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Date:2009-04-24 22:18
Subject:New magazine

David Michael, Kristen Scharold and other good folks have started Wunderkammer, a new online magazine. They included a piece I did on the a capella human voice. Check out the rest of the publication as well.

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Date:2009-04-07 14:08
Subject:Christian Friendship v. the Sentimental

Been thinking about the enormous gift of friendships over the last months, good, hard, challenging friendships. I hadn't revisited Rodney Clapp's A Peculiar People in a while. Here is one thing he has to say about a version of friendship that is different than "instrumental friendship":

"Forgiveness, in turn, emboldens us to practice a friendship that will sometimes faithfully wound and not settle for sentimentality. Indeed, a world speaking only the managerial language of friendship is especially prone to sentimentality about friendship, since it can conceive of friendship only as functional and finally superficial. Ironically, it finds friendship simultaneously more burdernsome, and more frivolous, more trivial. Having instrumentalized friendship, it has no use for friendships that no longer provide a steady supply of warm fuzzies. By contrast, the centrality of forgiveness to the cruciform culture of friendship reveals sentimental friendship for the counterfeit it is. The promise of Christian friendship is not that it will always be easy or enjoyable but that it will never be less than friendship."

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Date:2009-04-03 09:32
Subject:Smile Politely, again

Consider the toilets of the field. And I took the pictures myself.

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Date:2009-03-25 15:22
Subject:this time, a review

For Smile Politely, I fell back on a bookish review thing.

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Date:2009-03-11 14:14
Subject:Moving (again)

And the second installment for Traveling at Home.

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Date:2009-02-17 12:44
Subject:Traveling at Home

A new column I'm writing at Smile Politely.

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Date:2009-02-16 15:14
Subject:gatsby's list


Rise from bed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6.00 A.M.
Dumbbell exercise and wall-scaling . . . . . . 6.15-6.30
Study electricity, etc . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.15-8.15
Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8.30-4.30 P.M.
Baseball and sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.30-5.00
Practice elocution, poise and how to attain it 5.00-6.00
Study needed inventions . . . . . . . . . . . 7.00-9.00

No wasting time at Shafters or [a name, indecipherable]
No more smokeing or chewing
Bath every other day
Read one improving book or magazine per week
Save $5.00 {crossed out} $3.00 per week
Be better to parents

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Date:2009-01-27 18:13
Subject:Dean Young--Ten Inspirations

Ten Inspirations

You decide to make a masterpiece.
You do not have any paints or thorns,
any genius or paper, any pianos
or sticks or rubber.
You have air though.
No doubt about it,
a masterpiece.

You decide to make a god.
Don't have no commandments,
no Renaissance altarpieces, no
relics, tax-sheltered televangelists,
funny hats.
You do have yourself.
Wow, gods act like Walt Whitman.

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Date:2008-12-24 15:44

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Date:2008-12-09 21:30
Subject:Emanicpation Blues

A handsome new journal, Quiddity, has an entire issue of creative work on Abe Lincoln. I have a riff on Lincoln you can listen to here.

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Date:2008-11-13 12:06
Subject:Prairie Grass Elegy

A little place poem in "print."

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Date:2008-11-05 21:34
Subject:Happy 4th birthday, buddy.

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Date:2008-10-23 18:59
Subject:Thoreau on the railroad/the market

"They think they're going to go on with this business of stocks and spades until everybody will ride. But when the whistle blows and the smoke clears away, it will be found that a few are riding and the rest run over."

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Date:2008-09-23 20:13
Subject:A couple of fun photos from the city today

Self-Portrait with Exit Sign, Skyline, and Art Museum

Self-Portrait with Crocs

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Date:2008-09-21 19:56
Subject:from Mt. 10: 24-33

More Than Many Sparrows

All of whom sing, and none
who pray in tongues or know
the prayer Jesus hummed
to the crowds behind him
as he turned to his own
and said, teacher to friends:

when you pray. More than these
will the most fearful sound
become voice--whisper, song,
beloved verse once heard
like a clear word uttered
in the dark—and rise up,
small strong wings to testify,
to startle the attendant eye.

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Date:2008-09-20 05:30

“What a strange old book it was,” Glory thinks as she reads the Bible, a daily practice she maintains partly to keep some connection to that “old life” of habitual piety she knew growing up in a minister’s household, and partly out of a deeper religious feeling. (“Faith for her was habit and family loyalty, a reverence for the Bible which was also literary, admiration for her mother and father. And then that thrilling quiet of which she had never felt any need to speak.”) Surely she knows the book backward and forward, but she discovers that still it has the power to haunt and surprise. “I will open my mouth in a parable,” she reads, “I will utter dark sayings of old, which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us.”

A clue to the intentions behind both “Home” and “Gilead” — which do not coexist in a relation of chronological sequence or thematic priority, but instead turn together like enmeshed gears impelling a single narrative machine — may lie in that passage from the 78th Psalm. It suggests that familiar stories and pieces of wisdom can nonetheless be obscure, even sinister or magical, in their lessons and meanings. And it is a characteristic of Robinson’s prose to proceed with self-evident clarity and simplicity while seeming at the same time pregnant with troubling implications.

from the NY Times review of Robinson's Home.

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Date:2008-09-14 12:48

Best piece I've seen so far mourning the untimely death of the Illinois novelist David Foster Wallace. Deeply sad about this.

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Date:2008-09-13 17:49
Subject:several heads

Several Heads

—after Rachel Zucker

The Eastern & Western sun, neither one,
	hates us, nor desires to hold or caress us with their large hands.

Skin resists, and releases, leaps and tenses
	while the heat & light arrive—simple, our nerves & their needs.

The hill might refuse its detractors,
	so the villain climbs her and plants in her a sharp flag.

All these worthy trophies.

Grass on hill. Grass under sun.
	Grass cut & grown again.

The grandfather without his voice hears
	the hill invite him, wild and full of human desire he does not name.

I have no legs, am a small monument atop the mound.

I would belay & belay you, though you have ceased 
	to thread the rope my way.

Our girl has given her brother a dandelion and a cup,
	no cliché but a gift.

Is this what you see when you lift yourself above
	your own lidded head—a belly and shoulders barely above the horizon?

Is this what I heard when you said the word sever?

The voiceless grandfather does not dream as he did.

The hill, its splendid violets and gifts of yellow, comes alive.

I can see from here and know these several heads.

Put them together, love. Yes, I hope, for the hill.
	Believe with me for a day, two heads, or more, are better than?

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Date:2008-08-22 10:38

Sweatervestboy is feeling quite crumpled and will be on hiatus for the indefinite future. Cheers.

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Date:2008-08-15 08:41
Subject:Everyday Liturgy--W. Berry

Everyday Liturgy this month features Wendell Berry.

In other news, I have been writing some new ekphrastic pieces.

Also, the CD of A Field of Voices is now up on itunes.

Finally, syllabi.

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