New in Des Moines

Apr 25

2014 Reading List Book 26: Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco -

Man, this book is long and it’s a bit of a slog in places, but it really picks up in the second half. I have no idea how many of the conspiracy theories Eco uses in this novel are real (in the sense that they’ve been put forth as serious descriptions of the world) but I bet more of them than I would want to admit. That’s an odd/scary place to spend much time.

Shorter version: this is the book Dan Brown wishes he was good enough to write.

Apr 23

[video]

National Poetry Month Day 23: “Embers Of Smoldering Homes” By Sean Singer - The Rumpus.net -

If the word Mexico means
“Place at the Center of the Moon”
then these fabric fireflies
and jutting hips are perfumed
honeyed vibrato moans
and the manic cartels
slice their own heads,
cancer-eaten, like a faceless jaw
snapping the desert moon.

“Poetry ceremonializes the shared primitive impulses of human experience by ritualizing the purposes of living, existing as a metaphor for crossing the threshold from lived agency to inventive agency, by identifying and altering the patterns of your inner life, by permitting the figurative passages of living to be revealed to yourself and to others, and by initiating both the poet and a reader into clarities of heart and mind.” — David Biespiel’s Poetry Wire: The Poet’s Journey Chapter 2 (via therumpus)

(via therumpus)

Apr 22

“Men who want to be feminists do not need to be given a space in feminism. They need to take the space they have in society & make it feminist.” — Kelley Temple, National Union of Students UK Women’s Officer  (via feministkitsch)

I’d never really thought about needing a space in feminism, (because as a straight male, I’ve been trained to think I have space anywhere I please), but I’d also never thought about it in these specific terms before either. So yes, I’ll take my spaces and make them feminist.

(Source: marchingstars, via janeena)

Apr 21

Poems and Beautiful Bulldogs

Today was Drake University’s Beautiful Bulldog Contest, one of the opening events for the Drake Relays, our biggest athletic event. Since I was teaching during this year’s contest, I had my students use their writing exercise time to compose poems in the voice of one of the contestants (we’re studying persona poems this term). I wrote my own, with apologies to William Shakespeare for my echoing first line.

Beautiful Bulldog Sonnet

My mistress’ eyes are promising a bone
if I can keep from tripping on my gown.
It shouldn’t be too hard. I’ll be alone
before the judges. I hope no frowns
cross their faces. I’ve practiced all year—
a little dip and curtsey at the end
of the ramp, a head shake so my ears
flop beside my eyes. The judges tend
to favor bulldogs on the heavy side
and while I’m not petite, I’m not as large
as my competitors. But I’ll still vie
for judges’ hearts and minds by taking charge
like any supermodel on the stage:
by locking eyes. You can’t escape my gaze.

National Poetry Month Day 21: “War With Computers” By Jill McDonough - The Rumpus.net -

A villanelle with a Star Trek epigram. Pure awesome from Jill McDonough.

justicepirate:

Tom Baker (4th Doctor) & Louise Jameson (Leela) Then & Now. I adored all of their episodes together SO much! Leela’s one of my favorite companions & Tom Baker is my favorite Doctor.photos from Louise Jameson’s blog


Leela of the Sevateen is definitely in my top 5 favorite companions.

justicepirate:

Tom Baker (4th Doctor) & Louise Jameson (Leela) Then & Now. 
I adored all of their episodes together SO much! Leela’s one of my favorite companions & Tom Baker is my favorite Doctor.
photos from Louise Jameson’s blog

Leela of the Sevateen is definitely in my top 5 favorite companions.

(via doctorwho)

Apr 20

[video]

Easter Peeps

Easter Peeps