Web Presence(s)

I don't much like blogging. It's....difficult.

My last.fm is easier because it operates itself.

and my twitter is also easy because i get to pretend i'm pithy by retweeting things funny people wrote to all ten of the people that follow me.

and the Tea & Oranges Family website is down, unfortunately. We never updated it.



Yeah, so if you know me, you likely already know about this. If you don't, then you ought to. The Tea and Oranges family has a new, full, non-myspace website. And it's been lovingly designed by Jesse Meunier as well as illustrated by other T&O folks. It's a great place to keep pace with shows and listen to some songs and download pooploads of albums by the T&O musicians. Official web presence: keep an eye on it!


Top 10 Things More Pretentious...

...than blogging (to no one) about a long-dead poet's marginalia:

1-10: nothing.

oops. guess i miscalculated on that one. I've probably been called pretentious before though, so what the fuck. if you can't laugh at yourself....still, i'm doing a lot of research right now and i re-stumbled upon an old favorite of one of William Blake's odd poems. In Songs of Innocence and of Experience, there are a lot of companion poems (for those not familiar), meant to be read in reference to each other. One in the Innocence section is called "The Divine Image" and is (from what I've read today) very typically Swedenborgian. But basically it's not that interesting, generally saying that these four qualities, Mercy, Pity, Peace and Love are God manifest in humanity, which is pretty typical Blake, at least in Innocence.

Here's where we get to my bit for today. A deleted poem from experience, "A Divine Image" references that poem and tears it a new asshole, very succinctly (in 2 stanzas compared to five).

A Divine Image
Cruelty has a Human Heart
And Jealousy a Human Face;
Terror, the Human Form Dvine
And Secrecy, the Human Dress.

The Human Dress, is forged Iron
The Human Form, a fiery Forge.
The Human Face, a Furnace seal'd
The Human Heart, its hungry Gorge.

It ended up getting deleted for something a little more subtle, but I think this is a really interesting poem, especially in the context of his Songs, where extremes are everywhere. Time to get back to writing, though. Hope you enjoyed the semi-insane Romantic sidetrack (if you made it this far).


DWS (aftermath)

I've been ignoring one of Lehigh's gems all semester on this blog! oops. Drown Writers Series wrapped up yesterday with a magnum opus reading that really packed the humanities center full with some really great poetry, fiction, and multimedia readings/presentations. Among the readers were me, Devin Donovan, and a whole bunch of (awesome!) undergrads presenting readings culled from visits to people living with dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Really powerful stuff. Plus, there were bitchin' bourbon balls, cookies of all sorts and tasty hot cider. Damn, i love wintertime.

For a while this whole thing has been run by Wes Atkinson who, unfortunately, is now handing it over to Devin. I'm sad that it's done for the semester, but it'll be back in January with the new leadership and i'll be out front of it this time, so that i can hassle all y'all in the Bethlehem area to go see it when it rolls around in January or early February. B-hem can be a little light on the poetry scene sometimes, at least as far as i can tell in my short tenure here, but DWS is a gem because it doesn't do any of that frightening poetry reading stuff. It is and will continue to be an unpretentious, food-based gathering that wouldn't feel weird to someone who's never been to (or liked going to) poetry readings before. In short: there are no turtlenecks, no wine & cheese, and nobody (shudder) snaps after people finish reading. And with a strict time limit, you don't have to worry about that douche kid that always shows up with an epic poem wanting to read all 4 books of 400 lines each. He can fuck off.

Also, there should eventually be youtube videos of the halloween meeting featuring a goat, me playing the Misfits on ukulele and Wes in a labcoat. I'll be previewing and recapping DWS on A Lighter of Fires all next semester so stay tuned and drop by in January.


Handclaps & Half-Shut Eyes

i'm bored of justifying posts only tangentially related to poetry. Suffice it to say that i'm an English grad student: i'll read just about anything and i'm happy to extend that to songs, especially because i <3 cultural texts like that.

i think i could produce a reasonable manifesto on 12:51 (links to video), though i wouldn't bore anyone. It's just that i had always thought it was a sad song masquerading as a bouncy party-rock deal. There's the fast beat, the sooper dooper catchy synthy tone on the guitars, and of course the content: if you don't listen too carefully, it sounds like it's something along the lines of 'hell yeah, i'm around, let's hang out and get drunk & have fun.'

mister Jakob Battick (tea & oranges website coming soon! stay tuned!)first pointed out the references to "stage" to me and reminded me that Room On Fire is their second album, the archetypical underside-of-success album, in some way. All this to say that on seeing the video, Julian Casablancas's bored speaksing and half-closed eyes really take on a new set of meanings. It's not just hipster cool anymore--they made their money on that in the first round--by Room On Fire, what was a laconic coolness has turned into a sadness that really permeates the album...

I think i might teach this song next semester.


Butt Rock pt II

So ages ago, I bitched about Wikipedia not having a page on Butt Rock. They still don't. This means war, assholes.

But,ah, i didn't mean to star a war with the biggest fucking nitpicker weirdos of all time, wikipedians (god, i'm fucked. they're some vengeful fucks. they'll put up "citation needed" all over my ass if i ever have an entry). Besides those cretins (can't.....stop.....) what i meant to do was crusade pro-butt rock. Not listening to it, jeez, just kind of raising its profile. This Yelp discussion might be one of the most awesome Butt Rock-related things on the internet. My vote probably goes for "Sister Christian" as well, if i had to pick a greatest butt rock song of all time.

And uh, by the way, who the FUCK spells the word genre like so: 'janra'

Really, commenter on yelp? doesn't the wiggly red line under your horrible affront to written communication mean anything to you? Why on earth would you do that?



So i guess it's November, the month that apparently everyone is supposed to do something significant with. National Novel Writing Month (as if anything decent ever comes out of that), National Blog Posting Month (well i guess it got me to log back on to this thaaang) and of course, No Shave November. Now growing a beard doesn't require the majority of my attention, but this one seems like obviously the most important of the group. Of course, instead of looking manly, I'm looking rather teenagerish with my stalled facegrowth. Still, this is only the halfway point.

NaBloPoMo just seems silly to me because i suck so bad at writing any sort of blog. but it seems like it might be fun to say, and maybe i can even work out a pun with my (incredibly taxing) course on postmodern lit: nablopomothics...mo? national blowing off postmodern ethics....month? ugh. i'm tired.