NYC, it’s been 5 weeks yo!

Oh, New York City, there is one way in which you are like Narnia. A year spent in the great forest is only a moment in real time. Five weeks spent in NYC feels like it should also only be but a moment in time. She has many tricks up her sleeve, this city. Making time move faster than the roller-bladers in Prospect Park is surely her favourite act.

 

The last five weeks have exceeded my expectations in every way. The boroughs of Brooklyn and Manhattan (the only two I have explored) are more glorious than the ideas I had of them leading up to my arrival. I love NYC and I’m finding more things to explore than I thought I would- the list of things to do here is literally infinite. These past weeks have also been harder than I thought. NYC doesn’t seem so far away. It’s the bright lights and big buildings that make it seem close. But when home and everyone in it is on the other side of twelve and a half thousand kilometers, the big buildings no longer do such a good job of closing up that gap. It has been a bigger learning journey than I thought. I know things about myself that I didn’t and I understand people a bit better. You know when you have to write down your strengths and weaknesses for random things like CV’s and questionnaires and you just write down the first adjectives that come to mind? Well now I feel like answering one of those would be an easy, without being untrue, task. I have things called weaknesses and I am now VERY aware of them- no way hose, haha.

 

I used to hate going places on my own. No one to share experiences with freaked me out and looking like a loner standing awkwardly by the door waiting to be spoken to made me want stay indoors for my whole life. That changed quickly. I love exploring on my own. Yes, company is really cool but thinking about my thoughts instead of saying them out loud to someone and forgetting them in a second is gold. “Look how epic this store design is” – thought in my brain instead of said out loud for conversation sake is sure to make me look a bit harder at the detail. No one to share experiences with? This thought ran through my mind as I hid behind my bunch of flowers on the subway trying not to show how much I was laughing at the crazy man who said to the crazy lady “Yo crazy bitch, I’m gonna cast the devil out yo ass!” I kid you not- I had tears in my eyes I was laughing so hard. Me being alone didn’t make it any less funny.

 

For those of you who have endured through these four-hundred-and-something words, as I probably wouldn’t have, here are the first two stanzas of a poem I wrote for this place.

 

City, no pulse on your demands;

they flippantly flow

as consideration vanishes

like the man you chase.

And catch

 

Your balm soothes your burdens.

Take much,

give much;

your promise,

uncompromising as your clutch

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I Fled The Coup // Brooklyn Odyssey

An odyssey, a tale, an adventure, an illusion? Do tree lined streets with cherry blossoms, bay windows, brick walls, old doors, met at every corner with alive avenues, alive people, places- unique, bicycles and sounds that echo existence, really exist?

An odyssey? Time will tell. A tale? I hope it’s more than a tale. An adventure? Undoubtable. An Illusion? Probable.

This sibling blog of ours is now being updated from two remarkably contrasting places. The place I described as an answer to my first question would be one and the antithesis of that would be the other.  I am learning to call Brooklyn, NY home for a rather brief moment. I can’t imagine it will become anything short of that. For someone like me, this is not a difficult place to wake up in every morning. To be melodramatic I’ll say to this city “you can have my heart but give it back when it’s time to go”. Please & thank you.

 

“A poem compresses much in a small space and adds music, thus heightening it’s meaning. The city is like poetry: it compresses all life, all races and breeds, into a small island and adds music and the accompaniment of internal engines. The island of Manhattan is without any doubt the greatest human concentrate on earth, the poem whose magic is comprehensible to millions of permanent residents but whose full meaning will always remain elusive.” – EB White (Here is New York)





 







 

LOADED

I still remember putting First Chapter into my DVD player when i turned 14 and watching it for the first time. Who could ever forget the opening section filmed in Durban, of all places?

First chapter was a surf movie by 19 year old Dane Reynolds, and in the next few years it came to symbolize the progressive new school in surfing.

It also forced everyone to change how they thought about filming, and about riding. First Chapter, for all its quirkiness, raw tone and straight-up bigness, cracked open the dam wall of surfing.

Loaded is his latest little release, it’s really cool.

The legend of Stan Smith

Don’t know bout you, but I’m a diet Stan Smith.

THE GAP

Now I like a LOT of video’s on vimeo.com but I LOVE this one. It’s cleverly done, it’s interesting and most importantly it’s some tasty food for thought. Also, what he says is so true. Like I said, I love this video.

