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msarki

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

L'Appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home
David Lebovitz
We Learn Nothing: Essays
Tim Kreider
Elmet: LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2017
Fiona Mozley
Limbo, and Other Places I Have Lived: Short Stories
Lily Tuck
The Double Life of Liliane
Lily Tuck
At Home with the Armadillo
Gary P. Nunn
American Witness: The Art and Life of Robert Frank
RJ Smith
Autumn
Karl Ove Knausgård, Ingvild Burkey, Vanessa Baird
Inside Out: A Personal History of Pink Floyd (Reading Edition)
Nick Mason
American Witness: The Art and Life of Robert Frank
J.R. Smith

To the Lighthouse

To the Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf https://msarki.tumblr.com/post/166001786448/to-the-lighthouse-by-virginia-woolf

What art was there, known to love or cunning, by which one pressed through into those secret chambers.

One of the most beautifully written books I have ever read. Not much to offer in the typical plot-driven genre, but a generous array of dream states in which only the best hallucinogens could induce.

…Her going was a reproach to them, gave a different twist to the world, so that they were led to protest, seeing their own prepossessions disappear, and clutch at them vanishing…

Mrs. Ramsey, even while dead, continues to submit her hold on them. And her husband, Mr. Ramsey, in his demeanor, perpetually exacts his indifference.

…Half one’s notions of other people were, after all, grotesque. They served private purposes of one’s own…

And Lily Briscoe, with an expressive brush to artistic fabric, creates nothing but her profound revision of this world.

The Surrender: An Erotic Memoir

The Surrender: An Erotic Memoir - Toni Bentley …If you don’t fuck with death chasing you, you are mistaken…

Though I did enjoy reading it, The Surrender turned out to be a disappointment. Not sure what I was looking for in reading this title. I feel a great need to always learn something, and this book generally afforded me an opportunity to understand more about why some people are perhaps obsessed with the asshole. I never have been, other than to take a good peek at my pile from time to time after a healthy bowel movement. I am aware of how sensitive the anal area is, of course, but have no compulsion to have a finger, tongue, or prick inside it. Neither does my wife, though there was a time several years ago when we experimented a bit over what all the fuss was about. Not long after a few penetrations to her sacred hole, she announced to me that her ass would be forever-on just exit-only. But I do get the surrender and submission dogma Toni Bentley details in her well-written memoir of ass fucking. I suppose the void of intimacy regarding her personal relationships is where I found the book lacking. She certainly loves to prepare for sex, however. And that is a very good thing by my way of thinking. Bentley is definitely promiscuous, and I thought I might learn more about a behavior that so far has eluded the bulk of my relationships, and more specifically, my marriage. But Bentley is certainly intelligent, and a well-read writer. All of us get our needs met in different ways, and she is no exception. Bentley just seems to have a hunger impossible to assuage.

Visiting Tom: A Man, a Highway, and the Road to Roughneck Grace

Visiting Tom:  A Man, a Highway, and the Road to Roughneck Grace - Michael  Perry https://msarki.tumblr.com/post/164650585283/visiting-tom-a-man-a-highway-and-the-road-to

Many of these enticing and wonderfully adept stories may not be as interesting as some presented in earlier books, but plainly speaking Michael Perry in Visiting Tom has achieved his greatest and most developed work so far among what has previously been published to great acclaim. Still a bit over-sentimental for my tastes, Perry again proves his deftness on the page. Weaving true life events into a cogent semblance of purity and goodness unrivaled by anyone in letters I have thus read, Perry resorts to what is happening in his personal present and how it relates specifically to his past. Admittedly nostalgic, Perry also remains humble as he exhibits an equal measure of the grace he admires in others he meets who come across his path. I hazard a guess that Michael Perry will have plenty more to say in the coming years as he continues to tackle life head-on with honesty, kindness, humor, and a taste for the best things a full life has to offer.
SPOILER ALERT!

