email from my brother this a.m.:

Below is the flight and hotel info for our upcoming Aruba trip. Bask in its glory and feel the unrequited Carribean bliss. Wallow in your domestic, provincial surroundings as we recline on white sands and clear water for as far as the eye can see. Attempt--and fail--to vicariously experience the unrelenting rest and relaxation that will commence all too soon. Contain your seething jealousy and desire to be as we are and go where we go, refraining from physical violence or other destructive outlets. Instead wear masks of polite and tactful encouragement, feigning altruistic happiness while secretly longing to wring our oiled, tanned, & well-massaged necks.

My emailed response to my brother this a.m.:

Enjoy! And may you be unable to get the Beach Boys' "Kokomo" out of your head the entire time you're in Aruba, Jamaica, ooooooh I wanna take ya, especially during sexual relations, to Bermuda, Bahamas, or should I say, during those times that might have been exquisite for having, Come on pretty mama, sexual Key Largo relations, but will not be, Montego, because you will not Baby why don't we go, be able down to perform with all those Kokomo Beach Boys crooning as if into your very skull and soul.

I can bring home the bacon...

...sketch it up in the panel.

Yikes. A 1938 letter from Disney rejecting Mary Ford's application to their animators' school reads: Women do not do any of the creative work in connection with preparing the cartoons for the screen, as that work is performed entirely by young men. For this reason girls are not considered for the training school. (via BoingBoing)

I just love the logic: "Women do not..." [Why?] "...because that work is performed entirely by young men."

One also wonders what the cut-off age for "young men" was. "Yo, Gramps, keep yer hand steady, looks like yer Mickey's crumpin'!"


Library Hack: lit mags, free

Lifehacker ran a post on "library hacks" a while back. Here's my own hack for the poetry-reading, no-longer-have-access-to-academic-libraries crowd: find out if your public library subscribes to Academic Search Premier, a database containing the full text of tons of academic journals...and lit journals. Yes--you can be mildly disgusted by the current issue of Poetry for free without having to skim it surreptitiously at Barnes & Noble!

In Academic Search Premier, click on "Publications" to search for a journal. If it's there (and offers more than just the bibliographic records, which many mags do), click on the journal's name and presto--the full text of every issue, often going back years. American Poetry Review, The Antioch Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Chicago Review, The Kenyon Review, The Massachusetts Review, etc., are all available in full text. It's also a good way to check out a journal's bent over time if you're looking for places to submit. If only it had the full text of Pleiades, or The Canary, or...


Ed Dorn

I've been a restless reader lately: the new Chabon comes in on reserve for me, I want the new McEwan instead. I check out 30 library books, end up rereading something from my own shelves. The one book I've been successful at returning to (as opposed to reading a piece of, then dropping) amidst all this is Edward Dorn's Way More West: New and Selected Poems. Anyone who has been in a marching band--or hell, attended a parade--might actually need Dorn's "Sousa" [selections]:

Great brass bell of austerity
and the ghosts of old picnickers
ambling under the box-elder when the sobriety
was the drunkeness. John,

you child, you drumhead, there is no silence
you can't decapitate...

Your soft high flute and brass
remind me of a lost celebration I can't
quite remember,
in which I volunteered as conqueror...

I sing Sousa.
The desire to disentegrate the Earth
is eccentric...

Then, on the next page, this:

Like a Message on Sunday

the forlorn plumber
by the river
with his daughter
staring at the water
then, at her
his daughter closely.

Once World, he came
to our house to fix the stove
and couldn't
oh, we were arrogant and talked
about him in the next room, doesn't
a man know what he is doing?

Can't it be done right,
World of iron thorns.
Now they sit by the meagre river
by the water...stare
into that plumber
so that I can see a daughter in the water
she thin and silent,
he, wearing a baseball cap
in a celebrating town this summer season
may they live on

on, may their failure be kindly, and come
in small pieces.

That I keep returning to Way More West means I'm on page 23.
I want to keep reading.


eye licorice allsorts

Images I've bookmarked in the last few weeks--

"Elephant With Exploding Dust" (from Nick Brandt's On This Earth)

"AT-AT the Playground" by Casey Weldon (more Weldon paintings) (via Neatorama)

photos of shattering statues by Martin Klimas (via kottke)

Mark Jenkins: Street Installations (scroll for giraffe and similar installations)

Jialiang Gao's photograph of a terraced planting area in Yunnan province, China (via Neatorama)

(also pretty madly in love with Grace Weston's photographs [flash slideshow]--via Neatorama)


One Sentence

Sentences kick paragraphs' asses.

I remember reading Stein's How To Write--"a sentence is not emotional a paragraph is"--and disagreeing more than I usually do with her, not least because one of the most evocative sentences I've ever read was hers, when describing the interior of a house in "The Good Anna": And everywhere were little things that break.

Another favorite, from Vonnegut: Like so many Americans, she was trying to cobble together a life from things she had found in gift shops.

Yesterday, I stumbled on One Sentence, a blog that features "true stories, told in one sentence" (each from a different author). While some read like PostSecrets without the art ("He threw the condom out the car door when we were finished over a year ago, but I still feel guilty that I didn't stop him from littering"--can't you just see the postcard?), others are interesting as sentences-in-themselves:

The man's face was so badly decomposed that the cop asked me, "Well, does this look like something he would have done with his hair?"

I sat by a peat fire in Ireland and picked fat ticks off an orange cat with heated tweezers for three hours while reading Joyce. (ok, stopped believing at "Joyce"--but still fun)

It's the emptiest feeling in the world when you know your friends are out having fun, and you are at your dining room table, weeping and scrapbooking. (the "scrapbooking" seals it for me)

I was closing a cereal box one night when I became very aware of my height.

So I told her "When you go to college try to send me a letter."

I realized it was Sunday when I drove up to Chick-fil-a and it was closed.

Worth adding to your feeds, I think.



Nina Katchadourian exhibits a great way to stack your books. Given the time, it'd be fun to do this before having guests of the kind that go straight to your bookshelves over (I'm one such guest). Can't wait to get home and see what my shelves yield. And yours?
Best library outreach I've seen in a while: smack in the middle of the Midtown Farmer's Market last week in Minneapolis, East Lake Library (located about 10 blocks from the market--a Minneapolis, not Hennepin County, library) was holding a storytime and will weekly. Clearly posted was info about other storytimes and summer offerings available at the branch. Bravissimo!


how would you kiss you?

Via Kottke, a Photoshopped series of people kissing themselves. What's fascinating are not the images so much as seeing how people chose to approach themselves: some erotically, some tenderly, some shyly, some matter-of-factly. There's a whiff of "consciousness raising exercise" here, and I think how much easier (and more natural-feeling) it would be to pose slapping myself or shaking myself by the shoulders. There are 27 photos in the series--take a look.