52 SONGS

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

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Paris

"The U.S. is failing at both symbolism and action."

[from]

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Beliefs and Evidence

"It appears that beliefs - from relatively narrow person impressions to broader social theories - are remarkably resilient in the face of empirical challenges that seem logically devastating. Two paradigms illustrate this resilience. The first involves the capacity of belief to survive and even be strengthened by new data, which, from a normative standpoint, should lead to the moderation of such beliefs. The second involves the survival of beliefs after their original evidential bases have been negated."


from Judgment Under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases (1982), pg. 144

Removing some poems


If you're one of the very few people who visit this blog, I'm letting you know that I will be removing some of the poems that have been posted here in order to send them out to various publications.

"Dear Student"

I never like any article that lumps one kind of student group into a single category or that suggests that students are the adversary rather than partners in the educational project, but this article addresses a very real phenomenon I've experienced multiple times, which is why I'm posting it here:
When that happens, one thing becomes clear: Their feelings about the quality of [the students'] work often don’t match the reality of their performance. Instead of seeing their grades as a reflection of how well they interpreted or executed their assignments, some students will come to a different conclusion: The assignment was too difficult. Or my professor doesn’t get me.
When that happens, one thing becomes clear: Their feelings about the quality of their work often don’t match the reality of their performance. Instead of seeing their grades as a reflection of how well they interpreted or executed their assignments, some students will come to a different conclusion: The assignment was too difficult. Or my professor doesn’t get me. - See more at: https://chroniclevitae.com/news/908-dear-student-no-i-won-t-change-the-grade-you-deserve#sthash.sj2vvfTQ.dpufWhen that happens, one thing becomes clear: Their feelings about the quality of their work often don’t match the reality of their performance. Instead of seeing their grades as a reflection of how well they interpreted or executed their assignments, some students will come to a different conclusion: The assignment was too difficult. Or my professor doesn’t get me. - See more at: https://chroniclevitae.com/news/908-dear-student-no-i-won-t-change-the-grade-you-deserve#sthash.sj2vvfTQ.dpuf
When that happens, one thing becomes clear: Their feelings about the quality of their work often don’t match the reality of their performance. Instead of seeing their grades as a reflection of how well they interpreted or executed their assignments, some students will come to a different conclusion: The assignment was too difficult. Or my professor doesn’t get me. - See more at: https://chroniclevitae.com/news/908-dear-student-no-i-won-t-change-the-grade-you-deserve#sthash.sj2vvfTQ.dpuf

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Summer Listening

Beulah, Yoko
Fleetwood Mac, Mirage
Mountain Goats, Goths
Beatles, Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (new stereo remix)
Car Seat Headrest, Teens of Denial
Sonny Rollins, Saxophone Colossus
Blood Orange, Freetown Sound (this last one is new to me, recommended by a friend, playing as I type) (I also know this probably looks self-consciously cool, and I'm not getting any younger, but what can a body do?)

Poems in DASH

I have three poems in the new issue of DASH--Cal State Fullerton's lit mag. I don't know how you can get a copy, but here's the website for the journal. Each of my poems are titled with a word beginning with "A": "Aubade," "Aggregating Anemone," and "Ash Wednesday." This was not planned.


Saturday, May 27, 2017

A sweet cartoon for a hard week

Here.

If anyone knows where it's from, let me know!

Incredible Journalism

In form, if nothing else. (Except that, its substance--that our President countenances this kind of thing on American soil--is pretty strong, too.)

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Rhetorical Move

Below is what we call a rhetorical move. It's also a shockingly unimaginative, and uncharitable, way of characterizing collective responsibility.

"If I take money from you, and I have no intention of giving it back, that is not debt. That is theft." -- Mick Mulvaney, White House budget director, on the proposed Trump budget, 5/23/17


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Proverbs 11:1-4

A false balance is an abomination to YHWH,
          but an accurate weight is his delight.

When pride comes, then comes disgrace;
          but wisdom is with the humble.

The integrity of the upright guides them,
          but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.

Riches do not profit in the day of wrath,
          but standing for justice on the behalf of others delivers one into life.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Flannery O'Connor

"We now live in an age that doubts both fact and value, which is swept this way and that by momentary convictions. Instead of reflecting a balance from the world around him, the novelist now has to achieve one from a felt balance inside himself."

[from Mystery and Manners, p. 49.]

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Tomas Transtromer


ALLEGRO

After a black day, I play Haydn,
and feel a little warmth in my hands.

The keys are ready. Kind hammers fall.
The sound is spirited, green, and full of silence.

The sound says that freedom exists
and someone pays no tax to Caesar.

I shove my hands in my haydnpockets
and act like a man who is calm about it all.

I raise my haydnflag. The signal is:
"We do not surrender. But want peace."

The music is a house of glass standing on a slope;
rocks are flying, rocks are rolling.

The rocks roll straight through the house
but every pane of glass is still whole.


[translated by Robert Bly]

Friday, May 5, 2017

Monday, May 1, 2017

Robert Hass

"What else is experience in the second half of the twentieth century about, but the sense of a world run by people with insane assurance who manipulate large and unmanageable forces over which they have almost no control?"

Twentieth Century Pleasures, p. 158

So distressing.

Stephens’s column does not engage seriously with either climate science or distributional probability. He uses most of his limited column space to argue anecdotally. That is an approach that makes sense if your highest priority is limited government, and you are attempting to reason backward through the data in a way that makes sense of a policy allowing unlimited dumping of greenhouse-gas emissions into the atmosphere. That is a tic of American conservative-movement thought — the conclusion (small government) is fixed, and the reasoning is tailored to justify the outcome. Nearly all conservatives argue this way...

[from]

I got into a FB argument with people I don't even know last night about this very kind of thing. The conclusions are foregone, on both sides, but the stakes couldn't be higher. I don't know what we're supposed to do. And I teach for a living.