When you get to put pen to paper, that moment when you start writing, you are in a phase of trance or sort, as though you are just experiencing an emotional trauma at hand of a paper back, holding your pen at the end of your fingers like a scalpel, you are giving birth in silence to an idea that your mind got pregnant of, and that you were always carrying on through your whole life. That project that I was inspired longtime ago, by my father’s own life experiences, it was when in a moment of un-empowerment, he was standing up in front of me, that day he declared to me, in an instant he was at the summit of his pain, then like a boxing hero putting his gloves down completely denuded from his courage, and in his struggling to mask his suffering; he shed then a tear, like it was a speck, from his tear duct, and said to me: ” if only I know how to write, I would fill a thousand books, if I could recount my torments to the mute, he muttered without a stammer, and if I tell my pain to ear of the river, it will flood to the ocean …”
“I Write Because…”:
Because, he gave me the chance to go to school, the first time it was to the Medersa of the small dwellings, in the out-skirts of Algiers, where I was living, in the time of the French colonies, because he never went to school, because in the times of this cholera, when you reach fourteen years old your were sent to Shepard of herd of sheep, because , second time, when and just after we got the Independence from France, he paid for me to go to school, because I was fourteen years old, and too old for the age of middle-school, and having enough Knowledge for the upper-classes; but because I was fourteen, I was considered as a man then, and I was at an age to be capable to understand my Man, so he felt he could tell me something that he never declared intimately to anyone else.
Life would be a secret; I felt like a pact that is sealed between us, a promise that I could concrete one day, when I will be ready to accomplish his vow. That moment when it came, I felt like an uneasily Procrustean…
While doing so, I felt an uneasily procrustean : Here and there limbs of the manuscript needed to be stretched, and elsewhere a protruding foot might be lopped off, if all the episodes were to be edited into a single, coherent, continuous work.
John Callahan, “Afterword: A Note to Scholars,” Juneteenth, by Ralph Ellison, 1999
Frist, I was goofing around, like anyone else in New York, with Daily Post Prompts, and all of nowhere, years after putting my feet on the ground, the (planchet-des-vaches), or the plank of cows, translated: I was a flight attendant then, goofing around the world, here and there, and all of a sudden, now I started gushing up right here, with this blog.
And_”It all started, more or less, something like this… “_Kurt Vonnegut
To be continued …if you like to read more, care to come back to my place a little Dickens, or a Mark Twin’s?
In #RememberanceDayforLostSpecies I dedicated this blog, some 5 years, in an attempt to bring to attention of readers in Algeria in particular, where the Algerian Goldfinch is endangered.
I launched an SOS , like a message in a bottle into the sea:
Save the Algerian goldfinch!
When you write, who is watching you?
It’s true, that for a poet, he has his own muse, Erato, a musician his own muse it’s Melpomene, but Calliope, the muse for a writer, she never shows up when he needs her the most, she is whimsical at times. So we are always fascinated, in our quest, by the blanc of a page, waiting for the moment when inspiration strikes, and we forget to look around, to things that we treasures for the longest, they are witnesses of our moments in life, or some we lost, that is_
“Somewhere, those poor things must still be knocking about”__Constantine Cavafy
It has been in the traditions of to many countries, and their cultures as well , for the longest as we can go back in to the past, in the history of literature, in humanities, we find that people has an intimated affection for the goldfinch, in particular, either through the religious interpretation of icons, in Arts, like in Christianity, referring to biblical scriptures, or for the profane, in the folklore, and artisanal arts and crafts, in poetry, and in writing prose.
I had a photo of a pet, a Bird, The Goldfinch, that I took while I was in Algiers, I framed it and put it on top of a corner of the TV furniture, just facing me, on the spot, usually where I use to sit to write. It had a sad look, it seemed like, it wanted to tell me something, like bagging me, for a plea, each time I look at it.
I couldn’t bring a caged bird with me, on board the airplane, 5 years ago, when I returned home because, simply it’s insane, for, imagine having a cage bird inside the cabine, or put in the belly of the plane with the luggage, for 10 to 14 hours, it’ll be dead at the arrival. Secondo, not only its prohibited and a protected species, but with all hustle of authorised documents, and vaccines, and with the flu bird, forget it. I resigned one’s mind and gave the bird as a souvenir from me to cousin, then.
So I gave up after that on the breeding thing. And the very idea to have a pet bird.
I get inspired by two WordPress prompts, “Witness, and Last Call! commenting Boot camp.”
Here, with the same post below, that I posted 4 years ago, it was my fist blog, the story is:
It all started, more or less, like this_
Dear readers, يا اللاحبا ب ، و ىا لولاد ,
Chers amis , l'heure est grave, time is running out,
El_Mackeen, The Goldfinch, the Elegant Chardoneret Parva est en voie de disparition,
the bird is endangered, and in its way of disappearance, do you know that?
Dear friends in Algeria , let's do it, let's make it happens!
Let's make the first day of spring un event, let it be the day of El Mackneen
At first glance, five years ago, it’s looked like gibberish, for anyone who has stumbled upon my blog, accidentally, or in purpose, he got there by chance, looking for some kind of, a matter of inspiration, he might said, “what is this!”, and passed on in a click, to the next blog. Continue reading Save the Algerian goldfinch!
“a dying language regressing
to your origin regressing
to the rib whittling yourself
down to a single bone to be
allowed another chance”
“Eden, nobody will be screaming
to harvest you in the new
Eden there will be birds
but no mirrors or dew
to reflect you back like a star
and force you to stare into
your own furred face and cry
there you are
_An excerpt of a poem by Isabelle Doyle, a former student at Emma Willard School.
And sill here I am.
_The Cry of birds_Grew from the ramage of birds to the hurry of wind_Hugh McCrae
Here I am, for the nonce
Here I am in a cage
My cry grew from the ramage
Of birds, To the hurry of winds
Shall I ever have a chance
To fly, fly, again, and drift away
Finally Home, I’ll cry and I’ll say
That’s, the one and only once
I need yes in deed, to be free
Thence, all I need is my wings
to spread in spree
Here I am, and always be
You put me one day in a cage
Can’t you see me today that I age?
Can’t you see me that I am bleeding?
Can’t you see me that I am weeping?
Like a violin bow, on its hair string
T’was the first day of Spring
That day going my way straight to my fate
That I used to be free before t’was too late
Then I was nattering in my joy and glee
With No motive for my killing spree
Spending my joy from tree to tree
Having no foe, nor a prey I was to be
Safe that a carol of joy betrayed me
I was caught In a dream-catcher net
It was a gloomy day, that’s Ô! My fate
Mother Nature comes to me, ready set for rejoice
Full of fun, laughing of plenty to hear my voice
For, You don’t know why I sing, ah! me
It was the first day of Spring, for me
It’s only but a prayer, from the bottom of my heart I sing
but a plea I wish you hear me, that upward to Heaven I fling
That one day you may let me free, before it was too late
No more I can fly, nor my wings I can spread
It’s only Poetry, a lady
she knows toward me, she said
I know why The Caged Birds Sing
I know why The Caged Birds sing, ah me,
when his wing is bruised and his bosom sore
when he hit the bars, and would be free;
it is not a carol of joy or glee,
But a prayer that he sends from his hearth's deep core,
but a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings
I know why the caged bird sings_Maya Angelou
Let It Be
When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be. Let it be, let it be. Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.
That’s my carol of joy and glee
Now that’s here I am, and free
_Homage to El Baji,an Algerian singer and songwriter of Algiers of Old, Kalimelo
“It’s not a time to make a change
Just relax and take it easy”
Diamonds, money, and gold
Ago a kid, I was told
Are just dust on the road,
Your soul you never sold
To the devil, a king or fiend
and bold You stay,
for a dime you swoop
Sweat and tears, Down the road
Make it’s your pocket your friend
And become rich one day you hope,
It’s a better man you are now
Poor, than being a million dollars man
Without goodness in your heart
Stay clean of all vices
Be kind to your man
That’s all my advises
Find a girl, settle down
If you want you can marry
Look at the me I am old but I am happy
Chocolate, it can be said, is not merely a candy, but a powerful love potion whose reputation for inspiring amative feelings is universally known. – Anahad O’Connor, Never Shower in a Thunderstorm, 2007
Oh! My Sweet Nothin’
Will you be My Vatentine_
Now I am more amative to say
you see, that is I love you everyday
Today a lot more than yesterday
And a little less than tomorrow
I brought you my heart of chocolate
It’s bittersweet usually, I know
it’s not merely a candy also
But today it’s a lit’le silky smooth
Ain’t nothing about to blow a tout
Don’t treat it in shaft
I came right to your door
with a dozen of roses and flowers
A bottle of champagne and more
Say “yes”to me, if It’s not too late
Tonight I am talking out
You see, je t’aime encore
I had become a souvenir,
I was an edelweiss, once_
a weathered bud, for the nonce
Flattered whim between the fold
Of a yellowed diary pages_ I was told
Now I have a place where I rest.
I wished It were near to your heart
Yesterday, I was standing stress-free
Cleansed by the hilltop winds,
Reached only by, at eagle’s wings
None of a poet, did it for his killing spree
That the snows, it was my nest.
Downhill the Mount Everest,
I picked it for you, my soul-mate
What can I do now to please you_
My dear, the summit that I climbed it.
That Life is already consumed,
Strewn by miracles, on our way.
We saw the day of wonders we met,
the birds at our knees, we knelt
I put a flower in your hair
That Spring was it, in the air
Our souls were we had melt.
Still do you remember, do you?
What a small brown bag can carry? Apart from your regular coffee and bagel, be it, you’re a monk, a scholar, or an artist, simply don’t throw it, who knows, a humble brown bag, it may carry your thought of the moment, an idea, a draft of a future project. It’s like throwing the baby in the basin, with the waters of the bath: you’ll regret it, then it’s too late _kalimelo
This is it
I have read the post “Capturing the Goldfinch, by Mr. Nevala Lee, and wondered how come it slipped from my mind, to put ink to paper all the moments in my life I passed reading books, and didn’t get the idea to start writing, although sometimes, I got inspired, first by my father who was illiterate, and saying to me that if he could write, and read, he can fill a tome with his experiences in life. Then, I listen to music, of all genres, but my preference goes to opera,Puccini, and Algerian Chaabi music, whereas the lyrics in a story that moves you to the edges of your feelings to get inspired to write your own history. Capturing the Goldfinch
To begin with, start by capturing the idea, before writing a book; first, catch yourself a goldfinch , then the moment you sat, write; just write, and keep writing, while listening to the tweeting of the bird, don’t edit! just write!
“Seize the thing, and the words will follow.”_Cicero, Roman centuries”
How to catch a Goldfinch à-l’ancienne_ the olde way
First, go to the pet market, buy a caged goldfinch, preference goes to a five to ten years old one, it’s expensive, by the way, and because of the ramage; it has a long-lasting tweeting, and it serves as a bait for capturing a goldfinch. Then, plan a trip to the wild, where hiking is a must. The trick is, to capture a goldfinch you need to conceive a recipe to make a natural glue made from thistles milk that you rob with some tiny sticks, that you fix on sprigs of a thistles once in the wild, on the spot where a flock of finches drop from the tree to feed and bath and drink from a pond or a rivulet; one might stick to the tricky sticks. Why thisles? Because it’s a preferred plant for its seeds for a goldfinch, and it’s from where that it is French named. Then, It’s risky, it’s illegal, and you can pay a fine, get arrested for poaching if you don’t have authorization from The National Parks; (you can keep a bird for one year, for studies and the like, than you must return it to its environment site. Otherwise, Take with you your watercolor kit your camera, and a sketchbook if you are just a bird-watcher,like me, plus a notebook, for when you are sentences watcher like me
Then, how to write a book, a novel, one of a kind, to get inspired ; by chance I get across the book, through the Reader, when I read the post about The Goldfinch.
Literally, it’s so true, and captivating too, a page-turning, pining to seat, and all, and all. Have you ever read the book_The Goldfinch?_a novel, by Donna Tartt. I Didn’t get the chance yet to finish reading the book, to capture the moment, alas! Time flies. It’s annoying, that you keep reading after a hundred pages, pined to your seat, waiting for the writer to come to the point, but you can’t give up; and this is the secret: “The fascination by the Quest.” I wish! I could do it, at least once in my life, like Vladimir Nabokov did it, and the happy few other writers of the last century also, who had the time to run after butterflies, live their life, and write. To leave a book that others read, like” Speak, Memories.”
