a winter state of beinglwh
where all traction is lost but
the wonder is unending
I went to a lecture last week. Ilya Kaminsky, a famous Ukrainian poet, began by asking “How is life on this shiny planet?” I did not know how to answer him. He taped pictures by Diego Rivera to the wall and read from Calvino’s Invisible Cities. He spoke of how our work is always in conversation with others and pointed to two of my favorite artists. I was, all at the same time, utterly chuffed and in complete despair. And I wondered how am I ever going to find myself in the middle of that conversation? I remain a child standing at the edge of the room watching the adults play word games in a language that I am just learning.
Later that afternoon while driving down the hill to town I was overcome by a deep wave of homesickness.
Do you remember the empty lot in downtown? The one that is so deep? There is an apple tree down there. Filled with little green apples — green apples that are about to ripen, many have red shoulders already. Somehow this does not seem hopeful to me. I must be deranged in some way.
Between all that and the disappointing lemon cake… well you can imagine my state of mind.
Yrs affectionately, L
I believe in the image, the line, the stanza, the iambic foot, the perfect word. Assonance, slant rhymes, that the formal forms still have a place in modern poetry. I believe that Shakespeare wrote the plays. I believe in a constitutional amendment outlawing poetry about poetry and the use of the word “suffuse.” I believe in revision, interlinear translations, publishing in print — not on-line, and I believe in long, slow, deep, wet poems that last three days.
The most wonderful vehicle in the world (according to several of my friends) is the VW bus. In this case, the iconic split-window version with company logos and colors.
Nice visual wrap up to the Cannonball Endurance Rally. (Vintage bikes)
Moving a little faster. This video teaches you “How to Lean on a BMW S1000RR” The lack of steering head movement (except when pulling the clutch) is astonishing. (Video)
Righthaven, a name that you never want to see on an envelope in today’s mail. The single-purpose copyright enforcement law firm has finally offered up the perfect (?) case for the EFF to test the limits of fair-use in the web.
Art, Images, and Design
All our stuff. In the 1990’s Peter Menzel made a series of photographs for a book about all our stuff. 30 families outside their homes will all their possessions around them. Material World: A Global Family Portrait. (NPR gives 12 of the original 30 portraits.) And now two Chinese photographers have repeated the exercise for the diverse regions of China.
High Def isn’t just for TV. HaltaDefinizione. HAL9000 uses new tech to produce incredibly detailed images of old pictures. Stunning. Read about the technology here. Look at the images here (in Italian — just click on stuff you’ll be fine.)
A1One has been working the streets of Tehran for quite a while now. This limited edition of prints combines traditional Persian calligraphy and his own sig style. I also admire his recycling of used spray cans.
time to fix more borken stuff,
The Sidewinder. Yup, Barris, still wrong. (The site includes all of the Barris designs from your childhood. The Munsters through General Lee. The front page has music.)
There are only two pictures here, but it’s not often you get to see an Excelsior under the sky.
You just know that this cat was the height of cool.
Osedax roseus is a bone boring worm that lives on the picked over remains of a sunken whale carcass. Adaptation is stunning in it’s variety. And no, it’s not weird to read about a finger sized red worm and repeatedly exclaim — that is so cool!
Two pieces of poetry, very different provenances, very similar messages.
First, Tom Waits reads the oddly hopeful ‘Laughing Heart’ by Charles Bukowski.
Then, Neil Gaiman reads “Instructions” while Charles Vess’ illustrations and working drawing captivate your eyes.
Os Gemos from Brazil hitting the streets of Italy with some clever visuals.
I’m not sure about the hamster wheel portion of this cylindrical housing solution but the bit that rolls over to change from a desk and chair to a bed is just what I need for my office. Nap-time!
Yuko Shimizu at drawger introduces us to another of her long list of on-line friends. Benjamin Gudel (u with umlat) Most of the images in this gallery are from a Carhartt campaign. Really.
‘ta my darling readers