Larissa's Blog

"Soon" Is Now

In every political campaign, every hustings, when we bring up women's rights, we are told, "Let's just win this district, this election, get this candidate in, and we promise, you are next, soon, soon." Well, thanks to the courage of the women who have confronted their sexual abusers, "soon" is now. The battle to secure our persons against battery and rape and demeaning harassment has been joined. Equal pay and full reproductive rights have to follow.

Elephants, Sexual Predation, The Mob

Donald Trump, Jr. killed a rare bull elephant just to cut off its tail and hold it in his filthy, guilty hands. Trump senior is a sexual predator and a white supremacist. Ivanka exploits slave labor and fronts for the crime-filled dirty money of Trump Panama. And they are all guilty of treason. What a disgusting mob the Trumps are!

The Banality of Evil

One meaning of the phrase, "the banality of evil," coined by Hannah Arendt reporting for the New Yorker on Adolf Eichmann's trial in Jerusalem for war crimes, is that the evil do not always give the appearance of monsters. Arendt saw no satanic genius in Eichmann, just an ordinary man, perhaps even a clown. And now we see our clownish, banal, very ordinary president and his banal, ordinary cabinet and banal, ordinary Republican henchmen rapidly erode our freedoms and democracy. Time to fight vigorously now, as Trump et.al. most heinous actions are normalized for a very ordinary and banal third of the electorate.

Hitler's Cookies

Hitler's followers baked cookies, played sports, loved movies. Most, I'm sure, loved their families and were kind to their pets. None of that remains. We feel only contempt and loathing for these fascists. Trump supporters, nothing of your legacy will remain except your support of an evil leader. Absolutely nothing else.

Review of MEDUSA'S COUNTRY by Meredith Sue Willis in Books for Readers

Medusa's Country is more stunning poems from Larissa Shmailo. She is endlessly surprising, riffing off other literature-- an erasure poem using lines from "The Lotus Eaters" section in Joyce's Ulysses; one called "My Vronsky" with reference to Nabokov's failure to understand Anna Karenina-- but also about a relationship destructive to the narrator. There is also a poem called "Daddy's Elusive Love" with short lines and hard-hitting rhymes like 's Sylvia Plath's famous "Daddy." Shmailo's Daddy,. though seems to have hidden his love.
I looked for it in boxers;In the dumps of ten detoxes;In the roll of rundown rockers;In anal & banal boys.
There is, of course, a lot more Here, as in her previous books, we have passages of her personal story of living on the edge and in the lower depths as in the "The Trick Wants to Go to Plato's," the old Plato's Retreat sex club where single men aren't. The narrator, who is indeed in the sex business, says " I sign a document attesting that I am not a prostitute; my whore name is Nora."These poems alternate with ones using myth and rhyming patterns and parody (See "Fragment from the Ilatease of Homey, from a Recently Discovered Mycenaean Test." The final poem of the book, the title poem, about Medusa, ends
But once a man stood like a statueBefore my cave of treesHis eyes transfixed by my serpentsThat hardened, froze, and pleased.
You will never be bored by Larissa Shmailo's poetry. I don't suppose that sounds like much of a recommendation to read it, but what I want to say is that her inventiveness and wit are only matched by her searing life experiences and her observation of death.She surprises over and over.

Reading for Boog City 11!

Pleased to be reading for the 11th Boog City Festival on 9/15 at 6:30 pm at Unnameable Books!

Honey Badger Don't Care

This vid is a favorite among the Alt Right. The tough, crazy, unstoppable animal totem, the honey badger, "doesn't care," "doesn't give a shit." These are the values of the alt right, not to care, to be tough, never to be sensitive or kind, values embodied by Donald Trump.
Breitbart declared "The Age of the Honey Badger Has Dawned" shortly after Trump's election; all concerned are working hard to make it a reality, and promise never to quit. I also promise not to quit until this nation expresses caring and kindness in all its affairs. But the Alt Right has to go back to the badger hole it came from.Honey Badger Don't Care

There is no such thing as nonviolent Nazis

Or Klan. 
They want to kill you. If you are disabled, mentally ill, black, brown, Muslim, feminist, Jewish, LGBT, or leftist, they want you dead or enslaved. Don't be confused about that. And their affiliates want the same. They are much more extreme than you can imagine. I spend time on their websites for a book I am writing, and almost pass out from the murderous rage of these monsters. Almost. 
They are lifting weights, stockpiling arms, get ready as we speak. The president of the United States loves them. Do not think Trump will not use them for violent ends.
.

White Nasties

White nasties believe the white race is under attack. The marchers Friday night chanted "you will not replace us." They believe POCs will "replace them," that they will be a minority, and imagine they will be treated as they have treated minorities. And terrorism is "an act of love for the white race." See the Nazi video, "Neo-Nazi Skinhead has a point" for an example of one of their Aryan role models
For every one marcher, there are thousands of people who believe in the white nasty stuff; I would estimate 25 million racists, racist enough to cast their vote for an extremely racist president. 

Nazi Signs and Symbols

As evidenced by yesterday's march at the University of Virginia, Nazi and white supremacist groups are forging alliances, uniting, and proselytizing. Be on the lookout for their signs and symbols, which include the versatile Pepe the Frog meme. This meme appears as racial caricature, Hitler, concentration camp "humor," and even as alt-right hero Donald Trump; per Joshua Green, Trump has sent this meme to his fans on reddit, and alt-right leader Richard Spenser wears a Pepe pin). 
More classic signs are tats with the numbers 14, 18, 88, which refer numerologically to Hitler's name and Nazi slogans; the Nazi SS sig and other runes; and even AC/DC logos (these refer to Nazi vids set to this music). Of course, the true messaging of the Alt Right (who are not all Nazis; they just don't mind hanging out with Nazis) is in Trump's attacks on immigrants, Latinos, LGBT persons, African Americans, women, and people with disabilities - yes, Trump's mocking of the disabled NYT reporter was red meat to this base and their ableism beliefs. 
Do not for a moment think that Donald Trump is not completely aligned with these movements. His chief strategist may not be a Nazi, but Bannon's reading list shows he is willing to use Nazi philosophy. White supremacists and their fans are Trump's best hope for an 8-year presidency, and the years beyond.

Sinclair Broadcasting Group - Alt-Right Propaganda

I am deeply troubled. Sinclair Broadcasting Group, whose news programs make Fox News seem centrist, is acquiring Tribune Media. It will soon saturate 80 percent of the nation. Their glowing coverage of Trump is devoid of fact, literally pure propaganda. So, an impressive cavalry is coming to aid Trump, and, if need be, will be positioned to replace him with another Koch-and-Mercer-approved candidate. I know we who oppose the right are the majority, but aren't authoritarian governments always opposed by an oppressed -- and silenced - majority? #resist

Fascism in the U.S.

When someone says that the president “dog whistled” to his white suprematist and Nazi followers, meaning that his racist or Nazi references went above the head of regular people, I am often surprised, because I get them. Like when Breitbart megadonor Robert Mercer called Steve Bannon “the Leni Riefenstahl of our movement.” Some are in-jokes, like “100 percent” (for “100 percent white”), but others are direct references to Nazi history (Bannon spouts the same bullshit esoterica that Hitler’s “intellectuals” did). But they are usually obvious: saying the “sex” in employment nondiscrimination doesn’t include gays, attacking transgender service people, dramatically stepping up deportations, and today, trying to end affirmative action and limit immigration to those “who speak English.” How many Muslims does 45 have to beat up (the Gold Star family, mayor of London, travel ban victims), how many encroachments must we endure before we all acknowledge that our president is actively seeking a fascist white supremacist agenda?

Three poems in Eoagh

I am delighted to have THREE POEMS IN EOAGH. Thanks to editor/publisher Trace Peterson!

Clad, Clawed, Clandestine Eagly Pig
E
I
I
id
eye:
Lie as
eyes lie, I.
Delineating it,
disentangling inclines
in lies; incidentals cast a delicate sign.
Cling in line, eyeing diligent penalties, laws, claws: it’s eyes in lies.      
Anteceding id, laws distancing I, clasping ties, inspecting id, an eye, a lie; all ID, and stenciled, penciled eyes.
 
Anna Karenina
 
Oh, Merezhkovsky, she was a mare
too good for her rider; a man bare
of fine temperament, riding her hard,
playing her roughly, like a cheat’s card,
leaving her broken.
Vronsky, sad: beauty was given you, cad.
And you lived like a man only because of her,
you, a creature dead in soul, and she, you cur,
destroyed, no longer fit to ride:
You might have loved her still, your bridle bride.
 
Razors
 
Raze, or craze (he, her):
Says he? Misogyny
is craze (he) makin’
yours for the takin’
or not to put up with
mop or sop up with.
Deter-gent. She-esh.
 
Larissa Shmailo is a poet, translator, novelist, editor, and critic. Larissa’s poetry collections are Medusa’s Country#specialcharactersIn ParanA Cure for Suicide, and Fib Sequence. Her poetry CDs are The No-Net World and Exorcism and her new novel is Patient Women. Larissa’s work appears in Measure for Measure (Everyman’s Library/Penguin Random House), Words for the Wedding (Perigee/Penguin Putnam), Contemporary Russian Poetry (Dalkey Archive Press), PlumeFulcrumJournal of Poetic ResearchJacketJacket2, and others journals. Larissa translated Victory over the Sun by Alexei Kruchenych for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s celebrated reconstruction of the first Futurist opera; the text has been used for productions at Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Smithsonian, and the Garage Museum of Moscow. Larissa also edited the anthology Twenty-first Century Russian Poetry and has also been a translator on the Russian Bible for the American Bible Society

AWP 2018 Panel "Semiformal" Accepted!!!!

Delighted to announce that my proposal, "Semiformal: Hybrid Formal Poetry and Free Verse" has been accepted as a panel at the 2018 Association of Writers and Writers Programs Conference in Tampa. Panelists are Timothy Liu, Marc Vincenz, Dean Kostos, Elizabeth Hodges and yours truly.

Here is our program:
Between the polarities of free and formal verse is a spectrum of hybrid poetry that utilizes the  treasures of both: inventiveness, innovative structures, rhyme and rhythm. This panel will present and analyze such hybrid poems, classic and contemporary, including work by Gerard Manley Hopkins, Patricia Smith, and Claudia Rankine. We will "out" free verse poets in their use of formal elements, discovering their metric codes, and discuss the impact of free verse on the evolution of form.

Hope to see you in Tampa!

Trump and his strongman friends

Donald Trump has no interest in being president; he wants to be dictator. His favorite leaders are Putin, Duterte, Erdogan - he even called Kim Jong Un a "smart cookie" for killing his uncle. He is addicted to public acclaim and to belittling people. Do you really think he will give up power legally, peaceably? Don't you think Bannon has planned the coup already? Putin will happily pay for it. #neverTrump

While you are watching the Mooch . . .

While you are watching the Mooch, Trump is crippling, or trying to cripple, his opposition; gays now have to fight new job discrimination, transgenders to stay in the armed forces, Muslims to travel, Latinos to fight deportation of their families. Trump and Bannon will keep us all busy so that we can't resist. And we won't get any news because we'll all be watching the Mooch. 
People don't get it. The White House doesn't care about White House things, health care, etc. They give the appearance of disorder, but when it comes to power grabbing, they are 100 percent organized. They are lining up the most reactionary cops and military, inciting race hatred, and are positioned to deport any of us in a moment. THEY ARE VERY ORGANIZED

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