Wednesday, October 25, 2006


This week we will read descriptions, mostly by amateurs, of world cinema with a satirical edge. Click on the titles below to read the descriptions:

International Gorillay, Pakistan, 1990.

Golden Chicken, Hong Kong, 2002.

Guimba the Tyrant, Mali, 1995.

Amar Akbar Anthony, India, 1977.

Visitor Q, Japan, 2001.

The assignment will be to imagine your own satirical film and write a one-page synopsis of it. Or, try to get inside one of the films above as much as you can and write a poem out of that experience. Watch the film if you can get a copy of it. Google the title and read more about it.

Since we will not be meeting on November 3, the assignment will be due in two weeks, on November 10.

I will likely be screening Guimba the Tyrant on Tuesday evening, November 7, beginning at 6:00 p.m. at my apartment in Brooklyn. That's purely optional, but if enough people want to, we'll hold a screening, and I'll see some of you there! (Directions will be given in the workshop, or e-mailed.)

Monday, October 23, 2006


by Barry Denny

Random Chance
Blessings fallen from the Lord . . . . How in Krishna’s name does one find what’s made him what . . . who did what to whom . . . and where did it happen?

Get a life, Max.
If thought were shit
you’d be on the toilet
until the retina of eternity
winked at your smoldering ashes.
The revolution’s now!

Always the actor, Ada.
Never the acted on.

Mystic, so smart. he,
thinks nobody knows anything,
because what is truth.

Socialist with all the answers.


Yoo hoo matzoh girl.
Sit quiet a minute.
Listen, Ada: Detectives pistol shoot
at beer can in lake
in Korean movie.
The old zen master,
barely looking,skims
a rock along the surface
ripples—hitting the mark
the detectives can not find.

So Max: Sitting on a cushion
near New Orleans,
the hermit in the bayou
contemplates the hole in the
navel of the firmament—
Siddhartha wannabe
mimicking the night watch
while the Superdome stinks
sweat, puke and excrement
and somewhere in Darfur
someone cries for someone
who starves to death.

Max removes a statue of
Ganesh the elephant of God,
Ganesh the remover of obstacles,
from his WWII knapsack—
the one he’s enshrined for sixty years.
Ada is ninety years old.
She lifts her newly washed
“I oppose the Bush agenda”
tee shirt from her still-feeling body.
The couple positions themselves for business.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


For our second week, read Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal," which can be found here.

Write your own modest proposal. Or, write a poem using a series of ideas for modest proposals.

You don't have to use the words "modest proposal" if you don't want.