you don’t know how bad i want to be in this room.
via The Fox is Black: “Fifth year architecture students from Karen Lange’s studio at Cal Poly have been busy. To display the first drafts of their thesis books, the studio participants have woven plastic sheeting into a complex surface that fills an entire room. The surface gives folks a place to sit and read the drafts, talk to each other, or just take a nap. If you’re curious about the installation process (which took four days and 80,000 square feet of sheeting) you can watch a video of the surface being constructed and installed here.”
From The Believer Logger: An Interview with Rebecca Linenberg
In her fierce, one-of-a-kind poetry debut, Love, an Index, Rebecca Lindenberg tells the story of her passionate relationship with Craig Arnold, a much-respected poet who disappeared in 2009 while hiking a volcano in Japan. Here Lindenberg discusses her first book, the debut volume in the McSweeney’s Poetry Series, with series editors Dominic Luxford (who is also the Believer’s poetry editor) and Jesse Nathan.
DL: So why write poetry?
RL: I think there is a general misconception that you write poems because you “have something to say.” I think, actually, that you write poems because you have something echoing around in the bone-dome of your skull that you cannot say. Poetry allows us to hold many related tangential notions in very close orbit around each other at the same time. The “unsayable” thing at the center of the poem becomes visible to the poet and reader in the same way that dark matter becomes visible to the astrophysicist. You can’t see it, but by measure of its effect on the visible, it can become so precise a silhouette you can almost know it.
Perhaps this is what Wallace Stevens means when he says, “Poetry should resist the intelligence almost successfully.” Poetry isn’t about expression so much as exploration. Poetry is hard because it takes on big problems like love, grief, language, whether there is or isn’t a self to express, and the various implications either way. Poetry takes things we take for granted all the time (like language) and makes us take another look at it—defamiliarizing it, re-inventing it.
Reading: “Kind and Kind” by Jonah Lehrer in the March 5, 2012 issue of The New Yorker p.36-42.
“The leaf-cutter ant is the best mushroom farmer in the world. Thriving in the tropical forests of the New World, the dark-red ants live in vast, subterranean nests. The workers organize themselves into seven functions, as in assembly line. Some ants do nothing but cut leaves, harvesting up to seventeen per cent of the total leaf production in a rain forest every year. Others haul the plant shards back to the nest, while others tear the leaves into even smaller pieces. But the ants cannot eat these leaves directly, since they are laced with toxic chemicals. Instead, they must turn the mulching leaves into a fungus, which grows only within their colonies. One group of ants tends these underground mushroom gardens, weeding out competing fungi and keeping the chambers at an ideal temperature and humidity. The leaf-cutter ants have managed their monoculture farms for tens of millions of years”.
great little description of what (and who) went into this video on BOOOOOM!
from “True Grits” by Burkhard Bilger in the New Yorker October 31, 2011 p.48
“Southern food once owed much of its variety and agricultural vigor to wild plants. One of the most valuable slaves on many plantations was the huntsman, who would forage in the woods every morning and afternoon. “He’d bring back herbs and plants to grow in the kitchen garden,” Roberts explained. “There was this constant interchange between feral and domesticated foods.” Sea Island red peas, for instance, were first grown from domesticated seed brought over from Africa. Invariably, though, a few of the plants at the edges of the fields went feral, mutating into varieties better suited to the local soil and climate. When the huntsman brought these wild cowpeas back to the garden, they hybridized with the domesticated plants, creating still more varieties for the farmer to select. Little by little, the crop grew hardier, tastier, more prolific. “You hunt for genetics in the margins–those are the characteristics you want,” Roberts said. “That’s why cowpeas can outcompete kudzu.”
maybe some of you know i used to have a thing about dolls.