Month: October 2018

Lost and Found by Yi-Wen Huang

Installment 33 boards a different mode of transportation than usual. Yi-Wen Huang’s unlucky passenger shifts from an initial sense of comfort, to the disorienting forces of turbulence, lost luggage, and lost vision. Just as things can’t get much worse, airports reveal the kindness of strangers–the sacrifices that people in transit make for those they will never see again.    *** Lost and Found On the plane from Toronto Canada to Copenhagen Denmark You sat next to me Luckily no one sat between us You looked so familiar Asian and White Sitting comfortably with both legs up on the seat...

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Beautiful Funeral by Gavin Mndawe

Our third installment of Anti-Genre is a thoughtful, unflinching rumination on death and the transforming moments that surround it, by Gavin Mndawe.   *** Beautiful Funeral Atoms roam round a tomb stone It takes more than a fool to know That funerals are for fools alone It is said that he’s dead What an illusion though I don’t consider it the end Maybe diffusion or moving along It’s sad that he’s dead At least it wasn’t by noose or sword Besides, the silver cord must be torn For the core to be loosed Man, you’re manure For intangible germination Ritual...

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The Good Fight

I faithfully watched The Good Wife on Sunday nights for all seven seasons. It’s a melodrama centered on a big Chicago law firm, Gardner & Lockhart, a newly crafted yet creaking vessel that tries to steer an honorable course between the Scylla of financial success and the Charybdis of moral bankruptcy. Every lawyer there, every character I should say, knew what was at stake, and kept rolling the dice, hoping for the best and knowing “the best” is simply impossible under the legal system that regulates our modern lives, because there the protocols of argument, the procedures themselves—in theory,...

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Dark Times, Music and Self-Care

We live in dark times globally.  White supremacy is on the rise in ways not seen since the 1930s.  The environment is dying.  Democratic Turkey is looking increasingly dictatorial.  Before Emmanuel Macron’s victory in France, we feared the rise of the Marine Le Pen there.  The far right is on the rise in Germany.  The American president is cozying up to murderous dictators and picking fights with erstwhile allies.  There are days where Handmaid’s Tale looks like non-fiction.  And Brexit.  Not surprisingly, a lot of the music I find myself listening to speaks to these darks and troubled times.  The messages vary from Mudhoney’s loud fuck you! to all of this to messages of keeping on keeping on to self-care. At an academic conference last year, I had a long talk with a friend about how we survive this, where it seems everyday the news brings another outrage.  We talked about the need to drop out of it all now and then, to recuperate, to recalibrate.  But I have found that’s not enough.  I need more to maintain my equilibrium from day-to-day. Last week, I was driving home from work, listening to two of the albums in heavy rotation in my world, Idles’ Joy As An Act of Resistance and Dilly Dally’s Heaven.  About the only think these two bands have in common is they like loud guitars.  But in the loud...

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Lynn White’s Roundabout and It’s Only Make Believe?

In this 32nd installment, Lynn White transports North American car poem connoisseurs to distinctly European terrain. White’s “Roundabout” twists and turns through Italy and along the French Riviera, while “It’s Only Make Believe?” steers us into the village intrigues of rural Wales.  *** Roundabout He picked us up near Torino, a dapper Frenchman with an impressive moustache. He was going to Nice. So were we! Such luck. One lift all the way from Torino to Nice. We settled back to enjoy the ride. We came to a roundabout. With gesticulations of frustration and twitches of his moustache, he missed...

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