wood s lot

Some Blogs

A Bad Guide
A Fool in the Forest
A Journey Round My Skull
A la recherche
A Piece of Monologue
an eudaemonist
ads without products
Al Filreis
american street
An und für sich
Anecdotal Evidence

Behind the Lines
Beyond the Pale

Brad Zellar
Brian Lamb
Buzzwords -3:AM

Cassandra Pages
Crag Hill

David Neiwert
Departure Delayed
Doug Alder

Easily Distracted
Eileen Tabios
elegant variation

fait accompli
Follow Me Here
Frank Paynter
Free Space Comix

gamma ways
Gift Hub
Goblin Mercantile
Golden Rule Jones
gordon coale
Green Hill

Harlequin Knights
Heading East
HG Poetics
hiding in plain sight
Hoarded Ordinaries
I cite
idiotic hat
In a Dark Time ...
Incoming Signals
infinite thought
Inspector Lohmann
Invisible Notes
Isola di Rifiuti

Jacob Russell
James Laxer
Jerome Rothenberg
Jim Johnson
Joe Bageant
John Crowley
Junk for Code
Justin E. H. Smith

Kiko's House

landscape suicide
language hat
language log
Larval Subjects
Laughing Knees
lemon hound
lenin's tomb
lime tree
Limited, Inc.
Lit Kicks
Literacy Weblog
Literary Saloon
little brown mushroom
Long story; short pier.
Lumpy pudding

Marja-Leena Rathje
Maud Newton
Metastable Equilibrium
mirabile dictu
Mnemosyne's Memes
mosses from an old manse

negative wingspan
Neue Kunstspaziergange
New Verse News
No Caption Needed
Not if but when

Ordinary finds
Out of the Woodwork

Parking lot
pas au-dela
Paula's House of Toast
Phil Rockstroh
Philosophy's Other
Pinocchio Theory
Poemas del rio Wang

rebecca's pocket
Return of the Reluctant
Rhys Tranter
Richard Hoffman
riley dog
rob mclennan
Robert Gibbons
robot wisdom
Rogue Embryo
rough theory

Savage Minds
Sharp Sand
Sheila Lennon
Side Effects
Silliman's Blog
Sit Down Man
space and culture
Stephen Vincent
Supervalent Thought
synthetic zero

tasting rhubarb
tawny grammar
the accursed share
The Daily Growler
The Little Professor
The Page
The Reading Experience
The Solitary Walker
the space in between
The Valve
Third Factory
this Public Address
This Space
Three Percent
Time Capsule
Tom Raworth
tony tost's america

Via Negativa

whiskey river
with hidden noise
Witold Riedel
Wittgenstein Jr
January 23, 2015

Pont de la Concorde
Pierre Bonnard
d. January 23, 1947


HEART THREAD 163 & 164
Robert Kelly

Hard to read the numbers in this light
go by the feel of the machine road through water
voices in the street fear of believing
whatever they say must be wrong way round
nobody out there speaks our language
urgent children touching in the dark
who are those who move around inside me
she walks by with a woodpecker on her back
to prove that language is a function of the skin
because language is all boundary
a walled garden and a maze at the middle
and a mirror globe at the center with roses all round it.
currently unfolding at Robert Kelly's MILL OF PARTICULARS


Folkdance Melancholia
Georg Baselitz
b. January 23, 1938


Madhur Anand: Two Poems
If I Can Make It There

It’s January and in the news, white fluff, cherry
trees flowering in Brooklyn. What to make of the changed
phenology? A closet of cuttings: Pale yellow
pages. Lignin destabilized where lines are preserved.
I’ll follow greenhouse seeds, edit second editions
but need more breathing room, more literature review.
And better intentions. I must try to recycle
last year’s unread New Yorkers. I must learn all the facts.
How in the nineteenth century Croatian cherries
were bleached with sulphur dioxide, dyed a candy red,
and soaked in sugar. I must attempt a Manhattan.
Sweet vermouth, bitters, that pitless heart at the bottom.
Madhur Anand at the University of Guelph


necessity, immensity, and crisis (many edges/seeing things)
Fred Moten

There’s a more than critical criticism that’s like seeing things—a gift of having been given to love things and how things look and how and what things see. It’s not that you don’t see crisis—cell blocks made out of the general meadow, and all the luxurious destitution and ge(n)ocidal meanness, the theft of beauty and water, the policing of everyday people and their everyday chances. It’s just that all this always seems so small and contingent against the inescapable backdrop of constant escape—which is the other crisis, that is before the first crisis, calling it into being and question. The ones who stay in that running away study and celebrate its violently ludic authenticity, the historicity that sends us into the old-new division and collection of words and sets, passing on and through, as incessant staging and preparation. This necessity and immensity of the alternative surrounds and aerates the contained, contingent fixity of the standard.


