— Vanessa Blakeslee, “Apologia for Being a Colony Addict”
"EXT. – DAY Judd Nelson puts a cheerleader’s diamond stud in his ear, walks across a football field, and has his fingerless-leather-gloved fist freeze framed defiantly in the air. Thus ends The Breakfast Club…but not before Simple Minds’ Don’t You (Forget About Me) swells on the soundtrack, capping one of the most important films of the 80s with an iconic musical moment that’s still putting smiles on people’s faces to this day. Unfortunately, that’s the only tune by Simple Minds that very many people not from Scotland are aware of, which is a shame…because they did some great work. Among that is is this energetic/futuristic instrumental track, included here as a nod to the resilience and vitality of Hiroshima.”
— Tim Boland, “Literature on Lockdown: Eighty Square Feet”
Remember those blue irises I’d left for years?
You dug them out with Sean’s big fork,
then left them on the grass for me to split.
After you’d gone I wrenched and tore.
Got nowhere, gave up struggling, fetched the spade.
That mat of yellow roots, the slicing blade,
the last despairing heave, the rain of soil—
the shock still live and scorching through my flesh.
— Last week’s poem of the week was Kerry Hardie’s “Watching the Fire Take Your Body”
— Michael Nye, “On MFA vs NYC vs Love of the Art”
— Our poem of the week is Kai Carlson-Wee’s “Jesse James Days”
"At 24, suffocated by the prejudices attendant to being a gay black man in America James Baldwin left for France. He’d live there on and off for the rest of his life (referring to himself as a “Trans-Atlantic Commuter”) and it was there that it was able to pause, breathe, and explore himself beyond the “negro” label forced upon him in his country of birth. All that’s to say that at least one francophone track is essential for this playlist and I can’t think of a better one than the unbounded energy and joy of this Yacht rework of an avante-garde Brigitte Fontaine track. I don’t care how bad your day’s been, it’s impossible to not crack a smile and move to this one.”
Things I find unsettling –
A brain coral – no, an actual brain, the folds of gray matter
unraveling through a sleeve underwater –
The gutter, a lake of no respect –
Are you a lifer – schadenfreude-laced exchange
at the speed of its antidote, a confession or apology –
A suspicious package at the local airport,
milled palm-oil soap called green tea –
Carry me, cries a stranger, mispronouncing my name –
— Last week’s poem of the week was Karen An-hwei Lee’s “X Is For Xenophobia”
— Michael Nye, "Cash Rules Everything Around Me (And Silkworms)"