shiny things in messy little piles

Tag: poetry

Letter Home 4 Aug, 2018

Dear­est ones,

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 (after Ron Shelton)

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. 

Morning Linkage (Oct 5)


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,

Morning Linkage (Jun 8)


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