The notion that crisis lies in the ever more brutal interdiction of our capacity to represent or be represented by the normal is as seductive, in its way, as the notion that such interdiction is the necessary response to our incapacity for such representation. Their joint power is held in the fact that whether abnormality is a function of external imposition or of internal malady it can only be understood as pathological. Such power is put in its accidental place, however, by the ones who see, who imaginatively misunderstand, the crisis as our constant disruption of the normal, whose honor is given in and protected by its representations, with the ante-representational generativity that it spurns and craves. This is the crisis that is always with us; this is the crisis that must be policed not just by the lethal physical brutality of the state and capital but also by the equally deadly production of a discourse that serially asserts that the crisis that has befallen us must overwhelm the crisis that we are; that crisis follows rather than prompts our incorporative exclusion.

A Journal of Aesthetic Experiments



At the Fence
Pierre Bonnard

January 22, 2015

Woodcutters in the forest
Carl Larsson
(28 May 1853 – 22 January 1919)


Faceless Book
Lauren Berlant


I sense that Facebook is about calibrating the difficulty of knowing the importance of the ordinary event. People are trying there to eventalize the mood, the inclination, the thing that just happened–the episodic nature of existence.So and so is in a mood right now.So and so likes this kind of thing right now; and just went here and there. This is how they felt about it. It’s not in the idiom of the great encounter or the great passion, it’s the lightness and play of the poke. There’s always a potential but not a demand for more.

Here is how so and so has shown up to life. Can you show up too, for a sec?

How can the “episodic now” become an event? Little mediated worlds produced by kinetic reciprocity enable accretion to become event without the drama of a disturbance. The disturbance is the exception. And that’s what makes stranger intimacy a relief from the other kind, which tips you over.


Francis Picabia
b. January 22, 1879


Clayton Eshleman: 'Wound Interrogation'
presented by Jerome Rothenberg


The frailty of being holed & rampant with closure.
Blake’s angels feast on my neck
as strapped to this fuselage of honking verbs I watch Hades:
a zyzzogeton munching on alfalfa alpha.

For that matter, what is deliverance?
To find oneself present at Pluto’s cornucopian spread & grasp
that one must not pluck a single grape?

The first Persephone, Laussel, pumped time out of her held-aloft bison horn,
& with that image phantom she impregnated herself!

Between the cracks in the time board,
to write from a double periphery, in swerve with the labrys…

“Not to subject the change,” Hades quipped,
“but what bugs you the most about America today?”


Francis Picabia


balzac’s physiology of the employee
P.T. Smith

In the war against the specific sufferings induced by office life, Herman Melville’s Bartleby is revered as saint and martyr. In the sacred literature of the office genre, his death is the office worker’s call to arms. But it’s a mistake to think that before his sacrifice, the literary universe wasn’t waging such a war against office ennui. Bartleby’s sacrifice is still honored and “I would prefer not to” remains our great rallying cry, but the more his followers understand the history of their war, even if it means recognizing how little ground has been gained, the more allies they find, the better suited they are to continue the fight. Honoré de Balzac’s The Physiology of the Employee (1841) is a guidebook, and it is not outdated. In its relevancy yet seeming strangeness, it fits with the rest of Wakefield Press’s catalog. His description of the climate in which he wrote sounds little different from the economic recession of recent years, and the lack of change since: “Personal expenses were examined with a fine-tooth comb. Benefits were chipped away at.” In its careful organization and laying out of office principles, The Physiology of the Employee serves as a work that grounds the spirit of Bartleby.


Bartleby is the fallen saint, and Balzac keeps the troops in the culture war self-aware and loose. He can open the eyes of the undecided and loosen the tensed shoulders of the partisans. The office is torturous, but also pathetic, something to be laughed at. Balzac’s description of the office is of a stifling place, then when it an office is moved, pulled down the street in carts, it’s absurd. The flying bits of the office may be frightening, but that is overwhelmed by the entertainment in its strangeness. Balzac is able to imagine, as I often find myself doing, that the whole of daily work is an experiment on the employee by some unnamed being. He calms us by reminding us though we are refused motivation, we get take by wasting half our work day, now time wasted on gchat, fantasy football, or editing a review.

The perfect escape, the way to truly fight against the system, to avoid simply “prefer[ring] not to” or to do so with humor, and side by side, instead of despairingly alone, may lie in Balzac’s belief that “the most beautiful things that France has accomplished were achieved before the advent of reports, when decisions were made spontaneously.” So, in protest, be spontaneous, confound the cretins, never become one, band together with those who do the same. Maybe something can be created from our oppressive office environments and our downward spiral to becoming a cretin—just don’t be delusional, don’t hold your breath.

