Quarantine (Eavan Boland)

Perhaps I’m just mushy because my husband’s away on a business trip and I miss him, but I liked this poem.

I am not exactly sure if Alec would warm my feet with his chest while we were both dying of starvation and cold (this would be asking a lot of anyone – my feet are blocks of ice even in normal air-conditioning), but he does go out in the mid-day sun on the weekends to buy me bubble tea and ayam penyet, which is also worth something.

Clearing Decks

I’m all “New laptop! New start!” at the moment and totally geeking out over reinstalling all my favourite software (which of course also includes copious online research on whether all these programs are still theeeee best ones for me), and since I spend more time surfing the web than any responsible adult should, a big part of this is achieving optimal Firefox zen. But before I went on a trawl for shiny new extensions to fill surfing needs I never knew I had, I decided I needed to do a little bookmark pruning. I haven’t been the best at keeping my bookmarks under control over the years, which became a lame reason for me not to use online bookmark syncing services like Foxmarks because I felt like this would only encourage me to perpetuate my disorganized shitpile rather than lick it into shape, and this needs to change soon.

A particularly mucky sump in my bookmarks toolbar was the folder I’d called “To Blog”, where I would happily drag links with every intention of blogging them but then blithely continue surfing and never get round to writing the entry. Once the dropdown list of bookmarks in this folder reached the bottom of my screen, I ostriched my head in the sand and just stopped adding bookmarks there. To the best of my recollection, the contents of this folder have not changed since maybe 2006. But upon exploration I found there was still some good stuff in there! Just so that I can delete it with peace of mind, here it is:


  • Grief, Gratitude and Baby Lee: Beautiful, poignant article about perinatal hospices. I hope people know that the anti-abortion community isn’t actually all about murdering doctors and hating on women.
  • Soulseeking: From now-defunct (and sadly missed) Stylus magazine, Nick Southall writes about the conundrum of loving music so much that you sometimes forget how to love it, something I’ve grappled with for years. In 2005 when the article was written, there were definitely some readers of this blog who would’ve identified with it. I’m not sure if they’re still here any more but if the article resonates with you, holla.



I only mentioned File magazine once here before but loved way more photographs than I linked to at the time.

Nancy Drew (Ron Koertge)

Today’s Writer’s Almanac poem made me smile, though I hate that I can’t remember whether the poem’s referencing an actual case-file from one of the books or not.

Nancy Drew (Ron Koertge)

Merely pretty, she made up for it with vim.
And she got to say things like, “But, gosh,
what if these plans should fall into the wrong
hands?” and it was pretty clear she didn’t mean
plans for a party or a trip to the museum, but
something involving espionage and a Nazi or two.

In fact, the handsome exchange student turns
out to be a Fascist sympathizer. When he snatches
Nancy along with some blueprints, she knows he
has something more sinister in mind than kissing
her with his mouth open

Read the rest

Girder (Nan Cohen)

From Girder, by Nan Cohen:

“I am a figure in a logic problem,
standing on one shore

with the things I cannot leave,
looking across at what I cannot have.”

Non-Cheesy Cheesy Poem

“And you and I, paring away the rind,

do you and I have a patient nose
for the creamy inwardness of things?”

– from The Demise Of Camembert (Ron Slate)

Read the whole poem, the quote doesn’t do it justice at all.

Three Poems For Edmund, Who I Do Not Know

He asked, and just to prove poetry and Prince don’t jostle on the same territory, at least where this blog is concerned, here are three. (Excerpts, with links to full versions.) I hope you like them, Edmund, but even if you don’t, thanks for reminding me. :)

* * *

My bad cello! I love it
too much, my note to almost note,
my almost Bach, my almost Haydn, two who
heard things falling off a shelf

Nothing’s Coloured That Impossibly Red

Not To Mention Love: A Heart For Patricia (David Clewell) is a love poem I rather like.

“Here, the heart is the heart, and isn’t
a fist or a flower or a smooth-running engine
and especially not one of those ragged valentines
someone’s cut out, initialed, shot full of cartoon arrows:
the adolescent voodoo of desire. Here nothing’s colored
that impossibly red.”

All My Pretty Ones

It is rare that I watch a Colin Firth movie for sources of eyecandy other than him, but Girl With A Pearl Earring is just that beautiful.

Other things that are beautiful, and which will not cost you $6.50 to enjoy on a weeknight, are this photograph out of many others at this exceptionally well-designed site (in Japanese, but you can’t have everything), and these recent black and white photographs Scott (of erasing.org) took in an empty airport at night.

I want you all to have something beautiful to look at. I’ve been video-chatting with Alec a lot these past few days, and am feeling everyone else deserves visual treats too.

[Addendum: Random surfing just yielded an audio clip of Anne Sexton reading the poem this entry is named after. If you’re a fan, treat yourself. If you’re not, become one.]