Saturday, May 22, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Eyes bugged, rolling back into her head, teeth clamped. At first, I thought she was choking. Stomach distended. Sharp tremors. I pried open her jaws and tried to sweep the tongue...
How to choose: the local vet with the poor reputation or her regular animal hospital -- 40 minutes away?
She started frothing at the mouth. She lost control of her bowels. She collapsed.
Jabberwocky Chewbacca, my sweet girl. AKA Monkey (Love), Funkster, Goose, Jibberjab.
I thought she died.
We spent four hours at the vet. I made the 40-minute drive in under 30. Today she's trotting around like nothing happened. She's started twice-daily thyroid treatments. She's due for a check-up tomorrow.
Monday, May 17, 2010
"Hoagland’s ability to match formal challenges with serious social concerns should make for strength and subtlety in the poetry. So why do whole swathes of this new book fall flat? Sometimes the biggest flops occur when Hoagland addresses those social themes most explicitly. Consider the opening of 'Hinge':
Last night on the tv the light-brown African-American professorThe first three lines work as a fine lead-in. But then the poem takes such a wrong turn, that it would be offensive if it weren’t simply absurd. The idea that a light-brown African-American, and a professor to boot (readers will recognize Henry Louis Gates, Jr.), might be surprised by having European ancestry, and might consider a dna readout as the ultimate verdict on racial and cultural heritage, is dubious enough for starters. But the sudden move into the omniscient third-person, conveying the presumption that the poet knows exactly what the man was thinking, is the real trouble here..."
looked at the printout analysis of his own dna
and learned that he was mostly Irish.
I can’t go back to Africa now, he thought,
controlling the expression on his face,
his big moment onscreen already turning out
different than he had imagined.
Nor would he ever be able to say the sentence,
“I be at the crib”
with the same brotherly ease as before.
I heard a lot about this review before reading it -- and wasn't disappointed. To see what the buzz is about, check out Campion's "Rhetoric, Music, America" in its entirety (including a review of Romey’s Order, by Atsuro Riley) HERE. (Someone somewhere is drafting a letter to the editors regarding Campion's assertions -- I guarantee it...)
Eternal Enemies (Adam Zagajewski)
Girl Trouble: Stories (Holly Goddard Jones)
The Master (Colm Toibin)
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Writes critic Alastair Macaulay of the masterwork, "It is so beloved that viewers often now whoop at the start of favorite sections; they know they’re about to get the energy charge they came for. It may still be a knockout for the next 50 years.... Yet ["Revelations"] is the sensation it is because Ms. Jamison runs a well-oiled machine in which everyone knows how to put it across, night after night. Some members of her team will retire in the next few years. Put the wrong rehearsal director in charge, downscale the energy there, adjust one rhythm: this is how other hit dances have been eroded."
I'm curious, but look forward to seeing where new leadership takes the company. If you haven't seen "Revelations," I can't recommend it -- or any Ailey program -- highly enough.
Monday, May 10, 2010
It’s easy to read the collection’s title as an exploitation of sexist slang, a willful means of provocation. If “popping the cherry” is shorthand for taking a girl’s virginity, for example, does Taste of Cherry suggest oral sex? In fact, the phrase is taken from an Iranian film by the same name in which the lead actor picks up a series of strangers and drives them across the countryside. What the man seeks isn’t sex, but a kind of twisted intimacy: he hopes to convince one of the passengers to assist his suicide. The darker tensions provided by Taste of Cherry’s secondary context exemplify Candito’s tendency to align the erotic surface with more complicated undercurrents. Although in one moment a woman’s breasts “swell and expand /—a performance,” the same female body soon becomes an intellectual concept “like Baudelaire’s / giantess grafted with Betty Boop” (“Sleeping with Rene Margritte”). Candito proves the sensual life isn’t purely corporeal: Taste of Cherry’s libido is stimulated not only physically, but intellectually by artists and thinkers ranging from Montale to Walter Benjamin, Arthur Rimbaud to Puccini...
Ron Slate shares his thoughts about the collection here. To hear Kara read her work, check out this Podcast from Florida State University.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
"At The Media Line Rachelle Kliger reports that Digital Books Leave Arabs Cold, as:
Political pressures, technological problems of incompatibility and a tenuous grip on old-paper loving habits are impeding a swift move from hardcopy books to digital books in the Middle East...."*
Actually, I'm considering an iPad or Kindle. Thus far, via online recommendation I've found only two bookstores in Amman that carry English-language titles. I'll never read poetry on an e-book reader. However, (call me a hypocrite!) I'm considering digital as an alternative for prose while we're overseas...
My only concern (besides hurting print sales) is how the ease of acquiring such texts will compromise my pursuit of Arabic. In all honesty, I'll be reading in Arabic at a child's level at best -- so, perhaps those local bookstores will get my business after all. I'll need kids books for practice!
Damascus Gate (Robert Stone)
My Sentence Was a Thousand Years of Joy (Robert Bly)
The Lacuna (Barbara Kingsolver)
Not liking any of these very much, which makes Elizabeth Bishop: Life and the Memory of It (Brett C. Millier) even better. Just a 100 or so pages left of this one -- so sad to see it go...
Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful women in my life!
MOTHER O' MINE
If I were hanged on the highest hill, Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine! I know whose love would follow me still, Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine! If I were drowned in the deepest sea, Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine! I know whose tears would come down to me, Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine! If I were damned of body and soul, I know whose prayers would make me whole, Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine!