what's the best kind of poetry for you shinji?
soft, lurching poetry. breakneck poetry. slaughterhouse poetry. poems you wouldn’t take home to meet your parents. poems you would take back home to meet your parents. poems that you let simmer for five minutes in boiling water before you drink it. poems with b12. poems lasagna-layered. poems that leave stains in your armpits. poems that make you so nervous you start sweating. fainting poems. poems that remind me nothing of home. poems like slippers sliding across cold tiles on a february morning. poems like pepto bismol. a poem wedged on the rim of a shot of tequila. poems that taste like mouths taste when it’s three a.m. and you’re in brooklyn. poems like cherry lip balm. poems without clipped wings. poems that have learned to chew themselves out of their cages. poems that have burrowed, so deep, that you can see them crawling around underneath your skin. poems that not even doctors can remove.
"I’ve been working on a fantasy novel since the eighth grade. I’ve got about one thousand pages so far. I’m just missing the beginning."
“What’s it about?”
“Lots of fighting. In space.”
"Lost opportunities, lost possibilities, feelings we can never get back. That’s part of what it means to be alive. But inside our heads—at least that’s where I imagine it—there’s a little room where we store those memories. A room like the stacks in this library. And to understand the workings of our own heart we have to keep on making new reference cards. We have to dust things off every once in awhile, let in fresh air, change the water in the flower vases. In other words, you’ll live forever in your own private library."
from “Kafka on the Shore"
(Alfred A. Knopf, 2005)
(Source: pavorst, via lifeinpoetry)
China’s Asian influence: China is the largest single trading partner of all red countries
On W23rd Street, between 8th and 9th, you might see this cornerstone now built into a massive old pre-war apartment complex. But Clement Moore used to own all of Chelsea, the whole neighborhood, and it’s even named after his family estate. When the city decided to run 9th Avenue through what was then basically farmland in the early 1800s, Moore objected (he was a rich guy so he even objected to paying taxes to build roads, calling those taxes and roads an attempt to placate the poor and middle class). But eventually he carved up the estate into lots and sold it off. And he wrote ‘A Visit From St. Nicholas’, aka ‘The Night Before Christmas’.
So, Moore is gone, and his house is gone, too. But his poem is still recited and this one stone remains.
Clement Moore’s second most famous work, which I read in college, is a pamphlet attacking Thomas Jefferson’s deism called “Observations upon Certain Passages in Mr. Jefferson’s Notes on Virginia, Which Appear to Have a Tendency to Subvert Religion, and Establish a False Philosophy.”
No Old Maps Actually Said ‘Here Be Dragons’
Here be dragons. The words supposedly contain every difference between ancient maps and our own. Where old maps were illustrated and incomplete, ours are accurate and photographed from the sky. Old maps were pricey and precious; ours are nearly free and ubiquitous.
Most importantly: Old maps—early modern European maps—contain uncharted territory, across which beasts rumble and serpents writhe. They have dragons.
Our technology might be indistinguishable from magic, but it does not contain magical creatures. Google Maps does not have dragons.
Or that’s the story, anyway. But I’d always wondered: Do any old, original maps actually say those words, “Here be dragons?”
The answer, it seems, is … No.
Not a single old paper map presents those exact words—“Here be dragons”— in the margins or otherwise. Nor does any paper map include “Hic sunt dracones,” the words’ Latin equivalent.
But a globe does.
Read more. [Image: NYPL]