Riding Toward Everywhere

Riding Toward Everywhere - William T. Vollmann https://msarki.tumblr.com/post/164551617213/riding-toward-everywhere-by-william-t-vollmann

Never been much of a Kerouac or Dean Moriarity fan, but have always been interested in the road, marching to a different beat, and eating off the land. The people Vollmann highlights here do not exactly fit the exacting romance I hold so dear. What William does achieve however is making me listen to him and actually focus on what he has to say. And that is good writing, no matter the subject or obsessions posed on his page. I read this book much as a slow-moving train. The sway and rhythm soothed me, and the certain-to-come rain failed to dampen my days like it might have his. I did feel sodden however with the pain of loss presented through the characters he met along the rails and diners and ditches on the way to his own Cold Mountain, the satori Kerouac strove for.

I never could have gotten to Cold Mountain because I lack Cold Mountain’s mind. I love cities as much as solitude, prostitutes as much as trees…But as Vollmann finishes, saying …Sometimes when I ride to Everywhere I believe in Cold Mountain.

Incest

Incest - Christine Angot, Tess Lewis https://msarki.tumblr.com/post/164553574748/incest-by-christine-angot

…A man’s sex penetrates radically. I like what’s radical. Other kinds of penetration are possible, borders, journeys…

Angot begins finally at the three-quarter mark to describe the incest in meeting her father, whom she never previously knew, and then subsequently being charmed by him. Eight days in which she was afforded the chance to know him firsthand as a father, and then as a lover for a time, first with that kiss on the lips and then whatever else Angot chooses to eventually deliver on her page.

…And I’m still a dog and I’m still looking for a master.

Isn’t all good writing some form of obsession, a supersaturation of some pressing demand on our heart and the meaning of our being? Lives riddled by mistakes and insufficient plans. Character studies among the worst of the worst. The insistence to finally get things right. To make of life something more interesting and palatable. Trying on names for things and different ideas. Seeing things in ways others are not susceptible to or aware of. Taking that one step out of line and suffering the consequences. No playing it safe on the sidelines. Decorum saved for our last days and attempts at amendments guaranteed to be forgotten within days of being deceased. A moving on regardless of past promises. Hollow effects falling on deaf ears. There is no cover, Lish said. Charge the fire.

…in Savoie there was a church in the village where all the houses had flagstone roofs, in this church the Stations of the Cross were particularly beautiful and the confessional witnessed my open mouth on my father’s penis, I had to finish him off in the car, he didn’t want to ejaculate in the confessional after all.

Angot claims she does not care what others think of her, or her writing. Her pen must be free of mediation that might control the outcome. She has no agenda, no vengeance on her page, just her freedom of expression. And damn those she says who want a story, or plot and romance without the pain of process it takes in getting to the end. And she claims she will, as desire is the vehicle in which to escape our despair. Angot goes on to say, Tough luck. That is her exacting sentence, and there is no doubt it is she who is speaking.

…Dogs are stupid, you can get them to suck on a plastic bone, and they’re stupid, dogs believe you.

Her needs are rarely met. Meanwhile she licks and sucks and fucks whomever needs it. And then creates entire books about the subject and her behavior. Angot is popular in France and widely read. She is controversial, at times sued, and in spite of it wins the occasional award judged for important writing. But she often feels despicable while unable to do anything about this feeling. Similar to the trap she is unable to escape from. And yet I do sympathize with her, still wanting her to indulge herself in every profane act imaginable. I want her dutifully soiled by her own making and then have the courage to write about it. It is Angot’s chosen way to redemption in her search for satisfaction on the page. It is her perpetual hunger unassuaged and a monster in the making.

The Feud

The Feud - Thomas Berger A rough and tumble foray into an earlier time when violence and bigotry reigned supreme. Unsettling in its easy to read narrative. Disconcerting in its portrayal of real America.

Get Well Soon

Get Well Soon - Marie-Sabine Roger, Frank Wynne Gave it a go, hung around for a good while, and then just had to let it be. Not for me. And not very good. Or believable.

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.