We’ll be in Minneapolis next week for the annual cluster-book known as AWP.
You can find us in the book fair at Booth 307. And we’ll be out to play Thursday evening, from 8 till 10 at the Poets Corner of Kieran’s Pub, where the wompus cats will go wild with poetry, theater, music… featuring new releases from Cornelius Eady and his band, Rough Magic; a new play and prose poems by Christopher Shipman; poetry about music by Zack Rogow; Leah Umansky‘s Mad Men poems; Robin Messing’s gentle wisdom; with drinks and dinner available throughout the show.
I have been avoiding this blog. Besides the usual plethora of dumbfounding acts by my fellow humans having stupefied me into silence (Syrian refugees, homicidal pilots, lying Nigerian president, child soldiers, moronic Indiana law, shall we go on?), there is our staff situation. It’s been a little slim this winter. But the backlog is getting wrestled to the ground, our beloved assistant editor is coming back on board, even our associate editor emeritus will be joining us in MN. The post-AWP wompus will be a little more rested, a little more on the dime.
I started reading Cryptonomicon. I was looking for a book to read in order to avoid diving back into Infinite Jest. A couple chapters in, I began to suspect I was reading a stepchild of Infinite Jest, and traded back.
Favorite new made-up word: Sociomediapath.
Next month I might stop reading the news altogether and just read books. (If you followed that last link–yes, I can’t dispute it, this goes further than Stephenson’s sociomediapthy.)
Do you ever wonder how different the world would be? What, for example, would David Foster Wallace be writing today?
Here’s a disturbing fact I learned from the BBC last night: NPR, which is the BBC radio equivalent in this country, and one of the journalistic sources one might suppose would be covering climate issues more thoroughly than some, had three climate reporters on staff a couple years back. Now they have one.
I’m not commenting on that because I don’t have anything civil to say.
I had just decided I need a new barber when someone unexpectedly complimented my haircut today. So I thought, maybe I shouldn’t switch. Maybe this is good. Then I wondered if I care. I stomped all around town today in ratty old gardening clogs because I knew I’d have to take off my shoes at physical therapy and the clogs, ugly as they are, are also easy off, easy on. What difference does a small matter of appearance make? (Why are people so surprised when they find out what I used to do for a living? Why are we so insistently hung up on pigeon-holing people the second we lay eyes on them?)
Our brains, our poor distractible brains. We busy ourselves chasing ghosts and run right past the living.
I dreamt that I had plagiarized. I was very distraught–I wanted to pull the manuscript before it got published. It had been some kind of accident. This dream came a couple days after the court ruled Marvin Gaye’s song Got to Give It Up had been plagiarized by Thicke and Pharrell with their hit, Blurred Lines.
When you listen to the two songs it’s really hard to defend the newer one as original. The counterargument put forth goes like this: art is so often derivative of other art that inspired it; without the freedom to imitate, art is stifled.
If a poem you read insinuates itself into your subconscious, are you capable of inserting it, years later, into a work of your own without even realizing it isn’t your line? I’m not equating this to the Gaye case. It’s just where my tired brain goes.
I put away my winter coat and winter boots today. For the second time. This time I mean it.
See you in Minneapolis!tulips & daffodils, sammy