30 December 2007

things to make and do

amnesty international has launched a greetings card campaign. it's about sending a card with a friendly greeting or message of solidarity to someone who is in danger or unjustly imprisoned. These are prisoners of conscience, people under sentence of death, human rights defenders under threat because of their work, and others at risk. if you have five spare minutes and a stamp, please take part. (of course, you'd need a greeting card, too.)

should you lack all of the above, try this. many famous people like dido, skin, the beatsteaks, teitur, tomte, slash and green day and so forth have given their faces, so you'll be in good company.

the other day i was given one of those magnetic words sets (complete with a magnetic board) that lets you mix and match poems. here's the first bit that came of it:

I

seufz

die sache ist modern
im warmen wasser
virtuell und populär
vielleicht als abenteuer
TV schicksal ein
extrem gedicht



II

biernatur... verzeih


III

fahr lieber
lau ist der morgen
verrückt fast in
hochform so gut
und absurd
ist das ende.

(picture taken from pictures of walls.)

28 December 2007

this is an email i got this morning. all the links mentioned you will find here at codepink alert. however, we should not forget that mrs bhutto, at a point, was accused of corruption, too...

Our hearts and thoughts are with the Pakistani people as they mourn the death of Benazir Bhutto. We extend our deep sorrow to her family and the millions of supporters who for decades have seen the Bhutto family as a source of inspiration. We also extend our condolences to the families of the other Pakistanis who were killed in this heinous crime.

We at CODEPINK were in touch with the former Prime Minister when we were writing our book Stop the Next War Now. In fact, Bhutto graciously contributed an essay that was a plea to counter extremism and "a clash of civilizations that can lead to Armageddon, where there will be no winners on earth."

If Bhutto's death proves anything, it is the utter failure of Musharraf's regime and the utter failure of the Bush administration's policy of supporting Musharraf. Pakistani civil society has long been calling for Musharraf to resign. Now leaders like former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif have added their voice to that call, publicly holding Musharraf responsible for Bhutto's death and demanding he step down.

CODEPINK agrees that Musharraf is the biggest obstacle facing a democratic Pakistan today. He is not capable of either fighting extremists or building a society that respects the rule of law. CODEPINK cofounder Medea Benjamin and activist Tighe Barry recently had a taste of his dictatorial ways when they were kidnapped and carjacked at gunpoint by government agents, and then deported for supporting the pro-democracy movement. Click here for a piece by Medea Benjamin on Bhutto's death.

The US government must use this time to radically change its policy towards Pakistan. The Bush administration has been a staunch supporter of Musharraf, providing his regime with over $10 billion in financial aid since 2001. Musharraf's use of US funds to crack down on the country's democratic forces has led to growing anti-American sentiments among the nation's moderate, secular forces. Please click here to sign our petition calling on the U.S. government to withhold assistance until Musharraf steps down and a caretaker government restores the independent judiciary, lifts restrictions on the press and sets up the conditions for fair elections.

We should also begin to focus our attention on one of the key underlying causes for the growth of extremism in Pakistan: the extreme poverty that persists, especially in the tribal areas where al-Qaeda is most active.

Benazir Bhutto spoke about this in the essay she wrote for our book. Her words were poignant then, and are even more poignant upon her death:

"The neglect of rising poverty against the background of religious extremism can only complicate an already difficult world situation. The war against terrorism is primarily perceived as a war based on the use of force. However, economics has its own force, as does the desperation of families who cannot feed themselves.

"Militancy and greed cannot become the defining images of a new century that began with much hope. We must refocus our energy on promoting the values of democracy, accountability, broad-based government, and institutions that can respond to people's very real and very urgent needs."

Whether in Pakistan or in our home countries, we can pay tribute to Benazir Bhutto by dedicating ourselves to building a world based on tolerance, cooperation and fulfilling the urgent needs of the human family-which are the pillars of a more peaceful world.

With sorrow,
Dana, Desiree, Farida, Gael, Gayle, Ileana, Jodie, Medea, Nancy, Rae, and Tighe

26 December 2007

for those of you who haven't seen sicko yet

voilà.

vor jahren im traum
saß ich im selben moment
papier = gelb wie hier
jemands satz ... nichts im traum
vor den jahren war anders als jetzt
erst am morgen damals deine nachricht
taucht auf die fehlt jetzt deine
zeichen zwischen all jenen
jemands stets ungesetzt und
vor jahren im traum
meine küsse deine
wassersandhaut auf strand breit
und = gelb wie hier
deine hand ... ich auf dir
in den dünen wars anders als jetzt
hab im traum damals niemands
gedicht übersetzt niemals jemands
geschwätz zwischen unsere zungen
gespült schrieb nie fische ins netz
jener niemande nie jemals
nur auf papier der moment
jenes traums wenn der
morgen vor jahren = jetzt.

22 December 2007

"i blog therefore i am"

here's a long german interview on the motivations to blog.
and here's one on the german version of facebook's (studivz's) new general terms and conditions.

18 December 2007

embrace

to hold you costs me this:
[opens her arms.]

day jumps, night
- ever clumsily -
just falls.

