Friday, February 28, 2014

Gift of a Man.mp3 (Poetry Recital)

Click on the link Gift of a Man above to listen to this recital.
Gift of a Man exploits the power of the special and peculiar ability available to every man. There is some unique curiosities surrounding the harnessing of one's talent that the human race is yet to fully awaken to.
Gift of a Man digs below the surface to the very core of this mystery and unleashes the listener within grappling distance of what he deserves and already possesses.

Akpan
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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Walkin' Thro Walls.mp3 (Poetry Recital)

Click on the Walkin' Thro Walls link to listen.
Walkin' Thro Walls is a sort of poetry that reflects on life. The prospect of ending up with an unfinished life is highly featured in this verse. But the poet persona counters the fear of failure with affirmations in his own will to thrive and not back down to self doubt.
Walkin' Thro Walls is for you if you believe the man who fights back never loses no matter the outcome.

Akpan
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Reprieve.mp3 (Poetry Recital)

Click Reprieve.mp3 above to listen
Experience emotional freedom and come into your real self as you leave the darn confused world behind lapping your heels. Listen to this poem and understand why you ought to be unique and why knowing and exploring your peculiarity is a privilege and a right.

Akpan


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The Role of the Writer on the Internet


A revival of the writerly variety is budding on the internet. There is a demand for writers who are caught up in this web revolution to look up and away from their curbed viewpoint and visualize a whole new way of life, an advanced plane of expressing self in art not constrained by walls of culture or ethnicity or color or nationality. A world composed of pen slingers who aim with their pen to deliver one purpose, one goal, one dream; to strip the craft of affectation and mail it to the individual internet user on a platform so personal it can walk right up to the counter for a cup of coffee.

Earlier generations of writers could not afford exclusive access to such profound resource at the fingertips of the contemporary literary clique. Rephrasing Dean Koontz, “what was science fiction a decade ago is reality today.” The thrust of responsibility on today’s writer as the internet and social media bring the world to the neck of the woods is delicately enterprising.

But is that outlook workable judging we all are part of some larger clear-cut community of people which demands our input in some form which includes but is not limited to our craft? I believe it is. We can’t lose ourselves in a world of compromise and we don’t have to. What the writer needs to understand is that this medium—the internet—is a community of itself and consequently furnishes its own peculiar culture. Individual interest is protected and respected. Yet, we are of the same color, culture, nationality, and interest. The internet is home to a synchronized diversity. The pleasure is in being different and yet pursuing a solitary refined cause.

Each one of us must adopt a style of storytelling that adds its inimitable voice to the virtual universe’s storytelling. We ought to feed the www with our unique views while trying to fit into the broader frame of collective narrative and blend the details of our prose into the complex tapestry of our invented cosmos. Writers on the internet must come to the full measure of awareness that the World Wide Web and our craft cannot be separated. We define the web and we do it with one voice without restricting creativity. We must issue a restraining order to national boundaries, ethnic diversity, cultural differences and skin color. And let the scribbles of the pen be the one solitary standard of evaluation.

Keep your pen bleeding.

Akpan



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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Theme of Failure in Stephen King's Roadwork


Stephen King doesn’t come right out and state either in the novel or elsewhere that his book, Roadwork, addresses the theme of failure or human ineptitude in dealing with trivial faux pas before it gets blown out of proportion. He shoves it right through the transom and drops the responsibility of peeling back the loaded symbolism into the bosom of that unsuspecting culprit, Reader’s Discretion—without actually detracting from the true essence of story. Bart Dawes' son, Charlie dies from brain cancer and to deal with the emotional strain Dawes invents a split personality who he calls Fred. As Dawes tells an employee, “In those days there was no slick abortion law. When you got a girl pregnant, you married her or you ran out on her. End of options.” So it happened Bart married his girlfriend because somebody slammed the doors downstairs when they were getting it on and startled him into an orgasm.

Bart said about ending up at the industrial laundry where he worked after he got his then girlfriend pregnant; “I married her and took the first job I could get, which was here.”  The father-son management (at the laundry) gave him two grand which was a huge sum back then and told him to go get a college degree, which he did. “Mary (Mary is Bart’s wife) lost the baby in the seventh month and the doctor said she’d never have another one.” Bart never really expressed regrets towards marrying his wife. As Bart notes elsewhere concerning an unrelated issue, “I wouldn’t be sticking out my neck if I thought someone was going to cut it off.”

As it’s said in Nigeria; one thing led to another. Like a dragged out chain reaction, events suggested themselves to Bart Dawes step by tragic step. First, Bart inherits the laundry as an underdog manager; his laundry shop had been incorporated into a bigger parent company. Second, his house was in the line of a government road construction project and he was compelled to move out. Third, the industrial laundry which he owed his life and career was about to face the wrecking ball as well. His wife had become a walking dead since they lost Charlie, their son to brain cancer.
                Charlie was buried in his backyard and Bart couldn’t quite bring himself to go dig him back up and bury him over again. The grief would be too much of a weight to carry on his pair of shoulders.

