Sunday, 17 May 2009

Hear This Poet

Friends and Lovers of the Word,

AKILAH OLIVER will read and perform her extraordinary poetry Tuesday evening in Paris.

Oliver will share the evening with French poet Virginie Lalucq, author of 2 books, featured in numerous reviews and anthologies.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009
le Next
17 rue Tiquetonne
Metros: Etienne Marcel/RER Les Halles
Free Admission
Sponsor: Ivy Writers Series

Akilah Oliver is the author of 4 books of poetry, winner of the Pen American Center's Beyond Margins/Open Book award, co-founder of the avant-garde feminist performance group, The Sacred Naked Nature Girls. She teaches at the Naropa University Summer Writing Program and is currently on tour in Europe, this is Oliver's first Paris reading.

Her recent collection, A Toast in the House of Friends, 2009, Coffee House press, has garnered critical acclaim, Paris poet Alice Notley notes, "Oliver's book is an extraordinary gift for everyone..."

A Toast in the House of Friends is an erudite, gripping manifesto of grief. Oliver's poems incorporate prose, theory and lyric performance into a powerful testimony of loss and longing in their journey through the borderlands of sorrow. They grapple with violence, find expression in chants, and, like the graffiti she analyzes, become a place of public and artistic memorial. A superior purveyor of language, Oliver employs high intellect as a vehicle of transport, penetrating awe awakening emotions. Her dark ravishing shades of consciousness - mirrored reflections of our own frightening, fragile depths of awareness.

Joining Oliver in this performance is Paris based renowned jazz trumpeter, Rasul Siddik,. himself a passionate poetic soul, who performs in Paris and New York with poet,performer, Moe Seager and the Blue Note Metaphor jazz-poetry ensemble. Internationally acclaimed trumpeter and composer, Siddik has featured on stages and recordings of Archie Shepp, David Murray, Pharaoh Sanders, Amiri Baraka, Katy Roberts and Sylvia Howard, to name but a few of his performance credits. Siddik has recently released his own electifying c.d. album, Rasul Siddik and the Now Artet.

This evening of poetry will satisfy the literati and the curious, adventure-minded alike.

Keep the Beat on the Pulse of Life!
Moe Seager

Sylvia's Song

Dear Sylvia,

I wish you to know: how many evenings, slipping into nocturne, twilight dusk, a gray shadow merging into violet, I trek to the club, to hear my favorite singer. I seek more than entertainment, more than art for arts sake. I come looking, listening for consummate satisfaction. Jazz!

I need raucous laughs and then some. I fill with glee generated by one who feels the funny side of blue, who bares from inside out, a genuine smile. A woman whose giggle and chuckle is what we emit as breath of life. Nobody laughing at each other, but, with each other. Call it medicinal. Call it vitamin vivant. Your jokes, relaxing. Your smile, intoxicating. Bring it home.

You, a stunning example of a beautiful woman of a beautiful voice. Elegant. Eloquent. I need to hear you sing the songs of my restless mind, my troubled soul, stir my soft, so tender center. Songs of Love and Love lost. Songs conveying a message. A beacon of hope. Resolve in the face of despair. We stay in the game against the odds. Beauty is stubborn.

You're a woman whose charisma is forged from the fires of trials and try again. I need to hear - night time is the right time and right time is now! This is musical Zen. Elixir.

I thrive on testimony. Redemption transmitted on voice waves, amplified calls of my scattered family. Me, a stranger in a strange land, no longer estranged. Born again, birthed in the sweet and bitter sweet notes of the ancestors whose legacies flow on the melodic phrase of your wail and coo. Spellbinder, your moans and groans trigger a simultaneous release relief throughout the crowd. You belt out notes from the primal code of the human race. Harmony.

I need to bare up. Immerse into community because no man is an island and all too often it takes the naked impulse of a woman to recall that which I might put aside for the seemingly pressing calls to transparent routines, anemic rituals. I need to scrap compulsions to list my short comings before a condemning judge - my deranged consciousness. I need to exit the suffocating quagmire of dollar down - dollar a month - never enough. Never enough to quiet the ceaseless demands of the uphill climb against downward winds just to find myself one brick shy of a load. I need to witness. The call and response that binds us. You and I, all those present, all who would be...

I want it known, I walk toward dawn through empty nights, full of vigor, humming phrases you have sung hours earlier. You were here and I was present then, now. Sing lady sing, "In the Dark".

I glide home on weightless twin hued lights of silver and onyx. Against menacing cold your songs wrap me warm. I kiss your lips, imagination enough. Human Being Human. I carry these little things in the pockets of my day, and nights. Charms.

