Do you mean metaphorical.
No, I actually meant metabolism architecture. It was a post-war movement in Japan which followed (among other things) this concept that the city was like a body – the roads were like blood vessels and the sounds of the city were the sounds of it breathing, you know, that kind of thing. The idea was that it was alive.
There were some really cool futuristic buildings that came out of it.
WRITING PROMPT: Consider the city (Your city? A city you’ve known?) as a living, breathing entity. You are dwarfed by it, and yet it knows you, like an absent but largely benevolent deity. What does your prayer-song for your city sound like? How has it blessed you? How has it punished you? How keen are you to remain within its embrace? How eager are you to break its gravity? What hold does(/will) it still have on you, even if you leave it behind?
“Project books can explore things differently, move differently, interact with readers differently. I…”
For those of you working on book-length poetry “projects”.
“The list emerges from Sontag’s diaries as the author’s signature form. And it’s a strange form at…”
Susan Sontag famously believed that lists confer value and affirm our existence. A decade after her death, as her digital archive is being made accessible to scholars and fans, the LA Review of Books examines the repercussions in a beautiful essay:
All archival labor negotiates the twin responsibilities of preservation and access.
Sontag is — serendipitously, it seems — an ideal subject for exploring the new horizon of the born-digital archive, for the tension between preservation and flux that the electronic archive renders visible is anticipated in Sontag’s own writing. Any Sontag lover knows that the author was an inveterate list-maker.
Reading Sontag’s lists in their original e-environment brings the issues of the digital archive — with its constant push-and-pull between proliferation and deep freeze — to the surface.
We cannot see when and where Sontag added to a list, or when or where she deleted from it. There are no cross-outs, no carets, no smudges. Certain kinds of traces, familiar in more traditional archives, are absent from the digital environment.
Listing and searching both provide us with ways, however flawed, to cut through redundancy, to make meaning out of chaos, to, in Sontag’s vocabulary, confer and create “value,” even “existence.” This impulse to list, to search, or, in other words, to reduce — an impulse researchers necessarily share with Sontag herself — takes on a peculiar resonance in the context of the guarded writer’s archive
“I try to keep the process of writing a poem low-stakes as much as I can—I try to recognize my work…”
- Q&A with Eryn Green, the 2013 Winner of Yale Series of Younger Poets - Yale Press Log
- Martha Graham on the Hidden Danger of Comparing Yourself to Others | James Clear
One day, we had a family photoshoot…
“Try to meet a poem on its terms not yours. If you have to “relate” to a poem in order to understand…”
- Reading a Poem: 20 Strategies - The Atlantic
“I always think about synthesis. Putting things together. Placement. Fitting. This is ‘thinking like…”
- I always think about synthesis. Putting things together. Placement. Fitting. This is ‘thinking like a writer’ to me.
- This Modern Writer: 100 Facts About Brian Oliu (by Brian Oliu, of course) | [PANK]
New form: reminder for the gogyohshi-ku and the specular gogyohshi-ku. This specular gogyohshi-ku is mirrored in structure, not necessarily in content— i.e. you don’t strictly have to reverse the lines (though extra points if you do). Note: in the specular, the form begins with a reverse gogyohshi-ku, in order to begin and end with haiku.
“I remember that the writing of these poems was driven by some kind of dynamic source—intellectual,…”
Note: Kearney studies “comedians to work out timing, cringe humor, and audience interaction.”
“Examine the lives of the best and most fruitful people and peoples and ask yourselves whether a tree…”
- Nietzsche, via Brain Pickings
Writing prompt: write a poem that involves or arises from a bus journey. The poem should remain rooted in that journey, but can use that journey as a lens through to make comment on some larger experience.
(follow the link for further inspiration)
This is my iPhone. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
Dead iPhone day, today. It’s been acting up for a while— crashing and rebooting itself a good few times a day. Yesterday it got into some kind of reboot loop where it would restart every 5 minutes or so. Lovely. This morning, I managed to keep it alive for long enough to see that iOS8.1 had been released, and even long enough to download the update, hoping that would fix my ills. But I fell foul of the update process, and ended up having to “restore” — return to factory defaults.
Last backup? About a month ago. Any way to recover without restoring? Possibly, but the pain it would take… I decided it wouldn’t be such a bad thing to wipe the slate clean and start again. Set the thing up as a brand new iPhone.
It’s amazing how much we come to depend on these tools, these devices. My phone is a communication device (text, audio, video, still image), it’s my primary camera, my health/fitness tracker, my mindfulness buddy, my “first-in-hand” information access point…
I’ve already installed the apps that were instantly conspicuous by their absence: Fantastical, Accompli, Drafts, Soundcloud, Casts, Google Now, Google Maps, Reporter, Moves, Up, Daily Tracker, Instagram, VSCOcam, Pocket, Evernote, Dropbox, 1Password, TextExpander, Blinkist, Buffer and Evershaker (and yes, that list doesn’t cover even half of what I had on the phone before now). Most of these apps have some kind of “back up to cloud” capability built in (it’s one of the criteria I consider for apps that I really depend on). That said, I know I’ve got a period of inconvenience ahead— half-remembered passwords to reset, settings to tweak and all those myriad other adjustments that make this particular iPhone 5 mine. But you know what? It’s okay. It’s easy to get to a point where you take your gear for granted.
Funny how these devices are so ubiquitous now— the way you might reach for someone else’s phone until you thumb it to life and realise, by the image you’ve chosen to display on the lock screen, that it’s not yours. Most of the people I work with are Apple users— but I’m so used to my own rig that there’s always a slightly dizzying period of adjustment when I have to sit down in front of someone else’s machine. That’s not necessarily a comment on the contemporary condition. I’m a “power user”. I know my tools inside out, and I’ve fine-tuned them for my own quirks and biases. But, seen from the outside at least, I own the same hunks or slabs of metal, glass or aluminium as anyone else.
15 years ago, my peers were all aspiring to the same beige boxes. To be fair, it’s a wider field now. But just the same as any other instrument, it’s what we do with them that counts.
- Robert Pinsky, via Paris Review
- Alan Watts in Does It Matter? Essays on Man’s Relation to Materiality (via Literary Jukebox)
“If you’re a black person who has ever visited a place where there aren’t many other black people,…”
I know this nod.
And I find some of the comments here fascinating— those that seek to claim the “nod” as a universal gesture that doesn’t depend on race or culture, as if to challenge Musa’s authority on his own experience, or to somehow assert how good the commenter is in not seeing race or being affected by associated concerns and considerations.
Maybe this nod is not the nod you know. And maybe there’s nothing wrong with that.
It’s possible to bend language to your will, to invest extraordinary amounts of effort and care to make words do what you want them to do.
Our culture celebrates athletes that shape their bodies, and chieftains who build organizations. Lesser known, but more available, is the ability to work on our words until they succeed in transmitting our ideas and causing action.
Here’s the thing: you may not have the resources or the physique or the connections that people who do other sorts of work have. But you do have precisely the same keyboard as everyone else. It’s the most level playing field we’ve got.”
Seth Godin on doing the word.
To do it well, bookmark this evolving library of notable advice on writing from celebrated authors, then revisit Steven Pinker on the art and cognitive science of effective writing.