2013 A Year In Review

I’ve taken January of 2014 to look back at 2013 and I’m quite amazed by the fullness of it. I’ve chosen some of my favourite pictures from the year and decided to share them here. 11 months worth of pictures were taken before I found myself as the lucky owner of Adobe Photoshop. So I’ve been playing around, trying to make these images look nice, so bare with me- I’m a newbie! Thank you 2013 for being a very hectic and very rewarding year.

Durban sky

Durban sky

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Ma Chambre

Ma Chambre

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Ile Maurice #1

Although the first word to pop into my head when I think about this place is “mosquito’s”, this must surely be the most beautiful place on earth. We’re still here for a few more days but thought we’d post a few pictures anyway- perhaps we’ll put more on at a later stage.. Happy holidays everybody!DSC_0191 pic 1 DSC_0322 DSC_0279 DSC_0278 DSC_0275 DSC_0273 DSC_0269 DSC_0262 DSC_0261 DSC_0241 DSC_0228 DSC_0224 DSC_0210 DSC_0208 DSC_0203 DSC_0194 DSC_0193

Toro Y Moi – Rose Quartz

How’s this music video!!??

On Poetry: An Entrance

Admittedly, this is something I know very little about. Perhaps then at an advantage? Much obliged. But only at an advantage in so much as I speak as a rookie to rookies, which, luckily for me, most of us are. Let us then not entertain the fancy that we know, literally speaking, what we’re talking about (laughs out loud).

One of the most important things I’ve learned about this game, though unfortunately not one of the first, is that to write is to take courage. This applies to almost any kind of writing – prose, verse, song, whatever. And one could probably argue that without courage, what is written is not yet writing in its intended or final form. It’s not yet real. It’s not in bloom. It’s hard to understand this, probably impossible, for those of us who haven’t tried to write something before. Try a short story; you’ll see what I mean. Your characters will say terrible lines; your descriptions of people’s faces will be flat, distracting, even horrible; your plot might have a twist here and there, but for the most part will be drained of all the life blood it so desperately needs; your visual conceptualization of geography and personalities will be crippled so as not to allow surprise or spatial addition; this is depressing. I, of course, only know this because I’m always trying them.

It is true that anybody can write. I believe that, and so should you. But it’s also true that not everyone can write. Before one can write one has to enter, in whatever capacity concretely available. One must understand place, must learn observance, must be definitively in the present, totally conscious. “Live a three-dimensional life” as Wendell Berry put it. Writing is courage because life is first hand. It’s blistering, and it’s yours. And it makes a demand on us, it calls us to awareness, to silence. And writing is courage because it feeds on what we find in these places. There’s no cool disconnection allowed, no rooms of ‘interpretation’ to hide or protect ourselves in. No nonsense philosophical talk of ideas and abstract notions of the universe and ‘being’. It’s all burning action. It’s all up in your face. There’s dirt flying off the wheels. There are guns and mail men and aliens and tigers everywhere. FLIP!!!

(Catches breath) What I’m probably trying to say is that a literary voice is created by the clarity of vision its work bustles with. And a writer is created in their righteous devotion to knifing open and laying bear what it is that exists inside such perception. Basically, you’ve got to be a savage. It’s really fun.

Now this problem is magnified about thirty thousand times when it comes to poetry. Again, I could be wrong, but I…. I don’t know. Anyway, it becomes harder because the poet presses so much intensity into so few words. Your hands get all dirty, the bowl is too small, the stuff is flying out left right and centre. Now on your clothes, bits on your nose and on your glasses – one eye closed, the other squinting, now lying unconscious on the ground. The poet doesn’t necessarily get a big story line, and many characters, and the pleasure of different interesting locations. You have a couple lines and a strict metrical form to abide by. I admit, it is erroneous to think of writing poetry as harder than fiction, but it’s also profound. (I stole that from Billy Collins. Thanks Billy!) But in poetry you’re forced to strip down your thoughts to exactly what you’ve got, and then say it – almost infinitely harder. Because I’m a young, inexperienced, and probably bad poet I have to stick to being simple. To saying what I mean. Which sucks. I read the greats and they get to remaster all their stark material into beautiful skyscrapers built with images, allusions, references historical and literary, ancient & contemporary, with metaphor and wit. It really isn’t fair. But as I said, it takes courage. It takes courage to finish a poem that you know is running thin. And then to leave it standing there half maimed. Specifically, to say something that another poet could say in a poem that might be remembered for a hundred years. To put into verse some aspect of perceived existence worthy of a brand new Beethoven takes guts. I suppose stepping stones? Or rather perhaps foundations? No, not foundations – the house will collapse! Got it; the digging of the foundation. To write is to take courage.

Any readers

Who like your poems,

Doubt their judgement.