Translating Prévert: Le bon jeune temps

Le bon jeune temps
Par Jacques Prévert

Les rivières étaient claires 

la mer était propre
le pain était bon
les saisons saisonnières
les guerres oubliées
et l’amour aimé.


The good old days
(Trans. J. A. Odartey)

The rivers were clear
the sea clean
bread was good
seasons, seasoned  

wars forgotten
and love loved


New Published Images from "The Whirling Heart Series" in Duende #7

I've been working on The Whirling Heart Series for a few years now.
So it's good to have some of these abstract photographs in Duende's issue #7.
Please take a look. Perhaps it would make your heart skip a bit. :))


Steeping: Lemongrass-Juniper Berry Tea

I graduated to a Japanese cast-iron teapot which unlike my old pot, works directly on a stovetop and keeps my tea hot for as long as it rests on a lit tea warmer. It is gifting me richer tea experiences and I am enjoying experimenting with different ways of making tea. The lemongrass-juniper berry tea  relies as much on its ingredients as on its process for best results. The caffeine-less tea should look golden-brownish when made well and taste slightly lemony, peppery, a touch flowery and minty. Here's how you make it:  You will need:  + 1 tbs lemongrass  + 3/4 tbs chamomile  + 1/2 tsp crushed dried ginger  + 1/4 tsp juniper berries  + 1/4 tsp spearmint  + 1/4 osmanthus flower + crushed cinnamon sticks + about 8 green peppercorns  + a dash of cumin Prep:  + crush ginger, cinnamon and pepper together for a fused taste   + mix in other ingredients + transfer tea into a roomy infuser and fit into teapot  + cover teapot and have it seat on low heat for about two minutes without wate…

A Collaboration: Queens Museum Art Lab

I had the happy opportunity of designing an interactive art making space with artists Yung Oh Le Page and Claudia Dishon in collaboration with the Queens Museum over the summer. The goal was to transform the Rubin Gallery into an environment that encourages visitors to interact, through tactile creativity, with exhibits; presently, American Artist: My Blue WindowNicolas Moufarrege: Recognize My SignThe Art of Rube Goldberg and Pia Camil: Fade into black. . . The interactive art props were chiefly built by Le Page. And Amy Raffel (without whom we would not have met our deadline) and I did lots of painting, staining and stringed that loom so tight almost all my fingers had to be bandaged! So you see, you simply have to visit the Queens Museum and use that space!  --- JAO

Analysis of Du Fu's (杜 甫) The Arrival of a Guest



The Arrival of a Guest by Du Fu

Translated by Peter Harris

There are spring waters each side of my house, to the north and south;
All I see are flocks of gulls that come here day after day. 

We haven’t had to clear the path of blossoms for visitors;
The wicker gate has been opened for you today for the first time.
The market is far away and our simple dishes are all much the same
In my poor home my jars of ale are just a coarse old brew.
If you are willing to have a drink with the old man who lives next door,
I’ll call him over across the fence, and we’ll finish the last few cups.

Certain poems pull one with the promise that knowing them would bring about a certain worthwhile experience or perhaps it is so when the poem successfully answers to what Amiel expresses in his journal as, “The reader desires in the poet something better than a juggler in rhyme, or a conjuror in verse; he looks to find in …