NB- some of you will have seen this update already. I tried a different email distributor and it was a disaster. Here then is the email you should have received last week, with thanks for your indulgence…
Well, this year just keeps getting weirder doesn’t it?
I am underwater on a number of (mostly self-imposed) deadlines, but I wanted to surface briefly to share some bits, lest they accumulate and read like some catalogue in future.
First up, I published this Advent Meditation, thinking about how we might get our hearts, our homes, and our playlists ready for Christmas. Here’s a clip.
If we sing “Come though Long Expected Jesus,” it should not be with a tired longing that only half-believes he’ll actually arrive, but with a giddy joy: Mary is pregnant! All the unbelievable prophecies are about to happen! It’s joyful in the extreme. It’s a waiting still, to be sure, but one completely without sorrow.
It has found many appreciative readers who wrote with encouragements, and some push-back too, as is to be expected when gesturing in such bold strokes. I continue the discussion over on my blog.
Then, a book review that I wrote some years ago was finally published in Romantic Textualities. A snippet:
Percy Bysshe Shelley’s was already a problematic corpus, fraught with fragments, co-authorings, deletions, contradictory manuscript copies and titular revisions, almost to the same rank degree that his was a problematic corpse: decayed, dismembered, sainted, quarantined; all of it dubious and difficult and intensely intriguing.
You can read it here. This piece was fun to write because, when the editor asked me, I demurred. “This is the worst academic book I’ve ever read,” I explained, “how can I say that in a review?” She replied something to the effect of “Oh, I think you’ll find a way.” She was right.
Let’s see. The good editors over at The Mockingbird put out a call for “Sports poems” and at first I thought, yeah right! Me? I don’t even have thoughts about organized sports, much less artworks about them! But then, I thought, no wait, there are metaphors to be mined even there. I made them this poem that was just printed in their beautiful full-color journal, which can be ordered here.
Jazz, almost entirely. No new pop music this year is giving me any joy whatsoever. I am interested in the new Sandra McCracken and Matt Beringer records, and I wish I liked the new Phoebe Bridgers and Sufjan Stevens, but I’m giving up on both, having done due diligence. You know what I wish? That we could make a chimera, with Sufjan’s lyrics over the melodies/recordings of Taylor Swift or Jeff Tweedy, those vapid tunesters. Or I could just wait for a new Starflyer 59 record to come out. sigh
Meanwhile, here are two playlists that I’ll be cruising through (made by friends) during this, the best season for listening.
Okay dear ones, new restrictions in our state mean that my family gave thanks at a mostly empty table, but I will be thankful nonetheless: for my health (such as it is), for the work I am blessed to do, and for all of you readers and friends far and wide.
I’ll send one last missive before Christmas, barring major developments, and wish you peace meanwhile.