Chinese New Year in Cremona

Little children guide a dragon

skinnier than the Wawelian breed

tailed by a walking forest of papers

 

signifying Chinese New Year

minutes before more creatures descend

upon the fortified piazza;

 

lovers observe children they will never birth,

caressing themselves upon the dusty footprints

of post-mediaeval luthiers en route to Sunday mass.

 

– Cremona, February 2015

For Dostoyevsky fans…

Dear all,

Thanks to a new life development I’ve found a new outlet for some writing. My first piece, related to the promotion of an adaptation of Dostoyevsky’s novella Notes From the Underground, has been published here.

Dostoyevsky is one of my all-time favorite writers, so much to where the nonsensical arguments made nowadays about him being an “emo” writer almost make me resort to offense. Though some works are weaker than others, I have never read a Dostoyevsky work that has not made me think about a slew of different issues. While Crime and Punishment is undoubtedly his best, The Double and The Gambler hilarious, Notes From the Underground intensely psychological in a personal way and Netochka Nezvanova incredibly tragic but great for music lovers, The Brothers Karamazov is by far my favorite work by him, perhaps due to the siblings resembling my own (which would make me, for better or for worse, equivalent to Ivan Karamazov). For those who haven’t read anything by the Master of Petersburg who are wondering where to begin, I suggest Crime and Punishment. That’s where I started. Most people I know who don’t like Dostoyevsky have made the mistake of starting with The Idiot – a, dare I say it, idiotic decision xD – and while I haven’t read it yet it’s obvious that it’s not the best place to start with him. If the reader is able to find Roddy Raskolnikov accessible to them, then the rest of Dostoyevsky’s psychologically tormenting world will be open to them.

At any rate I suggest you all check out the film, as well as some of the films VM Productions has made. I’ve put some Amazon links below, as well as all the other necessary ones. VM Productions is a film company based in the LA area devoted to reimagining literary classics in a 21st century urban LA atmosphere. Notes from the New World is their film based on Dostoyevsky’s Notes From the Underground, while Shades of Day is based off of the well known short story White Nights, one of the most moving pieces of literature ever put to pen. I should be having some more posts on this website, so for anybody interested eyes open.

In other news, another poetry submission is scheduled for mid-May. I’ll update you all when that happens.

But for now, I wish you all a merry April.

Respectfully yours,

  • Felix

 

Links for VM Productions:

Website: http://www.vmpfilms.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dostoyevsky.bts?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Dostoyevsky23
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vm_productions/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/vmpfilms/
Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/vmproductions-us/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/1254413-dostoyevsky-bts

Update: April 2017

Dear all,

I hope this April finds you well.

To begin with, it saddened me the other day to hear of the passing of Yevgeny Yevtushenko, one of the most talented postwar Russian poets. For anybody wanting to learn more about Yevtushenko, click here to read his Art of Poetry interview first published in the Paris Review. I’ve also included a link to a poem I really enjoy by him, titled We Should Be Stingier, here. The seemingly random imagery, ranging from space to oil cakes to sailor suits, is one of the things I enjoy most about poetry in general, the way that it connects things that could not be connected through other means. It is clear that Yevtushenko was skilled at making these connections.

In other news, I’ve had a recent stroke of luck in getting some poems published so my publications list has been updated accordingly. In general they are poems I am proud of, not merely surprise choices but strong ruminations that I have faith in. A couple can be found online so go right ahead and check them out!

One of these three, titled Amateur Cartography at the Bagel Shop, is my second publication with Vox Poetica. Since the editors behind this website have been most kind I wanted to take a moment to give them an extra word of thanks. Founded in 2009, they have been publishing an interesting stream of poetry since then in varying styles and I strongly suggest you check out their Today’s Words blog, which can be found here.

In terms of the future: I am expecting three more poems to be published in the next month and a half in the magazine of my alma mater, the Paris/Atlantic, which means that I have passed the 15 poem mark. I have a couple more poems that I will publish here on this blog as well. Since I generally am fond of the affirmation that comes with traditional publishing, the poems I publish here are of two kinds: those that I have trouble finding a suitable magazine to publish them in, thematically speaking, and those that commemorate specific events. Since there aren’t many publishers that will publish a poem right away I have decided to simply publish them here. Though I haven’t decided yet, this might also include poems about other poets as they are a class of their own.

Also I plan on paying more attention to short story publications. During the next couple of weeks I am hoping to finish a second short story to try and publish. Stay tuned for more news on that.

Those who are looking for a book to read should check out Egon Hostovsky’s novel The Arsonist. It was published in the mid-1930’s and they have a prestigious prize named after Hostovsky in the Czech Republic now. Out of all the Czech novels I have read, The Arsonist is perhaps the most enjoyable.

That’s all for now. I wish all of you a pleasant April.

  • Felix

Poet, Writer