Tag «poetry»

Into the heartland

I’m in the nation’s heartland deep freeze with my wife and ancient dog. We drove from the mud hut to eastern Nebraska for a brief familial visit. I’m reminded of a previous trip to America’s breadbasket. Thoreau’s classic words came to mind as I stood in a kitchen slightly larger than the house I occupy. …

What are we fighting for?

In my latest essay in this space I mentioned two phenomena worth fighting for: the living planet and freedom based in anarchy. I surrender. I no longer believe the struggle matters on either front. I no longer think we’ll save the remaining shards of the living planet beyond another human generation. We’ll destroy every — …

Channeling Kurt Vonnegut

I presented at SUNY-Fredonia on 2 April 2012. The standing-room-only audience, in a room with 200 chairs, included about 30 students from a class on Kurt Vonnegut and similar number from a class on environmental chemistry. I was informed the Vonnegut students would be attending the day before the event, so I asked their instructor …

Caged: Memoirs of a Cage-Fighting Poet

Cameron Conaway is not a warrior poet. He is the Warrior Poet. I strongly recommend his memoir, which will be published next month. I reviewed an early draft of the manuscript when I was finishing my employment at the University of Arizona. Caged is described at goodreads as “a captivating account of a young man …

Media alert

This Sunday, 12 September 2010, I will be interviewed live on Conscious Discussions. The radio show will air at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time in the U.S. That’s 10:00 a.m. on the left coast. Guests can call in during the broadcast: 646.478.4758. Further details here. Update: Interview is archived here. During the afternoon of Friday, 17 …

The Service Trap

It is clear that some of us are committed to lives of service, and others are not. I’m sure social scientists have identified myriad patterns to justify our quirky lives, without actually explaining them, much less identifying mechanisms underlying them. And that’s just as well, given the magnitude of the task. I’d rather we spend our considerable cognitive surplus on other issues. Consider, for example, how much time we spend tweeting. And then trying to determine if twittering counts at literature. (If you think twit lit is, well, literature, I think you’re an idiot. But I digress.) Never mind who’s drinking which brand of beer in the White House. We’re so absorbed with television and the Internet and who’s screwing whom in the world of celebrities, we can’t bother to focus on the inordinate suffering we’re causing, to humans and other animals. Sixth great extinction, including our own species? Whatev. Solving those problems will simply have to wait until after I get a tattoo proclaiming my independence from mainstream culture.

Time to throw in the towel?

I used to talk, and write, about peak oil with considerable urgency. But my enthusiasm is waning. Perhaps it’s time to throw in the proverbial towel, give up the proverbial ghost, switch proverbial horses, or … well, insert your own tired cliché here.