Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Lenore Weiss Features Feb 10, 7pm

Lenore's poetry collections form a trilogy about love, loss, and being mortal: Cutting Down the Last Tree on Easter Island (West End Press, 2012); Two Places (Kelsay Books, 2014), and The Golem (Hadassa Word Press, 2017). Her most recent poetry chapbook is From Malls to Museums (Ethelzine, 2020), and her  prize-winning flash fiction chapbook, Holding on to the Fringes of Love, was published by Alexandria Quarterly Press. Lenore tutors middle-school and high-school students in reading and writing and volunteers at Chapter510 in Oakland, California.

Get Your Dervish On

The call to prayer resounds five ties a day. The calligraphic signatures of ancient architects appear on ebony doors encrusted with mother-of-pearl. Turkish is related to Hungarian, the same Ugric-Altaic language stem akin to Finnish, also possibly, Korean and Japanese. Think Mongolian. According to guides, the city is built upon layers of who did not like whom. Green and blue chariot teams once faced off along political lines. Ethnic groups fill out the corners of the city. Think Kurds, Greeks, Armenians. Scratch a civilization. Find a welt. We visited a Whirling Dervish ceremony. Ten dervishes appeared in black gospel-like robes, hands tucked across chests to signify the unity of God. One leader sat on a red sheepskin and kissed each hat as dervishes bowed. Save for black robes, everything else was white. Off with the black, spin toward the white. The fundamental condition of our existence is to revolve like atoms, something I heard from a yoga teacher. White skirts billowed into human planets of love. The ceremony ended with a prayer for peace.  Fade to black.

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