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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
america adrift
American Samizdat
american street
An und für sich
Anecdotal Evidence
archive : s0metim3s
Aric Mayer

Behind the Lines
Bemsha Swing
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
Horses Think
However Fallible

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
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
April 22, 2014


Dreamlives of Debris
Lance Olsen

:::: debris
I have my doll and the screamings behind my eyelids. The screamings look like fluttery lights. The fluttery lights believe they live inside me, but I live inside them too.
      My doll’s name is Catastrophe.


:::: debris
I say once, I say now, I say hours, days, weeks, but I do not understand myself: Down here time is a storm-swarmed ship always breaking up.


:::: debris
Search as I might over the years, if one may call them that, and not something else—miscalculations, for instance—I have never ferreted out the guarded portal. Surely it exists in the same way, say, future dictionaries exist.

The Complexities Of A Moment Felt: The Lance Olsen Interview
Interview by Scott Esposito


Nina Cassian
1924 - 2014

Two Poems
Nina Cassian
Summer X-Rays
Nina Cassian


Fabulous days
with endless swims,
with algae around my waist
and convex tears on my cheeks.

Far away on the shore:
children shouting,
dogs with golden rings
circling their muzzles,
and rumors of abandoned memories.

I know what's awaiting me—
the winter of my discontent.
I have a reservation
outside on a hard bench
holding a bag of frostbitten potatoes.

That's why I swim so far out,
willing prisoner
inside the sea's immense green magnifying glass.


The Boat
Odilon Redon


Where next for media theory?
McKenzie Wark

Where next for media theory? I’m thankful to Geert Lovink for his recent provocation on this question. Lovink thinks we have entered a post-Snowden era of media. So called ‘new’ media is dead, just as God is dead. Or, to vary the frame of reference, the ebullient schizo era of anything could happen gave way to the paranoid reaction.


... unlike Lovink I can’t see the Snowden moment as all that decisive, but it is the case that the future once dreamt for ‘new media’ has been foreclosed. It is a victim of its success. Actually existing new media, like actually existing communism, falls short of the utopian projection. Its time to propose quite other futures, to locate other zones of virtuality from which other futures might seed.


In short: the point of media theory is – as Lovink suggests – a speculative one. But its task is not so much to fabulate futures as to describe in concepts what practices of relation, of pasts into presents and toward futures, could be.

Looking at the excessive arc of ‘new’ media since the nineties, I think we won the battle and lost the war. Social movements around free information and new community broke through the carapace of old media. We won! And then a new ruling class of figured out how to commodify our emergent gift economies at a higher level of abstraction. We lost! Well, too bad. Time to regroup and try something else.

This moment of defeat includes an inevitable return to the fantasy of a romance with the outside. Let’s leave social media behind! Let’s take no more selfies! Let’s only commune face-to-face while we sup on artisanal kale chips by the fire in our lumberjack shirts, brushing the crumbs from our flowing beards! This is the problem with a lot of what I can only call late critique of media. It hasn’t learned a whole lot from media theory. It rests on the old saw of some organic, whole, romantic other that has been lost and can be restored. But as we have known since Donna Haraway at the latest: there’s no going back. We are made of media. We are made of technology.

Hermes on the Hudson: Notes on Media Theory after Snowden
Geert Lovink


On the Horizon, the Angel of Certitude,
and in the Dark Sky, A Questioning Glance
Odilon Redon


It Is Time for the Violence and Gender Journal
Mary Ellen O'Toole


The mission of Violence and Gender is to identify and critically analyze biological, cultural, psychological, social, spiritual, anthropological, and environmental factors that influence males and even females to act violently. Are males, in fact, more violent than females? Do both sexes act out violently but in different ways? Are there different influencing factors that impact violent behavior for each sex? Violence and Gender will explore these questions and more by confronting controversial, even unsettling issues to determine the complex relationship between gender and violence.

