Escape Into Life Digest No. 38


Willy Verginer, Cariatidi (Caryatids)

Escape into Life brings us to a Summer Place where the music is cool, the art is hot, and the contributors are ready to rumble. We’ve had several especially popular posts over the last few weeks including:

New Music from Beirut . . . The eclectic and winsome music of the band Beirut has always demonstrated what an adventurous spirit and ear to the ground can produce. Led by New Mexico native and high school dropout Zach Condon, the band pays refers with affection to traditional sounds and culturally specific performers while creating a recognizably wistful “Beirutean” sound. According to our EIL reviewer, the “geo-musical” specificity of earlier albums that echoed sounds from Balkan villages, Parisian streets, and South American plazas have now been metabolized into a characteristically haunting whole. If you can’t roam the world unearthing musical artifacts this summer, tune in to Beirut’s latest offering with it’s beachy title Riptide.

“Alligator”  by Rachael Katz . . . In this story examining a young man’s premature death in a pick-up game of touch football, Katz turns the critical events over and over, teasing the subject into new forms like a piece of hard candy that is shaped and reshaped in our mouth before we have the courage to fracture it with a final gnashing of teeth. Grief and inevitability combine in this short story.

Poetry by Hannah Stephenson . . . The narrative form of Stephenson’s poetry is punctuated most succinctly by the shape of the verse, so that broken spaces inform the reader of the nature of of the form more than any flavor or adherence to recognizable patterns. From observations from a great height to sibilant reflections, these poems provide both a straightforward and  a slippery hold on reality.

Plan of the City by Joshua Frankel . . . Tune in to a new film short by Joshua Frankel, who is the creator of various previsualization animation pieces feature films including I Am Legend, Twilight: Eclipse, and Salt, as well as contributing short animated pieces to the Obama presidential campaign. In this delightful short film Frankel visualizes New York City escaping its current earthly tether to resettle on Mars. Use of a variety of images from live footage to old photographs to NASA images taken by the Mars rovers “Spirit” and “Opportunity” make the film intriguing on many levels. It won’t be at the drive-in so make sure your summer film viewing doesn’t stop in the local back forty.

The Creativity Sanctuary of Lefty Caligari . . . According to their website, AIM (Artists in Mind) is a charity using creativity to support individuals experiencing acute and enduring mental ill health. By recognizing that the struggles of the psyche often release valuable artistic insights and a wealth of creative energy, AIM has, in itself, created a sort of sanctuary for its participants–a place where artistic expression is accepted without application of judgements concerning “normality.” Lefty Caligari is a poet and filmmaker from West Yorkshire England who works under the stresses of acute anxiety and other personality disorders. His dark and claustrophobic films provide a lyrical and creative insight into a world both strange and familiar to the viewer and illustrate the profound results an artistic sanctuary can provide.

Stacy Ericson who is an editor and photographer who is interested in imagery both in word and in art.  Her work often reflects her roots in the western states and her abiding interest in other cultures, ancient languages and religion, and visceral passions. She lives and works in Boise, Idaho. and her poetry, fiction, essays, and photos can be found at the old bouquet.