...the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life...

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Adjunct Disjuncta

"We like to rhapsodize about the influential teacher who changes lives and hearts, and makes students stand on their desks in academic ecstasy. But this doesn’t translate in the contemporary world of higher education. There is a complicated culture of silence that surrounds adjuncting. Schools have no incentive to draw attention to how many adjuncts most institutions now rely on, and as for the adjuncts themselves, addressing the subject raises awkward questions, and might even put their jobs at risk: in her essay “The Teaching Class,” Rachel Riederer recounts how merely explaining how adjuncting worked to a group of students outside of class threw one adjunct’s job into jeopardy. There also can be an element of shame, or reservations about discussing financial matters, or a reluctance to complain." [from]

Saturday, May 16, 2015


Three Kinds of Lovers

The deer, the fish, and the good man--
What do they love? Grass, and the sea, and peace.
Who are their most ferocious enemies?
The hunter, the fisherman, the nihilist.

[version by Robert Bly, after a translation by Barbara Stoler Miller]

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Frank O'Hara

"the Pittsburgh Pirates shout because they won
and in a sense we're all winning
we're alive"

[from "Steps"]

Monday, May 4, 2015

All you sad sacks

who sincerely wish to say what you mean and try to use language to do it despite all the ways it fails and will continue to fail: I salute you. All you who to justify yourself only to yourself give someone who is hungry money to buy food (despite the suspicion that that is not what will be bought) or give someone water to drink even if grudgingly: I'm following your example. Out of fear you said no to the thing you knew you should say no to instead of the better reason: because it was right to say no: You said no, nevertheless. Good job. You showed up to the thing where you knew someone might maybe expect you to be because you hate feeling guilty and you knew you would if you didn't show up. You showed up. You sighed repeatedly, loudly, while you waited but you waited and you knew you shouldn't sigh like that, that your face should be clear, pleasant, should put on a good show: Keep at it. Art without love is nothing. Smarts without love is nothing. Nothing. Not even wind.