Sunday, November 16, 2008

Two minutes for (unfortunately not-so)-common sense...

My argument exactly. It's not a difficult one. Even Ashton Kutcher can sound articulate voicing it in about fifteen seconds.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Go hear!

Village Books! 7PM!
Set on the margins of Seattle, beneath bridges and on the banks of waterways, in strip clubs and flooded farmland, the prose poems in Tinderbox Lawn illuminate the intersection of domesticity and bohemia, orthodoxy and passion. Each untitled block of prose constitutes a novel-in-miniature, with shadow characters and shards of plot. The intensity of Carol Guess' poems builds through lyrical language and recurring images, capturing the moment when "the small mad heart at the center of things stall mid-tick." Carol Guess is the author of two novels, Seeing Dell and Switch; a memoir, Gaslight, and a collection of poetry, Femme's Dictionary. She is an associate professor of English at Western Washington University.
Poet Joseph Massey has this to say about TINDERBOX LAWN:
The sharply cut lines of Tinderbox Lawn veer from the stark and crystalline―”think hard enough about broken glass and it becomes rain”―to the blur of memory and dreams: ”silver with raindrops―no, barbed wire.” And between those conditions the possibility and impossibility of love lingers throughout, amidst vivid details of urban spectacle. Carol Guess, through brilliantly wrought blocks of prose, has made the kind of poetry you'll want to keep on your night-stand; poetry that won't leave the back of your head―the pulse and insistent whisper of it―a “bridge between faith and decay.”

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Chameleons, Invented Pasts

from Jose Eduardo Agualusa's _The Book of Chameleons_:

A very tall cage rose up in front of us, broad and deep, out of which from time to time, in faint gusts, burst the happy chirping of birds. Parakeets, waxbills, long-tailed tyrants, peitos-celestes, turacos, turtledoves, bee-eaters. We were sitting on well-worn plastic chairs, in the fragrant shade of a leafy mango tree. To our left ran a low brick wall, painted white. Hugely tall papaya trees laden with fruit swayed beside the wall, languid as a mulatto woman. Looking over to the right, toward the house, were ranks of orange trees, lime trees, guava trees. Farther still was a massive baobab which dominated the orchard. It looked as though it had been put there just to remind me that this was no more than a dream. Pure fiction. Chickens pecked away at the red earth, and in the very green grass, dragging their broods of chicks behind them. (171)


Imagine a young man racing along on his motorcycle, on a minor road. The wind is beating at his face. The young man closes his eyes, and opens his arms wide, just like they do in films, feeling himself completely alive and in communion with the universe. He doesn't see the lorry lunging out from the crossing. He dies happy. Happiness is almost always irresponsible. We're happy for those brief moments when we close our eyes. (94)


"I'm going to tell you an improbably story. I'm going to tell you because I know you won't believe me. I'd like to trade this improbably story, the story of my life, for another story -- one that's simple, and solid. The story of an ordinary man. I'll give you an impossible truth, and you give me a vulgar and believable lie -- OK?" (167)