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The German experience settling WNC 1 Reply

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History. Last reply by Scott Dockery Feb 16.

The history of Oakley

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History May 13, 2016.

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Montreat College Friends of the Library Annual Luncheon at Montreat College, Gaither Fellowship Hall

June 10, 2017 from 12pm to 2:30pm
Author Vicki Lane, who is working on her seventh novel, will be the guest speaker at the Montreat College Friends of the Library Annual Luncheon at noon on Saturday, June 10, 2017 in Gaither Fellowship Hall.  Reservations: 669-8012 Ext. 3502Open to the Public.See More
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Rose Senehi will read from her new novel: CAROLINA BELLE at MALAPROPS BOOKS & CAFE

May 3, 2017 from 7pm to 8:30pm
Belle McKenzie is obsessed with finding the best apple anyone ever bit into and determined to rekindle the love this obsession has nearly destroyed.        Woven throughout Carolina Belle is the fascinating history of Henderson County, North Carolina’s, apple orchards that endlessly unfold on the county’s horizons and still bear the same names as the early settlers to the area. Senehi, known for her historically accurate novels, sprinkles the book with stories of the development of the Southern…See More
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Becky Stone Presents Maya Angelou

Chautauqua Alive! Becky Stone Presents Maya AngelouWednesday, May 24 at 6:30pmPack Memorial Library67 Haywood Street250-4700The Buncombe Chautauqua Committee and Pack Memorial Library will present a pre-Chautauqua special event in Lord Auditorium at Pack Memorial Library at 6:30 Pm on May 24.  Renowned storyteller Becky Stone will present “Becoming Maya Angelou.”   Ms. Stone will be appearing as Maya Angelou in the opening program of the annual Chautauqua series that begins June 19.  On May 24,…See More
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Prize-winning YA author Sedgwick at Literacy fundraiser

Fundraiser for Literacy Council & Book Launch Marcus Sedgwick Tuesday April 25th 5:30-7:30 p.m., Twisted Laurel, downtown Asheville, 130 College Street COST: $45 per person (ticket includes hardcover book, food, and non-alcoholic beverage) All proceeds go to Literacy Council from press release Marcus Sedgwick, author of Saint Death Spellbound Children's Bookshop, Asheville's locally owned independent bookstore for kids and teens, presents a special event with one of the most critically…See More
Apr 17
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Dellinger Mill--sacred place east of Bakersville

A Mitchell County gristmill sifts through 150 yearsby Rob Neufeld PHOTO CAPTION: Book cover, “Dellinger Grist Mill on Cane Creek” by Jack Dellinger.             In 1861, when Bakersville got a post office, locals changed the town name from Bakersville to Davis, after Jefferson Davis, President of the…See More
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Reading by Poet Al Young at Table Rock Room, Plemmons Student Union, App State University

April 6, 2017 from 7:30pm to 8:45pm
A reading by past California Poet Laureate Al Young in Appalachian State's Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series. The reading will be preceded by a craft talk titled "No Poem, No Home" from 2-3:15 the same day.Both are in ASU's Plemmons Student Union. Free admission; books will be available for sale and signing. See More
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Citizen science author in Asheville April 6

Eco author in Asheville April 6 Citizen science can foster earth-saving policies Journalist Mary Ellen Hannibal, author of Citizen Scientist: Searching for Heroes and Hope in an Age of Extinction, speaks at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café, 7 p.m., Thursday, April 6 in conversation with Mallory McDuff, Warren Wilson…See More
Mar 23
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Appalachian Authors Book Signing and Reading at Historic Carson House

April 8, 2017 from 10am to 3pm
Julia Nunnally Duncan will be a featured author and reader at the Appalachian Authors  Book Signing and Reading to be held at the Historic Carson House on Saturday, April 8 from 10-3. She will debut her new poetry collection A Part of Me. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.See More
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2012 Award Winner for Literature -- Gary Neil Carden

A literature and drama teacher turned storyteller, Gary Neil Carden is an award winning playwright whose tales are informed by mountain life in North Carolin...
Mar 22
Gary Carden updated their profile
Mar 22

Flynn employs many mirrors to engender a hive mind

by Rob Neufeld

 

            Are you a “doe-eyed, pudding-faced daughter of fortune,” or might you wish to wed one?

            The image comes to poet Keith Flynn when he visits 17th century Amsterdam, Holland—the epitome of middle-class society—in his worldwide hive of poems, “Colony Collapse Disorder.”