Hemingway, also did it, “The Sun also rises,” it makes you travel with him by car, seated as you were a discrete ghost-writer, invited for a journey from Paris to Spain through the landscapes, and you discovered surprisingly, that he stopped at inns, had the time for fishing, and to go on foot to a river faraway, and forced you to follow him, you can’t stay alone in the inn curious about what happened, with the sole idea of thinking of it, it is enough to discourage you to go buy cigarettes at the newsstand, next door, when outside is 94 F by noon. Then, to fish, to swim, to lunch, and to take a nap, it is a luxury, and a gourmet, nowadays…I don’t know if writers still do it, with a half-hour lunch break. Then, (It is in the book), the author, writer, and character, all in one personage, he walked you through pages, to beautiful Spain villages, and dusty towns, with a couple of friends, looking after corrida, toros, depaysement, a change of scenery, and love affairs, and to resume and leaves you at a cross-street lights, puzzled.
“Seize the thing, and the words will follow,”_Cicero “
“Capturing The Goldfinch”_the book, literally it’s so true, also
I know why The Caged Birds sing,
ah me, when his wing is bruised and his bosom sore
when he hit the bars, and would be free;
it is not a carol of joy or glee,
But a prayer that he sends from his hearth’s deep core,
but a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings I know why the caged bird sings__Maya Angelou
I have named my blog_ Mackneen, The Algerian Goldfinch, some five years ago, and almost two years before Donna Tartt, the Author was writing her novel, it was a good omen for me, some sort, although I didn’t know the project then, but mine, it was that, I was dedicated to write a book about , a goldfinch, this small bird, symbol of freedom, dear to Algerian people, to whom and for, I pay as a tribute of the episode in their fight for their liberty from 132 years, an usurped and occupied country, until 1962 , until to be freed.
El Baji, an Algerian songwriter, wrote “El Mackneen”, his song, in prison in the later 50s, and was imprisoned for political protests, at the epoch of the French occupation of the Overseas Colonies. Unfortunately, decades later, after the Independence of Algeria, after that the joy of celebrating freedom was consumed, the breeding of the birds, and encaging of the goldfinch, became a business flourishing, so anarchical , and devastating that It put the species at risk of being an endangered bird in Algeria; so I write posts, in that regard, to bring to attention to the youths, and the audiences throughout posts to mass medias.
So, please join me by your likes and follows on my blog. I don’t expect too much popularity, but it may help to persevere it, and to strife; it’s a challenge, and time is running, although the species became protected lately, thanks to the Authorities whom they struggle restlessly to put an end to the sordid business, but still, it’s still remains endangered, and in its way to disappearance.
It was by chance that I discovered the subject, last time when I went back to Algiers, I was invited to a wedding party, and during a small talk that I had with an old friend of mine; a passionate guy about goldfinches, fishing, and Chaabi music, (a world Blues genre,) at a detour of a conversation, in wich he told me that the bird was becoming rare, and the irreversible disaster caused by Bird breeding was already consumed. And, knowing that I am native from Kaddous, Oued-Roumane, a small village in the shrubbery region in the suburbs of Algiers, and then, ago was the natural home and habitat of the goldfinch species, a small town of a hundred families, hidden among orchards, vineyards, and woodlands, just at a throw of stone, in the vicinity of Algiers, the capital of Algeria, he asked me then if by any chance I know someone, of my relatives that could have one. This is it.
For instance, the species worth ten thousands Dinars each, almost two hundred dollars, just to have an idea about the whole birdie business. Actually, it’s more than that, just have a look at YouTube.
So, please join me by your likes, and followings on my blog.
