Death’s Jest Book by Thomas Lovell Beddoes A strange Shakespearean era revenge play.
This is a strange article about quantum particles, parallel universes, and time going backward.
Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine I often think it would be nice to read more short stories, but then, for some reason, I don’t.
Mumbo Jumbo by Ishmael Reed Looks like a fascinating voodoo, crime novel from the 70s.
I Am a Cat A satirical Japanese novel from 1905 that looks pretty intriguing.
Laura Miller read a bunch of Trump official memoirs… so you don’t have to.
persuasion.community Glad to see they’re still going strong a year in.
The current reading ecosystem A lot of green shoots!
Carmina Gadelica Folk poetry from the Western Isles of Scotland. Volume 1 of a collection published in 1900 by Alexander Carmichael
Technical writing resources on github If you ever wanted to get into technical writing, this wouldn’t be a bad place to start.
Some pretty good advice by Kevin Kelly looking back on 68 years. I hope I have even a third of this insight then.
The 19th Newsletter “gender, politics and policy news” Haven’t read it, but it looks interesting.
The Messiah Generator A tabletop roleplaying thing. Dig the aesthetic and the roasting of sacred cows, presumably.
Attending to Technology by Alan Jacobs About technology and our attention. I’ve gotten a lot out of Jacobs’ books. This is definitely in my (nearly infinite, sigh…) TO READ pile.
Looking at these old browser tabs is a bit like wandering through fragments of past thoughts. Or rather fragments of momentary attention (or distraction?). (I’m adding the straight URLs because I sort of think it’s good for people to start looking at URLs again.)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marc_Behm – I don’t remember where I first read about Marc Behm, but his book The Eye of the Beholder sounds fascinating.
https://www.myabandonware.com/game/in-search-of-the-most-amazing-thing-2c – Looking at the screenshots of this game, In Search of the Most Amazing Thing, makes me think that I played it when I was a kid. What’s even more amazing is that you can just play these right in your browser.
https://strangetimes.substack.com/ – a newsletter gathering together the weirdest news from 100 years ago. I love this idea!
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_of_the_Eagle – Burn, Witch, Burn! is such a better title for this movie. Also, Wikipedia writers are generally terrible writers of plot summaries. They could make any movie sound dull as ditch water.
https://www.sublimehorror.com/books/the-haunted-academic-reading-list/ – A list of classic horror stories involving academics.
https://www.comicsbeat.com/the-best-comics-of-2019/ – The best comics of 2019!?! I am late to this party! Hahah. I’ve read a few comics on this list. I think they have pretty good taste.
http://www.zymoglyphic.org/galleries.html – I only just learned about this local museum early in 2020. I still want to visit it at some point.
https://www.tor.com/2020/02/05/jo-waltons-reading-list-january-2020/ – Jo Walton has great taste in books. Also, she reads a lot! Check out some of these great suggestions.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/76485.Hell – I never really got into Goodreads. I think my local library didn’t have this book so I read Kathryn Davis’ The Silk Road instead. I remember very little of it.
https://gretchenmcculloch.com/writing/ – I’ve been meaning to read Gretchen McCulloch’s Because Internet about language on the internet for a long time. Maybe this year I’ll get to it.
Here’s some of what I found in my phone’s web browser from 2020:
http://tabletopwhale.com/index.html – a blog of original science illustrations. Most recently a medical ventilator.
https://www.vulture.com/amp/article/best-fiction-pocasts-all-time.html – a pretty good list of fiction podcasts. I’ve listened to a few of them.
https://zak-site.com/Great-American-Novel/story_monsters.html – He’s thought a lot about the Fantastic Four! This inspired me to read a lot of the Fantastic Four over the last year (or two?). I think he’s got a pretty good take on it.
https://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2013/11/the-completist-jeffrey-fords-the-well-built-city/ – A review of trilogy of books by Jeffrey Ford called the Well Built City. I liked Ford’s The Empire of Ice Cream and I expect these books are probably worth reading too. Check out this review and see for yourself. Might take a little bit of work to track them down.
https://uminnpressblog.com/2019/12/05/3683/ – A short interview with Jonathan Eburne, author of Outside Theory: Intellectual Histories of Unorthodox Ideas. Sounds like a fascinating book!
https://href.cool/2010s/ – A list of cool internet things from the 2010s. A lot of fun, weird stuff in here.
http://eye-books.com/books/the-drovers-wives – Apparently, The Drover’s Wives is 101 re-interpretations of a classic Australian short story. Fascinating idea!
Oh boy, I’ve got lots more…. Maybe I’ll continue this. Maybe not.
It’s not always so treacherous on the way down
But why does it hurt so now?
Fists of pain and hurt and cruelty?
It’s there again, but it’s not, oh it’s not.
Regret is for the old: the young must go on and on and on
beyond the firboughs and the cold and the soul-stripping.
Beware it! This is no time for regret!
No time for lost loves.
No time for fauning and mooning and drooling over that past time.
