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M Sarki

Besides being a poet with four collections published, M Sarki is a painter, film maker, and photographer. He likes fine coffee and long walks. 

M Sarki has written, directed, and produced six short films titled Gnoman's Bois de Rose, Biscuits and Striola , The Tools of Migrant Hunters, My Father's Kitchen, GL, and Cropped Out 2010. More details to follow. Also the author of the feature film screenplay, Alphonso Bow.

Currently reading

Inside Out: A Personal History of Pink Floyd (Reading Edition)
Nick Mason
American Witness: The Art and Life of Robert Frank
R J Smith
Why Bob Dylan Matters
Richard F. Thomas
Philip Roth
Nevertheless: A Memoir
Alec Baldwin
A $500 House in Detroit: Rebuilding an Abandoned Home and an American City
Drew Philp
Spring Song and other stories
Joyce Cary
The Dying Grass: A Novel of the Nez Perce War
William T. Vollmann
Brett Whiteley: Art, Life and the Other Thing
Ashleigh Wilson
Girlfriends, Ghosts, and Other Stories
Annette Wiesner, Nicole Kongeter, Robert Walser, Tom Whalen

Becoming Freud: The Making of a Psychoanalyst

Becoming Freud: The Making of a Psychoanalyst - Adam Phillips [a:Cory Taylor|4504374|Cory Taylor|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1463373744p2/4504374.jpg] first introduced me to Adam Phillips in her outstanding memoir titled [b:Dying: A Memoir|32898239|Dying A Memoir|Cory Taylor|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1478535180s/32898239.jpg|50269241]. Now having read several titles by Adam Phillips I have become enamored of his writing and personality. Unfortunately this book was more in the spirit of scientific history, specifically psychoanalysis, and he left me out in left field disappointed. Early on in the book Phillips teased me with the idea that Freud, though having six children with his perpetually parturient wife, was possibly more interested in the young men he gathered around him. But nothing more was noted and I question why Phillips suggested homoerotic behavior and then proceeded to never touch on the subject again. Not only did Phillips leave me hanging he also managed to bore me almost to death.

The World Broke in Two: Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, D. H. Lawrence, E. M. Forster and the Year that Changed Literature

The World Broke in Two: Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, D. H. Lawrence, E. M. Forster and the Year that Changed Literature - Bill Goldstein The web of all four writers hinges both on their mutual relationships and on the censorship issues of their time. A very interesting read and fascinating study for the literary ones among us. Well-written and easily engaged. On a personal note I did find Virginia Woolf imminently more interesting than the three men also intimately exposed.

Lennon on Lennon: Conversations with John Lennon

Lennon on Lennon: Conversations with John Lennon - Jeff  Burger https://msarki.tumblr.com/post/163710927548/lennon-on-lennon-conversations-with-john

Often silly and irreverent early on, the interviews evolve into thoughtful and heartfelt pleas for peace and understanding. The substance evolves during his separation from wife Yoko and in his desperation to rediscover himself. John Lennon, himself a Beatles fan, provides an interesting insight only he could afford us. The last interview, conducted just hours before he was gunned down in front of his Dakota apartment, is in fact amazing. It makes our loss of him even more poignant than his very last songs.

Butterfly Stories

Butterfly Stories - William T. Vollmann https://msarki.tumblr.com/post/163363705108/butterfly-stories-by-william-t-vollmann

This being only my third indulgence into the literary work of WTV it is painfully obvious to me that he isn’t an easy read. Previously a foolish premonition on my behalf perhaps, due often to his brief sentences and short paragraphs. But Vollmann makes me rather uncomfortable. And I can’t say my reading of him is “fun”. That is not to say it could be, one day, after I get past his own particular “difference” on the page. Simply put, Vollmann performs his craft in such a way as to make me see it just might be possible. Hearing others and discerning between these many voices, and then considering the foreign ideas presented in a devised, but parallel existence of deviance, can only do me some good. Perhaps my emerging tolerance for all the different sizes, colors, shapes, and smells I find in the world around me is due to this enlarging present feeling of acceptance I have evolved to not only for myself and my own differences but for the other strange ones among us.