Violence is complicated and too often misunderstood, myth-based, and stereotyped. We are shocked when we see the “nice guy” next door arrested for serial murder, or when the quiet loner goes on a shooting rampage. Many of us even default to using terms like “monster” and “evil” to explain such behavior and the people responsible. These archaic terms don't educate us or explain the violence but rather catapult us back into the 14th century when werewolves and vampires were blamed for acts of violence.

In the wake of September 11, and the event in Norway when Anders Breivik shot and killed 77 people, and more recently at the theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado, as well as the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and the bombings at the Boston Marathon, there has been an outcry for explanations as to why young males act so violently.

In light of these events and the resulting controversies, Mary Ann Liebert, president and CEO of Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers, decided it is time to take on these critical questions about gender and violence. As a result of Mary Ann's insight and vision, Violence and Gender was created. Her goal of a journal that will be provocative, educational, and extremely insightful will be realized through her diverse staff of assistants, editors, experts, contributors, and readers.

Violence and Gender 1:1


The Rhetoric of Violence
Chris Hedges


Odilon Redon
b. April 20, 1840


We no longer have public intellectuals; we have public idiots. Anybody with a story or a ‘game-changing’ idea can have some screen time, so long as it either deflects attention from thanaticism, or better – justifies it. Even the best of this era’s public idiots come off like used car salesmen. It is not a great age for the rhetorical arts.
Birth of Thanaticism
McKenzie Wark
I don't know why we still call it capitalism. It seems to be some sort of failure or blockage of the poetic function of critical thought.

Even its adherents have no problem calling it capitalism any more. Its critics seem to be reduced to adding modifiers to it: postfordist, neoliberal, or the rather charmingly optimistic ‘late’ capitalism. A bittersweet term, that one, as capitalism seems destined to outlive us all.

I awoke from a dream with the notion that it might make more sense to call it thanatism, after Thanatos, son of Nyx (night) and Erebos(darkness), twin of Hypnos (sleep), as Homer and Hesiod seem more or less to agree.


Perhaps its no accident that the privatization of space appears on the horizon as an investment opportunity at just this moment when earth is going to the dogs. The ruling class must know it is presiding over the depletion of the earth. So they are dreaming of space-hotels. They want to not be touched by this, but to still have excellent views.

It makes perfect sense that in these times agencies like the NSA are basically spying on everybody. The ruling class must know that they are the enemies now of our entire species. They are traitors to our species being. So not surprisingly they are panicky and paranoid. They imagine we’re all out to get them.

And so the state becomes an agent of generalized surveillance and armed force for the defense of property. The role of the state is no longer managing biopower. It cares less and less about the wellbeing of populations. Life is a threat to capital and has to be treated as such.

The role of the state is not to manage biopower but to manage thanopower. From whom is the maintenance of life to be withdrawn first? Which populations should fester and die off? First, those of no use as labor or consumers, and who have ceased already to be physically and mentally fit for the armed forces.

Public Seminar


Tête coupée
Odilon Redon


The Daily Growler Is 8 Years Old


So we sing "Happy Birthday" to ourselves as we poke our ways into the coming shenanigans by our idiot and totally corrupt leaders like Paul "the Pious Catholic" Ryan; Mitch "Old South Numbskull" O'Connell; Ted "Superstupid" Cruz; the twelve dumbasses on our Supreme(ly Dumb) Court (of jesters); Hillary "Presidential Wife Turned Inept Politician" Clinton; the corrupt Bushes; John "Bonehead" Boehner; our current President; and, if We the Stupidest People on Earth elect Hillary "Hillbilly" Clinton or (God help us) Jeb "the Reb" Bush, then we'll have four more years of poking our fat cats in their bulging bellies as they go about legislating totally anti-human, inane, polluting, rewards and more tax loopholes for the rich and famous and more deregulating what little regulations are left on our criminal corporations as they close down more American factories and send them over to Red China, or Communist Vietnam, or Taiwan, or India, or Brazil or they foreclose on more of our homes in order to return them to the communities as high-end rental units...we mean, to put it precisely, more of the same old bullshit.

