Unlikely 2.0

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Editors' Notes

Maria Damon and Michelle Greenblatt
Jim Leftwich and Michelle Greenblatt
Sheila E. Murphy and Michelle Greenblatt

A Visual Conversation on Michelle Greenblatt's ASHES AND SEEDS with Stephen Harrison, Monika Mori | MOO, Jonathan Penton and Michelle Greenblatt

Letters for Michelle: with work by Jukka-Pekka Kervinen, Jeffrey Side, Larry Goodell, mark hartenbach, Charles J. Butler, Alexandria Bryan and Brian Kovich

Visual Poetry by Reed Altemus
Poetry by Glen Armstrong
Poetry by Lana Bella
A Eulogic Poem by John M. Bennett
Elegic Poetry by John M. Bennett
Poetry by Wendy Taylor Carlisle
A Eulogy by Vincent A. Cellucci
Poetry by Vincent A. Cellucci
Poetry by Joel Chace
A Spoken Word Poem and Visual Art by K.R. Copeland
A Eulogy by Alan Fyfe
Poetry by Win Harms
Poetry by Carolyn Hembree
Poetry by Cindy Hochman
A Eulogy by Steffen Horstmann
A Eulogic Poem by Dylan Krieger
An Elegic Poem by Dylan Krieger
Visual Art by Donna Kuhn
Poetry by Louise Landes Levi
Poetry by Jim Lineberger
Poetry by Dennis Mahagin
Poetry by Peter Marra
A Eulogy by Frankie Metro
A Song by Alexis Moon and Jonathan Penton
Poetry by Jay Passer
A Eulogy by Jonathan Penton
Visual Poetry by Anne Elezabeth Pluto and Bryson Dean-Gauthier
Visual Art by Marthe Reed
A Eulogy by Gabriel Ricard
Poetry by Alison Ross
A Short Movie by Bernd Sauermann
Poetry by Christopher Shipman
A Spoken Word Poem by Larissa Shmailo
A Eulogic Poem by Jay Sizemore
Elegic Poetry by Jay Sizemore
Poetry by Felino A. Soriano
Visual Art by Jamie Stoneman
Poetry by Ray Succre
Poetry by Yuriy Tarnawsky
A Song by Marc Vincenz

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A Sweet-Voiced Flower Is My Drum
by Leigh Herrick

1. Ferminita Gómez, Priestess to Yemayá, deity of YorubalandThe third stanza of an Aztec poem seeking help from Montezuma reads: A sweet-voiced flower is my mind, a sweet-voiced flower is my drum, and I sing the words of this flowery book. The entire poem, "A Song of the Huezoztincos"1 is an address in preparation for tribal war between the Huezoztincos, allies of the Aztecs, and the Tlascallans. The editorial interpretation of the "flowery book" is a literal one. Yet, when I read these lines A sweet-voiced flower is my mind, a sweet-voiced flower is my drum, I couldn't help but view them as echoing back to an earlier time in which the drum/mind relationship was literal, nonviolent, and in form with chanting as the earliest poetic expression. This would lend a further interpretation of the "flowery book" as signifying not just the presumed literal book but also the representational "book" as metaphor for the mind/drum flow presented through the "body" of the "book" which is self. This sweet-voiced open-petal-ed mind/drum line seems to recall an expression of one's self as rhythmic formation come into being, being that is represented rhythmically.


In this poem the relationship between being, thinking and drumming presents itself and here also once again, with poetic relation. However, a significant shift has occurred for in this particular instance there is a warring, male-oriented aspect added to that relationship, but it wasn't always so.

From a time much earlier than that in which supplicants called for military aid from Montezuma, from many earlier times, including those in which frescoes were created as part of the birthing chapel in Hathor's Temple at Dendera, Egypt, to the paintings, reliefs and sculptures of Çatul Hüyük (Turkey, 5,800 BCE), there is evidence of drumming women whose relationship to and religious roles within their societies are traceable to concepts and practices involving peaceful, earth-centered ritual going all the way back to Paleolithic times in which a Great Mother Goddess was idolized and around whom ritual practices took shape that are interpreted as indicative of some level of human conscious-ness meditating on its relationship to the natural, earthly, seasonal, and motherly-imbued spiritual world.


The expression of ourselves as rhythmic formation come into being is revealed through our languages and our musically vocal sounds.

The expression of ourselves as rhythmic formation come into being and considered in harmony with and part of the natural world is seen in Paleolithic and Neolithic artifacts, cave paintings, murals, pottery and so forth, whose symbols and motifs are earth- and goddess-centered.

The expression of ourselves as rhythmic formation come into being and in harmony with the natural world is also found in rituals throughout the world whose practices involve drumming.

1 Anonymous, in The Sky Clears: Poetry of the American Indians, ed. A. Grove Day (A Bison Book: University of Nebraska Press, 1964), 177-178.

1. Ferminita Gómez, http://www.orishasplace.com/galeria.html