Bart took up the job at the industrial laundry because of an accidental pregnancy, though he lost the child, eventually. He stayed on and worked at the laundry, which afforded him the house about to face the wrecking ball on account of the juvenile mistake. If his house goes down add the laundry to the equation and Dawes eventually relocates, it would seem as if somebody wiped out his entire life (something that has taken him twenty some odd years to build) and handed him a clean slate. Only, it wouldn’t be to a young Dawes with the world in his sights. It would be instead to a graying, despairing guy married to an old hag (one who is daily tortured by memories of the son she lost) with only the casket of a dead son to show for all his effort. The crushing déjà vu of his initial failure (something Stephen King calls fuckaroo) would have been too debilitating to close the eyes to like somebody putting the ballpoint of a BIC pen to your eye.

Dawes inevitably, loses his job after botching moves to purchase a new facility and then his wife Mary dumps him when she learns that contrary to Bart’s assertion, he'd done nothing in the area of getting them relocated. There it was finally out in the open and just what Dawes had been gaining at from the start without actually knowing it himself. His wife, gone, the job their youthful indulgence shoved down his throat blown out the backdoor. His only take-away prize lay in his backyard concealed within a marked grave to guarantee he stays put-the remains of his dead son, Charlie.
To Bart Dawes, it was a perfect alibi for an explosive suicide.

Keep your pen bleeding.

Akpan


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Sunday, February 23, 2014

I Wish.mp3 (Poetry Recital)


 
Click on the link I Wish (above) and listen to this recital
"I wish that my pen would keep bleeding until these phrases slide thro every brain straight down to the heart and jump-start every good reaction."

These words are the motivation behind this recital. This is one poet's heartfelt wish for a deeply troubled universe. I hope you find the kick that awakens the sleeping hero on your inside and the strength to pull through and make a difference in a world of growing indifference.

Akpan


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Friday, February 21, 2014

Fact Imitating Fiction

There Was a Country by Chinua Achebe 
When the writer, Chinua Achebe wrote his novel, A Man of the People he didn’t exactly know he was wading deep waters at least, not until he found himself in a compromising situation.
            In his latest book, There Was a Country, A Personal History of Biafra which is a memoir of sorts, the late author spins a soul-searching tale of rut within the political class, the lust for power and the tragedy of a people’s indifference to a gradual national autolysis.

Beneath an undertone of grave urgency the voice of a savvy writer goes through the roof on a well-oiled, jet-propelled craft that hypes up the intuitive muse within. It doesn’t just arouse but nurtures his muse into an orderly and consistent relation with his own practical consciousness in a setup where it becomes difficult to indulge the one and skip the other.

Death toll peaked at a couple hundreds per day and most Igbos in Lagos hightailed it when violence against the ethnos came to a head. Achebe (an Igbo man, himse) couldn’t bring himself to accept the detail played out in his eyes; his job, his life as he knew it was done and over with. One day, while snooping around on his office grounds, he bumped into his boss.
“Badejo (Victor Badejo then director general of Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation) confirmed a story I had heard of drunken soldiers who came to my office ‘wanting to find out which was more powerful their guns or my pen.’”
Chinua Achebe,
There Was a Country

If you can remember our previous talk of a book within this bigger book; a novel with the name, A Man of the People, I assume you wouldn’t find it difficult to wrap your fingers around the author’s peculiar dilemma.
“Some may wonder why soldiers would be after me so fervently… it happened that I had just written ‘A Man of the People’ which forecast a military coup that overthrows a corrupt civilian government. Clearly a case of fact imitating fiction and nothing else, but some military leaders believed that I must have had something to do with the coup and wanted to bring me in for questioning.”
Chinua Achebe,
There Was a Country

Achebe had sent a copy of ‘A Man of the People’ to a writer friend of his to read and review before the official publication date came around. Said friend was the famous Nigerian writer, poet and anthologist J.P. Clark. Inside the building where their little writing community rendezvoused, a community with a roll-call which boasted great names like Wole Soyinka, Onuora Nzekwu amongst others, Clark would arrived much later than Achebe uttered words (about the book and its author’s insight) that Achebe didn’t quite get over until his passing on several years later.
“It happened that my new novel, ‘A Man of the People,’ was about to be published in London, and I was communicating with my publisher, Heinemann. I knew the book was going to be problematic for me because of its criticism of Nigerian politics—very severe criticism. The novel after all, climaxes in a military coup.
                “I had sent one copy of the novel to J.P. Clark on a Wednesday, two days. When J.P. arrived at the meeting his voice rang out from several hundred feet away.                ‘Chinua, you know, you are a prophet. Everything in this book has happened except a coup!’
Chinua Achebe,
There Was a Country

Unbeknownst to both writers, they were sitting on the lip of a horrendous drop into the pit of the first military coup in Nigeria—the cold calculation and diabolic art of tactless men which has tainted the course of the nation’s upward mobility almost for all time. The evening of the same day this discussion took place recorded the successful execution of a military coup.

“When the artist’s imagination clashes with life’s very reality it creates a heavy conundrum.”—Achebe.
The job of a writer, contrary to traditional belief is one of the most dangerous though all he (or she) crafts are fictional works.

Keep your pen bleeding.

Akpan



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