Saturday, December 03, 2016

The Sunday Poet: Robert Klein Engler

 Robert Klein Engler

 Robert Klein Engler lives in happy exile in Omaha, Nebraska and sometimes New Orleans. He is a writer and artist.   Robert holds degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana and the University of Chicago Divinity School. He has received Illinois Arts Council awards for his poetry. Just google his name to find his writing on the Internet.  Michael Morgan, writing in the Comstock Review, says that Robert Klein Engler " a poet of the first rank,” whereas Andrew Huff writes in Gaper's Block that Engler's writings is, "a sublime banquet of bullshit.


The light falls platinum against the Civic Center wall. We are in Topeka, Kansas, the navel of America. There is a landlocked loneliness around, and also, a loveliness of rolling hills not far off. I remember the face of a woman waiting yesterday for a bus on Dodge St. The evening light falls on her face like the moon as she sets a shopping bag against a poll. The bus will be a while. She has time to think of her daughter and the two kids. It's not been easy but it's been good. From the hotel window we see a Jeep follows the road's curve into the low hills and then is lost from sight. My mother would be rocking now on the front porch looking out into the bowl of night wondering what star could be a widow's star.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years


The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years

Review by Kate Douglas

From the band’s own commercial films to the countless documentaries and exposés that already exist, it’s hard to imagine that there isn’t an angle of The Beatles that hasn’t been shown to audiences yet, but Ron Howard’s The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years somehow manages to show the world’s most popular band through fresh eyes. The film is a wonderful mix of new and archived interviews from the four band members, perspectives from those who worked with the band, celebrities offering their personal anecdotes, and never-before-seen footage from Beatles’ shows. It’s not just a trip down memory lane for tried and true fans, even for those who lived through the band’s touring years. Howard manages to intertwine old footage with fresh narratives to create a new lens with which to examine Paul, John, Ringo, and George – and the men important to their success, Brian Epstein and Sir George Martin. There’s a wonderful moment in the film in which notorious Beatles manager Epstein is seen just off stage at one of the band’s American stadium concerts, bobbing his head to the music. It’s an illuminating moment in which the audience is allowed to pull back the curtain and experience these men in an entirely new way.

Eight Days a Week is a brilliant film as a rock-doc alone, but also as a historical piece. The film touches upon how the band experienced and interacted with the hot button issues of the time, from the band’s refusal to perform for segregated audiences when they brought their tour to America to the ill-spoken “more popular than Jesus” remark. Just as The Beatles themselves were able to weave together culture with counterculture, black with white, and male with female, Howard’s film knits a complex narrative that connects the band to history and humanity. It’s certainly worth a watch.

Kate Douglas

 Kate Douglas is a local writer and aspiring filmmaker. A transplant to New England, Kate grew up in North Florida and graduated from Florida State University.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Sunday Poet: Deniece Woodward

 Our poet this week is Deniece Woodward. She is a member of Teen Voices Emerging--a program that 

gives a voice to Boston teen girls. Prema Bangera, a proud director at this organization hooked me up with

 these talented poets. More information about this organization can be found at

Twin Among Twigs
by Deniece Woodard

Here her rhyme book lays. A simple, small notebook.
Its pages bear no lines, for it is ruled by the strokes you leave on it.
But it hasn’t got those either.
No character, but it could have hers.
Yes, her, and all the mess she is.
The physical scars her past suicide attempt left,
and the emotional scars left by everyone who told her:
Get over it.”
You’re just looking for attention.”
Stop feeling sorry for yourself.”
The ignorance which uttered, “People have it worse than you.”
As if her problems lose validation because someone else’s are “worse.”
Like the mirror above the bathroom sink,
she should see the damage left by this caustic earth in its presence.
She’ll batter the pages with her insecurities,
empty the clip, once loaded with her pain,
pierce the off-white sheets with her blade of self doubt
till she’s lacerated the last leaf.
Her soul will assume it’s found its long lost twin among these twigs.