This poet realizes this state precedes language. It being murmurs of heart, beat of the the soul in step with a turning planet shuffling its way through the cosmos of mysteries and wonders. What could this moment be named? Magic.

You are a gift. In exchange for your value I offer the currency of my immeasurable admiration.

Baby, you shake the diamonds from the diamond dust.

In the spirit,

Sylvia Howard is a jazz vocalist. Our Paris Diva, she is renowned to audiences, her legion of fans,  in Paris, the United States and Asia.

Monday, 8 December 2008

People of Peace and Justice,

It is time for our Muslim neighbors to take public action.

I can not confirm a report (see the attached statement) sent to Paris Calling from Loreena Gale of Los Angeles.The report alleges a Pakistani man posting a reward paid to "Kill a Canadian. Any Canadian". But I will circulate the following p.o.v. written by an Australian dentist. It speaks of Canadians as our neighbors, a nation with a checkered history, yes, but a history more civilized than most of its planetary partners.

It's time overdue for ordinary Muslims to denounce Islamic terrorism and tyranny. As it is correct, urgent, for groups in western countries to continue denouncing war and state sponsored terrorism - it is time for Muslims to go public with their sentiments.

Where was the Muslim community voice after the indiscriminate carnage in Bali, Madrid,London, now Mumbai?! The communal slaughter in Iraq waged between Sunni and Shiite!! The Taliban of Afghanistan and Pakistan wish to re-enslave their own people in the name of erroneous, draconian,religious dogma. Muslims, Kurds, Christians, Jews and secular folk of this region know full well what awaits them with the return to power of these tyrants. This ominous forecast accounts for conflicting opinions concerning the time and manner of pull out of occupation forces. Indeed, we detest the dominations of the Bush imperialists and the despotic Al Quaida and Al Sadr-ist dictators. As we should detest the collective punishmnets, ethnic cleansing, wrought by Zionists - Jewish and Christian - and their supporters in Washington, from Christian zealots assisting the bloodshed, marching toward apocalypse.

Muslims must cease refraining with the excuse that public demonstrations are dangerous. Silence and passivity is dangerous, oftimes aiding the perpetuation of the crimes under scrutiny. A review of France under Nazi occupation is clear example of mass numbers of people participating passively and actively for the alleged purpose of calm and order. France, her Catholic church and her allies white washed the period. French Jews, communists, gypsies, deomcratic trade unionists and democratic nationalists were betrayed by their neighbors under similar pretenses presently adhered to among today's Muslim citizenry. Let Muslims review the actions of Tibetans, Burmese, Zimbabweans, peace and justice seeking Palestinians and Israelis. All, achievable, admirable responses to tyranny.

And Yes, it's long overdue for Israelis and Jews world wide, for Americans, to break their silence regarding the ethnic cleansing committed by Israelis, financed by the U.S. government, against the indigenous Palestinians, co-inhabitants of the Holy Land (sic).

Since 9-11 many Muslim intellectuals, writers and private citizens have forwarded criticisms of the arcane, tyrannical orders in power and practice throughout the Muslim world. Several have done so at the cost of reprisal. They are the principled, the brave.( In a following piece I will review a series of recent inspirational films made in Muslim countries. I will send out praise worthy summarys of corrageous men and woman daring to speak out.) In contrast, declarations by a few Muslim clerics and public spokespeople amount to no more than brief gests - without a call to mass activism. Muslims are eager to benefit from the liberties, social and economic, educational, offered them in the western host nations. Freedom requires responsibilty!

It must be noted; More and more repression and exclusion is meted out to minorities in the Muslim world. Non Muslim religious institutions are daily closed down. Rich Arab nations have not welcomed oppressed and impoverished fellow Muslims. The treatment of iAreab and Muslim immigrant workers in the Persian Gulf states amounts to an indictment of widespread criminal labor practices. The great historical contadiction sits like the proverbial elephant in the living room: racist, imperialist western nations offer more opportunity to disadvantaged Muslims than many find in their home nations. Hence, the mass emmigration wave to the west.

It's time for masses of Muslims to join the world stage, denouncing barbarous violence against non-combattants, neighbors and tourists; denouncing the wrongs committed against their own people; students, women and girls. Their silence only serves to reinforce the present tyranny imposed upon their lives.

A notable leader and visionary, Muslim convert, Malcom X had the courage to denounce the American group Nation of Islam for corruption. Malcom reminded African Americans of his day, reminds all Americans and oppressed peoples:
A people not willing to instill pride, self reliance and character among themselves will never receive the same desired treatment from their oppressors.

