I’m running out of ways to say We’re working too much and I’m very tired, except to say that yesterday, in the midst of this April snow, I was thinking of But These Things Also by Edward Thomas, which I believe I first read in a book about suicide in high school –
But these things also are Spring’s –
On banks by the roadside the grass
Long-dead that is greyer now
Than all the Winter it was;
The shell of a little snail bleached
In the grass; chip of flint, and mite
Of chalk; and the small birds’ dung
In splashes of purest white:
All the white things a man mistakes
For earliest violets
Who seeks through Winter’s ruins
Something to pay Winter’s debts,
While the North blows, and starling flocks
By chattering on and on
Keep their spirits up in the mist,
And Spring’s here, Winter’s not gone.
Spring’s here, Winter’s not gone. So I walked to the store and bought tulips, and came home and baked a cake, but I was so tired that as I took the cake from the oven it fell, so now I have a cake that seems as if someone absentmindedly sat on it. At least the tulips are pretty.
This weekend I am RESTING. But we’re also going to a screening of Jack Smith’s Flaming Creatures and Ken Jacobs’s Little Stabs of Happiness, and I’m buying leggings. I also need to finish the bloody shift dress I’ve been sewing for a month, and I’m going to this exhibition of paintings, at a hipster gallery in Parkdale. For now I leave you with this:
The beautifully Modernist aesthetic of Willard Maas’s Geography of the Body.
Ariel Levy’s fabulous feminist reading list.
This most moving Dutch documentary, on Afrikaans poet Gert Vlok Nel, described as “Gert Vlok Nel woont in Beaufort-Wes, een troosteloos dorpje in de Groot Karoo, het platteland tussen Kaapstad en Johannesburg.” Een troosteloos dorpje could be the title of every book I ever write.
This glorious reading list from the women at Femina Ridens, which should keep you in reading material for quite a while.
A series of podcasts on Charles Manson and the Manson Family, on You Must Remember This, which I found especially interesting for the way it sketches the larger cultural context of the sixties in America. Good for listening to while working on a project – I’ve been listening to it when I sew.
And finally, the titular poem from Saeed Jones’s Prelude to Bruise –
In Birmingham, said the burly man—
Your back, blue-black.
Your body, burning.
I like my black boys broke, or broken.
I like to break my black boys in.
See this burnished
brown leather belt?
You see it, boy?
Are you broke, or broken?
I’m gonna break your back in.
Good boy. Begin: bend
over my boot,
(or I’ll bend you over my lap–rap rap)
again, bend. Better,
butt out, tongue out,
My boot, black.
Your back, blue-black.
Black boy, blue-black boy.
Bad boy–rap rap.
You’ve been broken in.
Begin again, bend.