Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The North Water by Ian McGuire

A little bit Moby Dick Lite, a little Heart of Darkness.

Compulsively readable!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Rick's Bag of Tricks, a poem by Rick Cannon

Rick's Bag of Tricks

The days shuttle endlessly
undoing the neat weave
of your suit.  You hardly
notice, until one day
the cuff is gone and part
of the sleeve.  You laugh,
buy another.  The trick is
not to trust metaphor.

Of some people you say
"these are mine and these
own me."  Their several glows
seem warm jewels or sloops
to haul yourself up on.
One day you are bereft.  You
might laugh.  The trick is
not to trust friendship.

You shout "Metaphysics!"
Someone replies "Metabolism!"
Moving closer you say "That's
what I meant." The other
answers "Of course." You slow
down.  You move together.  It
is a dance.  The trick is
to trust nothing else.

Rick Cannon

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Tuesday, May 09, 2017

The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead

Nicotine by Nell Zink

Clever, odd, arresting and funny novel.  Lots of ideas.

"She was saying that Marxism isn't any better than capitalism, because they're both based on a world without friendship and love, where everything's for sale! A male world, basically. Money instead of nature.  Welcome to New York."

"Medicaid's an instrument of oppression. We'd have had a revolution a long time ago if the poor were dying in the streets like they're supposed to."

"That's something your dad used to say, about how it's the stories we tell ourselves that cause all the problems. If you look reality straight in the eye, you end up a lot less confused.  It's a matter of signal-to-noise ratio. Any story you tell has to be all signal. Any distraction is noise. Anything extraneous is noise. Now try to define extraneous. In life, nothing's extraneous. There's no noise. It's all signal. That's Freud. The early Freud."

"You're not too tired to go to work!"
"It's not like I'm a waitress, or operating a jackhammer or something. All I have to do is get to Manhattan and sit down."

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