Showing posts from October, 2014

Poetry: Dream Song 14 by John Berryman

Dream Song 14
by John Berryman

Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so.
After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns,
we ourselves flash and yearn,
and moreover my mother told me as a boy
(repeatingly) ‘Ever to confess you’re bored
means you have no

Inner Resources.’ I conclude now I have no
inner resources, because I am heavy bored.
Peoples bore me,
literature bores me, especially great literature,
Henry bores me, with his plights & gripes
as bad as achilles,

who loves people and valiant art, which bores me.
And the tranquil hills, & gin, look like a drag
and somehow a dog
has taken itself & its tail considerably away
into mountains or sea or sky, leaving          
behind: me, wag.

Listen to my reading of "Dream Song 14" below:

Book Review: Tess of the d'Urbervilles

Imagine a time when a woman's virginity is her greatest asset. Yes, it is true that the situation is still practiced in certain cultures today. In the late 19th century, which is the setting of Thomas Hardy's Tess of d'Urbervilles,  I believe religion was part of the reason, as was property.  Most men have no wish to give their names to an illegitimate child or leave it their fortune.  However, I suspect it also has a great deal to do with the male ego and the notion of the cuckold, as Chaucer often narrates so amusingly. It is insulting to one's manhood to learn that he had been served the left-overs of another. Though the opposite is easily forgiven and often glorified. Hardy points out the hypocrisy of this societal norm through Tess.  I want to keep this review extremely short, and I will focus only on an interesting point which I only noticed during my second reading of the novel. It is the role love plays in Alec and Angel's relationship with Tess.

At the be…

Observation: Shake and Fries at Madison Square Park

It was around lunch time and I had a small milkshake and my very first French fries on a table in front of me. I sat waiting for a friend under the leafy tall trees shading the eating area of the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park. I was trying to read Susan Sontag's Regarding the Pain of Others, simultaneously drink a milkshake and munch crisp fries. The fries weren't as good as the ones I had begged off of friends in the past. The summer atmosphere was lively and distracting so I closed the book and started looking about with interest. I noticed almost everyone sat with someone else. A man walked to my table, grabbed the extra chair in front of me, and as he made to walk away with it asked, "Do you need this chair?" I replied that I did and he gave me a suspicious look, put the chair back and walked away. I started wondering about the conversations around me. Earlier in the queue to buy my lunch, I had been trying not to stare at a super skinny girl in a super shor…

Poetry: Ramallah by Bei Dao

by Bei Dao

in Ramallah
the ancients play chess in the starry sky
the endgame flickers
a bird locked in a clock
jumps out to tell the time

in Ramallah
the sun climbs over the wall like an old man
and goes through the market
throwing mirror light on
a rusted copper plate

in Ramallah
gods drink water from earthen jars
a bow asks a string for directions
a boy sets out to inherit the ocean
from the edge of the sky

in Ramallah
seeds sown along the high noon
death blossoms outside my window
resisting, the tree takes on a hurricane’s
violent original shape

Listen to my reading of "Ramallah" below:

Anna Devine SS15

You already know I am obsessed with anna devine. I died and went to a heaven full of beautiful printed dresses, skirts, and accessories when I saw her SS15 collection (which are all handmade by her!). And though I was going to delight you with a review of Tess of the d'Urbervilles, I will save that for next Tuesday. Now take a seat and let's drool over these gorgeous pieces. According to her Facebook page, they will be available in her Etsy shop via this November, but you should head over there all the same if you want to see the rest of the collection.  I feel I need all of them. Have a blast! - Jane

How to Get Things Done: Avoid Thy "Friends."

Did you think I had given up sharing with you some of the ways I get things done? I have not. I had just been seeing to other things. Now raise your hand if you have many "friends." Yes, the quotation marks are necessary. We are talking about those friends who know your number when they want something. Those friends who have no problem, at all, asking the world of you and acting as though they are asking for nothing. You know, those who you can never call if you ever need anything; even something as simple as three minutes of their time. Well because you are so much like me and never know how to say no, we must find a way to save you from yourself.

Here is the thing, you are not supposed to expect anything back when you give. A strange notion, indeed. But wait, this is a good thing. And also, in my experience you always get back what you give, just often not from those you give to. But what I mean by "this is a good thing," is  that it means you should only give w…

Poetry: Mountain By Clifton Gachagua

by Clifton Gachagua

On the day I set out on the climb,
grief saddled in my back like a bag of marbles,
my breath like clouds hanging on the low peaks of a mountain,
on the day I set out
leaving nothing behind, nothing on the bed, no version of myself,
just my voice through the night, the voice I use to ward off nightmares.
(My voice is a still life in itself, a shroud green and ultramarine deep blue,
a bowl of apples and tangerines on a table.)
On the day I set out,
the mountain is high in front of me, the unreliable god of mist and fog.
I have no voice to say how high
my fingers must lift as if on a lover's upper lip,
to take in the breath of how high my mountain is—white teeth behind
a snow cap, numberless springs, cold like the enzymes in spit—
a version of me is still asleep: the moving of a limb in sleep.
Everything becomes lucid.

Listen to my reading of "Mountain" below:

Meet Renee of The Silver Feather

Jane: Tell us a little about yourself!

Renee: I’m Renee Hulett, Los Angeles native, art lover, photography student and owner/designer of the contemporary bohemian jewelry line The Silver Feather.  I have been obsessed with all forms of art, my entire life and infatuated with the freedom of expression that art provides. I am self-taught and design everything in sunny Los Angeles.

J: What is your craft/brand story?

R: I started making jewelry in high school after a long and dramatic failed search for feather earrings (this was before the recent feather trend).  It was actually a friend who suggested we make them ourselves.  She showed me how to make them using a few simple supplies from our local craft store and they were a hit. From that point on I was hooked!  I started seeing jewelry like puzzles waiting to be solved.  After a few years and a ton of practice I decided to sell my jewelry and crochet pieces online through Etsy; as a way to generate income through my creativity, contro…

Poetry: The Subalterns by Thomas Hardy

The Subalterns
by Thomas Hardy

“Poor wanderer," said the leaden sky,      “I fain would lighten thee, But there are laws in force on high      Which say it must not be.”                          II
--“I would not freeze thee, shorn one," cried      The North, “knew I but how To warm my breath, to slack my stride;      But I am ruled as thou.”
--“To-morrow I attack thee, wight,"      Said Sickness. “Yet I swear I bear thy little ark no spite,      But am bid enter there.”
--“Come hither, Son," I heard Death say;      “I did not will a grave Should end thy pilgrimage to-day,      But I, too, am a slave!”                         V
We smiled upon each other then,      And life to me had less Of that fell look it wore ere when       They owned their passiveness.
Listen to my reading of "The Subalterns" below: