52 SONGS

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

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Anne Carson

"It was the hour when snow goes blue and streetlight come on and a hare may / pause on the tree line as still as a word in a book."

That's from Autobiography of Red. It's hard to explain to my students that a sentence is one of humanity's great technological innovations. That is a sentence that shows to me, if nothing else, how amazing a simile can be.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Andrew Sullivan

It was increasingly hard not to see in Plato’s vision a murky reflection of our own hyper democratic times and in Trump a demagogic, tyrannical character plucked directly out of one of the first books about politics ever written.
[From a long article, but fascinating (and disturbing), and worth reading to the end.]

Saturday, May 7, 2016

A Misunderstanding

Your profile said you're an unashamed
brainiac. I love the confidence that shows,
like you know you're smart.

You must be really into books and computers
and stuff like that, right?
She was holding a glass of wine

above her plate, her hand supported by
her forearm resting on the table's edge.
No no he said, that was a typo:

I wouldn't say that I'm a brainiac--
I'm a braniac. I really love bran.
His wine as well hovered over his plate,

which was heaped with hot granola,
and millet. She put her glass down,
reaching for the knife to cut her meat.


Friday, May 6, 2016

That boy holding the rake

Is in thrall to videogames.
His father views in the enchantment

Yardwork, and thus the compost bin
Teems with fecund decay,

And the soil beside the walk is scored
Into neat, little rows.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Jessa Crispin

When you were getting started there was a backlash against snark in criticism, both in print and online. Now there’s a backlash against boosterish “smarm.” 
Well, everyone overcorrects, because we’re stupid and we don’t learn anything. 
[from

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Connecting Racial Justice & Environmental Justice

Q. Early on, you linked the death of Freddie Gray, the Baltimore riots, and the environment. Why?   
A. Before we even learned about the incinerator, we were learning about our basic human rights. When we found out the incinerator was proposed to be built in our community, it violated every single value, belief, and basic human right that we had. When it come to the death of Freddie Gray, when it comes to incinerators, when it comes to the crisis in Flint, Michigan, those issues are different, but they’re not separate. They’re all issues of injustice — of systematic injustice, which we’ve been fighting against.
Q. What about environmental justice in particular? What do you think grassroots activists should understand about winning campaigns against big polluters? 
A. When polluting developments are proposed, they’re usually in poor neighborhoods. They’re proposed in places where it’s perceived that our voices aren’t very strong, that there won’t be a public outcry, or that there isn’t a lot of power and so there won’t be a lot of pushback or resistance. And a lot of times, those are communities of color. It always comes down to who or what has power. When we’re resisting against an established system that creates developments like the incinerator, it’s really important to have power in communities if you are to win.
[from

Hélène Cixous

Precepts under "Our Performance": Here, for me, in safekeeping.

Esme Patterson

Here's a song I discovered today by an artist I discovered today (thanks KCRW!). It's really good.