[stands. opens,
closes arms.]

world saw:
[blank space.]
[probe flaw.]

her arms put forth,
flapped shut.

one thought per year
[escapes.]
the others: not.


dich halten kostet mich:/ [öffnet die arme.]/ tag springt, nacht/ - typisch, ungeschickt -/ bricht.// [steht, öffnet,/ schließt die arme.]// welt sieht:/ [nichts.]/ [fühlerfehler.]// ihre arme ausgestreckt,/ verklappt.// ein gedanke jedes jahr
/ [entwischt.]/ die andren: nicht.

miscellaneous

lately i've been spending a lot of time thinking about my thesis topic. while researching i came across some interesting links:

code pink for peace - women for peace
women in black - women stand in silent vigil to protest war
teach first - learning to lead while contributing to a community

good gifts
- give gifts that make a difference in a war torn country
toms shoes - for every pair of shoes you buy, a poor kid will be given one, too
peace oil - oil maufactured by jews, arabs, druze and bedouin working together

pledge bank - i'll do it, but only if you'll help
book crossing - send a book on a journey

15 December 2007

give-and-takes

i say: then take it. for it's
something's gotta give.
i say: i will. i will while you
will leave. they're saying:
something's gotta give.

i think: i heard receipt. for
is it not that what is given
is to keep? i say: it is. i say:
first give, then go, then see.
something's free to keep.


(i've been feeling bad about not writing, so i've written this, and now i feel bad for having written it, eugh, and how bad. i once read about how only vain idiots publish their bad work. [hang on, have i told you this before?] then again, this blog is to document some sort of a creative process, which, for completeness, should also incorporate the not so productive and brilliant pieces. talk about give-and-take, for fuck's sake. - - - i'm beginning to think that writing is a lot like drawing: once you're out of practice, it will take a minimum of ten attempts to get it right again.)

13 December 2007

12 December 2007

'tanz aus narkose' now online

the swiss online magazine nahaufnahmen published my text tanz aus narkose here, alongside the winner of this year's einseitig competition and selected other participants. since it was a swiss price awarded by a swiss jury and a swiss audience, i guess it doesn't come as much of a surprise that the winning text sounds very swiss, too. in the depths of my heart, i probably just wasn't swiss enough for the whole shebang.... then again, i assume that some of you guys will be happy to finally find the text online?

09 December 2007

minky down-ing aka "look out, folks, my daughter strips!" (a line written by stephen gyllenhaal)

in an act of planned, yet utterly delusional bravery, i walked up to stephen gyllenhaal (indeed, jake's father) the other day and handed over an exposé for a movie plus four pages of screenplay. i think at first he thought i wanted his son's number or something, but then he agreed to have a look at the stuff. why don't you direct it yourself, he asked, there are too few women directors out there. i said i thought that was a neat idea, wondering whether that is what all normal l.a. people do.

...so much for my diablo cody moment (see one of the posts below).

then stephen and a couple of british poets read their poetry at the oxfam winter poetry reading 2007, up in marylebone. alistair noon of no man's land (lauter niemand) and bordercrossing berlin, who was reading as well, told me about the event. it was the last one in the series, with many brilliant poets participating.

alistair also showed me a nearby poetry library the next day, which i will definitely become a member of first thing on tuesday.

08 December 2007

i just learned that jack sadler, a 21-year-old guy who studied at my department, was killed in afghanistan on my birthday. i didn't know him personally, but friends of mine did. with all things else going on (friends and a parent of friends dying in car crashes, strokes, all sorts of stuff), these really seem to be bad times... it is so weird that life and death go hand in hand.

06 December 2007

authors penning to please are in league with the devil for sure

when my 'flood story' was published on der standard's homepage, people made all sorts of comments about it. one of those i still remember said something like this kind of writing serves the writing, not the reading. i think it was meant to be an insult, but i actually find it to be a very valid observation.

it is absolutely legitimate to write for the sake of writing!
especially when, had i written any flatter, i would have been accused of shallowness.
or delusions of commercial grandeur.

i am not quite sure why anybody would want a text fitted to a reading audience, pleasing them instead of making life a little more uncomfortable. i think writers should make life uncomfortable. they should make people think by being uneasy.

(just like that critic, you see.)

03 December 2007

envying what other people do

perhaps i should call myself Minky Down and try some stripping instead?

then again, diablo cody says she's 'not precious about writing'... however that worked!!
and here are a couple of trailers, in case you're interested.
and an interview with her here.

(god knows i'm just jealous.)

01 December 2007

you wouldn't say happy world AIDS day, would you?

i would like to dedicate this to ann cotten

schreibst du mir was, fragt sie nicht.

re: natürlich. schnüre
bleistift bind ich zu nem päckchen.
mach das fenster auf, sag ich zu ihr
im geist und streck den arm raus.
satzig hängts an unsrem handgelenk
im sonnenlicht, wie kitschig. bilden
uns was ein am end, weil wir so
super mit den lauten können.
lauter, lauter. hundebeine.
spatzenweibchen zwickt mich,
dass ich achselzucken muss.
man fängt das auf für uns,
den textwurm, schweigt sie, als ich
nachsehn will, wie hübsch und
aufopferungsvoll die sätze fallen.

kanns zwar nicht beweisen, grins ich,
hab ihr aber was verfasst.