That mould time when wet mould crept all about
and many-fingered spiders crawled everywhere.
my very own sleeping shirt on my very own chest:
and I stood weeping, sobbing, screechinginmyhead
a quivering wriggling nightmare spider in my beshirted hand
those many-legs sending drips of terror crawling
up up up my arm and piercing that beating carbuncle
that red-pumping terror:
I was too too too to crush it
and I was alone so alone all alone
and you were asleep while the terror
scraped the walls out of my mind}
These darknesses don’t go away;
these shadows don’t crawl back beneath their rocks.
I’ve played dice with them before now,
stared into their grim sighs,
while tiddlywinks and razortrout and stud.
But they win.
I will not play chess with them.
Thankfully, I don’t think regret is for the old either. Also, this poem gets at the origin story of my arachnophobia–now dulled. Twice, I’ve woken up with a spider crawling inside of my shirt. One time, it was particularly traumatizing. Somehow, I’m not as freaked out by spiders anymore. I wouldn’t say we’re chums, though.
And that’s the last of my Memory poems. It’s been interesting going back and rereading them. I was pretty unhappy, generally, and I’m grateful that, as tough as things are sometimes, I’m mostly pretty happy and satisfied with my life. Go figure. :) Mostly, I think, it comes down to me not tormenting myself as much.
Try to be kind to yourselves, friends.
like the herring on my trouser cuff,
I can swim the two-step down to the corner stoop
and drowse there in the summer summer sun
with my eyes spinning in my head
those boogas lining up to sing their sweetly
how’s this go again?
this rummy tune?
I’ve forgotten you see
and my dreams have run together into a sticky malaprop
my words, my saucy words, my flimsy words
my barrier words are breaking open
breaking down, over-run by these eyes
bursting through the front door
ravishing the country maid and barreling
burbling and bursting out the back
the country’s not as tame as it used to be
could be, the ducks have come home to roost
and to strew their dirty longings everywhere
their filthy desires
their muckraking swill
maybe the two-step’s not such a good idea after all
I like the idea of memories being like cracked eggs, with the yolks running out. At least, that’s what this makes me think of.
patience, patience, patience, have patience
my cronies, my comrades, my curmudgeonlies:
this caffeine haze is dimming the light of our perceptions
do you like what we discuss here? now? soon?
beware the fiend who howls at the birthing of the moon.
do you hate the gregious flaws? the errors? the missteps?
wouldn’t blame you if you did: my heartmates
this statue smells of eros, cinnamon and lye.
it’s not pretty, by most lights, but that’s the light we’ve got
words and words and words spike through my brain
down my tongue and across the aether, to slip
(miscommunicadoed, as though on purpose)
into the labyrinthine curls of your ears—
and such pretty ears they are: I could kiss them—
where they incandesce and then flare out:
the wincing platitudes and summertime small-talk
cavations and exvacations of those bright caverns of darkness.
dispassion and fortitude are our only allies here.
Feelflight the Featherman begged me:
“A doubloon, if you would be so kind:
“unleash the wonders of the wicked verm.”
whether or not he did so, nevertheless, regardless
I gave him a bus token out of town,
so that he might fly along the dusty interstates
and roam the collard plains and see the torn and tragic…
The higher these numbers get, the less I remember anything about them. I do like Feelflight the Featherman, though.
jamaican japanese radio music
I don’t know either.
the boy’s knee-high socks are crushed about his ankles
he’s been crawling in drain-pipes again
tut-tut, what a naughty boy he’s been
why’s he twisting his fingers behind his back like a scared little thing?
little boy, little boy: you’d better behave
ratchet your paper-thin door shut against the goblins:
oh don’t you just see him jump!
the goblins gonna getcha, if you don’t behave.
when your windows rattle, those are ghosts:
rattling their slithering selves outside.
on full moons, they can slide right inside on moonbeams…
is it a full moon tonight? why! I just think it is…
ghost kisses will turn your face into nothing but wrinkles.
the darken sleeps under your bed at night, oh yes,
and when the sun goes down his alarm clock whistles.
he’s yawning and blinking when your nightlight comes on,
all ready to roam through the shadows in your room.
the darken likes perching on pillows, especially yours.
why? oh, well they have a weakness for towheaded boys.
and you, my lad, are a towheaded boy. yes. yes, you are.
Look, it’s clear I read too many fairy tales as a lad.
I am at a loss:
the future waves its infernal eternal
every word shattering into others
all-things dangling colorfully in the stillness
courage fades away
shades of the past
crawl over the earth
stifling hope in its crib
stiff hair bristles on my chin
keep away from her
haven’t you learned your lesson?
apparently not well enough
twined sheets wrapt round
these skinny legs
naked in the middle of the night
naked in the middle of the street
shuffling to the music of the moon
I feel like PastMe came close to some interesting things, but then kind of fucked it up by bringing the personal into it. Also, copy/paste was not my friend here. Messed up the original spacing. Which, at this point, I sort of feel like is an attempt to distract from the weakness of this poem.