Bon Iver – Haven, Mass

Bon Iver’s inaugural album, For Emma, Forever ago was a thing of enchanting beauty. The 2011 self-titled album was similarly beautiful, but didn’t quite have the same impact with me. Between those two records, Justin Vernon as Bon Iver released Blood Bank, one of my favorite songs of all time. Haven, Mass was recorded around the same time in 2009 and hits a similar sweet spot. The song was just now released as part of a cassette tape preceding the Eaux Claire Arts and Music festival curated by Vernon. (More at Stereogum.)

Black Children Matter

I basically inhaled Toni Morrison’s new novel God Help the Child because it left me breathless. It’s a short novel, but it  is so rich in everything: Language, narrative perspectives, themes, settings, characters. The prose is poetic, not as in lovely-beautiful but as in dense with emotional and intellectual heft. Characters and themes are true Morrison: Racism, colorism, lives of Black women, violence, abuse, love, hurt. 

Particularly the main character, Bride, and her mother Sweetness are both modern and timeless. Their story is not only one of racism and colorism (the main character is “blue black”) but also of abuse, adolescence, growing up, woman- and motherhood.  Bride answers the resentment towards her based on her skin with power based her beauty. 

Morrison manages to tell so many stories of fleshed out characters, with so few words. Even the conception of characters makes an interesting statement – I believe the darker the skin tone of a character, the richer the qualities and flaws of the character.  If I listed all stories told you’d never believe they’re all found within 178 pages. But Morrison makes it work, by not using one superfluous word. A truly amazing book.

Just when I thought “this day needs something beautiful or fuck it” a link to Allison Weiss’ Remember When ep appeared. This version of Robyn’s hit Call Your Girlfriend is stunning.

Get the ep with 4 other awesome songs at No Sleep Records’ bandcamp.

I want my poetry to connect to people and truly affect them. I want my poetry to help people recommit the world we are living in, to the ugly mess and beautiful strangeness of it. I don’t provide any answers in my poems, but I hope to ask the right questions and reveal the right truths that make people feel like they aren’t alone. I’ve said before that the most important words, for me, in poems are the words that aren’t written, the words that say, ‘me too.’

Ada Limón, interviewed by Suzannah Windsor for Compose Journal (via bostonpoetryslam)