Monday various

  • Here’s a question: Who inherits your iTunes library? Maybe a follow-up to that: would you want someone to inherit it?

    There’s a significant difference between shelves of books or stacks of records and folders of e-books or mp3s. There’s no re-sell value to the latter, for instance, either because of the difficulties of transferring the files or because of restrictions inherent in the licensing agreements we sign. So the only reason to bequeath your digital media is if you feel the person receiving it in your will actually will want it.

  • Ass-whooping on NPR.
  • In other news, they were still printing Nintendo Power Magazine?
  • Writing credits in documentaries: apparently a bigger issue than you might think.
  • And finally, Space Stallions!

    More information here.

Erased from memory

Over the summer, Geist held an “erasure poem” contest, in which you had to take an excerpt from Roughing In the Bush: Or, Forest Life in Canada and, just by erasing individual characters, come up with a poem. I wasn’t going to enter — I like Geist, but, having entered other of their contests in the past, I wasn’t exactly aching to send them more money, even with a subscription renewal thrown in. And I’m not exactly a world-class poet. But I thought it was an interesting challenge, and before I knew it I had something I rather liked.

I didn’t win. But that’s okay. Like I said, I like Geist. And I probably won’t be entering their Postcard Story Contest this year — I understand the whys of the new “make your own postcard” rule, but I can’t say it appeals — so they can have this entry fee instead.

Anyway, like I said, I liked what I wrote…or, rather, what was left after I erased. And since I didn’t make the short list, I’ve got no reason not to post my poem here:

a week passed
the dark stranger and my husband
the same horror
attracted their attention and
they were delighted

I almost screamed
then followed intently
their dark eyes fixed upon the map

what strange hex of names
every lake and river on the paper
held hard my sorry eyes

I was consumed by a curious word
which had been given — a strange gift
to a glade fenced on three-sides

a moving snake
or a hideous image of god
conceived by the most distorted imagination

claws that formed hands
a face strange and awful
a wood of serpentine form

my name

I thought to demand an explanation
longed to flee

in the east, far over the great lake
there were bad prayers made of wood
and this was one of them

they said
that hideous thing
they had made with their own hands
were highly amused
and passed the word from one to the other
in spite or contempt

I was sorry to perceive this circus in their eyes

they regarded it with mysterious awe
for several days
then left vexed and annoyed
by the height of my curiosity

Monday various

Tuesday is as Tuesday does

Nothing much happened today. It rained until it stopped, and that’s about it. My first train this morning was late, and then the connecting train at Jamaica was flooded. Not exactly underwater, but it’s one of those double-decker trains, and I was on the bottom level. Luckily the seats themselves are elevated off the floor, because the floor itself was one giant puddle.

Oh, and it turns out I didn’t win the Geist Literary Postcard Story Contest. That’s too bad, as I really liked the piece I submitted. I definitely think I’m going to rework it a little, expand it just slightly from the contest’s (maddening) 500-word limit.

And, yep, that was pretty much my Tuesday.

Monday various