            “When the money first comes it seems a waterfall of silk,” Flynn begins his Dutch poem, “Rembrandt’s Mirror,” imagining the painter’s success in pleasing patrons, nabbing a wife, and collecting rarities for his studio before bankruptcy stripped him of all but his mirror.

            Flynn then jumps to an image of Christmas tree ornaments, “whose mirrored surfaces fill with your shadow/ and shatter, razored carols waiting for your bare feet to clatter through.”

 

Vivid trip

 

            Flynn’s metaphorical agility and vividness transport you from one revelation to another.  Combine that with his global view, and you’ve got an epic hosanna to creation performed within a roiling hell.

            In Dharamsala, India, “The morning star enlightened Buddha/ and his first words formed a poem/ out of the desperate ardors.”

            In El Paso, Texas, the poet witnesses a man in a coma sucking on a remembered cigarette, and pictures Death as a be-bopper: “It leaves a hole, doesn’t say/ please, walks with a swagger and takes its toll,/ blows a smoke ring into the fan and watches it roll.”

            “C’mon, people,” you can imagine Flynn’s poems saying, “the dance of life is so great—why so much meanness?”

            In the El Paso poem—titled, “The Future of an Illusion”—Flynn zaps us with a hip theology: “If God lived on Earth, people would break/ His windows, egg His barely moving electric car,/ step on His robe, and call him a fag at the mall.”

            Why is that?  It goes back, for Flynn, to an inheritance from his father, as he reveals in a rare autobiographical poem, “Assuming the Conception,” set on Flynn Branch Road, North Carolina.

 

Facing the demon

 

            “My body turned 45, and the wheels/ fell off,” he begins, facing death’s visage.

            “Lolling about in this Hell,/ old bird, your beak numbly clacking,/ clenched around a twig whittled/ to the size of a cigarette, you will not succumb to this institution’s whitewashed/ viral simplicity, its bardic death-head.”

            Flynn has developed a career as a rock band leader, as well as editor (“Asheville Poetry Review”) and producer (White Rock Hall, Madison County). 

I’d like to assign an animator to his case.  The voice-over in the movie version, at times, would be a kind of god who seems to take a delight in human suffering.

            “The university of adversity,” the poet’s father had crowed, the Flynn Branch poem tells.  

            “The soul sings,” the poet rejoins, “and my father, a quavering note/ who has not risen, lives still.”

 

Web awareness

 

            “Colony Collapse Disorder,” with all its travel, has a local grounding; but that is only the roosting spot in a web that reaches as far as Kubla Khan. 

            Flynn’s connection with the cosmos pre-dates the Internet, and has poets such as William Blake and Allen Ginsberg to thank.  It is interesting, therefore, to read his take on modern connectivity in his poem, “Facebook,” set in Queens, New York, apparently after the location of an anonymous female correspondent.

            “Perhaps I could be the high altitude tree, she says, sauntering about/ miles above your giant wooly rodent, or a cobalt-colored toad the size/ of a pea, with torrid little wings that purred like turbines as I wound/ around the breeze of your argument.”

            “Without our bodies we cannot love,” Flynn comments; and compares web information to a billion Pony Express ponies “steaming at the same time into a town riddled with mirrors.”

            He also calls the profusion “a barrage of bait”; and we are like “a giant gray tarantula in early evening,/ tense with near-misses and brilliant collisions, its movement as frantic as its mind.”

 

Reasons to reach

 

            Why do we read Flynn, beyond the pleasure of his phantasmagoria?  Why do his gymnastics, pain, and vision resonate with us?  He explains the serious intent well in his preface.

            The title of his new volume “is taken from the strange occurrence, discovered in 2006, that began to happen to America’s honeybees”—a perfect storm of viruses.  “The few bees to survive were reeling, and wandering, without purpose, like survivors of a terrifying apocalypse.  Great lobes of the hive mind had died.”

            The connection between bees, pollination, and our food supply is not difficult to draw.

            “It occurred to me,” Flynn writes, “that this was an ideal metaphor for our current global circumstance.”  The metaphor also influenced the design of the book.

            Each of 52 poems, “built in a circular fashion like a Mayan calendar,” and like a hive, attempts “to capture a sense of what a worker bee might see through the eyes of a human.”  Colony collapse.

            Flynn hopes that readers, travelling “around the world in eighty or so pages,” will reach out “with a new awareness of the other spirits that are occupying their hive.”

 

THE BOOK

Colony Collapse Disorder by Keith Flynn (Wings Press trade paper, 117 pages, $16).

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