Name: The Institute for the Appreciation of Beauty in Ordinary Things
Founded: 9.24.17
Founder: Elena Georgiou
Mission: To build an Arsenal of Beauty to use in the War on Ugly.
Funded by: Crowdsourced with donations of beauty and power by the General Public*

The Arsenal of Beauty (The Black Album):

A Golden Warrior is as beautiful as a Golden Bridge.
A bent knee is as powerful as a speech.

A buttonhook is as beautiful as a buttonhole.
A bent knee is as powerful as a speech.

A chip shot is as beautiful as a lace fan.
A bent knee is as powerful as a speech.

An athlete’s shoelace is as beautiful as a painting of a shoelace.
A bent knee is as powerful as a speech.

A medalist’s raised fist is as beautiful as an open hand.
A bent knee is as powerful as a speech.

A direct snap is as beautiful as an snapdragon.
A bent knee is as powerful as a speech.

A drop kick is as beautiful as a falling star.
A bent knee is as powerful as a speech.

A flexbone is as beautiful as a foxglove.
A bent knee is as powerful as a speech.

A Seahawk is as beautiful as an osprey.
A bent knee is as powerful as a speech.

A man in motion is as beautiful as a subway map.
A bent knee is as powerful as a speech.

A slant is as beautiful as a Sacred Kingfisher.
A bent knee is as powerful as a speech.

A walk-on is as beautiful as a waterfall.
A bent knee is as powerful as a speech.

A Steeler is as beautiful as a steelsmith.
A bent knee is as powerful as a speech.

A Jaguar is as beautiful as a jaguar.
A bent knee is as powerful as a speech.

A Raven is as beautiful as a raven.
A bent knee is an arsenal of power.

 

*Donations of beauty gratefully accepted in the comment boxes below

The Arsenal of Beauty
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Elena Georgiou

Elena Georgiou is the author of Rhapsody of the Naked Immigrants, from Harbor Mountain Press, and mercy mercy me, which won a Lambda Literary Award for poetry, was a finalist for the Publishing Triangle Award, and was reissued by the University of Wisconsin Press in 2003. She is also co-editor (with Michael Lassell) of the poetry anthology, The World In Us (St. Martin’s Press). Georgiou has won an Astraea Emerging Writers Award, a New York Foundation of the Arts Fellowship, and was a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her work appears in journals such as BOMB, Cream City Review, Denver Quarterly, Gargoyle, Lumina, MiPoesia, and Spoon River Review. She is an editor at Tarpaulin Sky Press and a member of the faculty in the MFA program at Goddard College. Georgiou is originally from London, England, where she spent the first twenty-seven years of her life. Since then, she has lived in the US — first in New York, now in Vermont.

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17 thoughts on “The Arsenal of Beauty

  • September 26, 2017 at 12:04 am
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    Wonderful, so needed, I admire every writer who has the grace to find words quickly for all the crazy moments we seem to have thrown at us. Congrats Elena, ever pointed and elegant.

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    • September 26, 2017 at 12:29 pm
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      Mary, I did the thing that I warn poets NEVER to do! Right the poem and make it public the next day. But I was desperate. I had to have a post ready to go–so this left me no choice. That said, I got out of my bed to change the last line. And after I posted it, I was mortified, worked on it some more. Then reposted it. If you go back now you will see a different draft . . . The work will continue. This is a subject near and dear to my heart.

      Reply
  • September 25, 2017 at 9:23 pm
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    I just learned that the NFL’s practice of expecting football players to come out on the field and display a “patriotic” attitude while the bellicose national anthem is played may have been motivated by payments from the US military. “As recently as 2015, the Department of Defense was doling out millions to the NFL for such things as military flyovers, flag unfurlings, emotional color guard ceremonies, enlistment campaigns, and–interestingly enough–national anthem performances. Additionally, according to Vice, the NFL’s policy on players standing for the national anthem also changed in 2009, with athletes ‘encouraged’ thereafter to participate.” (Think Progress ) A bent knee is indeed a multi-dimensional arsenal! Thank you, Elena, for bringing us into the presence of Beauty and connecting it to Power.

    Reply
    • September 26, 2017 at 12:32 pm
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      I had no idea.

      I have a feeling this might be the spark to a longer piece for me. (This is not simply responding to this moment in time, but something larger–integral to who I am.) For the past few months I’ve been watching a Netflix Documentary called Last Chance U. (About teenage athletes who have “done something wrong” and have ended up in Mississippi to be given one last chance to get on the professional track. I’ve been wanting to write about it since I began watching it. This might be the impetus I need. We shall see . . . Oh Time . . . Oh Hours in the Day . . .

      Reply
  • September 25, 2017 at 8:42 pm
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    A smile is as beautiful as a grimace.
    A bent knee is a plentiful bowl.
    Thank you Elena!

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    • September 26, 2017 at 12:33 pm
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      Love it! Thank you!

      Reply
    • September 26, 2017 at 12:33 pm
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      And Ashe.

      Reply
  • September 25, 2017 at 1:23 pm
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    Dear commentators :-),

    Anyone who knows me well also knows that I’ve always believed that when Artists Team Up with Athletes they can greatly increase their power to do anti-racist work in the world. This is my attempt at this Teamwork. Tommie Smith’s raised fist in 1968 was one of the most formative moments of my childhood. (Did you know Tommie Smith was a Goddard Alum?) In 2017, is it a bent knee.

    Reply
    • September 26, 2017 at 12:34 pm
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      Thanks, S! (Reworked it. Will continue to do so.)

      Reply
  • September 25, 2017 at 10:48 am
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    Beautiful poem!

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    • September 26, 2017 at 12:34 pm
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      Thank you, M!

      Reply
  • September 25, 2017 at 9:20 am
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    So beautiful. It made my day to wake up and read this.

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    • September 26, 2017 at 12:34 pm
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      Still working on it . . .

      Reply
  • September 25, 2017 at 8:01 am
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    A dusty light bulb is as beautiful as a slice of cantaloupe.

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    • September 26, 2017 at 12:35 pm
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      Beautiful! Thank you!

      Reply

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