I, like many others, love Yumeji's theme. But this harmonica version makes my fuckin soul cry.
by Kaveh Akbar
the prophets are alive but unrecognizable to us
as calligraphy to a mouse for a time they dragged
long oar strokes across the sky now they sit
in graveyards drinking coffee forking soapy cottage cheese
into their mouths my hungry is different than their hungry
I envy their discipline but not enough to do anything about it
I blame my culture I blame everyone but myself
intent arrives like a call to prayer and is as easy to dismiss
Rumi said the two most important things in life were beauty
and bewilderment this is likely a mistranslation
after thirty years in America my father now dreams in English
says he misses the dead relatives he used to be able to visit in sleep
how many times are you allowed to lose the same beloveds
before you stop believing they’re gone
some migrant birds build their nests over rivers
to push them into the water when they leave this seems
almost warm a good harm the addictions
that were killing me fastest were the ones I loved best
turning the chisel toward myself I found my body
was still the size of my body still unarmored as wet bread
one way to live a life is to spend each moment asking
forgiveness for the last it seems to me the significance
of remorse would deflate with each performance better
to sink a little into the earth and quietly watch life unfold
violent as a bullring the carpenter’s house will always be
the last to be built sometimes a mind is ready to leave
the world before its body sometimes paradise happens
too early and leaves us shuddering in its wake
I am glad I still exist glad for cats and moss
and Turkish indigo and yet to be light upon the earth
to be steel bent around an endless black to once again
be God’s own tuning fork and yet and yet
works like these are sacred to me. can't utter a word about it because, like faith, it is the last thing I want discussed, dissected, or explained.
I was completely stunned when I first listened to this.
And then I went on to research what the deal with Orchestre de La Paillote is and discovered that in 1959: The newly independent state of Guinea, led by president Sekou Toure, established a number of music groups, competitions and festivals throughout the country to play the traditional music of Guinea rather than the European styles that were popular in the colonial period. The first orchestra to be founded was the Syli Orchestre National, its musicians drawn from the finest talents of the new nation.
Unfortunately, almost immediately upon ascending to power, Touré declared his Parti démocratique de Guinée (PDG) to be the only legal party :(.. Anyhoo, yes to massive anti-colonial efforts, no to dictatorial rule. (I have a ton more to say on this, but I'll just leave it at that for now...)
Dat Tien Vu's photography is essentially the visual embodiment of sh*t I love.
I screencapped one of the photos from his instagram, which is not even where he posts his professional work (sorry, Dat, if you somehow come across this), just to give a taste of the shit he posts, which never ever fails to have my jaw on the ground. I came across his work because he was following my podcast (Loa, which covers stories from Vietnam). It was no coincidence when I discovered how much his work is informed by film. Peep: https://datvu.format.com/