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September 30, 2008

our current crisis

As we know, lax composition practices since the advent of modernism led to irresponsible poets and irresponsible readers. Simply put, too many poets composed works they could not justify. We are seeing the impact on poetry, with a massive loss of confidence on the part of readers. What began as a subprime poetry problem on essentially unregulated poetry websites has spread to other, more stable, literary magazines and presses and contributed to excess poetry inventories that have pushed down the value of responsible poems.

Poet Charles Bernstein, speaking at an event marking the release of Best American Poetry 2008.

September 23, 2008

As I started to read it my heart began quaking! By the time I was three quarters down the page I was bawling, wailing, sobbing, even laughing. My feelings were heartshots ricocheting off inner walls, ricocheting off each other, ricocheting off the very boundaries of my own little world. The metaphysical whiplash lasted for days.

The Online Photographer: The Amazing Gift of Woo Lai Wah — this story is utterly amazing.

September 16, 2008

So much of what I hear and see strikes me as unnecessary. We become wrapped up in national and world news while being almost entirely ignorant of, say, what goes on so much closer to home every day, in the soil, the water, among the people who cross our paths.

gargoyle drumming

September 6, 2008

erik davis on burning man 08

Fifteen degrees or so above the horizon, the thin beaming sliver of a waning crescent moon hovered over the not-yet-revealed sun. Taking this in, I realized the admittedly banal fact that when we gaze on the crescent moon, we are looking at the backside of the orb, its back on us to face the source of light. Watching this near conjunction, it is like peaking through a window on lovers lost to us. With next morning’s unscripted wedding on my mind, I recalled the fact that, while our culture codes the moon as female and the sun as male, these genders could be reversed, as they are in Japanese Shinto and, indeed, the Atlantean mythos. The supple dynamics of this cosmic gender-swap charged the sweet sky with potency, with the sun and moon providing the polarity that drove the horizon’s brimming, candy-colored transformation.

Erik Davis shares his impressions of this year’s Burning Man.