On Harriet, the Poetry Foundation blog, check out Cornelius Eady on word-drunk music, roots in the blues, and the arc of his band Rough Magic. Five songs from Book of Hooks are up on ReverbNation in joyous, electrifying rehearsal and live performance versions.
As poetry month waved goodbye we found a flurry of interesting links in our inbox: Blue or Green, by James Galvin. Christian Anton Gerard’s defense of poetry on The Rumpus. Ploughshares’ column “in the spirit of radical, attentive listening” by Major Jackson. Miniature books have their own library. James Patterson raises the alarm with print ads on the future of the book.
Fukushima is called the second worst nuclear reactor disaster in history, Chernobyl being the only one worse. Fukushima is a rolling disaster–almost making Chernobyl seem nicer, at least more clear cut. Now Tepco has covered 48 acres with water storage tanks and the power company is poised to cut down an entire small forest nearby, just to clear space for more tanks. Normal mountain snowmelt runoff through Fukushima to the harbor is flowing into the broken reactor buildings, and must be pumped back out at the continuous rate of 75 gallons a minute, or it will flood cooling systems.
The water they pump out is highly radioactive. They planned to run it through a fancy filtration system and dump it into the ocean–the filter removes all radioactive contaminants except Tritium, which lets off very low level radiation, harmful only if ingested. Nuclear reactors release Tritium into the local water supply every day. But Fukushima harbor’s water registers 100 times the “acceptable” limit of Tritium contamination already, and the proposed dumping raised a public outcry. The first plan, underground storage tanks, already failed–that’s when they moved to the above-ground tanks now covering the area. The story gets either better or worse (depending on your taste for gallows humor)–take the rat who got fried while gnawing power cables, an accidental suicide that caused a blackout, disabling cooling systems of four fuel rod storage pools. Solution: mousetraps throughout the facility, and then, yet another power failure as Tepco workers installing wire nets to keep out the vermin trip the very same cooling system. If they make it into a movie we’d need to cast the Three Stooges.
Every day these days, truth gets weirder than fiction.
Which brings me to turtles. No seque, I just want to tell you about the turtles. Walking around the lake, wildly mating carp broil the shallows here and there, and sunning turtles stretch out on downed tree limbs that reach into the lake like piers. Visiting turtle town always makes me happy. You have to be quiet or they slip off their perches and plop into the water. A bunch of the bigger turtles didn’t budge the other day when we snuck past. The forsythia are going to leaf, the lilacs have finally burst, there are redwing blackbirds swooping from tree to tree and swallows zigging above the dam.
Back home, I let a bee off the screen porch just as one of the wompus cats was about to grab it. Sometimes a good deed ripples out nicely, defying the law of unintended consequences. Any day you get a reprieve is a good day. Everything feels a little brighter, a little sweeter.
There were so many readings and festivals this past weekend you’d think it was still Poetry Month. May your ears be filled with poems, with music, with the stuff that feeds your spirit.