Skip to main content

Poem by Stephen Gyllenhaal

Eyewear is very pleased to welcome poet and film-maker Stephen Gyllenhaal (pictured) this Friday. He was good enough to fly from LA under his own dime last Christmas to read for Oxfam's series in London, where he caused quite a stir.

As Eyewear often mentions, in the UK, pop culture and poetry culture don't always mix, so his credentials were as much a hindrance as a help to a fair hearing - but the audience was won over, by his charm as a reader, and, more to the point, the seriousness and quality of the writing itself. Ironically, in an age of celebrity writers, this was a writer wanting to move past that, while having to go through it. As such, the work, often political, often trained on the camera eye, or the world it mediates, resonates into a wider sphere of concern.

Raised in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania and alumnus of Cinestudio/TrinityCollege, Hartford, Connecticut, Gyllenhaal is a film and television director – most notably of Waterland (based on Graham Swift's novel), A Dangerous Woman (with children Jake and Maggie in supporting roles), and Twin Peaks.

His poetry has been published in Prairie Schooner, Nimrod, and Apalachee Review, among other such places. He divides his time between Martha's Vineyard and Los Angeles. Claptrap: Notes from Hollywood (Cantarabooks 2006) is his first collection of poems.

Land of the Free

Can't disney this away,
can't prozac it back
into the warm sofa
of this once obedient chest.
The grand chandelier
that's turning like a satellite
demanding utter allegiance
and the closer attention
that should have been paid
to grammar, to the names
and statistics of all
the ballplayers
has lost its grip
on the color pink
mistaking it
for the space between
the first and second
amendments.


poem by Stephen Gyllenhaal, from Claptrap: Notes from Hollywood
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

DANGER, MAN

Like a crazed killer clown, whether we are thrilled, horrified, shocked, or angered (or all of these) by Donald Trump, we cannot claim to be rid of him just yet. He bestrides the world stage like a silverback gorilla (according to one British thug), or a bad analogy, but he is there, a figure, no longer of fun, but grave concern.

There has long been a history of misogynistic behaviour in American gangster culture - one thinks of the grapefruit in the face in The Public Enemy, or Sinatra throwing a woman out of his hotel room and later commenting he didn't realise there was a pool below to break her fall, or the polluted womb in Pacino'sScarface... and of course, some gangsta rap is also sexist.  American culture has a difficult way with handling the combined aspects of male power, and male privilege, that, especially in heteronormative capitalist enclaves, where money/pussy both become grabbable, reified objects and objectives (The Wolf of Wall Street for instance), an ugly fus…

AMERICA PSYCHO

According to the latest CBS, ABC, etc, polls, Clinton is still likely to beat Trump - by percentile odds of 66% to 33% and change. But the current popular vote is much closer, probably tied with the error of margin, around 44% each. Trump has to win more key battleground states to win, and may not - but he is ahead in Florida...

We will all know, in a week, whether we live in a world gone madder, or just relatively mad.

While it seems likely calmer heads will prevail, the recent Brexit win shows that polls can mislead, especially when one of the options is considered a bit embarrassing, rude or even racist - and Trump qualifies for these, at least.

If 42-45% of Americans admit they would vote for Trump, what does that say about the ones not so vocal? For surely, they must be there, as well. Some of the undecided will slide, and more likely they will slide to the wilder and more exciting fringe candidate. As may the libertarians.

Eyewear predicts that Trump will just about manage to win th…

SEXTON SHORTLIST!

Announcing the Shortlist for the 2016 Sexton PrizeSeptember 13, 2016 / By Kelly Davio
Eyewear Publishing is pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2016 Sexton Prize. The finalists are, in no particular order, as follows:


THE BARBAROUS CENTURY, Leah Umansky
HISTORY OF GONE, Lynn Schmeidler
SEVERE CLEAR, Maya Catherine Popa
GIMME THAT. DON’T SMITE ME, Steve Kronen
SCHEHERAZADE AND OTHER REDEPLOYMENTS, David McAleavey
AN AMERICAN PURGATORY, Rebecca Gayle Howell
SIT IN THE DARK WITH ME, Jesse Lee Kercheval

The shortlist was selected by Eyewear’s Director Todd Swift with Senior Editor Kelly Davio. Don Share of Poetry Magazine will select the winning manuscript, which will be released at the 2017 AWP conference in Washington, D.C. The winner will be announced in October. 
Congratulations to our finalists!