the wedding party that year in Berkeley, and he…, and he couldn’t say…, or, he could not pronounce…, but that was nothing to the question of how he got the overstuffed hotel room chair...

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‘You remember that footage’

‘You remember that footage’

I dedicate my No-Trump vote to my 15 year old son, Jude. Jude was born with an extremely rare physical disability that impacts his speech profoundly. When Jude talks, it’s much like encountering someone with a heavy foreign accent.

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Sara Coleridge was very still, but always in motion…

Sara Coleridge was very still, but always in motion…

Coleridge also left children of his body. One, his daughter, Sara, was a continuation of him, not of his flesh indeed, for she was minute, aetherial, but of his mind, his temperament.

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That final inhale/exhale of life…

That final inhale/exhale of life…

He was gone. I heard the final, awful rattle, the ragged, gasping breath that I couldn’t help thinking was full of his angry, determined desire to beat this impossible thing that had happened to him. He’d taken a fall. He’d hit his head. Now he was dead.

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The Truth of Rama by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

The Truth of Rama by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

In October 2015, Endri Fuga, former co-founder of Mjaft and Propaganda Boss at the Office of Prime Minister Edi Rama announced the launch of a new governmental website, transparenca.al. According to Fuga, this “transparency website,” paid with taxpayers’ money, has as its sole purpose to deny “the slander of...

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Back to Honey by Lital Khaikin

Back to Honey by Lital Khaikin

The world’s oldest documented love poem: Sumer tablet, 8th century BC. Istanbul Archaeological Museum. by Lital Khaikin Notes departing from Deniz Eroglu’s exhibition “Milk & Honey” @ OVERGADEN * I would not call him a lover The man who craves God’s Paradise. Paradise is only a trap To...

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Navigating public space is never a neutral act…

Navigating public space is never a neutral act…

It’s never a neutral act, to navigate public space, not for anyone. I’d like to hope that Flâneuse troubles the act of walking in the city for those who would consider themselves flâneurs as well.

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Unprintlike

Unprintlike

Jessica Pressman’s Digital Modernism: Making It New in New Media examines the aesthetic, thematic, and political lineage between modernist literature and criticism and electronic literature.

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Nicholas Rombes on Edward Albee

Nicholas Rombes on Edward Albee

For years I was guilty. Why did I “like” a movie that was so hateful, so against the sort of niceties that veneered my own troubled life?

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‘After a couple of pages, my fingers twitched for a keyboard’

‘After a couple of pages, my fingers twitched for a keyboard’

I was in an unending dialogue with readers who were caviling, praising, booing, correcting. My brain had never been so occupied so insistently by so many different subjects and in so public a way for so long.

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Some transgender victories are clearer than others…

Some transgender victories are clearer than others…

In 2014, the actress Laverne Cox, from “Orange Is the New Black,” became the first transgender woman to be nominated for an Emmy and to appear on the cover of Time.

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Remembering Max Ritvo

Remembering Max Ritvo

Two years later, on our first wedding anniversary, we exchanged poems. He died three weeks later. I had written him a poem about trying to make him permanent, and not being able to.

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Holy LED

Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Holy LED

Skënderbeg Square has once again become a giant building site in order to be transformed into a nationalist underground parking lot.

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‘Prince was a light, a star, a beacon’

‘Prince was a light, a star, a beacon’

The death of Prince Rogers Nelson, grandchile of Louisiana Creoles, occurred on April 21st, 2016, just about at the end of the semester for my friends, my students and I, in academia.

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French Theory certainly was not French eventually

French Theory certainly was not French eventually

French Theory is no theory. It is a well-known fact that “Theory,” as in “French Theory,” is neither a theoretical endeavor nor a theoretical manifestation of thought.

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To Study in Argentina

To Study in Argentina

One of the first to enter the classroom, I sat next to a painted banner proclaiming free abortion. On the opposite wall huge posters called for social justice and Marxist revolution.

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Jessica Sequeira on Ghosts

Jessica Sequeira on Ghosts

Dear reader, here we are now, you and I. Ghosts, half here, half not. If I reach out and try to place my hand on your shoulder, I won’t feel a thing. But I know you’re close, so trust me.

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Jeremy Fernando: Not

A response — Bartleby’s response — foregrounding the fact that it is the “I” that “prefers not to”: not that ‘I cannot’ nor ‘I...

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Owen Vince on HARK

As a poet, you are your grandmother; you are browsing the obituaries with a red pen and an address book in your hand. The...

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Jay Aquinas Thompson Interviews Eric Weisbard

Eric Weisbard wrote twenty years ago, introducing the voluminous, era-summarizing, contrarian and contradictory Spin Alternative Record Guide.

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Collective Destruction by Keith Doubt

What, then, is sociocide? Sociocide resonates with the term demodernization formulated by A. V. Tishkov to account for the consequences of the war in...

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Heather Lang on Fiona Sampson and Sarah Morgan

Poet Fiona Sampson is a former career violinist, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, overt references to music appear in her work.

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Setsuko Adachi: Azalea Exuberance Strikes

In May, in the garden of the elevated house at the bottom of the hill, four shrubs of stunning azaleas come into full blossom....

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Joe Linker
Joe Linker on Li Po

Florence showed me what she called the most famous of Chinese poems. She had made her own translation from a Chinese language newspaper clipping....

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Teresa K. Miller and Gregory Giles Discuss Luc Moullet

To begin at the end: After nearly two hours exploring facets of exploitation in the globalized food system, Luc Moullet closes Genèse d’un repas/Origins...

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Adam Staley Groves: Iowa Nasty

Now it seems the state’s radical conservatives are degrading the historic, populist-provincial mentality of Iowa; they are revising the state’s legacy within the broader...

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Animal Spirits at the Nueva Burdalesa Bakery by Jessica Sequeira

A few years ago all I had was a certain ambition and an understanding, more or less, of how things work in this world....

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Sebastian Normandin
Meaning and Pseudoscience by Sebastian Normandin

The persistence and proliferation of pseudoscientific thinking in contemporary culture demands explanation. Clearly there are some pragmatic reasons for its expanded existence, and people...

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Janice Lee For the Ghost

The memories are like stutters. Sometimes I inhale for air, and exhale a shaking chain of memories. A choking hazard. I for the ghost....

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Edi Rama’s Bunker Mentality by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

As many former Eastern Block countries in the EU display a hardly dissimulated form of racism and religious hatred, Albania, always a little behind...

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Menachem Feuer on Sarah Silverman and Lena Dunham

Elle called Silverman’s image of her wearing a shirt with several naked Lena Dunhams a “beautiful tribute.” Dunham, the article tells us, “seemed to...

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