We are required to do more than watch history.
We are called upon to make history

In the spirit.
Moe Seager
People of Peace and Justice,

Thank you Chelsea Adams for alerting people to the incident on your campus alleging police brutality against Obama supporters at the University of Arkansas, Jonesboro. Please update the public to ongoing developments regarding your classmates treatment by the local justice system. (

We should not be surprised by the backlash of pre and post election racist, sexist and homophobic anger. Aunt Bea warned me long ago - old habits die hard! A democratically elected president Barack Obama will not end racism. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton will not end sexism. Gay Rights activists will not end homophobia. However, we do have an historic opportunity to be governed and co-exist peacefully in this nation. Conversely, there is a large minority of Americans discontent with the democratic process, discontent with a a mass popular movement setting its sites on rule by and for We the People.

Since the election there have been numerous reported incidents of aggression in various locales around the country against Obama supporters by fellow citizens and police. In cases where victims reported threats and violence to police, many complaints have been treated with a seeming lack of interest by law enforcement authorities. A spate of reported incidents also involve hate crimes; effigies placed on public display, campuses and work sights. In my native Pittsburgh area, following the election a black student was harassed in high school, leading to a fight, followed by a group of white students menacing the student later on at his home.

There are groups monitoring the recent upsurge of Hate Crimes. One such monitor, the Southern Poverty Law Center ( is actively tracing incidents in the south. The Equal Justice Society of San Francisco-Washington D.C., ( is active nationwide doing its part to monitor race, gender and minority relations.The NAACP ( is now filing complaints in a number of jurisdictions. Incidents like those reported on the campuses in North Carolina, Arkansas and Columbia University, New York City, civil rights violations and hate crimes, are being reported throughout the nation. A spate of homophobic incidents have taken place in California during and following the heated Proposition 8 initiative, banning same sex marriage.

We must be vigilant in our monitoring, support and defense of civil rights. Numerous anti-Obama/white racist individuals and groups have gone public with angry, threatening, panic stricken statements. President Obama and the Justice Department cannot by themselves protect our citizens and prosecute all the perpetrators. We must join in these efforts as listening posts, observers and witnesses to these criminal acts. We are a racist, bigoted nation, at home and abroad. The struggle to rectify injustices has merely begun.

President Obama is a civilized man. But he is no Martin Luther King. He has not presented himself in league with past visionaries and we should not expect him to do so. We can demand he and the Congress respect the
wishes and will of the electorate responsible for their present office holdings. We elected a president, governors and many congress people against the status quo plans of political machines. We may now keep the process going - from the bottom up.

Are you willing will come forward to lead, to help build this generation on the road to Peace and Justice at home and abroad? Recent evidence suggests Yes! Yes there are many committed to forward our common struggle for advanced civilization.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

"All the News" - We Choose to Tell


Wow, the party conventions are off and running with a bang! Since the start of the Democrat-Republican Party conventions last week more than 75 journalists have been arrested, their cameras,recorders and cell phones confiscated. Several were beaten by police in front of other media cameras, the film footage promptly cut from news programs or edited down to appear as minor "mistakes" by the FBI and boys in blue in Denver and St. Paul. In zealous fits to censure press coverage of dissident group activities, Denver cops even arrested a Fox News crew for filming the protest march of Iraq War Veterans Against the War in Iraq. Stewart and Colbert will have a bang of irony to deliver later this week. Bill Moyers will again swallow his professional pride, apologizing for breeches of ethics and morals. Leave it to Aljazeera News International, its team of former American and BBC correspondents, to cover from both inside the convention and outside amid the body politic.

Most of those arrested are now released with charges dropped or reduced to misdemeanors while some face felony charges in the case of the press credentialed DemocracyNow!.Org crew of Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. Local police and FBI units are downplaying overt suppression of free press/free speech/freedom of assembly rights.CNN's Wolf Blitzer and the "best news team in television" passed over the nuisance of unscripted politics raging outside, not reporting violations to fellow press operatives and citizen activists. Instead, viewers got the relevant details necessary for informed voting: Obama now wears an American flag pin on his lapel. Here come the "Rock Stars of the Democratic party".

The few who rise above imposed party censorship and sell out self censorship got a few minutes. Ted Kennedy, Jimmy Cater and Dennis Kucinnich. The alleged voice of young,progressive dems, is mute, as it has been each time the Democratic National Committee makes a farce of MoveOn claims of a modern,changing organization.

In Denver more than 40 thousand dissidents, the majority of whom are democrat voters, faced unannounced suspension of their assembly rights, protest routes and rights to film,video and record the events. As cops used clubs, gas, dogs and arrests - inside the convention center and the sports stadium the Democrat machine made a show of "Change Now!" with the more important dilemmas we care about:should Bill speak before or after Hillary?! Michelle and Barack are not Muslims. Weren't we all inspired by party leader Nancy Pelosi bellowing against " four more years of the same"...fresh from her Olympian caliber rubber stamp back slide stroked for the increased Bush war budget, the Republican plan for off shore and Alaska oil drilling. The Democrat house majority, like a relay team so trained, carried the baton across the finish line, netting more gold for team sponsor, Top 1%

Dem after Dem echoed a commitment to save the middle class, working class, veterans health care, family farmers,public school standards,university loan reforms, equal pay enforcement... all of us, from further denigration.

