Nice to see you.


Poet. Author. Videomaker.



Nominated for the 2014 Pushcart Prize. (more)

Contact:anthonyjlangford2@yahoo.com.au

01 March 2015

Famous after Death #6 - Rachel Corrie










    Rachel is unfortunately remembered more for her death than for how she lived her life. Many people and groups have politicized her death to suit their own agendas. I'm not going to focus on the politics, and only a little on her final days. All in good time. I want to highlight some of the many things that made her so endearing and inspiring.








Rachel was an incredible writer. She wrote journals about her life, written in a style to put most literary fiction authors to shame. She has certainly made me feel insecure and this was from a girl of eighteen, nineteen. She never made it to twenty four so all of her writings are from a youthful perspective, yet she writes with such skill, confidence and passion. Her writing is entertaining, insightful, delightful, funny, abstract and beautiful.







Rachel also wrote a lot of poetry. Throughout her musings and analysis of her life is the appreciation she had for the life she had. She wanted more from her life but knew that many others had it far worse. She had been to Russia as a teenager which had a profound affect on her. She knew that there was a much larger world outside of America. She had that perhaps naive optimism that she could make the world a better place. She mentioned becoming America's first female president. She was certainly intelligent enough, capable of deep critical thinking about the issues that surrounded the world at the time (Iraq had just been invaded) and she believed that much more could be done to understand the many issues at hand, including media coverage, remembering at the time that the war had a lot of support.





Rachel studied and no doubt would have had a long and outstanding career in whatever field she ultimately chose. She wasn't just an activist. She was a complex She also spoke a lot about family. I've no doubt she would have become a mother in time. She loved people. She was a social worker. She was a humanist. She was an inspiration long before her final heroic act for which she is defined.


'I’m a good, strong word giver; I am a jealous guard of my own secrets. Freedom is the rule; I am hungry for one good thing I can do.'



I've read her book, Let Me Stand Alone. It's a collection of journal entries and emails complete with some sketches. She was a good artist too. I recommend this book, not purely as document to a young person who would not live to publish books (which I believe she would have-she longed to be a writer), but as a significant piece of literature. Her writing stands on its own. It truly is amazing. (there's also a passage where she seems to prophesies her own death, talking about a tank running her down).






Rachel was politically minded. She was a activist and was involved in many events prior to joining ISM (International Solidarity Movement) a pro-Palestinian peace activist group. She headed to Israel in January 2003 to protest the bulldozing of Palestinian homes in the Gaza Strip. A month before her 24th birthday on March 16, one of these bulldozers ran her over. She was protecting the house of a family she had been staying with, hence her determination.




I don't want to go into detail. I actually find it quite upsetting. It's all over the internet so you can follow it up yourself though be warned, there are images of her corpse everywhere. Israel claims it was an accident, the family and other ISM members say it was deliberate. Extensive court cases in Israel led to no satisfaction for the Corrie family. Somehow, the story doesn't seem to be over. The Middle Eastern issue certainly appears endless. There are too many complexities to cover here, and as I've said, certain groups only see what they want to see.






Interview: Two days before her death.




Aside from several documentaries from various countries and perspective (ironically none from the U.S.), a British play was created, directed by Alan Rickman entitled, My Name is Rachel. It has toured the world. There's surprisingly few photographs of her online (almost all are here) and only a couple of videos. Yet there is something about Rachel. It's more than white woman syndrome. She cared about others. Her heart was honourable, pure and determined. She was intelligent, passionate and perhaps a little innocent, in the way that an idealist 23 year old is. * She was angry at her own government for the impending war in Iraq and the Israeli government for their treatment of the Palestinians, but she did not hate Jewish people at all. There was no hate in her heart. Her writings prove that. She's the type of person the world needs more of.


A great waste. A great tragedy. A great talent. A great woman.





