Here I am working on the June issue of the Zine and took a break to explore Gretchen’s wonderful art, a peaceful interlude. This piece is right in line with the theme I’m working on: Sustainability. Enjoy! … Gretchen Del Rio’s art is always an inspiring adventure. / J.D.
DESCRIPTION A CONVERSATION OUTSIDE
ORDINARY HEADLINE BREATHS
description fools the eyes into believing
what’s seen and what remains unrelated. time an error sign warning. nothing falls loudly in snowfall. pronouns lock up favor in a room filled with promises. the most beautiful numbered in group of tens. synthesis sewn into bunches of colored thread. to list brings forth a kind of living. tongue tied along with arms and legs. to find a modicum of stability. happiness a terrorist slogan. unless children playing. the anonymity that accompanies sorrow. never trails in the fresh snow covering. bound backwards in an unintentional circuitous pleasures. enlighten in a beyond what’s meant. intention a rousing crowd noises.
a conversation moves across the boundaries of years
no. those interruptions are part of it. how abstraction innervates the painting. when sets of eyes follow from several heights and distances. why imagine their clothing marked by unexamined biology. or agreed upon genitalia. not everyone stands the same height. or the strength of mobility weakens. how an other coughs and pukes in the alley. privacy a construct of entitlement. they already. get over it. as the lover refuses birthed name. notorious in a broad circle of strangers. the gun used in a high school shooting belongs to someone. carries with it the fatality of not looking back. according to community standards. which is another private property sign. who but those intimates will even stop to grieve. and the hot water’s off once again.
outside an actual frame of reference
a serious question then. what to do with the excessive immediacy inundating consciousness. as easy as turning on and skimming surfaces. locked within screen time. along side an apparent necessity to for once gain notoriety. be finally seen. how simply breathing exercises little in the way of memorable. of more importance is being noticed by an unexpected glance. how not to be impressed by such a shocking occurrence. flattery imbibes a momentary elevated sensibility. or when hiding under books to avoid gunfire. often there’s a thoughtless need to protect others. concern then reverts to counter intuitive action. walk out. displace. argue over semantics. over noun and pronoun choices. volume as sound resists capture and redistribution.
on an ordinary any other day
the intimacy of a shared cigarette or gin on rocks. lock lips within narrow boundaries. again indentation separates one body from another. impossible to get close enough to be a part of individual insights. and the rising sound of surrounding voices turn into a storm of thunder. and violence. quite naturally possessions belong to the outside others. heavy base lines a snow speckled fence. guaranteed to keep what’s original outside the boundaries demarcating one from another. or the many flooding the town violently. arguing about every perceived errancy. waiting word from someone for days. then forgetting that time itself companions. repetition may be a sure sign of pleasurable moments entwined.
headlines useful only to reduce the size of turmoil
bodies dumped in a winter ocean. color barriers and marching drums. dozens of missed opportunities vanish in the ether. beauty is when faced reflection. some appear so comfortable in their bodies. while many others resist the encampment of pronouns. lighten the barriers to authenticity. stiffening neck in refusal. while rubbish shredded an alley away. break out into flailing body parts. such rapid departures within a single cellular event. all the while identities reside within frequent arguments. arms and legs painted red swelling. held in the collective unexamined violence. among the fear of hurt feelings. of pronouncing certainties.
breaths gloss over frames of reference
when temperature is below zero chill grows customary. even when framed otherwise transparent entitlement rules. few see themselves as inherently wrong. through fault lines another image unfolds. pronouns aren’t a recognized sport. yet listen to the bullying exchange. threat level perceived as high for the one committed to thought of how it’s always been. not on our watch the chorus disrupts. have gun will travel bravely. synchronized blame game. where tickets are distributed freely. whether sought after or not. the negative rising to a height witnessed as governing. actions retreat into a darkened room. where light cannot penetrate. deep in the refuse of the closed minded. where choice of colors might have liberated. each contradiction its own typo.
gary lundy’s poems have appeared most recently in Cutbank: Weekly Flash Prose & Prose Poetry, Setu: Western Voices Special Edition, Alexandria Quarterly, Incidia, and Spider Mirror. his most recent collection, each room echoes absence, was released by FootHills Publishing (2018). his most recent chapbook, at | with (free PDF download), was published by Locofo Chaps (2017). gary is a retired English Professor and queer living in Missoula, Montana.
This is the work of Turkish Artist Uğur Gallenkuş. If you are viewing this post from an email subscription, you’ll likely have to link through to the site to view this video.
“Art should never be a crime. [Zehra] Doğan is a model of courage for all journalists and artists for standing up against injustice and silence, especially because of her determination to work and create while incarcerated.” Julie Trébault, Director of the Artists at Risk Connection (ARC) at PEN America
Last week PEN America celebrated the release of Turkish painter, journalist and feminist activist, incarcerated Zehra Doğan (Free Zehra Doğan • Zehra Doğan’a özgürlük). Doğan was released on February 24 after spending 600 days in a Turkish jail after courts deemed her journalistic and artistic work to be “terrorist propaganda.”
Doğan was the editor of Jin News Agency (JINHA), a feminist Kurdish news agency. She was arrested on July 21, 2016, and detained until December 2016 when she was released pending trial. On March 7, 2017, Doğan was sentenced to prison for 2 years, 10 months and 22 days on charges of “terrorist propaganda” as a result of her reporting, social media posts, and her paintings about the Turkish military’s operations in the largely Kurdish town of Nusaybin. The indictment stated that one of her paintings, which depicted a real-life scene of Turkish flags on war-torn buildings and was based on a photo circulated by the Turkish military on social media, went ‘beyond the limits of criticism.’ JINHA was also shut down as part of the government crackdown following an attempted coup in 2016.
“We are delighted that Zehra has been released and reunited with family and friends after her unjust imprisonment, which was an appalling affront to free expression,” said Julie Trébault, Director of the Artists at Risk Connection (ARC) at PEN America. “Art should never be a crime. Doğan is a model of courage for all journalists and artists for standing up against injustice and silence, especially because of her determination to work and create while incarcerated. Many other journalists in Turkey remain behind bars. As we celebrate Zehra’s release, we call for the release of all other Turkish journalists, artists, and activists who are in prison for their journalism or their expression.”
While imprisoned, Doğan rigorously continued to work on her paintings using diverse media including pomegranate shells, tincture of iodine, and bedsheets, despite restricted access to painting materials. Following her release, she told BBC Turkish that she had never painted as much as she did in prison. Also while in prison, she founded the 8-page handmade newspaper Özgür Gündem Zindan (Free Agenda Dungeon) with the help of several of her fellow inmates. As an inmate, Doğan received public support from numerous human rights organizations and renowned artists, including the graffiti artist Banksy and prominent Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. During her imprisonment, Doğan became the second woman in Turkey to receive the International Women’s Media Foundation’s “Courage in Journalism” award. She also received the Freethinker Prize from the Swiss Freethinker Association. Most recently, Doğan was shortlisted in the Arts category for the Index on Censorship Awards 2019.
Post and photograph courtesy of PEN America.
PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. It champions the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Its mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.