Defiant Definer
from “The Pain Scale” by Eula Biss

A force 6 wind on the Beaufort scale, a “Strong Breeze,” is characterized by “large branches in motion; telegraph wires whistle; umbrellas used with difficulty.” 

Several centuries before the Beaufort scale was developed to quantify the wind, serious efforts were made to produce an accurate map of Hell. Infernal cartography was considered an important undertaking for the architects and mathematicians of the Renaissance, who based their calculations on the distances and proportions described by Dante. 

Galileo Galilei delivered extensive lectures on the mapping of Hell. He applied recent advances in geometry to determine the exact location of the entrance to the underworld and then figured the dimensions that would be necessary to maintain the structural integrity of Hell’s interior.

Imagination is treacherous. It builds a Hell so real that the ceiling is vulnerable to collapse. To be safe, I think I should map my pain only in proportion to pain I have already felt. 

But my nerves have short memories. My mind remembers crashing my bicycle as a teenager, but my body does not. I cannot seem to conjure the sensation of lost skin without actually losing skin. My nerves cannot, or will not, imagine past pain-this, I think, is for the best.

I have found, however, that I can ask my body to imagine the pain it feels as something else. For example, with some effort I can imagine the sensation of pain as heat Perhaps, with a stronger mind, I could imagine the heat as warm

Black Hole by The Urinals covered by Yo La Tengo

flashy interactions

Today a man with no legs told me that I deserved to be treated “just like a redwood, an American treasure.” 

Strangers on the street compare me to plants a little too often. 

this guy by the twerps

I may as well be a relic now: modern lyric and modern image embedded somewhere unseen, guarding over breath and routine.
I read poorly in front of people while I sat with my back pushed against a wall, my long legs stretched in front of me. I’ve been wearing these black boots all winter and I wore them that night too. They are the black boots I’ve wanted for years: menacing, thick, aged after only two months of wind and more salt than snow but mostly comfortable, soothing. The poems spoke of an imagined love affair between two martyrs that never met, that never lived in the same time, that only stood for something I can’t talk about and don’t feel a right to discuss here. I didn’t read the poems to myself enough and I didn’t drink enough water. Sitting there with a book unfolded in the space between my thighs felt how everything has felt for weeks now: stale white salt stains on streets waiting for snow that even after the city got some snow. This year didn’t feel like a winter I was waiting or anticipating. Even with a warm November and a gray grassed December, it felt sudden when it did snow. The crust was crisp by the next morning so when you stepped down into the white the void left by your footprint would crumble inward like watching saliva dissolve the edges of meringue after the initial bite. 
I started working at a new place. I’m sitting still for six hours, four days a week. I type, search, copy, paste, annotate, cross-reference, edit, and sometimes call people on the phone. It’s money, it’s a filling agent for now. 
There are moments when I am so comfortable, so full of awe with what is going on in my own existence. But they are moments, they go away and slip just as fast as the snow comes down, just as fast as the trains snaking from north to south, just as fast as my patience for what is new and unproven, just as fast as taste or smell, just as fast as the speed of a black hole which was recently discovered to move very close to the speed of light so that it devours so much in such a little time. The universe is hungrier than I will ever be. 
I’m still so impatient and I wonder when my hunger will surge again. 

I may as well be a relic now: modern lyric and modern image embedded somewhere unseen, guarding over breath and routine.

I read poorly in front of people while I sat with my back pushed against a wall, my long legs stretched in front of me. I’ve been wearing these black boots all winter and I wore them that night too. They are the black boots I’ve wanted for years: menacing, thick, aged after only two months of wind and more salt than snow but mostly comfortable, soothing. The poems spoke of an imagined love affair between two martyrs that never met, that never lived in the same time, that only stood for something I can’t talk about and don’t feel a right to discuss here. I didn’t read the poems to myself enough and I didn’t drink enough water. Sitting there with a book unfolded in the space between my thighs felt how everything has felt for weeks now: stale white salt stains on streets waiting for snow that even after the city got some snow. This year didn’t feel like a winter I was waiting or anticipating. Even with a warm November and a gray grassed December, it felt sudden when it did snow. The crust was crisp by the next morning so when you stepped down into the white the void left by your footprint would crumble inward like watching saliva dissolve the edges of meringue after the initial bite. 