…Something touched him. He didn’t know what it was. It was fishy and silverwhite and crew-cut soft like sealskin kamiks…

The dude can obviously write when he wants to. My complaint is he does not care enough for what I need to tender more abundant examples of great sentences. The “whore trilogy” is a supersaturation of all things that drip of sweat, disease, stink, and slime. Of course, there is in his characters a constant need for love and then their roiling indifference as it pertains to others. If this review makes no sense and seems haphazard and wanting to flit, try reading the Butterfly Stories. The title says it all. It always felt as if Vollmann was keeping me away at arm’s length. No intimacy or connection with anyone, and of course no one ever fitting in. Not knowing if this novel was truly a love story or a death wish realized, but understanding all along that we, as in my heart and mind, are never coming back.

Apprenticed to Venus: My Secret Life with Anaïs Nin

Apprenticed to Venus: My Secret Life with Anaïs Nin - Tristine Rainer https://msarki.tumblr.com/post/163284976113/apprenticed-to-venus-my-secret-life-with-ana%C3%AFs

…In fact, for me, having come of age in the 1950’s, a man taking you while you were helpless was a secret fantasy. One where I could have pleasure without guilt, as when I imagined myself being bound to a factory conveyor belt and carried on it to a man like nougat centers to the chocolate dip—moving toward desire free of volition.

Tristine Rainer, an academic professor in her later years, now confesses her rapturous secret life at once riveting and hinged on a sensuality deemed as generally too dangerous. But Rainer today must not care what most of us think and perhaps she feels strongly about the importance of her subject. In the early sixties Anaïs Nin had become her mentor as Rainer signed on as confidant. The story of their relationship reveals in greater detail what Nin has previously confessed to in her diaries. This is the backstory, and it offers a deeper glimpse, or even perhaps a more honest gaze, into what impelled Nin to behave in ways that are still, in some holy circles, unacceptable today. The sexually liberated woman is still at risk for condemnation. Anaïs Nin was either a precursor to the women’s movement, or perhaps, in degrees, a founding mother of it. Having to wait thirty years to publish this revealing memoir due to Nin’s second husband remaining alive, this confession proves to be graciously insightful as well as an interesting read.

Wolf Nation: The Life, Death, and Return of Wild American Wolves (A Merloyd Lawrence Book)

Wolf Nation: The Life, Death, and Return of Wild American Wolves (A Merloyd Lawrence Book) - Brenda Peterson A long and drawn-out treatise on the movement to protect and reestablish our country’s wild wolf population. A political and emotional plea to save one of our most important resources and in the process learn more about ourselves. A wolf’s loyalty to its pack and family, its willingness to sacrifice itself for the sake of the whole, and its love for play and recreation offers much to the ignorant population taught to be afraid and suspect of these animals. The control of public lands by big money and the cattle industry threatens to destroy one of the most important components of our nation’s history. And this reader hopes the world is watching us.

Coop: A Year of Poultry, Pigs, and Parenting

Coop: A Year of Poultry, Pigs, and Parenting - Michael  Perry https://msarki.tumblr.com/post/163209251043/coop-a-year-of-poultry-pigs-and-parenting-by

Reluctantly, even shamefully, I will admit that often the book felt tiresome. Perry’s old self-deprecating humor however was skillfully interlaced between fits and starts of the author creating a working farm in midst of his learning to become a husband, father, and respected writer of the first rank. But you won’t find Perry bragging about any of his accomplishments, only the sometimes hilarious reporting of his daily grind at being the best he can muster on every front. Given that his previous memoir titled [b:Truck: A Love Story|73967|Truck A Love Story|Michael Perry|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1386921704s/73967.jpg|71564] continued his elaboration on a life [a:Michael Perry|2772479|Michael Perry|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1231631186p2/2772479.jpg] has been documenting now for several years, the complete rebuilding of his favored International in that previous book interested me little as things mechanical are not my cup of tea. But his progressive story throughout that book remained for me quite interesting. And in [b:Coop: A Year of Poultry, Pigs, and Parenting|5633583|Coop A Year of Poultry, Pigs, and Parenting|Michael Perry|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1347340530s/5633583.jpg|5805003] he manages again to record a life that novels are made of. He could not have made this story up. The tragedies that occur are monumental in his retelling of them. The gratitude he expresses for what he has is relentless. And that is what also feels a bit tiresome at times. How can a person be this good?