Dove outfit - Peace protest - Olympia, USA



Visit http://rachelcorriefoundation.org/

Further reading - court case
Her boyfriend's eulogy.
Long Seattle article from 2003
Private Jessica Lynch & Rachel Corrie


Previous Famous After Death













* Post note. She reminds me of myself a little, or perhaps its why I feel so much empathy with her. I went to apartheid South Africa as a 23 year old, (also Northern Island a few years later at not a good time) and went to a place I shouldn't have (black township) and once faked being a media photographer so I could get upfront shots of a huge rally. Clearly nowhere to the same extent as Rachel, but I remember that feeling of righteousness, and adventure and awe and fear. I knew that there were risks but didn't think something would happen to me. There's a belief that if you're doing the right thing, then you will be alright. Such is the thought processes of youth. Anyway, it got me thinking.


16 February 2015

Losing the plot

http://gallardoblend.deviantart.com/art/An-old-man-losing-his-mind-292546030





Senses slipping overtime


The surface is slippery
Too much for traction
As hail attacks the windows.

External forces in motion
So why does my head hurt?
Why do my ears drone
Like high pitched cicadas?

Why do my knees fail
When I try to rise?
Why do my shins shred
When I put my feet up?

Why does my chest feel like it is pierced?
Is it my heart?
http://www.shannonrose.com/staff.php?bio=aosterhout
Or betraying muscles
Enjoying a riot?

My spine stumbles
As though it cannot support me
For much longer.

There’s a pounding in my balls
A samurai sword up my ass
With itchy cock head.

Yet it always begins with the brain
And following a roundabout journey
Ends there too.

Veins are popping
There’s blood on the instruments
The controls don’t respond
The music is off-key
And sense forgot to exist.

The normal rules
Do not apply
And I’m finally
Ultimately
Lost.






My Video Poem on Anxiety/Depression










More Poetry





09 February 2015

Similarity of Opinion



Similarity of Opinion


Please don’t say a word
Sssh
Not listening, not listening!
I don’t want to hear
What I don’t want to hear.

Must recognise words
Internally mould yours
Into a new shape
So I will not be distracted
By the truth
While I debate
And re-iterate
My point
Which is all that matters.

If only
I could turn them to my way of thinking
And I will
As the weak topple
With strength as their guide
Let the bullshit slide
Close the hatch
Sit on it
And call it Throne…









(for more on these wonderful images visit: http://ivybetty.com/solipsism/)


More Poetry

See you soon.

01 February 2015

Greatest Written Films - A Man for all Seasons






The story revolves around a real person, Thomas More, who refuses to capitulate to the King, Henry VIII who wants to divorce his wife so he can marry the sister of his mistress, Anne Boleyn. The screenplay was written by the legendary English playwright Robert Bolt, based on his play.

If you think it sounds familiar it is. Anne Boleyn's story has been told in various forms, most recently in the 2008 film, The Other Boleyn Girl.

Bolt's screenplay however, concentrates on Thomas More, a lawyer, humanist and Christian. He is a person of integrity, a 'Man for all Seasons,' even to the detriment of his position and ultimately, life. The themes are not based on religion, Bolt was an agnostic, though More was devout, which goes some of the way to explain the man’s dedication to what was right, even during a calamitous period when even the Pope was 'corrupt.'





Bolt had learned about More in school. Though he wrote about More in the play, Bolt was more known in the sixties for his screenplays, notably his work with David Lean. He wrote the screenplays for Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago and Ryan's Daughter.

A Man for all Seasons was directed by Fred Zinnemann (From Here to Eternity). It won Best Film at the Oscars, as well as Best Actor for Paul Scofield who played More. More importantly for this series, it also won for Best Adapted Screenplay. Interestingly, some of Bolt's deletions for the film version were reinserted for the 1988 TV version, directed by Charlton Heston.

To be fair, the film has dated somewhat, but it is still powerful and contains some fantastic dialouge driven sequences.





A quote from the real Sir Thomas More: 'I do none harm, I say none harm, I think none harm. And if this be not enough to keep a man alive, in good faith I long not to live.'


Robert Bolt had some success in the eighties with his screenplays for The Bounty and The Mission.
He died in 1995 aged 70.





