On the Value of Poets

If I had to hold up the most heavily fortified bank in America, I’d take a gang of poets. The attempt would probably end in disaster, but it would be beautiful.

– Roberto Bolaño, in “THE BEST GANG,” (January 1999 – April 2000), Between Parenthesis

Thought process

It occurs to me that my thought process is essentially analog; my thoughts flow in forms warm and cold, strong and weak, loud and quiet. I think in terms of fields, vaguely topographical, upon which I am mostly, but not completely, blind. The solution I’m looking for is always in the exact center of this topography, but I only know what the center looks like when I finally arrive there. Is this intuition?

Always Near Poets

We are never real historians, but always near poets, and our emotion is perhaps but an expression of a poetry that was lost.

– Gaston Bachelard, in The Poetics of Space

Photography That Treats Dementia

It’s tempting to think of art as a purely aesthetic pursuit, a process that generates beautiful things to hang on the walls of galleries and homes, but artists, can use their skills to create art that does other things too. In this case, Laurence Aëgerter has collected photographs, both his and others’, to create a book that, in its strange pairings, works to keep the mind active, treating dementia. It’s inspiring to see such cross-disciplinary work; the world needs more of such boundaries blurred.

– via Hyperallergic

The Search

Scouring a rural Walmart hardware aisle for a specific type of latch, listening to U2 singing “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for,” mocking me from the speakers between the lights in the trusswork above.

Shotgun Life

For y’all non New Orleans people: staying on the other side of the shotgun from where you used to live is weird. You begin to doubt your instincts. You become convinced your brain is wired backwards. When you stand up, you turn in the wrong direction to go to the bathroom.

Parlez-Nous A Boire

One of my favorite songs in the world is “Parlez-Nous A Boire,” or “Let’s talk about drinking.” The title alone, which is also the first line in the song, is enough to get it on my list, but the next line is “and not about marriage.” A great old good-natured pessimistic Cajun song, lyrically speaking, and with all the whinnying fiddles, driving beat, and archaic harmonies to boot. The kind of song old enough to have no author, but rather seems to have accreted into reality long ago in a community and place that now seems very far away. My favorite version is Sweet Crude’s version here. They take this great up tempo folk song and turn it into a weirdly haunting barnburner.