Wednesday, December 05, 2012


I really do love places that you can't get to materially. It's easy to say that they don't exist, but this is a little bit of mental shorthand--or at least imaginative sloth. I mean, there are cities and geographies that are far more real to me than places that are on the maps, and there are places that I've been too that after enough time see to fade a little.

Back in mid 2012, Greg Sholette presented a group project called 15 Islands for Robert Moses. I was not present to see this, but I do want to share my friend Aaron Gach's description of his perfect island. Aaron is a terrific artist and founder of the Center for Tactical Magic.

Here's a little from his description, but you can read more here.

"I envision it as an invisible island wandering through the sea. It lies just below the surface, extending into the stygian depths in the form of a great, inverted ziggurat. Some may happen upon it by accident or fate, others seek it out intentionally. To enter, one is literally sucked into it by an eldritch whirlpool that threatens madness (or worse). Once inside, the visitors encounter a vast confederation of independent lodges representing all sorts of opinions, often hostile to one another, and possessing each its own rite or constitution. "

Monday, October 29, 2012

Happy Halloween!

I grew up reading Lovecraft. I mean there were certainly a lot of others, but Lovecraft's--and by extension, Cthulu's--impact on my young imagination was like krakatoa. Today, over twenty years later, the landscape still bears the crater. I think this is where Nyarlothotep, Yog Soggoth, Dagon, and ol' Cthulu itself have taken up residence. Little did I know that so many of the pictorial representations were created by this fella: John Coulthart. He's made a lucky (20)13 calendar, which is pretty terrific.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Social Maps

Saw this today while searching for a cool map of Oakland. Eric Fischer, as mentioned on Fastco Design, made this from thousands of geotagged tweets. So cool! Reinforces the metaphor as the city as a beast.

Bay Area Twitter-Generated Map Infographic

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Hey writers! If you are interested in the intersection of electronic media and poetry, take a look at NEXTPOEMS' mission and submit your work!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Micro review of Scared Text

Thoughts on ScaredText by Eric Baus

I love this book. I’ve read it twice, and have thought about how to talk to others about it. Really, I’ve thought about how to assure other people that they in fact should absolutely read it. This is a little difficult because Eric’s book is somewhat like a unicorn: you have to approach it with an open heart, and it will certainly reward you.  I should mention here that while there are plenty of creatures in Scared Text (bees, snails, doves, beetles, eels, elephants, and others) there are no unicorns. Anyway, here is the best way I can describe why you should go out and read this collection:

There’s a syndetic structure to Scared Text—a cross-referential of not only phrase, but of tone and ideation.  Baus chooses to begin his text with “Glass Ear” which itself begins, “Approach the smallest ghost after he has turned his back. A buzz of definition surrounds him” and concludes with “There is no such thing as ‘there is no ghost.’” In a way, this describes the book: there is indeed a “buzz of definition” which surrounds it. Yet like some weird poem-fractal, this buzz surrounds nothing—it scales all the way down to the sentence and unfolds with equivalent coherence to the entire book.

Scared Text as a plastic whole reads almost tactilely. Because there’s no narrative or symbolism or allusion it must be read exactly as itself.  And it pulses. Words and phrases don’t so much as echo each other, as they pneumatically pull on one another; perhaps another way to imagine this is to see the entire text as a network with certain characters (and I use this term loosely) like “Minus” and “Iris” along with some others as well simultaneously occupying multiple locations. Scared Text does a really neat thing for me: it somehow points to a way of non-local non-sequential cognition, as if the entire text should be read simultaneously if only our minds could become so elastic.