January Wrap-Up: Race, Nation and the Black Atlantic

Here’s what I read this January; Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury, The Fateful Triangle by Stuart Hall, Just Us by Claudia Rankine, Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi.

Just Us in 2021

I finished Claudia Rankine’s Just Us: An American Conversation yesterday (coincidentally on Martin Luther King Day). Just Us is once again a fascinating mix of poetry, art, criticism and (personal) essay on the current state of race and racism in the United States. The title is (probably) adapted from a Richard Pryor quote Rankine also …

Ray Bradbury: Dandelion Wine

“This way, you get to live the summer over for a minute or two here or there along the way through the winter, and when the bottles are empty the summer’s gone for good and no regrets and no sentimental trash lying about for you to stumble over forty years from now. Clean, smokeless, efficient, …

2020: Favorite Albums of the Year

Worriers – You or Someone You Know: The record that truly accompanied me through this year. Every song could be my song of the year – and I plan on playing Grand Closing at midnight. Happy fucking new year. Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher: Probably the best album of the year (though I haven’t given Fiona …

Citizen: An American Lyric

“because white men can’t police their imaginationblack men are dying” I reread Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric recently. Published in 2014, this poetic, artistic snapshot of Black life in the US is stunning in its impact and intellectual heft. The book is decidedly not written for white men like me, and can, maybe should make …

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

It’s not a hot take to say that 2020 was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year. Globally, nationally, regionally, for many personally. There are some slivers of hope – the vaccines, the US election – but also some signs that things won’t simply improve in 2021 – current transmissions rates in Europe, current …

Lindau in November 2020

I need a break from the real worldI will live in social media nowUntil I am a word of myself!Away you fly from such a brow! People are just as badThey’ve known the world along that wayBut rent is cheaperSince your own life is a day. A poem inspired byEmily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, and Sara …

Frank Turner and Jon Snodgrass: The Fleas

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TimJrA5ekI0 So here we arefinally on our kneeswaiting for the world to shake us offlike a bad case of the fleas With “The Fleas”, Frank Turner & Jon Snodgrass released a new song for the apocalypse. The song is from “Buddies II: Still Buddies”, a lovely, conversational record made by friends. It’s out now on …

What White People Don’t Want to Hear (But Should Know) About Racism

“Doch die sogenannten Rassismuserfahrungen weißer Menschen sind nicht die gleichen, die ich mache. Wer zuvor gut aufgepasst hat, weiß, dass sich weiße Menschen selbst zu einer überlegenen Rasse erklärten. Diese Theorie trugen sie während der Kolonialisierung in fast jeden Winkel der Welt. Es stimmt also, dass weiße Menschen in diesen Momenten die Auswirkungen von Rassismus …