And Many Thanks
_Kalimelo June 21st, 2015 at 8:25 am Ps:Today, It’s the first day of Summer, the solstice, and the Celebration of Music, worldwide, sort of, a happy coincidence to write a post, and to listen to: El Gusto Orchestra Music Chaabi
Conchita’s, with her lightweight silhouette, like a feather sustained in the air; her image it’s still as vivid in my mind as a burnt cigar left on my skin; it was an image of a Flamenco woman dancer, printed on the cover of a pack of my first fine cigars that I used to smok when I was a teen of fifteen years old, that I recall sometimes when I see the scar on the back of my hand. Her depart was such sweet sorrow of not equall that I a smashed the fine cigar on my hind. I feel the pain in my skin. It was like the first time when you fall in love with a girl ; for the first time you kissed her, you’re in wonders, you laugh then you cry just after, then you want to be together forever ; as for the first time like when you smoke your first cigarette, you cough, and with your eye-watering, you discover then that’s, what cigars and women, alike, they had something in common, that they make you suffer at first, then you get the habits of it to live with them, and with time, that when you get comfortable in their company, then suddenly, and as always it happens, that dolorous moment came when departing is such sweet sorrow; that is, at our expenses, thence we realize that is, women, we can’t live with them, and we can’t live without them.
But then we can quite smoking, oftentimes, but we can’t forget our first love all a one’s life time.
“Quatorze-ans, Les Gauloises Ça fait mal a l’aise.”
_*At Fourteen years-old, and cigs just make you sick, “Gauloises,”_French black tabaco cigarettes
“And I forget just why I taste yeah, I guess it makes me smile
I found it hard; it’s hard to find
Oh well, whatever, never mind”
_Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit Lyrics
She was a ballet-dancer, and I, a Fine-Arts student in Paris, years later on, then I was looking for a model, wondering in La Butte-Mont-Marthre. I discovered her, Degas, and his pastels, that so delicate, and volatile, as she was, elegant and whimsical, that I spent hours watching her performing pirouettes, pas-de-deux, and grand-equarts, so wide open, for, your eyes stayed opened that you can hung your Bêret, or “…your hat_ Mark Twain”, and holding your breath and your heart still pending to her movements, I stayed sitting there watching her, in a corner of the dancing room, a piece of charcoal in one hand, and a cigarette “Gitannes”, at the end of my finger tips, as the smoke-filled the air, and her laughers resounding in the hall; I was trying to fix that moment on paper, and drawing thousands of thumbnail figures as she moved, in vain. That’s I sketched on, and on, on drawings sheets, listening to Charles Aznavour_” La Boehme,” once alone, when back to my tiny studio, later on.
Sometimes, I found myself staring into a blank sheet, as she moved, like in a day – dream, à- contrejour or standing in the loggia, looking vaguely into the rain falling on the tilded roofs of Mont-Martre.
She has something in the way she moves, that Je-Ne-Sais-Quoi, I loved the way she walked, I loved the way she talked, so peculiar to Parisiennes women , that captivates, and charms you : she was a gifted performer woman, with all graces and allure, walking, and dancing , steeps skipping, and skills, tip-toeing on her ballerina shoes, a virtuosity that enthralled her audiences, sometimes to put or hold you in slavery, when she talks, and laugh, you get sustained and hooked to her lips like being hypnotized by an Indian fakir, to fall at the charm of his flûte.
And we had fallen in love with each other, effortlessly, get accustomed and as usually it happens, it happened with me, comme d’ habitude . We broke up with each other, querelles d’amour sometimes, few months later, for some reason or without, perhaps for having been too much in love of each other’s that we burned our candel too fast, from both sides . Perhaps, I was asking too much, I wanted her for myself, all by my own, I was jealous, for she hadn’t time for me, just a little, the time for a pose, and the fact that she uniquely reserved her time, and for Art all devoted and only. Go figure
Somewhere, those poor old things still must be knocking about.__Constantine Cavafy
I had a tiny studio on La Butte-Montmartre, then, we were all time hungry, and broke, surviving on œufs-aux-plats, d’Amour et d’eau fraîche, and I, more waiting for her, and in a want, till, one day she never came. Tired, I went to Spain–Flamenco, wacthing Bulls-fighting, Frederico Garcia Lorca, Manitas-De-Platas, buried my chagrin d’amour in Cervejas, to conjure the spell on me. I surrendered to some réconfort in reading “The Sun Also Rises “, the book of Hemingway, in a way. Then from there, to Barcelona, with Maria Rodriguez, the Fado lamenting sodade, that it revived in me the open wound, reminding me that ” Somewhere, those poor old things still must be knocking about.” And only have dear and cognate in Porto wines on the Taj, transported by a bitter-sweet sorrow, but in fact it was her, a dream that I pursued than, that It was a fascination by the quest.
Sometimes, the object of the quest is as elusive love-object, as in André Breton’s surrealist novel Nadja, in which the mysterious woman persued by the narrator is, in a way, that embodies the mysteries of Paris itself, instead, I found myself flâneur in the streets of Paris, without.
It is said that the Taj Mahal, was was built by an India prince Mogul of old times, in memory of the loss of his beloved princess, and wife. He ordered from the best architect in town to design the palace where the princess will be buried , knowing that the artist was in love with a woman, he put her in prison until she died, the time it took him to build the palace, the artist was in such a sorrowful state of mind so inconsolable that he put all his passion to finish it before she died, unfortunately, that both the prince and the artist found themselves in the same state, contemplating the most beautiful object that embodies love with, with an incommensurable pain in their hearts.
“There is a smell on you later, left as laughers and silences settled, and something in the air of subtle perfume and rare tabaco, that lingers longer in the house and on things, after she departed”_Kalimelo
The other day, at a corner of street, in Soho, a vanishing scent of musk, perfume, and tabaco that stayed in the air, au passage of mysterious stranger woman, transported me to Paris, to the clime of lilacs trees, balconies and wisterias of Montmartre; it has been longtime that I quitted smoking, the Quartiers-Latins, and its bistros,in Paris and moved to New York. They say, you rediscovered the subtleties of the olfactory senses, smells, perfumes, as you had lost your odorant sense while you were smoking, they say, but what do they know about lost love? Getting Sentimental
Othello , Shakespeare _”Depart is such sweet sorrow,” perchance, you discovered that but when it’s too late.
“It’s always exciting when a long-forgotten manuscript is unearthed, dusted off, and at the eve of being published. But when that book is related to To Kill a Mockingbird — one of the most beloved modern classics, the BPL treasures which I return to for my readings often, and I crave to see old movies, and rare books, also that I had borrowed from, lately — anticipation goes through the roof.”
“Memory on the Menu.” Coincidence is mother of opportunities, as the saying goes.
“Speaks, memories.”_Vladimir Nabokov
So, what is the relationship between the two modern classics?One may say.
As it comes in recall, with a prompt at your rescue, like if it was a Saint-Bernard doggie; then you have no choice rather than to muse on: Which memories are better fit? – the recent and vivid ones, or those that time has covered in a sweet haze?_No doubt, both, and how whimsical it is; it triggered you to the core of the marrow, and in a split of an eye-blink, it sands you some decades back to same places of childhood, always. Isn’t it? The Early Years
Rereading again How Kill The Mocking bird, and Go set a watchman, some fifty years later, as memories mingle together with the present, and the past, standing at the edge of two abysses it’s like seeing oneself absent from the cradle in the photo, as the parents standing aside smiling at you, then where are you at that moment?like in “speak, Memories of Nabocov narrative.
“One must live his life, and only once, seize the opportunity as it comes to you, and make it happens, to see his dream comes true one day, and make history. Your own history.”_ Kalimelo
For, having the chance to live actually in the same era as when was set up the How to kill the mocking bird story in the book, it’s a great deal now, to recall all those olden times.
Some go fishing, some go hunting, others birds watching, and seashore rattling, I belong to the tribe of old movies goers, rare books reading, and sentences watching.
In the early 60s, at the time of the events in America, I was twelve years old then , and I was fascinated by Color movies the cinema with panoramic view, Marvel comics, and also was a Sc-fix movies-goer, how to say, it was in the brink of the ” L’Air-Du-Temps,” as it may appears to some readers a banality nowadays, but it was about to witness at a turning point of time, History on the making, you’re witnessing with eyes wide-open, that marvelous era, at things under your reach. Fifty years later, hystory is made, again and a recommencement of a fairy tale, almost a déjà-vu, the other, in the morning I was gone to get the milk, and the New York Times newspaper because I have been used to it, since that time of yore.
And For the anecdotal, because one day,( gone get the milk, ) I went to attend the event of the publication “Go Set a Watchman”and I end up seeing the movie“calendar/kill-mockingbird-special” at Central Library-Dweck
_That’s all fictional, and once more for sure, but reality is, it’s sad today to lean in the NYTimes, that the author died few days ago, it is like a panel of memories just want of, and my heart went on with the author. Rest in peace Mocking bird