I started working at a new place. I’m sitting still for six hours, four days a week. I type, search, copy, paste, annotate, cross-reference, edit, and sometimes call people on the phone. It’s money, it’s a filling agent for now. 

There are moments when I am so comfortable, so full of awe with what is going on in my own existence. But they are moments, they go away and slip just as fast as the snow comes down, just as fast as the trains snaking from north to south, just as fast as my patience for what is new and unproven, just as fast as taste or smell, just as fast as the speed of a black hole which was recently discovered to move very close to the speed of light so that it devours so much in such a little time. The universe is hungrier than I will ever be. 

I’m still so impatient and I wonder when my hunger will surge again. 

loverofbeauty:

Arthur Wardle:  Greyhound (1914)

loverofbeauty:

Arthur Wardle:  Greyhound (1914)

from “Spectacular” by Meghan O’Rourke

ask memory to be your burning stake.


glvno:


I JUST EMAILED EROTIC FANFICTION ABOUT THE BRAVE LITTLE TOASTER TO MY OLD LINGUISTICS PROFESSOR BY ACCIDENT

glvno:

I JUST EMAILED EROTIC FANFICTION ABOUT THE BRAVE LITTLE TOASTER TO MY OLD LINGUISTICS PROFESSOR BY ACCIDENT

Should I think that something is wrong?
Should I try to do a thing about it?

(Source: Spotify)


hotparade:

Daido Moriyama

The past is an answer not worth pursuing,
Nothing gets done except by the doing.
The future’s a climax forever ensuing.
Love is only won by wooing.
Today is a truce between reaping and rueing.
- “Pentatina for Five Vowels” by Campbell McGrath

hotparade:

Daido Moriyama

The past is an answer not worth pursuing,

Nothing gets done except by the doing.

The future’s a climax forever ensuing.

Love is only won by wooing.

Today is a truce between reaping and rueing.

- “Pentatina for Five Vowels” by Campbell McGrath

mangopeeler
“Now for some people, the moment of magic is when everything is suddenly clear or explained…I think we ought to try harder for that other kind of magic, which is the moment in which everything is totally mysterious.” -Stan Brakhage, (Brilliant Corners, 1979) 

mangopeeler

“Now for some people, the moment of magic is when everything is suddenly clear or explained…I think we ought to try harder for that other kind of magic, which is the moment in which everything is totally mysterious.” -Stan Brakhage, (Brilliant Corners, 1979) 

All of which makes me think that for writers, careers and canons won’t be established in traditional ways. Literary works—and careers—might function the same way that memes do today on the web, spreading like wildfire for a short period, often unsigned and un-authored, only to be supplanted by the next ripple. While the author won’t die, we might begin to view authorship in a more conceptual way: perhaps the best authors of the future will be ones who can write the best programs with which to manipulate, parse and distribute language-based practices.
Proudly Fraudulent: An Interview With MoMA’s First Poet Laureate, Kenneth Goldsmith | The Awl (via photographsonthebrain)

(via photographsonthebrain)

dwindled-dawn:

(via Covent Garden by Clive Boursnell - Retronaut)

dwindled-dawn:

(via Covent Garden by Clive Boursnell - Retronaut)

Some days it rains from start to finish and you’re left feeling an eerie sense about where you are versus where you should be versus where you want to be. Then you try to go to sleep and have acute dreams about standing on a roof, surrounded by children and it isn’t until you wake up that you realize that was a memory instead of a dream. 

Some days it rains from start to finish and you’re left feeling an eerie sense about where you are versus where you should be versus where you want to be. Then you try to go to sleep and have acute dreams about standing on a roof, surrounded by children and it isn’t until you wake up that you realize that was a memory instead of a dream. 

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