On intelligence is intuitive

1:

what happens to a society
when mystery is labeled
as evil?

it yields an ever-connected chain
of false labels and misinterpretations

the indigenous are labeled
as savage terorists
and plotted against

the open-hearted
are manipulated into slavery

the vulnerable are penetrated
by force of law

citizens
where is your allegiance?

why do you pledge
with a covered heart
when it needs to be opened?

why do you bear arms
with balled fists
and closed palms?

why do you call yourself
a patriot (pater: fr. Latin.meaning father)
when your greatest love has always been
for your mother?

this loaded phallus
has becum
the prevailing metaphor
of the day

you’ve spent your chi
on cheap versions
of the virgin

you’ve worshipped
loopholes in a story
and war shipped
mythic men to glory

if in god’s image
then your god’s
a plastic surgeon

a tyrannic dictator

a coward behind a curtain
with a megaphone

an aging oil tycoon
on viagra
ramming his plow
into the earth
turning up disease
and disaster
out of an ever-drying womb

you will become her cyclical sacrament

menstrual minstrels
footing your own bill
of right left right
marching blindly
into a moonless night
another dimension
where children use chalk
on the sidewalk
tracing their bodies
for the precriminal investigation:
of their paternal inheritance:

murder!

men in uniform
take note

love refuses
to take cover

[excerpt from , said the shotgun to the head by saul williams]

Advertisements

On finding inspiration

image

Beyond thankful that my singular wish of 2015 – to see Hamilton – came true! The cast album is certainly wonderful, but the brilliance of the live experience is something I won’t soon forget. Happy to report the show exceeded my (very high) expectations and deserves every superlative.

image2

While in NYC, K and I tried to absorb as much other inspiration as we could. ANHM and the Hayden Planetarium playfully reminded us how much more there is to the universe beyond our day jobs and research.

IMG_0042

Piet Mondrian, Composition No. 11, with Red and Blue (1929)

MoMA was another favorite stop – I appreciated getting to see the work up close, brushstrokes and pencil guidelines and all. Coming home full of creative inspiration makes the transition back to CET and thesis writing a little less brutal. (Also: the knowledge that we flew out before the east coast shut down due to blizzard Jonas!)

IMG_0037

Piet Mondrian, Composition No. 11, with Red and Blue (1929)

On Appomattox

Given that I can’t be in DC for the revision of Appomattox, I’m hoping hard for a recording. From NPR —

The original version of Glass’ opera focused on the end of the war and the attempts to address the underlying issue of slavery. But nearly 10 years later, the revised version splits the opera’s two acts into the struggle for peace and the fight to pass the Voting Rights Act a century later.

“Basically what we did is we took the two acts that were composed … and made it into Act One, which was 1865, and made it Act Two 1965,” he says. “That was not a separation we had imagined in the first production, and then by doing it that way we began to see immediately the symmetries and the differences.”

see also: Washington Post review.

On interviews

I think I safely fall into the camp that would happily have a conversation with Terry Gross. I’d be lying if — like the Ira Glass note below — I didn’t admit to listening to her interviews to study the nuance of the art.

From Susan Burton’s profile of Terry Gross in the New York Times Magazine

Matthew Weiner, the creator of ‘‘Mad Men,’’ has been among the most frequent guests on ‘‘Fresh Air.’’ He imagined being interviewed by Gross years before it first happened, and once it did, ‘‘you’re like: Oh, this is my fantasy of a conversation,’’ Weiner told me. ‘‘I’m not even talking about people hearing it. I’m talking about actually having the conversation.’’

‘‘Having the conversation’’ — that’s what’s compelling about the wish. It’s a wish not for recognition but for an experience. It’s a wish for Gross to locate your genius, even if that genius has not yet been expressed. It’s a wish to be seen as in a wish to be understood.

From Ira Glass’ blog over at This American Life,

I’ve always admired how well she imagines herself into the mind of the person she’s interviewing. Like she once asked the magician Ricky Jay something like “Is there ever a trick where the behind-the-scenes stuff – the secret stuff we don’t see – is actually more interesting than what we DO see?” Inventing a question like that is such a pure imaginative act of empathy. She does it all the time. She asked my cousin Philip Glass, memorably, “Do you ever try to write music that doesn’t sound like Philip Glass music?” The greatest question he’s ever been asked in an interview. “Yes!” he responded, excited by the question. “And every time I fail.” […]

She’s incredibly efficient in those interviews. I don’t know any other word for it. They seem to speed to where they’re going and to cover so much more ground than you usually hear. There’ve been times when I’ve re-listened, just to hear the order of the questions and to figure out what was planned and unplanned. Like a magician sitting in on another guy’s act for two nights so he can figure out the trick, to steal it. […]

Really so much comes down to her judgment. I think when we talk about what makes someone’s work great, we overemphasize technique and not enough gets said about the importance of having interesting taste. In the end, whether you’re David Simon or the South Park Guys or Beyonce or a radio interviewer, that’s so much of the game. Terry’s a person with broad-ranging very interesting thoughts about things. She’s up to the job. An interviewer doesn’t need to be as interesting as her interviewees, for sure, but she needs to be pretty damn interesting, and, more important, to have the taste to know what’s truly fascinating and new.