18 January 2015

My Year in Publishing - 2014


\


2014 was my second most productive year, though unlike the two years prior, no book was released. There are no plans for books this year either, though my seven novels remain unpublished. I also have several collections of poetry that could be released, if I can find a willing publisher.

Here are the poems and stories that were published, some with links if you missed them. Cheers.




Image of The Blue Hour Volume ThreeJan
Feb
Vavaya – To belong to…


March
Linnet’s Wings – Plath
Zygote in my Coffee – Pressing
                   -  Miscalculation before reflection


April
Muddy River Poetry - It's cold out there
Black Fox Literary Magazine - When late night TV was cool
                                                Fizzle faith
                                                Extinct still here
                                                Apprenticeship in bloom


May
East Coast Lit Review - The person formerly known as me
Poetry Quarterly - Birthright
     

June
Bareback Magazine - Accidental

July
Stock Shack Magazine (Netherlands) - My daddy used to say
MIC Lit Journal - Thailand - The Thing


September
Gold Dust (UK) - When fortune turns towards you


Oct
Miracle - Light, Shade and in-between
Perihelion - It's the last great ice shelf!

Perihelion Science FictionNov
Subtopian - (All five poems here)
A very open wound
Welcome to La La Land
Skank Stepper
Hit on Hit Out
The night journeymen (boys)


Anthony J. Langford | 'My Daddy Used to Say…' Illustration by Michael Ilkiw
(From my Story Shack piece) Michael Ilkiw Illustrator



More Poetry
More Stories





11 January 2015

The Bloody Unified










We are Not Anonymous
We are not Veiled
Nor hide behind Fake profiles
And Obscure accounts.

We are Here
We are Not Afraid
We are Unequivocal
In our Propriety
And you will not Dissuade us.

We will continue to Embrace
Those Divergent from us
No matter the Hate
You direct towards us
Nor the Ignorance
You wish to stir up.

We will never Abandon
Our right to Transparent speech
Our right to Embrace
The religion of our Choice
or to remain non-believers.


We believe in the Individual
and Community
We believe in Respect
And Empathy
Not resentment
And destruction.

We are Tenacious
We are Unified
We, the Immutable Collective
Bloody, but Resolute.





..and let's not forget the Muslim worker who saved people inside the Jewish Supermarket.
A remarkable act of bravery and a real fuck you to those who would see division.







I wasn't planning this on being my first post of the year, but felt compelled.

Happy 2015

I hope that something special happens in your life this year and that overall, 
despite the down moments, it's generally positive. So many horrible things have already
taken place and it makes me anxious. Let's hope and work towards better things for all.

A reminder that I save my work for submissions, 
but always aim to bring you good work, whether poem, video poem or article. 

If you do like a particular piece, please share. Without you I'm nothing.
See you soon.


More Poetry.
Stories.




21 December 2014

Merry Christmas to you and yours







I hope you have a Merry Christmas, no matter what you're doing.

I want to thank you for your support throughout the year, whether you commented, or shared something or even only read a few poems or articles, I appreciate it. There is so much demand for our attention these days, and with so much crap in the airspace, it's easy to become distracted and waste our time. I hope I haven't wasted yours.

Yours
Anthony




ps

A couple of very good friends made the finalists at Tropfest this year and won an award.
It's less than 4 minutes and I urge you to check it out. Here.
Look at it as a Xmas present.
;)
Cheers



17 December 2014

People of the Sydney siege - a poem



          I wrote this the day the siege ended (16.12.14), before I really knew about the Pakistani massacre, which was by far a  more horrific event, but which in no way diminishes the horror of the Sydney siege. All of the politics and bullshit aside, there is the human element which should never be overlooked.

(On a personal note, my daughter's mother was only a few blocks away and was in lockdown at her work. It was quite worrying, especially in the early hours when nobody knew what was taking place.)








Poem for the people of the Sydney siege

I
A bright Monday morning
Like many others
Aside from the expectant hum
Of a looming Christmas
And the purpose laden crowds.

