Monday, October 22, 2012

Hungry Howie's: Love, Hope, and Pizza

In an election year, there is a general uptick in biblical quotations and misuses - salt of the earth, plowshares, writing on the wall. And now billboards and mail advertisements all over Michigan are spreading this strange appropriation of Corinthians.

And now these three remain: love, hope and pizza. But the greatest of these is pizza.

Friday, October 19, 2012


Fall has fallen on Whitmore Lake. Swans bob between swirls of steam rising from the lake's surface as the sun breaks the treeline. This season has brought changes but also shape to life. A roundup of the latest:
  • Nimrod has accepted my poems "Silent Mail" and "Cicada" for publication. Memoir Journal has taken "Epitaphs for Katrina." 
  • I tried listening to the audiobook for Julian Barnes' A Sense of an Ending but the last disc had a flaw in the last track so I couldn't get a sense of the ending.
  • In the Iliad, we see how rage strips away thought of the future and memory of the past. In that sense, it is the truest form of the present tense.
  • A Rosario Castellanos quote sent in a letter from a friend: "El hombre es animal de soledades, / ciervo con una flecha en el ijar / que huye y se desangra."
  • Aftermath - N - 1: that which happens after (usually a negative). 2: the second growth after the first hay mowing.
  • I arrived early at the Anne Carson reading. It was a panel performance of sections of her translation of Antigonick. For a sound check, she went from microphone to microphone saying we learn by suffering. We learn by suffering.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


"Don't just volumize, millionize your lashes with our New mascara: Volume Million Lashes." So goes the new ad campaign slogan from L'Oreal Paris. It's always a pleasure to encounter new words in advertising (see my post on the nescafe droolisimo ads) and I am fond of strange marketing.

The word millionize is nice. It plays into an idea of richness, implying perhaps that this product will make one look like (they have) a million bucks, as well as tapping into the general desire for thick, full lashes. Science, however, shows that people have 100-150 eyelashes. Clearly multiplying this by ten thousand would be a monstrous disaster.


I am a believer that words are words as long as they communicate meaning. Millionize does this. I realize reading the slogan that volumize is a new coinage as well, perhaps part of an ize verbing trend, and that it has successfully infiltrated English as an accepted word. Perhaps one day millionize will be common too and won't make one bat an eyelash.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Abandoned lines

Lines from unfinished poems, discarded drafts, and excised edits:
  • Kiss or chimera, my classical stoicism slipped away / as light spilled over the border from Windsor.
  • Silence / filled the gap between us, tall grass damp / beneath our palms. We found a way / to take summer on the chin.
  • And that girl / in the supermarket wearing a jean jacket that partially obscured / the word on her shirt – did those block letters read peace / or peach
  • I have evaded even memory, the concrete underground, / flower sellers, the way bodies jar / against one another / in the jolt of speed.
  • The lit tracer of a rocket transfixed / the camera phone of a rebel before coming to light / on the selfsame city block where he stood, recording / its arc.
  • If I said I scored, it was because we were keeping score.
  • The failure of the sign is itself a sign.

Sigh No More