Sunday, November 18, 2012

anxiety is a rambling dagger

Months ago Ian Kahl sent me his book of poems anxiety is a rambling dagger and I have been reading it ever since.  I find the poems a pleasure to read though there is so much pain in them.  I like Ian Kahl's use of italics and the strange combinations of abstract and concrete language.

I am sometimes stunned by sudden flashes of great clarity in Ian Kahl's writing.  I'll be reading and really enjoying it, completely with the speaker, when suddenly everything comes together in a rich, super-real way.  Here's an example of two stanzas at the end of a poem that stand out to me.

     even years later
     after countless reinventions
     the shape and size of the nest has been altered
     but these wet sticks are still standing

     and make a home within me

It's the analysis of the nest that gets to me, and the mention of wet sticks.  It's perfect, a perfect ending.  Other times it will be a single line that astounds me, like this one.

     ultimately, I found nothing outside myself but levers

It's strange and intriguing.  I'm surprised by the way reality is imagined, and I'm delighted by the speaker's mind.  "Straightforward yet very confusing" I wrote in the margin on page 32 of anxiety is a rambling dagger, and by confusing I don't mean to criticize--the confusion is enjoyable.

Ian Kahl's poems make me think things I've never thought before.  And for this I love them.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

With Intention: a zine about a person with narcolepsy

With Intention: a zine about a person with narcolepsy is the new zine made by my boyfriend Ming Lai and edited by me.  It's about Ming living his life with narcolepsy.  He includes background about his life, sort of a life story with narcolepsy as the focus.  He includes tips on how to live a fuller life.  He includes a ton of resources.

But its greatest strength is the personal quality, the personality that shines through, the generous warmth that Ming has, the compassionate intelligence of the writing.  So it's a treat for anyone to read, but it's especially good for people who have health challenges or have family with health challenges.  Please take a look at Ming's etsy and buy a copy for you or for a friend.

Ci Vediamo

Hazel Newlevant's comic Ci Vediamo is appealing and serious.  It's wordless, except for the dedication.  It's about loss and longing.  Two characters miss one another and think of one another.  They romantically pine.

The drawing is beautiful, and the ideas are strong.  The pace is generous.  There's a gorgeous simplicity at play.

It's simple, but the feelings are deep.  Obviously it's hard to talk about--maybe the wordlessness has to do with that.  But see it for yourself.