Farewellia a la Aralee by Ralph La Charity


FAREWELLIA a la Aralee opens with a nine-poem tribute suite that tracks the end-times dynamic of the American poet, Aralee Strange, and concludes with an appendix, entitled CINEMANUENSING, that amounts to an extra- visionary tracking of the filming of This Train, her late ‘90s full-length feature film that was still in post-production at the time of her death, in June 2013.  Consisting of poetry, prose, photos and color collages, the book also includes an audio CD of La Charity in performance, delivering his nine-poem tribute suite aloud.


  • Kind: Perfectbound
  • Pages: 62
  • Language: English
  • Published: March, 2014
  • ISBN: 978-1-939929-10-5


One of the more exciting things was to read Farewellia, which is– I mean this as all compliment–a hoot, entertaining, funny and often very moving; the new poems, especially “Victor Weave” grabbed me, and the repro of Cinemanuensing (next time we meet, I want you to pronounce the word), is simultaneously beautiful and weird. An appendix larger than the book is so post-modern (and a bit Waste Landish too, no). Reminds me of the scholar who told me that anyone can be an author, but to be a footnote is an accomplishment. Anyway, consider your re-debut an assured accomplishment. —Michael Heller

i particularly LOVE hearing you read the poem aloud as i read it silently—you got the Ancient One in yr voice, ras!  “the appendix” is an ironic way of putting it because it’s CENTRAL to yr multi-media appreciation of Aralee Strange. absolutely, yr FAREWELLIA project is a mind-blower & right up my alley in so many ways. no quest-ion, i’m on a quest to find, celebrate & participate in the return of our lit trad to its aural-oral roots, both as solo words aloud & words & their many love forms w/ amelican music. to my ear, yr work is so ekstasis, whether in grief or in joy, the antithesis of the repressed pilgrim afraid of strong feeling. —Kirpal Gpordon

I wanted to wait until I had the opportunity to listen to the cd, and I did so on the way to an appointment yesterday.  It’s wonderful!  You are shaman, sorcerer, scholar and songster.  Listening made me miss you and your wonderful voice so very much; I can’t wait to see you at Jawbone.  I especially enjoyed your singing on the cd.  The book is a beauty and I read it cover to cover; it does your work justice.  —Diane Borsenik

Listened to the cd today as well– raw, palpable– fuse of dynamite woven within your breaths– your blood quiver of the bone evokes the singing of Grimm’s Farewellia Tales and lullabies so loving of another & all– So much there for the mere pumping of the heart– so much you there standing side by side—-for now…  yes– the deep swim, the surface blow, the spray of lunged breath…”  —Ben Gulyas

the included cd fulfills one of my earliest dreams for nine muses, to have the words both spoken and laid out in letters, in the same package.  you speaking, saying this, these meanings the words point out.  a gentle performance, the emotion in the echoes.  does the job brilliantly.  sometimes i need the voice. many lovers and sometimes none, yes?  isn’t that part of the vagabondage?  being uncoupled.  like the outside/inside in your dialogue with jake berry.  —Margareta Waterman

Got the book today and love it! Thank you! You’re taking the art into fascinating places. I’ll be digging into this one for a while. Wonderful. Enjoying the book catch as catch can. It seems possessed of many minds. A fascinating and very enjoyable aspect in poetry since most seems focused on a single voice.  The performance of the suite on the CD is exactly right for the book. Your performance is nailed to be sure. That’s what it needed to be. Given the quality of the poetry and the book in general. Music in this combination would have been superfluous. Your voice is very musical and often involves singing anyway. A lovely voice it is too. Reminds me a bit of Pete Seeger – which is high praise. And the poetry as read is singing as well with, again, a very strong voice, perfectly placed. “Sleight of Disappear” and “Dark Lawful Rhythmic Infinity” are not easily performed I am sure. The timing, the tonality, all of it excellent.  Your description of it the book and CINEMANUENSING in particular is as good as I’ve ever read a poet describing his or her own work. It goes to the heart of the process some poets, those who work outside frequently, go through. Or maybe that’s inside. It’s all relative to personal perspective I suppose. At any rate, I’ll keep all of this in mind as I read and reread it.  —Jake Berry

Ralph is a visionary:  Blake by way of Black Elk, and mix in a little Swedenborg.  Anything he puts on the page is a trip.  —Paul Pines



we knew

what was coming
so did she

fat train bearing down
and no de-rail in sight

shook the ground
for miles around

shook the thistles
and the briars

shook the willows, too

man in gaudy hat
sat at rail’s end

met that fat
head on


Ralph La CharityWith compañero poets Ken Kawaji and Bill Polak, La Charity created the two hour weekly jazz/poetry broadcast, the Skaldric Cauldron, on WAIF/FM radio Cincinnati in the mid-’90s.  His poetics samizdat, W’ORCs/ALOUD ALLOWED, began publishing from Amsterdam, Holland in 1986, and continued its run through West Germany, San Antonio, and Cincinnati, having published to date over 90 issues.  At http://www.semantikon.com/dialect.htm, selected compendia of his work is available, archived for the years 2005 and 2008 by sitemaster Lance Oditt.  At  http://www.athenswordofmouth.com, individual pieces of his were posted by Aralee Strange, from the years 2010 thru 2013. He currently appears delivering his poetry aloud as an open participant at open poetry readings throughout the State of Ohio.

Additional information

Weight 7 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × .25 in