January 21, 2015

Forest's Wintergarden
Theodor Kittelsen
d. January 21, 1914


from The Black Flower and Other Zapotec Poems
Natalia Toledo
translated from the Isthmus Zapotec and the Spanish by Natalia Toledo and Clare Sullivan
Flower that Drops Its Petals

I will not die from absence.
A hummingbird pinched the eye of my flower
and my heart mourns and shivers,
does not breathe.
My wings tremble like the long-billed curlew
when he foretells the sun and the rain.
I will not die from absence, I tell myself.
A melody bows down upon the throne of my sadness,
an ocean springs from my stone of origin.
I write in Zapotec to ignore the syntax of pain,
ask the sky and its fire
to give me back my happiness.
Paper butterfly that sustains me:
why did you turn your back upon the star
that knotted your navel?

From Ahtna to Zapotec: Celebrating Four Years of Literature from Rare Languages
Assistant Editor Daniel Goulden on rare languages in translation and Asymptote

My experience has shown me that translators overall are a friendly, collaborative bunch. Over the course of my research I’ve had conversations with writers and translators from places as geographically dispersed and dissimilar as Afghanistan and South Africa, almost always finding people more than happy to submit work or introduce us to translators who could. Unlike the cliché about the dog-eat-dog world of New York agents, translators are in service not just to themselves but also to their languages, and are usually delighted to find a platform where they can share their work and bring more attention to those languages.

So far, we have published great works of literature from more than 25 rare or underrepresented languages, and we hope to uncover much more in 2015 and beyond.

Song for the Return of the Sun

At midwinter, an old man from Slana River burst out singing.
He kept singing a song for the sun to return.
After three days, the sun rose and shone brightly on the land.
That evening, his face burned, the old man wrung sunlight from his clothes.

     Three Poems
     translated from the Ahtna by John Smelcer

Theodor Kittelsen


Me and My Shadow
Alanna Schubach on The Babadook

The poet Robert Bly, in his A Little Book on the Shadow, wrote about “the long bag we drag behind us.” Throughout our lives, Bly said, we excise parts of ourselves as if they were tumors, shoving them into this bag, hidden from view: perhaps, as children, a noisy ebullience that irritated our parents; or an inquisitiveness that a teacher shut down; or a sensitivity that made us targets in the cutthroat world of adolescent politics. By the time we reach adulthood, Bly wrote, the bag is stuffed, and if we attempt to peek inside, we find that all the things we secreted away have, in their long tenure in the darkness, turned sinister: “they are not only primitive in mood, they are hostile to the person who opens the bag.”


To have within oneself a rampaging monster is alarming; for a mother with children in her care, it is unacceptable. Certainly, from Medea to Mommie Dearest, we have examples in the canon of mothers who fall tragically short of being the ideal, beatific nurturers, but seldom is there a middle ground depicted between parental bliss and villainy — which makes the Australian indie The Babadook a rarity. It poses as a horror flick, but in fact is a psychological drama that chronicles one woman’s confrontation with her shadow.


Theodor Kittelsen


Pages from My Knapsack:
A Journal from My Time in the Swiss Army, 1939
Max Frisch
translated by Linda Frazee Baker

We had just come out of the woods that morning, a gardener’s boy and I, where we had been cutting down young ash trees. To be made into graceful little stilts under a dovecote for the municipal park. This was my first real job, newly begun, the first blueprint of mine that would become reality. Not just paper any more, not just mere lines, words, images. These slight little tree trunks were entirely real, you could touch them, half a wagon full. We were going straight to the carpenter’s shop—
      And then the bells rang.

Today, on the eve of the military call-up, all the train stations and bridges are already guarded by brightly shining bayonets. Soldiers in field gray swarm everywhere as if shot out of the earth. One squats next to me in the train corridor so that we have to get up at every station and move our knapsacks. He didn’t know there were so many Swiss, he says with half a smile.
      We ride through the night. The windows are all black now, as if we were riding through an endless tunnel. No one here seems really surprised. Only a certain seriousness, a certain bitterness that it has really happened, just as we thought it might. Some pretend to sleep so they can close their eyes. What a hurried leave-taking it has been. Some just sit there, elbows on their knees, and stare at their shoes. Thankfully, there is no singing, and no platitudes either.
      After all, what can anyone say?
      Only a young woman traveling with us loses her nerve while an old soldier takes her child on his knee. On and on she babbles about her husband, who will be in the auxiliary service. She seems to think we soldiers should melt in sympathy.