But when Perry writes for example of the surprise death of his brother Jed’s young son it all comes crashing in on me. The wrongfulness of my criticism becomes ridiculous. There has never been a novel or memoir that affected me as the specific Chapter Eight did. Immediately I was made an emotional wreck, even in the realization that my heart was still in good hands with Michael Perry guiding me. My attempts to convey to my wife just what I had read brought me almost to my knees with grief as I babbled on as a broken invalid in my caving-in and near destruction. And as much as I actually cried over his wonderful poetic prose the words were never sentimental in the disgusting degree we as readers are generally subjected to in regards to pain and loss. The words resound in their beauty and grace. I cannot get his prose from off my plate. And to swallow it whole would be courageous, but for me at least, that will have to wait. I am a chicken at best, running out of time, and still not the man I want to be.

Michael Perry’s personal story continues to unfold as the sometimes haphazard events occur among his friends and family. All the while, in the midst of it all, Perry writes and works toward a literary mastery rarely observed in what generally gets published today. Cheers again for Michael Perry.

The Book of Dolores

The Book of Dolores - William T. Vollmann https://msarki.tumblr.com/post/162763473983/the-book-of-dolores-by-william-t-vollmann

…I had already reached adolescence before I realized that my nature could scarcely be changed; hence I might as well accept myself. At once I felt relief. I could not be like others. Very well; I need not try. Strange to say, I then began to be liked, and since then I have been blessed with as many loyal, loving friends as I could wish…

The quote above by William T. Vollmann came toward the end of a brilliantly “felt” essay titled How You Are in which he relates a personal history that naturally would evolve into his morphing into Delores. The emotional impact of the essay struck me to my core. In an instant I became completely enamored with the man Vollmann. The writer, artist, and celebrity he has and will become will always place second to me. Vollmann put his heart on the line here, and shared with this reader the greatest demand placed on it; his agonizing need to belong. How many of us are brave enough to say it, and strong enough to thrive in spite of it? Amazing, and I have only begun to scratch the surface of what he has to offer us, let alone what he might offer the world. And as an added bonus he has also written a few academic essays for the amateur photography buffs among us.

Hemingway Didn't Say That: The Truth Behind Familiar Quotations

Hemingway Didn't Say That: The Truth Behind Familiar Quotations - Garson O'Toole For the most part a pretty boring book. Perhaps interesting for some, but certainly not me. I learned nothing of any importance and there was little of interest to want to seek any further knowledge regarding any of the subjects investigated. All in all a disappointment.

The Doors: The Illustrated History

The Doors: The Illustrated History - Gillian G. Gaar Difficult to read due to proof format, but an interesting book nonetheless. Any fan of The Doors would most likely enjoy learning a bit more about the band.

Hemingway Didn't Say That: The Truth Behind Familiar Quotations

Hemingway Didn't Say That: The Truth Behind Familiar Quotations - Garson O'Toole For the most part a pretty boring book. Perhaps interesting for some, but certainly not me. I learned nothing of any importance and there was little of interest to want to seek any further knowledge regarding any of the subjects investigated. All in all a disappointment.

Whores for Gloria

Whores for Gloria - William T. Vollmann, Gloria Vollman https://msarki.tumblr.com/post/161848367868/whores-for-gloria-by-william-t-vollmann

…I haven’t told the truth for so long now that I’ve given up lying.

William T. Vollmann’s name has come up often and been noticed on lists of books deserving to be remarked upon. For some reason I have resisted reading him, but my being recently compared to him by another writer I am intimate with, I decided to examine a bit of the fuss behind the legend of Vollmann. Whores for Gloria signals my starting point. And what a point it is.

…Virgin Mary candy full of sunlight and ocean fruit…

The narrator’s voice is natural and through the use of no punctuation the dialogue between all the players is easy to discern, understand, and know at all times just who is talking. But the subject matter perhaps excludes too many of us on purpose. And I like it that Vollman’s work is exclusionary. Becomes a sort of fraternity I have been temporarily made member of. In this particular case a membership in what might be referred to as a gutter club. Flying dirt balls of emotion and most certainly a fated dead end. It is obvious to me that Vollmann has studied his whoring subjects well. His disturbed protagonist is named Jimmy.

It isn’t easy for me being this close-up to Vollmann. Too few pages of pure joy, reading pleasures somehow massaging the pain and loss that permeates everything everywhere. Jimmy’s absent love conjured up in real time, futile attempts at recovering some sense of belonging in the world, even in light of his daily encounters with a confounding nature called time. And sadly, time being something apparently needing to end for him.

…alley by alley I will search and destroy…he could not believe that he was actually remembering anything because he had not done that since before he started drinking, and he felt uneasy…

In light of Jimmy’s incessant delusion in his remembrance of his long-lost Gloria the story is as much about forgetting. Fueled by alcohol his escape from the horrors of the Vietnam War seemed to morph into a parallel fantasy regarding the woman of his dreams brought to life through the seedy culture of San Francisco’s Tenderloin district.

One night Riley hopped a freight into town, and because he had been living the life of himself he was in bad shape.

For me, my first exposure to William T. Vollmann was portend, portend, portend. And for more of that I will be back. [b:Butterfly Stories|45683|Butterfly Stories|William T. Vollmann|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1348089356s/45683.jpg|44857] is calling.

The Naturalist: Theodore Roosevelt and His Adventures in the Wilderness

The Naturalist: Theodore Roosevelt and His Adventures in the Wilderness - Darrin Lunde https://msarki.tumblr.com/post/161653555123/the-naturalist-theodore-roosevelt-and-his

Perceived as a swash-buckling president, a rough rider, hunter, and preservationist dressed in a buckskin suit, Teddy Roosevelt has, in my lifetime, maintained his larger-than-life persona and for good reason. This book is the first study I have been subjected to regarding the man, and I could not have been more surprised over how much I did like him early on in my reading as I learned of his exploits, trials, and personal loss. Roosevelt like many others did not escape a lifetime of personal tragedy. He endured more than his share. And his evolvement as hunter to protector is of course as unsettling as it is amazing. Roosevelt lived in a vastly different time than we can comprehend fairly today. Financial and societal privilege afforded him many opportunities that most of us have only read about. But unlike others born into this privilege Roosevelt used his to further an agenda for good and to mark his time in history as significant and admirable. Theodore Roosevelt overcame poor health, a weak body, a childhood of city privilege and elitist pressures, to become a naturalist of the first rank. Focussing on the naturalist and human side of his subject Darrin Lunde provides his reader with a most-rewarding portrait of one of our country’s larger-than-life individuals who ever walked the earth.

After his evolvement as a naturalist and his two terms as president of the United States, Roosevelt seemed to change. And the last quarter of the book disturbs me to no small degree. What had previously come in the opening three quarters was a fascinating study of a man engaged with principal and courage. But beginning with the eagerly anticipated and extravagant African safari at the end of his presidency this endearing portrait of Roosevelt became a bit disgusting as he seemed to posture and demonstrate a pretentiousness absent in his early years. Cloaked behind a Smithsonian facade of scientific collection marched a loud and obnoxious cavalcade of pomp and bulge. For example, his sanctioned and personal killing of so many lions appeared to be wasteful, cruel, and extreme. Each subsequent page to follow felt uncomfortable. My disgusting reading about this particular safari was growing by the page and it became more difficult to remain enamored with the man who did so much to protect our lands. Though he did preserve a mass of wilderness for us, he failed in many respects to save the creatures inhabiting these spaces. Roosevelt was a hunter first who protected his sport through conservation. But, in fact, he was a killer of trophy wild animals who, with bad eyesight and poor skills, maimed and made suffer the most beautiful ones roaming the wild among us.

…Scouting around the first day, they saw seventy or eighty buffalo grazing in the open about a hundred yards from the edge of the swamp. It was too dark to shoot, but, heading out again early the next morning, Roosevelt and his party let fly a hail of ammunition to bring down three of the massive bulls.…It was a real chore for him to write in the field, and he joked that it was his way of paying for his fun.

What confounds me is the thinking that must go on in the head of any blood sport hunter. These men must have ignored the fact they were killing a creature that belonged on the planet just as much, or more, than they did. A wild creature of feeling, free to roam the plains being massacred by a privileged as well as massive and pretentious army hiding behind a cover of science, their rabid blood lust and joy celebrated on these killing fields. Conservation’s legacy handed down by Mr. Roosevelt is sadly tarnished by this horrid and destructive behavior not only by him but also by the hand of his son, Kermit.

…his Scribner’s accounts almost gave the impression that he was trying to provoke a reaction from the anti-hunting factions, as he documented his kills—botched shots and all—in unashamed detail…”I felt proud indeed as I stood by the immense bulk of the slain monster and put my hand on the ivory,” said Roosevelt, and then everyone began the work of skinning …

During this African safari Roosevelt and his companions killed or trapped approximately 11,400 animals, from insects and moles to hippopotamuses and elephants. In this biography Darrin Lunde has provided facts and story enough to honor Theodore Roosevelt as one of the most important naturalists who ever lived. And due to countless excesses he did help our evolving natural history museums to thrive. But at the cost of so many innocent and free lives, it saddens me.

The Mad Habit

The Mad Habit - M. Sarki https://msarki.tumblr.com/post/162119548768/the-mad-habit-2017-by-m-sarki

The accounting that follows places itself within a specific time frame spanning the years 1995 through 2017. And I believe in my heart that one of these main characters, my teacher, editor, and friend [a:Gordon Lish|232097|Gordon Lish|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1267719924p2/232097.jpg] will be remembered for what he gave the literary world through his tyrannical teaching, editing, and authoring of his own work. I am impelled to give an accounting of our relationship in order to counteract anything that might be reported by another critic not so flattering nor tolerant of our relationship. In his teaching, Gordon insisted that a writer maintain a required gaze upon the object. When writing short poems I learned it was paramount to do so, and by default, I found it much easier to compose verse in this manner. But when faced with crafting a longer work, and one that encourages digression in many forms, the task itself becomes at times overwhelming and insurmountable. Life does not behave in a non-digressive manner so why does writing have to? Untold events alter everything.

Bob Dylan FAQ: All That's Left to Know About the Song and Dance Man (FAQ Series)

Bob Dylan FAQ: All That's Left to Know About the Song and Dance Man (FAQ Series) - Bruce Pollock For the most part, this new book covering the career of Bob Dylan offers little new. But for the obsessed and interested fan it is still fun to revisit the greatest song and dance man to ever hit the stage. Unfortunately, there is a large segment of the book devoted to Dylan’s transgressions, which reportedly were many. Readers are bombarded and reminded almost constantly how prolific Dylan was at being unfaithful to his love partners. Unsure of how this behavior translates into the history of his art, but it does seem to be important to many Dylan biographers. As I neared the end of what I hope will be my last Dylan bio, there was a bit feeling of satisfaction knowing more than I should about the man. And still he remains an enigma.

Truck: A Love Story

Truck: A Love Story - Michael  Perry https://msarki.tumblr.com/post/161347680418/truck-a-love-story-by-michael-perry

Michael Perry writes a good story. He comes across as honest on the page, and though he lives in a more outdoorsy environment than most of us, he remains a gentle, thoughtful, and humorously self-deprecating individual. He obviously reads much and enjoys learning about the big wide world he lives in. His small-town characterization of midwestern rural life is obviously more involved and believable than the stage and radio personality of a celebrity the likes of, for example, Garrison Keillor. Perry actually does own a pickup truck and relies on it just as much as any long-term relationship. The love affair for renovation and rebuilding of his never-forgotten International pickup is rewarding on many levels and offers more than a mere glimpse into the heart of a man. Of course, this charming book leads Perry into finally settling down with a woman of like mind and their beginnings at building a new life together.

While engaging his readers in charming and humorous anecdotes, teaching us along the way by demonstration by his own personal mistakes, Perry is not at all shy in voicing his opinion. He courageously takes a stand over any injustice or ridiculous social stigma he is confronted with. I like that about him. But promoting a highly charged or political social agenda is certainly not his modus operandi. It simply happens occasionally in the course of a day. Perry is not at all a critical or judgmental person. He seems to be extremely tolerant while realizing his own inadequacies and hopes others respect him as well. He seems at times to enjoy promoting himself as a country bumpkin, but he is far from that. Michael Perry is one authentic writer and this is another chapter in his life story.