Top Ten Reads of 2011

he following list represents the highlights of a year of reading.  It includes three novels, two works of creative non-fiction, two books of poetry, one biography, one work of criticism/theory, and one book of photography accompanied by poems. The diversity is unintentional.  Some are recent publications, while others are new discoveries for me… More

What is Language?

The way in which we define language can limit or broaden our interactions with the world and others in it. As this brief video begins to explore, interlocutors take many forms, not all of which correspond to our “usual” understanding of sounds or gestures as referring to particular symbols. I am hesitant to aestheticize a… More

Ain’t None Bad As Tom Waits

A friend of mine who’ll remain unnamed often tells a Waits story (most likely apocryphal, as if there were any other kind of Waits story)  worth re-telling: This friend, see, is coming off a bender in LA–uncertain, for instance, of how he’d arrived in LA in the first place.  He is certain only that someone has… More

Bill Knott’s Art Of The “Malignant”?

The enigmatic Bill Knott is at it again.  OK, I already regret the tone of that first sentence; its suggests a ruse, which is probably the last thing (or at least somewhere down on the list?) poet and artist Bill Knott has in mind with his recent online activities.  Since the abandonment of his cult-inducing… More

Reel Art of the Real

The most stimulating films I’ve watched this summer have been documentaries (not necessarily new, but new to me). Here are the top three in order of overall impact (And, yes, I did like Exit Through the Gift Shop, but it inevitably missed the gut check for me): 1. Marwencol. Changed the way I think about… More

All Things Frankenstein

Need some help here. I’ve been listening with continuing fascination and awe, frankly, to the album Spark of Being, the soundtrack, performed by Dave Douglas and Keystone, to Bill Morrison’s cinematic adaptation of Frankenstein. DJ Olive’s textures and Gene Lake’s nervy drumming, in particular, create a a sonic approximation of what The Creature may have felt stumbling… More