April 21, 2014

Still Life with Coffee Mill
Joan Miró
b. April 20, 1893


Leftism and the Banausic Thinker: From Plato to Verso
David Auerbach

This is an essay about defining one’s self as better than the world, as purer than the world. The urge to take your marbles and go home is a very old one, yet its role in art and politics is paradoxical, since taking your marbles and going home would seem to suggest that you will be ineffectual and unremembered. In fact, I think that is what happens most of the time. But the purist’s ability to survive latently in society owes to a peculiar form of elitism. Sometimes the elitism is obvious; other times it hides under a mask of ideology.


Andante and Filibuster
John Ashbery

Remember last month, when he was saying
doomed lovers’ syndrome uproots us all?
They all wanna hear that,
and hanging them out to dry slumpingly caresses
the center for new needs, and we’ll stiffen some near
the walled city and find 100 per cent electricity of the vote.

(Not sure about that.) Funny you should ask.
We got a small grant to have the house inspected and
as a result of that discovered a small crack
leading from the front door to the basement.
Much thinner air here, although the nation’s salt and pepper
sprinkle the neighborhood. Hose her down. Keep trying
to creep out, test ingot possibilities.

Poems on Surveillance
John Ashbery
Charles Bernstein
Rae Armantrout
Richard Greenfield
Jennifer Kronovet
Maureen N. McLane
Cathy Park Hong
Robert Pinsky
Harmony Holiday
Noelle Kocot
Amy King
Jessica Baran

Harlequin's Carnival
Joan Miró


from The Iceland
Hagiwara Sakutaro
Translated from the Japanese by Hiraoki Sato
A Crow of Nihility
Hagiwara Sakutaro
translated from the Japanese by Hiraoki Sato

I was originally a crow of nihility
on that high roof of winter solstice I'll open my mouth
and roar like a weathervane.
Whether the season has epistemology or not
what I do not have is everything.
Hiroaki Sato on Hagiwara Sakutaro



The Birth of the World
Joan Miró


The Sponge of Sleep
John Ashbery


The woods are sorry for them.
Small rain will land somewhere.

April 18, 2014

Gabriel García Márquez
March 6, 1927 - April 17, 2014

Read 10 Short Stories by Gabriel García Márquez Free Online
(Plus More Essays & Interviews)


The April issue of Asymptote

The Space between Languages
Herta Müller
translated from the German by Julia Sherwood


There is not a single Romanian sentence in any of my books. But Romanian is always with me when I write because it has grown into my way of seeing the world.

It is from the space between languages that images emerge. Each sentence is a way of looking at things, crafted by its speakers in a very particular way. Each language sees the world differently, inventing its entire vocabulary from its own perspective and weaving it into the web of its grammar in its own way. Each language has different eyes sitting inside its words.

Radka Denemarková on translating Herta Müller
translated from the Czech by Julia Sherwood

Her sentences are like the incisions of a scalpel. She keeps writing one book that runs like endlessly long hair; it sticks in the reader's gullet and can't be vomited up. The father she can no longer seek out, the mother she no longer wants. You can swallow a mulberry or a plum.

I did swallow it. I translated The Passport and The Hunger Angel after finishing my own novel, Kobold. For over two years, while I worked on my book, the difficult themes kept swelling up, infiltrating the language, cementing the banks of the story. When the time of intense brooding was over I was happy to shed the text, like skin. The exhausted writer in me was in dire need of a rest. I had never dreamt of translating. But the translator in me hastened to my rescue, deflecting my thoughts.


