180 | Alicia Cook (Sorry I Haven’t Texted You Back)

My Summer Lair Chapter #180: How Do You Express Hope?

There’s an art to being vulnerable. “Don’t forget – I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.” Right?

Alicia Cook a poet, writer, wearer of mismatched socks is expressing her vulnerability via her latest poetry collection Sorry I Haven’t Texted You Back.

Another line not from a movie but from Doctor Who: “One may tolerate a world of demons for the sake of an angel.” What you’re about to hear is my conversation with Alicia Cook and we do talk about a world of demons: they can be emotional, spiritual, or even physical. Sometimes all 3. So yes we do truly tolerate a world of demons but as the end of the line says: for the sake of an angel.

And one of those angels is Alicia Cook. She has chosen to care: to establish a language for the hurt so they can communicate and share their suffering. Most of us do not know cars so when we take ours to the mechanic: we have a difficult time explaining what the issue is…it’s making this brrr brr sound. Imagine we were able to speak mechanic or speak doctor and how much easier it would be for us to all connect. We’d feel less alienated and perhaps break the silence on our suffering. You know how lonely it is to be in Paris when you don’t speak or read French?

Her book Sorry I Haven’t Texted You Back is highly recommended reading…work through it slowly. Thank you for joining me on this episode of My Summer Lair…this was less a conversation and more of a spiritual quest.

Typically people who listen to podcasts do it while cleaning or washing the dishes…maybe going out for a walk: I hope some of these spoken words added to your meditative work.

Alicia Cook @ WT F

Host & Photography Sammy Younan

Recorded: Friday November 20, 2020 at 3pm

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167 | Paul Vermeersch (Shared Universe)

My Summer Lair Chapter #167: When You Get Lost In The Poetic Shared Universe…Who Do You Ask For Directions?

This is more than just a best of poetry collection although it is that.

You know how Marvel movies started with Iron Man, then the Hulk followed that, Thor and then Captain America each character and their world was properly established.

Like a patient architect Marvel Studios introduced each remarkable character via a solo movie before bringing them all together in Avengers.

According to writer and poet Paul Vermeersch writing poetry follows that same process. A writer issues poems in various books and publications and it’s like an Iron Man stand alone movie or a Captain America movie.

With Shared Universe as Paul explains it he’s now bringing all his poems together: Avengers Assemble! and the result is a fascinating contrast in light of a bold yet fresh context.

He said to me during this My Summer Lair visit: “I understand that I work in an art form that has less broad popular appeal than say a superhero film. But I can certainly borrow from that genre what I think is interesting and use it as a framework for the work that I’m doing.”

Right? So dope.

Shared Universe is fun for nerds and non-nerds: the poems in this best of collection are not chronological.

Instead they’re fueled by an optimistic imagination: a space age hope for the future. Sometimes we gotta look back to look ahead.

167_Paul Vermeersch_POST.jpg

Paul Vermeersch @ WT F

Host & Photography by Sammy Younan

Recorded: Monday December 28, 2020 at Noon (EST)

The Necessity To Speak.

~ Sammy Younan

#NewBookAlert: April 2-6, 2018

My weekly collection of new and notable books for your pop culture pleasure and edification: #ReadMoreTweetLess.

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Illuminated Chronicles: O Pioneers! (Levi’s Commercial)

This 2009 Levi’s commercial stays with me…I’m always on the hunt for creative and visual ways to communicate poetry. I’m a poet as much as I am a prophet…the free verse poem is my weapon of choice to confront a cold calculating culture. Yet in this modern society of guns and rough violence it’s almost like I am walking around with a sword. En Garde isn’t Avant-garde. Or is it?

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Hidden Gem: Fools “Run”

Sammy Younan

Girth Radio Presents…

Smoother than Voltron coming together Nikki Ashworth (The Jilted Lovers Club) and multi-instrumentalist Neil Gray (A Quiet End) have joined forces to become Fools.

Run is the startlingly Portishead like first song from this dynamic project: this song lingers like an unacknowledged ghost. I’m so in..I wanna see what other sounds they sculpt.

A few listens inspired the following stream of consciousnesses…

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Illuminated Chronicles: Words by Rakim

There’s a great irony in rap music. The lyrics in rap are supposed to spring forth as a kind of rough street poetry. Poetry by any standard demands proficient articulation, profound thought and pleasurable connection.

Yet despite the surge of rappers and rap music many of these specific elements are missing, either in action or just RSVPed but didn’t bother to show up.

You can clearly understand what I mean when you hear a rapper being interviewed, often times, he’s not articulate. The cohesion of thought just isn’t there. And it’s understandable, rap is driven by the beat, the sample is destiny.

A solid infectious 808 beat can instantly triumph where lyrics falter. (And to be fair this happens in rock music, though not on the same level, a rock song can unfold many different ways, if a rap song has found a fresh beat it sticks with it, all the way to the top of the charts).

That irony of making a living off poetry and not being articulate ends with Rakim. He remains a lyrical grandmaster, deftly wielding words with the reverence a samurai saves for his sword. Like Chuck D, he needs no introduction, the work is that quality, only sometimes, we foolishly forget.

Director Matt Bieler offers this short yet insightful documentary on Rakim.

Appropriately and succinctly entitled Words:

Hidden Gem: Milk & Bone “Pressure”

Sammy Younan

Girth Radio Presents…

Pressure inspired the following stream of consciousnesses…

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Hidden Gem: Tom West “Easy, Love”

From the recent In Session With Girth…Tom West there’s something…sublime, easy about this song. Plus its connection to surfing instantly sparked many formidable images.

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Illuminated Chronicles: Visualing Poetry With 1960s Computer Graphics

Sammy Younan

Girth Radio Presents…

So April is National Poetry Month! The goal of course is to increase awareness and deepen appreciate of poetry. As such here is visualing poetry with 1960s computer graphics…yup.

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