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Music to share! Made sure to rerecord stuff before I left so I could finish working on this while on the road.



We sat on the couch in the old house off North Loop and I played this for you. It was around this time, October, two years ago. It was the first house we moved in together. We’d been there probably less than a month. The days were growing darker and the air crisper and dusk had that autumn feeling of fireplaces and sitting close. The song I played for you then was very different than this one. That one was so rough sounding, emptier, more jagged, with sounds rougher and sharper than I know you like to hear, that even though I could hear what I wanted it to sound like, it wasn’t yet there but I wanted to share with you what I had been working on and was excited about. And you sat patiently with the headphones on and listened because you love me and were excited for me to be in love with the making of things. I don’t know if you liked it or not. Maybe you did, maybe you didn’t. Maybe it was too sharp on your ears, your ears which are so sensitive. Maybe in spite of your soft listening you liked it just because my fingertips were on it (just as I love to hear you play piano, even when you were self conscious and felt like you were messing up, even though all I could hear was my wife making music on a beautiful instrument). I left the song for a spell, so long that I had forgotten I had added things to it a number of months ago. Things I liked and that were unexpected. So I rerecorded the vocals and played with it some more. Made it a little bigger, a little softer, a little uglier, a little more beautiful, and put an ocean into it. The movement in the music sounded like waves to me. Or maybe I just miss the ocean. So many things I miss right now. Your quiet and beautiful hands. Out here in New England, the trees are on fire but do not burn. It is lovely. 

Vermont foliage, Modest Mouse, and apple cider donuts. Teeth Like God’s Shoeshine.

Vermont foliage, Modest Mouse, and apple cider donuts. Teeth Like God’s Shoeshine.

(via myshoesuntied)

I started drawing a story about a flower and a bird. It starts at tohelpstayhere:


Kissing & DNA

Came across this article over at the Good Men Project. And found this part utterly fascinating.

Kisses are taste tests for your bodies to figure out if the person you are kissing is a strong genetic fit with your DNA.

If you and the person you kiss are resistant to the same diseases you will not find each other attractive on a chemical/sexual level. The reason being if you were to make children together, your babies wouldn’t be as genetically strong as compared to you pairing up with someone who was resistant to different diseases as you. Put simply, if every person was resistant to 50 different diseases, your children would have a better chance at survival if you met someone with a different fifty than you (totalling a resistance to 100 diseases).

This is also often why one partner will come down with a cold/flu/illness and their partner won’t catch it- they are resistant to the disease and that’s part of why they are unconsciously attracted to each other.

And found more here, courtesy of Sheril Kirshenbaum's The Science of Kissing.

Fifty-nine percent of men and 66 percent of women say they have ended a budding relationship because of a bad kiss. It turns out that our sense of smell may be partially responsible as we pick up subconscious clues about the other person’s DNA or reproductive status. Biologist Claus Wedekind found that women are most attracted to the scent of men who have a very different genetic code immune system than their own in a region known as the major histocompatibility complex. This may be because potential children would have a higher level of genetic diversity, making them healthier and more likely to survive.

Here’s also a PBS short that touches on some of Kirshenbaum’s ideas, courtesy of Brain Pickings. Though the most fascinating thing of all this to me is this use of kissing to sniff out the best genetic match/immunity compatibility.

Bierce vs Columbus


Meant to share this yesterday. Came my way by way of Austin Kleon courtesy of Biopsy Mag. It’s a rather awesome op-ed on Christopher Columbus by Ambrose Bierce, written in 1892. Bierce’s justifiable contempt for Columbus I find pretty hilarious but also when he broadens it to something bigger than just Columbus, I find very well put.

Columbus was not a learned man, but an ignorant. He was not an honorable man, but a professional pirate. He was, in the most hateful sense of the word, an adventurer. His voyage was undertaken with a view solely to his own advantage, the gratification of an incredible avarice. In the lust of gold he committed deeds of cruelty, treachery and oppression for which no fitting names are found in the vocabulary of any modern tongue. To the harmless and hospitable peoples among whom he came he was a terror and a curse. He tortured them, he murdered them, he sent them over the sea as slaves. So monstrous were his crimes, so conscienceless his ambition, so insatiable his greed, so black his treachery to his sovereign, that in his mere imprisonment and disgrace we have a notable instance of “the miscarriage of justice.” In the black abysm of this man’s character we may pile falsehood upon falsehood, but we shall never build the monument high enough to top the shadow of his shame. Upon the culm and crown of that reverend pile every angel will still look down and weep.

We are told that Columbus was no worse than the men of his race and generation—that his vices were “those of his time.” No vices are peculiar to any time; this world has been vicious from the dawn of history, and every race has reeked with sin. To say of a man that he is like his contemporaries is to say that he is a scoundrel without excuse. The virtues are accessible to all. Athens was vicious, yet Socrates was virtuous. Rome was corrupt, but Marcus Aurelius was not corrupt. To offset Nero the gods gave Seneca. When literary France groveled at the feet of the third Napoleon Hugo stood erect.
Read the whole thing here.
Via today’s Writer’s Almanac

Via today’s Writer’s Almanac

Hot Damn

From the first second of the new Run The Jewels track, when Zack de la Rocha opens his mouth, to the last second when he closes it, a stupid grin hung on my grill.

The Times

Next week I’m at the Dodge Poetry Festival, which I was already wicked pumped about. Kinda dumbfounded about some of the poets I’ll be getting to share a stage and events with. Then yesterday the NY Times ran an article on the upcoming fest and my name popped up, in the same breath as poet laureate Robert Pinsky no less. Plus, I believe I get to read in the beautiful Prudential Hall on Thursday evening. So I’m about 12 shades of springtime right now.