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Saudi Court Spares Poet’s Life but Gives Him 8 Years and 800 Lashes

By Ben Hubbard

“RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — A court in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday revised the punishment given to a stateless Palestinian poet convicted of apostasy, reducing it from death to eight years in prison, 800 lashes and public repentance, his lawyer said.

The poet, Ashraf Fayadh, had been sentenced to beheading because of the apostasy conviction announced in November, based partly on his published poetry.

The sentence stirred outrage among international artists and human rights groups at a time when Saudi officials were seeking to rebut comparisons between their application of Sharia law and the practices of the Islamic State extremist group.

The sentence also came near the end of a year in which the Saudi authorities carried out the highest number of executions here in two decades, and just before a mass execution of 47 men on terrorism charges, including a Shiite cleric who had called for the downfall of the royal family…

His legal troubles began when he was arrested in 2013 in the city of Abha in southwestern Saudi Arabia after an argument in a cafe. He was released without charge, but rearrested later and accused of blasphemy and illicit relationships with women. The charges were based on photographs and the contents of his poetry book published abroad years before, according to court documents.

He was found guilty and sentenced to four years in prison and 800 blows. But that sentence was thrown out on appeal, and Mr. Fayadh was retried and sentenced to death.”

Read the full article at The New York Times

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“Subject material for submissions has one rule: there are no fucking rules.”

by Beach Sloth

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art by Shane Jesse Christmass

“There is something that feels positively liberating about Fuck Art, Let’s Dance. Honestly it probably has to do with the dance. A lot of artists work tirelessly and ought to get some serious dancing in to keep their minds fresh, feet nimble. Such things are quite common throughout the universe. Unfortunately art rarely gets the red rug kind of treatment. Plenty of artists live out on the fringes of things hoping for the absolute best for their passion.

Fuck Art, Let’s Dance does exactly that. They understand that good art takes time and time has become a commodity sadly. Issues are released bi-annually and they are something to get completely lost in for they sprawl out into the endless days and nights. Everything within their hallowed Internet pages brims with confidence. Beach Sloth enjoys this kind of DIY focus. Good art finds a way, always…

Subject material for submissions has one rule: there are no fucking rules. Lots of things are more than welcome. This is definitely one of the sweeter types of things, particularly as collections/volumes/etc. tend to go for a unifying theme. Although that approach has benefits it can sort of create a hermetic kind of style where nothing else is allowed to come through. By emphasizing the weird and offbeat, FALD creates a welcoming space even if it is online.”

Read the full post at Beach Sloth’s blog

Read F.A.L.D.’s Submission Guidelines to submit

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Three Poems – Lucille Gelsomina Falco

Pixie

her name is censored
she runs with the lame deer

rusted joints cause her to shriek
through the bark of her lean-to

her corneas diluted
yellowed with gasoline
with a crude oil vocabulary
and vaginal molars

her hair grows backwards
so she braided dead rats
tail to tail to tail to tail

Lazy Lips

they call me
lazy lips
cause my drawl
takes minutes to catch

the spirit finds me
when the kids in
the park break their
forties towards the black

and the dust halo
licks me tender
in the mornings
after the kill

Ways To Die

this is a common-wealth
of shared switch-blades
these common-good cuts
a common courtesy for all
of us dying off in lesser known
manners: chemicals, capitalism,
canker sores, cancers of various
bodily police-states, cordless phones,
christmas gifts, christ himself

do do do do do do do do do do
do do do do do do do do do do


 

Lucille lives in the woods of Oregon. She writes poetry, fiction, and paints her nightmares. Her blog is lucille-berkowitz.tumblr.com.

“Pixie” / “Lazy Lips” / “Ways To Die” were previously published in Fuck Art, Let’s Dance Issue #008

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The Story Behind the Dark Times Square Subway Poem

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I remember stumbling thru this “tunnel of gloom” after N! launched our traveling bookstore at the 2014 N.Y.C. Poetry Festival. My friend & I walked under the poem, yelling its verses, slurring “why bother” as the consistent joke of the evening.

In our stupor, we didn’t realize we were wandering under a poem, or realize we were yelling Norman B. Colp‘s verses throughout our night. Titled “A Close Shave” or “The Commuter’s Lament,” the poem lays in imprinted-watch over the bustle of the 42nd Street-Port Authority Bus Terminal.

More from the New York Daily News article by Keri Blakinger:

“The poem was installed back in 1991, as part of a temporary art program started in the late 80s.

The MTA’s whole arts program — formerly called Arts for Transit — was founded in 1985, at a time when long-term art installations were logistically difficult.

A number of the stations were scheduled for major renovations, so permanent art installations didn’t make sense in many locations.

Looking for a way to install art more immediately, the MTA started a temporary arts program.

“It was called Creative Stations and we did five or six of those a year,” Bloodworth said.

There was, of course, a selection process and artists would submit an idea and a suggested location and then a selection panel of arts professionals would pick which proposals to use. Each project had a non-profit sponsor — “A Commuter’s Lament” was sponsored by the City University of New York.”

Read the full article at the NYDN

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You’re invited into August’s conceptual garden

Bird Lizard Horse“, August Smith
Reviewed by Elizabeth Mobley

bird lizard horse cover

“August Smith’s garden isn’t empty as he proclaims in the first poem of the collection. It’s overgrown with sardonic humor, ripe with Voltairean satire, and saturated with contempt at the way things are.

‘Bird Lizard Horse’ wasn’t what I thought it would be, but I loved every word. Do not pick up ‘Bird Lizard Horse’ hoping to find whimsy and pristine nature. Instead, grab a copy because Smith paints a perfectly postmodern picture, aghast with all of the dirty laundry of American consumer culture.”

Read the full review at Blotterature

“Bird Lizard Horse” sold out its print runs, but is now available as a free PDF.