Arts &
  Arts Culture Analysis  
Vol. 11, No. 6, 2012
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Robert J. Lewis
  Senior Editor
Bernard Dubé
  Contributing Editors
David Solway
Louis René Beres
Nancy Snipper
Farzana Hassan
Daniel Charchuk
Samuel Burd
Andrée Lafontaine
Marissa Consiglieri de Chackal
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Serge Gamache
  Arts Editor
Lydia Schrufer
Mady Bourdage
Chantal Levesque Denis Beaumont Marcel Dubois
Emanuel Pordes
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  Noam Chomsky
Mark Kingwell
Naomi Klein
Arundhati Roy
Evelyn Lau
Stephen Lewis
Robert Fisk
Margaret Somerville
Mona Eltahawy
Michael Moore
Julius Grey
Irshad Manji
Richard Rodriguez
Ernesto Zedillo
Pico Iyer
Edward Said
Jean Baudrillard
Bill Moyers
Barbara Ehrenreich
Leon Wieseltier
Nayan Chanda
Charles Lewis
John Lavery
Tariq Ali
Michael Albert
Rochelle Gurstein
Alex Waterhouse-Hayward





Yahia Lababidi is the Egyptian-Lebanese author of Signposts to Elsewhere (Jane Street, 2008), a new poetry collection, Fever Dreams (Crisis Chronicles Press), a collection of essays,Trial by Ink: From Nietzsche to Belly Dancing and The Artist as Mystic: Conversations with Yahia Lababidi.


What we look for in a good book, painting, music or conversation? A stretch of runway to take off, and return us to ourselves.

There are many ways to donate blood, writing is one.

We suffer from mass logorrhea; memoirs and blogs are twin afflictions of our literary times.

To maintain immaculate speech, often times silence is required.

Chasing silence is like embarking on a whale hunt. If one actually catches up with this creature of the depths, there’s the danger of being swallowed whole.

A poem arrives like a hand in the dark.

Poetic Ideal: a language scrubbed clean by silences.

Perhaps it is not poetry that purifies the language of the tribe, but Silence.

Would that we could rescue the profundity of silence for our speech.

Reading undercurrents is the language we can neither learn, nor unlearn: intuition.

To hear what someone is saying listen closely to their language; to overhear what they are thinking, pay attention to their body language.

The highest function of literature is transformational.

Poetry is never a personal enterprise; a poet sings for those who cannot.

Part of the definition of an aphorist is one who spots aphorisms, and loosens them from the prose -- the way Michelangelo described his sculpting process as freeing the angel from the marble.

Aphorisms are the echoes of our silences.

Aphorisms are also metaphysical expense reports.

Writing: talking to the page, like it’s the last person on earth.

Wisdom is becoming innocent, again.

Superstitions: other people’s traditions.

Art is the longest-lasting pain-killer.

When in doubt, meditate - on things that have happened that you thought impossible; and those that have not, that you thought possible.

“Paradise," as a symbol, represents what we are denied in our earthly existence. To the thinker, this means the certainty of answers.

Existentialism: restless sleep born of the uneasy sensation that, at bottom, all is not well.

The problem with being full of yourself is that you cannot fill up with much else.

The Stockholm Syndrome begins at home.

How militaries are a little like organized pedophilia: corrupt elders seducing the young, abusing their minds and bodies, then discarding them afterwards.



Every day, regardless
of the night’s previous
sulks or arguments,

morning climbs into bed
breathless as a child
eager to play.



I have been lavishly gifted with a pain
as thick and rich as oil paint
By pushing it around the page
I have learned to make Art.


and, once you’ve arrived at the perimeters
of personality
that knot of contradictions, idiosyncrasies
called character

through the hall of mirrors
that comfort and distort

the liberation of undifferentiation
awaits the well-ventilated soul.


Here, in Medellin, what night lights -
like a resplendent necklace, glittering
against the bare throat of the mountains

Softly, coming in and out of focus
as though the mountains were breathing
between sharing a tender memory
of the city, with the valley and themselves.


In the park, this morning, a boy
bespectacled, gangly, impish grin
idly chasing a squirrel guarding an acorn -
both proceed in crouches and pounces
Trailing behind them, a man
bespectacled, bearded, bemused
Armed with tell-tale pen and notebook
the poet eavesdrops on youth and life.

Also by Yahia Lababidi:
Bartleby the Existentialist
The Art of Fasting
On Susan Sontag
Michael Jackson: The Awe and the Aw
Notes On Silence



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