"My Head is a Garden"
Tadami Yamada
Space Teriyaki 7
Visions of space and the future
in Japan in the 70s and 80s


Samuel R. Delany on Close Listening

Samual R. Delany talks with Charles Bernstein about genres, sex, and dyslexia in this wide-ranging conversation with the polymathic author. Delany addresses the role of fantasy and the bounds of imagination in his works and rebuts assumptions about the nature of genre writing.

The Un-X-able Y-ness of Z-ing (Q): A List with Notes
Sean Cotter


Milan Kundera opposed using "the unbearable lightness of being" to title the English translation of his Nesnesitelná lehkost bytí, even though it is relatively close to the Czech original. “I realize that for you Americans the title will be a bit hard-going," Kundera states in Michael Heim's account,

“so we can try something else,” and he suggested one of the chapter titles: “Karenin’s Smile.” I protested. “We’re not children,” I told the editor. “If The Unbearable Lightness of Being is the title, so be it.” And so it stayed. [Adriana Babeti, "A Happy Babel," Iowa Review]
Heim's translation, like a spot of dye, dropped into the flow of culture and altered the hue of English as it diffused downstream. A meme before memes, the breadth of this title's reach lets us see something we know is true but can rarely prove: translation choices transform our language and our experience of the world. The list in this essay is drawn from internet and library catalog searches of article, chapter, blog, and book titles for variations on the translation.

the unbearable lightness of meaning
the unbearable lightness of acting
the unbearable lightness of community
the unbearable lightness of exodus
the unbearable lightness of sight
the unbearable lightness of games
the unbearable lightness of the climate change industrial complex
the unbearable lightness of anthropology

Heim's gallant defense of American intellectual pride has been seconded, and thirded, and thousandthed, by writers who fit their own titles into the algebra of these abstract words. It has become an English given, a linguistic formula like Raymond Carver's "what we talk about when we talk about [x]" or R. F. C. Hull's "zen and the art of [x]." The English words that Heim poured into the Czech original have become the form where other authors cast their words.

the unbearable wine-ness of being a light
the unbearable busy-ness of being
the unbearable rambo-ness of being
the unbearable sade-ness of being
the unbearable panda-ness of being
the unbearable stuff-ness of being
the unbearable khaki-ness of being
the unbearable bro-ness of being
the unbearable wasp-ness of being
the unbearable clown-ness of being
the unbearable madness of being

Falling somewhere between pun and prayer, each repetition explores a possible application of the translated title to a new topic. En masse, they offer a visual, graphic testament to Heim's intuition of American culture and literary value.

Ludwig Meidner
b. April 18, 1884


Matthew Zapruder: Two Poems
What Can Poetry Do

In Africa people are angry.
They are climbing embassy walls
and burning whatever is there.
Each time I click on some words
and read what we call news
although it is always too old
I feel certain some people
while I was reading have died.
I know I am here merely reading.
I just sit in my room and worry.
As always I can do nothing
So I close all the portals and go
deep in my mind to discover
something about Tunisia.


Dresden, 1913
Ludwig Meidner


Civil disobedience for an age of total surveillance
The case of Edward Snowden
William E. Scheuerman


... Sadly, one of our most eloquent critics of state surveillance now finds himself, partly because of the Obama's administration's draconian response, at the whim of a former KGB spymaster.[1] Recently, in Brazil, Germany and elsewhere, a lively debate has erupted about the possibility that Snowden – who only gained temporary asylum from the Russians – might now be granted asylum there.

Even though media sources have reported extensively both on his quest for asylum and his travails in Putin's Russia, they have failed to impart a satisfactory sense of the weighty moral and political reflections which apparently induced the then 29-year Snowden to give up his six-figure salary and comfortable life in Hawaii. As I hope to show, Snowden's public declarations – and especially an illuminating yet neglected statement he made at the Moscow Airport on 12 July 2013 when reluctantly accepting Russia's offer of asylum[2] – show that Snowden has thought long and hard about the fundamental question of when and how citizens of a liberal democratic state are morally and politically obliged to violate the law.