Thursday, October 29, 2009


Look Directly Into the Sun: China Pop 2007
Wow. What edgy “pop.” I really liked this punk-influenced/industrial compilation of Chinese artists. It’s really very diverse and I want to explore more into Chinese popular music now. I found it at the library in the World section. I put it on while washing dishes on a rainy morning and it definitely gave me spirit to work.

John Hodges, Southern Squares
I’m not sure where I found this, but I picked it up somehow, either at a book conference or it came in the mail as a submission for possible publication at my last job. I’m pretty sure it hasn’t been published, but it’s considered an “Exhibition Catalog.” John Hodges was an artist-in-residence at Light Work in Syracuse, NY, and came up with the idea of Southern Squares. It is a couple of pages of people throughout the South, and they have fantastic titles like, “A Princess and Kentucky Fried Chicken, FL, 87” or Jimmy, Bob and John In the Cemetery Drinking Tallboys, FL, 85,” and “Somebody Died, GA, 88.” They’re really brilliant and striking black-and-white images and I can’t stop looking at them. You can find Light Work on the web and subscribe to their photography magazine:

Reading about this ancient religion has been fascinating. I’ve been pouring over, Hindu Gods and Goddesses, by W.J. Wilkins and taking notes like I’m in school. I want to paint one of the deities on my wood scraps by the epithets I’ve learned about them. They’re just so colorful and specific about the characteristics of each of the gods. It really seems to be an elegant, tolerant religion.

Pablo Neruda
Did I mention I have a crush on him? I cannot stop reading his sensual, earth-bound poetry. I adore it and it inspires me beyond compare. I wish he were still alive and I could write him a letter to tell him how amazing his words are and what affect they have on me.

I’ve reinvigorated my love of poetry. I know I post a lot of poems on my site by other folks, but I’ve begun writing my own again, and it thrills me to think about studying it for my MFA. I’m stalling on the GRE aspect of going back to school, but the writing is coming. I can only think that that is a good sign, and I’ll focus on the positive, and not that I’m shunning studying for a standardized test.

Braids & Rolled-up Pants
For some reason my fall wardrobe has consisted of rolled up pants (small rolls, just to the tops of the ankles) and braids. I do not know where this came from, but it has happened. My hair has gotten so long that I have to do something with it, so it’s been braids in all forms and fashions. The pants leg thing, I really have no idea about, but I like it. I feel like Che. Come to think of it, I did start doing it after I watched that History Channel episode about him...maybe I’m feeling revolutionary. But the way I see it, if you’re going to do something industrious (or rebellious), you might need your pants rolled up (or tucked in your boots) or hair in braids. Yes, this is how my brain works. I never said it was rational.

Giving Up Reading Introductions to Books
Judge has told me to do this since we met. He never reads the intros to books. I said, “No, no, I’m a reader. I read the book from cover to cover.” He laughed and shook his head. Now I come groveling back to this way of thinking because lately, entire books have almost been ruined by some person’s lame intro. The solution? Read it after the book. It makes more sense that way. And, it prevents you from getting turned off of a book due to another author’s words. Try it, just once. See if it makes a difference.

A Better Way to Think About Death
Remembrance, by Vasily Zhukovsky:
How many dear companions who enlivened for us
The world’s rough road are gone, each fellow traveler
Much missed; yet say not sadly: they have left us!
But rather say, with gratitude: they were.

Tortoise, It’s All Around You
This is a great record. Instrumental save for an ooh or ahh, it really makes a nice soundtrack to daily doings. It’s seriously musical and plinky and discordant. Listening to it lets the mind wander off into the ether. I really like it.

1 comment:

Char said...

I love both Hodges and the poetry. Excellent recommendations. I will have to check out some of the others.