Outside of the party of the Party, citizen activists and independent press personnel were given a swift dose of the new Democrat party platform:Planks upon their heads.

Wake Up America!

Keep the Beat on the Pulse of Life!
Moe Seager

Now That's a Good Life


If you haven't seen the classic Hollywood film, It's a Wonderful Life, please do so. The heart warming pleasure is all yours. Played by Jimmy Stewart, a common man is standing on a lonely, dark, wind swept bridge on Christmas eve, distraught over a recent job setback, about to end it all, to jump into the icy river waters running below. At the last moment an elderly, kind hearted gent appears beside the suicidal man . The visitor is a guardian angel and takes him on a journey where he sees his life and that of his family and friends, living without him. Yes, it's a moral tale with a happy, tearful ending. It gets me to thinking...

If we reincarnate I want to return and live my life - backwards.

I'll start out dead! Get that business out of the way.

Then, I'll wake in a nursing home - feeling better each day
before getting kicked out for being too healthy.

I shall enjoy retirement while collecting a livable pension.

Next, I'll start work and receive a gold watch at a party in my honor on my first day.

I'll work 40 hours per week until I'm too young and too inexperienced for a job.

Yeah, time to enroll in university to learn how to drink, party and become promiscuous.

Next it's off to high school. A time to search for my emerging identity while moving away from adult influence as I fall naively into puppy love with a girl wearing braces.

I'm now a child in grade school and the most intimate things are my pet cat and dreams of flying like Peter Pan.

Then I become an infant, a baby, precious to my mother and father, to all those around me.

I'll spend 9 months in the womb, floating effortlessly in spa like conditions, central heating, room service, in a suspended state of dream, discovery and wonder.

At last, to top off this journey - I'll go out as an orgasm.

Now that's a good life !!

Moe Seager

This Minute


Today marks 7 years since buildings fell, people fell, our naivety fell. And yes, the assassination of a centurion of the Empire, the World Trade Center. Not a minute too soon to note this is the last opportunity for George Bush, Dick Cheney,Condoleeza Rice and scores of Haters to lead us in commemoration of our bloody tragedy. Their last photo-op, media ritual to display their shock and horror. The White House of red vengeance, blind rage. It's Medusa Heads will bow for a minute, pause, raise carnivorous teeth and pledge holocaust from the executioner's tongue. The Medusa warning its enemies and the inhabitants held ransom by them; the Empire will continue to hurl down upon them a fire and brimstone like that suffered in Carthage. Upon whole nations. Nations of once naive humans, just like we were, just like us. Their ongoing tragedy made necessary in the scheme of things deemed essential to th e appetite of Empire. We will remind ourselves that the enemies of Empire America did strike back in measures not anticipated, in measures so mortal,so traumatic to us and our fellow Humans throughout the planet. We have come to understand these fanatics are capable of the same measure of death and slavery. Perhaps someone among us will call to attention - the dead, deprived and fearful of their nations are made to suffer in equal measure with the victimization of our own innocents.We all may take a minute to reflect, to pray for salvation and go on with our lives, forever changed in ways some call tough love comprehensible, ways unimaginable, yet to be fathomed. Many among us wishing it were only a minute of heart felt silence, putting to rest their personal sagas of painful endurance.

Our nation lost an estimated 3,000 lives on the day of blind vengeance. The Empire's wars of vengeance taking away 5,000 of our youth in uniform, 40,000 maimed in body and soul, f or the remainder of their precious lives. The fanatics of the opposition have lost a few hundred from their maniacal ranks. Tens of thousands dead for living in a place called hostile territories. Millions plunged into chaos for living in oil sourced nations. Nations contested by both sides at virtually any cost.

On this day we observe a minute to mourn and lament. A small number of tyrants east and west will lift their heads, swearing from scripture they have amended, constitutions they disdain, poets they have banished, shouting for more carnage. For a precious minute may you and I, they from distant nations,pledge our willingness to place the sacrosanct value of life before the necessity of wealth,power and draconian doctrines.

For the sake of global health and safety, we the stuff of flesh and blood, turn mind and spirit to the Creator, wishing and working for peace and justice. From whichever city and village, let us open our ears to the language of the heart.
Keep the Beat on the Pulse of Life
Moe Seager