Sunday, January 28, 2018

Carl Phillips, "Steeple"

Maybe love really does mean the submission of power—
I don’t know. Like pears on a branch, a shaking branch,
in sunlight, 4 o’clock sunlight, all the ways we do harm,
or refrain from it, when nothing says we have to.... Shining,
everyone shining like that, as if reality itself depended
on a nakedness as naked as naked gets; on a faith in each
other as mistaken as mistaken tends to be, though I have
loved the mistake of it—still do; even now—as I love
the sluggishness with which, like ceremony or, not much
different, any man who, having seen himself at last,
turns at first away—has to—the folded black and copper
wings of history begin their deep unfolding, the bird itself,
shuddering, lifts up into the half-wind that comes after—
higher—soon desire will resemble most that smaller thing,
late affection, then the memory of it; and then nothing at all.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

You only ever love me when I don't talk back

I think this blog works best as a scratch pad or repository for whatever I'm doing or thinking or reading or eating - like all blogs, I suppose. So:

I bought a Vitamix and am in awe of its power and maybe more than a bit afraid of it. It's possible that I will never eat non-blended food again, though, so there's that.

Finally finally finally read Xenofeminism: A Politics for Alienation, finishing Gary Indiana's Resentment after it had been in my roommate's clutches for who knows how long, sloooooowly making my way through James McPherson's Battle Cry of Freedom, waiting for my copy of Gwendolyn Brooks' Maud Martha to arrive along with the James Baldwin children's book I ordered for my baby cousin, and every once in a while picking up one of the million magazines and journals I've piled up (Apartamento, Martha Stewart Living, London Review of Books, etc).

Meyer lemons are here and they are glorious.

Thinking about 2013-2015 and wondering why Tirzah never blew up.

I've been wearing acrylics and have come to the sad realization that if I am to practice playing music seriously again (and I want to be serious!) they'll have to go.

Sunday, December 3, 2017




Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Reyner Banham ama Los Angeles

And I love this Spanish-language edition of Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies, designed by Rafa Mateo for Barcelona-based Puente Editores - it reminds me of the cover of Spring and All.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Is this just a poetry blog now


Natalie Shapero, "Sunshower"

Some people say the devil is beating
his wife. Some people say the devil
is pawing his wife. Some people say
the devil is doubling down on an overall
attitude of entitlement toward
the body of his wife. Some people
say the devil won’t need to be sorry,
as the devil believes that nothing
comes after this life. Some people say
that in spite of the devil’s public,
long-standing, and meticulously
logged disdain for the health
and wholeness of his wife, the devil
spends all day, every day, insisting
grandly and gleefully on his general
pro-woman ethos, that the devil truly
considers himself to be an unswayed
crusader: effortlessly magnetic,
scrupulous, gracious, and, in spite of
the devil’s several advanced degrees,
a luminous autodidact. Some people
say calm down; this is commonplace.
Some people say calm down;
this is very rare. Some people say
the sun is washing her face. Some
people say in Hell, they’re having a fair.


The November issue of Poetry magazine arrived this afternoon and it is good, Natalie Shapero's poems especially so.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Clouds of unhappiness still persist in the unseen mesh that draws around everything

"Yes, in the long run there is something to be said for these shiftless days, each distilling its drop of poison until the cup is full; there is something to be said for them because there is no escaping them."
From "The System" by John Ashbery, which only exists in copies of Three Poems (and collections, I guess) but not on the internet. I somehow found Ashbery's star chart (???) so, um, yeah. There's that.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

And yet for all this sea-hoard of deciduous things

My birthday is tomorrow and I haven’t thought much of it, except in an abstract way. I’ll be twenty-eight. I don’t know how to feel about it - I’m getting older, obviously, but I think I've subconsciously decided to save all my aging-related dread for later, maybe thirty, maybe thirty-one. I feel the same as I ever have, maybe slightly sleepier and more ready to call it a night, but more or less I feel as I’ve always felt: like myself. I feel lucky in that way. Changes within myself don’t really feel like changes but more a continuation of whoever I am supposed to be, whoever the person it is that I will eventually arrive at being. None of the people I’ve been feel wholly foreign to me, but maybe that’s because I still am all of them. I’m still the four-year-old admonishing my mother for eating unhealthily, I’m still the nine-year-old hitting boys with my metal lunchbox, I’m still the thirteen-year-old going on and on about some fucking book (first it was The Count of Monte Cristo and then it was Pere Goriot) and lecturing my friends for reading Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging instead, I’m still the fifteen-year-old listening to twee pop in my bedroom, I’m still the seventeen-year-old ditching my AP Art History class to go to museums, I’m still the eighteen-year-old fundamentally unsure about everything but still going on like I’m not. All of the twenties Londons are still there, too, but they’re just distillations of teen Londons, really, with different boys, different music genres, different books, different ditching of one thing for another. Of course, though, there's been change - lots of it, and sometimes too much. The past two years especially have been trying, but despite that I’ve still been able to pop my head up amongst the muck and be here. And it’s alright, being here. I’m glad I am.

I will say this, though - the London who toyed with the idea of getting a tattoo of a line from an Ezra Pound poem? She’s gone.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Album covers I've been thinking about lately, part II

Monday, May 1, 2017

The sun shining and all the stars aflame

 "Remember that: I know how black it looks today, for you. It looked bad that day, too, yes, we were trembling.1"
I had the idea that I would be spoiled for choice in terms of insightful writing on the anniversary of the L.A. riots, which began 25 years ago this past Saturday, but it turns out I am not - most of what I’ve read this go around felt formulaic at best and offensive at worst. But there are things to do - the California African American Museum has its No Justice, No Peace exhibit up until August 27th, the Hammer has a few events planned May 2nd - 4th, and there are several documentaries to watch, among them being LA 92, which opened in theatres Friday and premiered on Nat Geo last night. Considering all that hasn’t changed in these 25 years, I suppose it might be the fire next time, too.

1. James Baldwin, as ever, from "My Dungeon Shook"
Maira Gall