W. H. Auden

cats per container about 4

11. Auden’s 1956 book review of The Return of the King. (much thanks to biblioklept)

For objectifying this experience, the natural image is that of a journey with a purpose, beset by dangerous hazards and obstacles, some merely difficult, others actively hostile. But when I observe my fellow-men, such an image seems false. I can see, for example, that only the rich and those on vacation can take journeys; most men, most of the time must work in one place.

11. Valzhyna Mort is a Belarusian badass. Just saying.

11. Why did they make birds so delicate and fine as those sea swallows when the ocean can be so cruel? She is kind and very beautiful. But she can be so cruel and it comes so suddenly and such birds that fly, dipping and hunting, with their small sad voices are made too delicately for the sea.

4. All Diagram t-shirts are 10 bucks until they are gone. (I suggest the dead hamsters.)

11. Note to self: continue to eat old book reviews.

Brautigans involve people just living around in a landscape that is vaguely compounded of shacks, scenery, and catch phrases; they have slightly improbable ways of getting by, but as they don’t need much and aren’t wildly ambitious, their needs are easily met by the usual raunchy, hand-to-mouth means.

Author Spotlight & Random / 8 Comments
April 13th, 2011 / 9:10 am

Hill of Beans, Can of Words

These are some books I bought or otherwise acquired recently. A hill of words.

& that is a can of beans.

Ben Mirov
Ghost Machine
(not pictured)
Pittsburgh, PA — 2010

I read most of this book at the park that is in the book on a pretty much perfect day and it was a hell of a pairing I have to say. It has the kind of restraint my own work lacks a lot. Makes me jells but not bad way. Read the rest at my ex’s apartment who is no longer my ex while she made me dinner, which I could not believe was happening and yet there it was happening. I often felt breathless and thought maybe that’s not such a dumb name for a movie after all. READ MORE >

Excerpts / 16 Comments
January 25th, 2011 / 6:24 am

Any Wonder We Tried Gin


“Wystan Hugh Auden took the martini seriously,” wrote Rosie Schaap for the Poetry Foundation a few weeks ago. Yeah! That’s an Auden I can get behind! The kind who would write, “We must drink a lot of gin or die,” and then later change it to “We must drink a lot of gin and die,” before finally settling on, “This guy right here…this guy’s…YOU DON’T KNOW ME, YOU DON’T EVEN”

Anyway, Schaap’s search for the Auden martini set me to thinkin’: what other poets have had trademark martinis? I found the answer in What Other Poets Have Had Trademark Martinis?: A Book Which Answers The Question That We Asked in the Main Part of the Title, Before The Colon (FSG, 1987). This book totally exists, so fact-checking me on it would be a pitiable waste of your time. Below are just a small sample of the more intriguing entries, though if you have any others, you should post them. I mean, why wouldn’t you trust poets to give you alcohol-related recommendations? That would be like not trusting poets to give you divorce lawyer-related recommendations! Crazy!


Random / 19 Comments
October 14th, 2009 / 6:38 pm