The Last Book Of Poems I Loved: “Death Tractates” By Brenda Hillman - The Rumpus.net -
""Because we need to call the feeling one has after a great loss something, we call it “grief,” but anyone who has experienced it knows that this is just a word assigned to what is, in its shifting, horrible, massive complexity, unnameable. This book is an effort to rename this feeling. It should take at least that number of words and pages to begin to do so. One could say the entire book is a new name, the name of this emotion one can feel after such a loss.
The most difficult thing for a reader of the book might be the intensity of the feelings, and also at times because language is trying to reach for some kind of knowledge or understanding that seems impossible, given the horrible hugeness of the absence of the one who has died. The reader feels the poet’s intense desire to only say true things in the poems, in honor of her friend and her passing. The book is not otherwise difficult to understand, or, it is only difficult in the way all poetry is and should be. The poet does what poets do: reactivates words, makes odd associations, connects things that do not ordinarily belong together in order to create deeper meaning.”
Go read the whole thing.
I never have gotten the hang of Monday.
This book is B.S.
I’m glad my daughters are going to grow up in a world which recognizes just how bullshit that book is.
2014 Reading List Book 25: The Farthest Shore by Ursula K LeGuin -
I love recreational reading and I’m glad I’m forcing myself to make space for it. For too long i’ve read only what I needed to for whatever reason, and you can forget why you got into literature in the first place if you do that too long. It’s nice to read a book without the thought in the back of your head “how would I teach this?”
This is book 3 of Earthsea, which means I’m almost done with it. Then I’ll have to find something else. I’m slowly working my way through Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco, which is the kind of novel Dan Brown wishes he could write, and I’m savoring Roxane Gay’s An Untamed State for the Rumpus Book Club, and I just picked up Kristen Brimhall’s Our Lady of the Ruins, which is amazing so far.
David Biespiel’s Poetry Wire: The Poet’s Journey: Chapter I - The Rumpus.net -
Given how your daily life can careen between needs and necessities, from nurturing your inner life or raising children to enjoying friendships, from shopping for lightbulbs to reheating dinner, from doing the laundry to saving for a trip — and even given the times when you find yourself caring seriously for the ill, elderly, or young in your life — you know all too well that the rampaging exteriors of the modern world seem intent on smothering the inner life of your poetic self whenever and wherever it can.
Of course it can’t. Your inner life is inextinguishable.
So to become a poet in the modern world is to trust that a poem is one of the essential messages you send right back at modernity. A poem is a means to define modernity. And it’s your poems that remind us not only of our individuated ecstasies and trials but also of the shared and granular images and stories of human experience.
But a very curious battle does take place, no? An ancient and noble battle, yes? We all sense it.
For one thing, accessing your poetic imagination doesn’t require a password — and neither will there be an upgrade next year. For another thing, your inner life subverts the turbulences of modernity, and the open fields of your imagination will not be fenced in by the onslaught of day to day existence.
On the contrary, your poetic imagination represents a compassionate and cultivated defense against the brute forces of modern living. Because, as if on cue, as if also at war with modernity — as if in the very moments that daily life seems most successful at crushing you as a creative individual — some odd aroma will trick your true poet’s self to embrace the imaginary along with the inventive forms and auras of language, of rhythm, of literary echoes, and of patterns and orders of the words and images that comprise your poems.
I have bronchitis. Thanks to the ACA, I was able to get medicine for $0. #ThanksObama
that came from taxes I paid.
Well, let my know how much I owe you and I’ll drop a few pennies in the mail. War comes from taxes you paid, and I personally dislike the amount I pay going for that… Maybe we should check “yes” or “no” on our 1040 forms this year for allocation of tax dollars.
I’m sorry you think I’m lying, but I’m not. I qualified for the Medicaid expansion under the ACA, which is partially funded through taxpayer revenue. I don’t think the IRS mailed you a letter saying, “Nah nah nah nah naaaaaaah! This year’s tax dollars went to pay for medicine for poor people mwahahaha!” Who knows? Maybe YOUR portion of tax dollars went to a Hellfire missile that took out a village in Afghanistan. Ooh, how exciting for you!
Comfort yourself with that thought as I use my inhaler, which I would not have been able to afford without the ACA.
#gonna need obamacare to afford treatment for that burn jackass
what the fuck is wrong with Americans who aren’t on board with free healthcare. I’m Canadian and I don’t care that I pay extra taxes so a little boy in Alberta can have open heart surgery, or an elderly man in Nova Scotia can get the heart medication he desperately needs. It’s called taking care of your people. I’m glad I pay so that people can have a good quality of life. It’s called being a decent fucking human being.
THIS. SO VERY HARD.
American conservatism is based on the idea that “those people” are stealing from them and that “those people” are getting stuff they don’t deserve. I’ll leave you to figure out who “those people” tend to be.
I worry. I worry that every man who left me went because of the doors I open after too much wine. I have never owned much, and I’ve never stayed around long, and I never tell anyone I’m going. I, too, tremble a tendency toward chaos, and I fear I’m living a life based on third-drink decisions. I write myself as a drunk and disheveled woman because it’s the only way I know how to keep her at bay. So yes, I use words to avoid my life. But it’s the opposite of hiding. — Third Drink Decisions by Jill Talbot (via therumpus)
2014 Reading List Book 24: The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K LeGuin -
Just as I was binging on Octavia Butler earlier this year, I’ll be binging on LeGuin for the next little while. And why not? She’s one of the greats of speculative fiction, and someone I haven’t read nearly enough of over the years. Fans will know why I write this. And if you don’t know her work, then rectify that, and soon.
2014 Reading List Book 23: The Empathy Exams: Essays by Leslie Jamison -
I should have finished this book last week, as it was the March Rumpus Book Club selection and we chatted with Leslie last Thursday. Side note: that may be the coolest thing about the Rumpus Book Club—getting books early is awesome and all, but getting to talk to the writer about their craft, about their experiences writing the book? That kind of access is worth the monthly subscription fee. If you join now, you’ll get Roxane Gay’s An Untamed State a month before anyone else does. Go to the Rumpus store and click on the book club link to sign up.
Okay, enough trying to sell subscriptions. I love creative non-fiction but I don’t always like essay collections because the (usual) lack of a single narrative makes it too easy for me to drop out of the book, and once I do that, it’s difficult for me to get back into it. I didn’t have that problem with this book. The reason I was late finishing it had more to do with the two classes I’m teaching and the two new daughters I’m raising (8 weeks old as of today—huzzah!) and the death of my father just over 4 weeks ago. It’s been a long month, and I’m not sad to see it go.
The book, however, is terrific, as lots of other reviewers have already noted. The essays sprawl in a good way and they took me into unusual places—from the life of a person who acts out symptoms for med school students (a job I almost applied for when I moved to Des Moines three years ago) to the world of the Barkley marathon, running 125 miles through some fucked up Georgia wilderness to the audaciously named final essay,”The Grand Unified Theory of Female Pain.” It was worth every moment I spent reading it. You should check it out as well