When a spectre emerges
A court jester escapee
Driven and deranged
Seizes the day
Blocking out the sun.             

The night draws its cloak around us
Closing off options
Shutting out the world
Narrowing all hope
To this.

The only place left on earth
The last place
To wish to be.

When familiar adored faces
Beam elsewhere
Awaiting
The brush of fingers – a trail
The soothing, all-encompassing joy
Of a mere hug
A paradise lost
And all that has ever mattered…

Will it come again?
A forgotten land
A discarded map
History rewritten
To encapsulate the new theme
The alternate slant of light
With a permanent stain
The dark brutality strikes
To alter the spectrum
For us all


With the fallen
Left in its wake.



II

I’ll wait for you alone
By a tree
A river
A front door
I’ll meet you there
In that place
Far from here
In tomorrow
Or yesterday
A time alternate
It matters not
Envelop me
And I’ll commit a lifetime.






Rest In Peace
Thoughts with the victims and their families and all those held hostage that day.






16 December 2014

Top Ten Songs 2014 - No. 5 - 1.






Click Here to See tracks 10 to Six.

Best Five Tracks of 2014


In no particular order.



Chvrches - Strong Hand was an extra track on the Special Edition version of their 2013 album, which wasn't released until early 2014. Though not officially a single, it should have been.







The Kassassin Street Band - The Royal Handkerchief Ballet






Spoon - Do You







Tears for Fears - My Girls

A cover but it's hard to deny how effective it is. Their last album ('05) was brilliant but long overdue for new material. This proves they can still cut it.







Future Islands - Seasons-Waiting on You





Chvrches, Tears for Fears and Kassassin Street Band are from the UK, the others are from the U.S.

If you missed them, numbers 10 to 6 here.


There wasn't much difference between the Top Ten and the next 10-20 songs. I don't believe in certain music being that much better than others. Favourites are individualistic in nature. Yet I recommend you check them out if you like what I displayed here. There's always great music; some years, it's just harder to find.

Thanks and cheers.



In good company with:

Perfume Genius - Queen
The New Pornographers - Brill Bruisers
Seasurfer - We Run
Delta Spirit - From now on
David Gray - Mutineers
Sereialarm - Miragem (Download their album for free here.)
Spotlight Kid - A Minor Character
Miracle Fortress - Even In America
One of These Days - My Name is You
Stars - No one is lost
Screaming Maldini - Islands
Suntalk - Darkness
The Naked and Famous - A Stillness
The Flaming Lips - Think Like A Machine, Not A Boy
Sounds like Sunset - Somebody like you



Best songs of 2013



13 December 2014

She tried to cross the bridge in a flood


She underestimated the power of nature.








New story Don't bring me Down - at One Page Lit.


Please share if you like it. It's never easy getting the words out there. One Page is a good publication too. They offer a voice for the underdog. With the amount of snobbery in the Australian Literary scene (and the world in general), God knows we need it.

Cheers



More Stories






09 December 2014

Top Ten Songs of 2014 No. 10 - 6


In no particular order.


The History of Colour TV - The People Who are Close to You






Tennis - Never Work for Free





The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Eurydice





Cold War Kids - First






Spookyland - The Silly Fucking Thing





The first band is German, the last Australian. The rest are American.


Next post, the Top Five.


Best songs of 2013


08 December 2014

The Fat Albert Blues - a new poem by Bill Cosby




Hey hey Hey!

Gunna have a good time!



I've brewed up a fine old concoction today!
Time to find me some white bitches
and have a lil one sided play.

Now don't ya go believin' all that hype
Daddy still got what it takes
I can match it with a humpin' pit bull
when I is on the make.

All I need is a lil celebrity alone time
A drink and one little capsule
Time for a lay me down
And then I get my hands full.

I been doin' it so long
That if they make a fuss
I pay them off with a song
And dump their ass on the shuttle bus.

Ain't nobody messin with
The greatest TV dad in history
Mom's the word yo
Keep that shit a mystery.

Hey hey hey!