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Links · · NYT

What it means to be silent

Literature, because it is made of language, returns language to us. If we have the words, we are not silenced, although we learn, through the enforced quiet of reading, what it means to be silent. – Jeanette Winterson

Links · · Catherine Lacey

Everyone knows a heart

Everyone knows a heart is just responsible for filling a thing with blood, except it never fills love with blood because no one can do that because love comes when it wants and it leaves when it wants and it gets on an airplane and goes wherever it wants and no one can ever ask love not to do that, because that is part of the risk of love, the worthwhile risks of it, that it will leave if it feels like leaving and that is the cost of it and it is worth it, worth it, worth it.

Catherine Lacy, The Healing Center

Links · · The New Yorker

Is your product a lava lamp?

The thing you’ve got to understand is that I grew up being marketed to, so there aren’t many advertising tricks that work on me. Seriously. Ever since I was a child, companies have been telling me to buy, buy, buy—making me think, on some subconscious level, that my needs are the only ones that matter. And I believed it all. It wasn’t until years later that I realized how lonely this had made me, and that mere accumulation doesn’t lead to happiness. I finally understood that no company or product or advertising slogan could provide the companionship I needed. But it was too late. Decades of being told what to buy—and what to feel, and how to think—had left me numb. I carry that numbness everywhere now; I fear that it will never leave me. So, anyway. Maybe write a funny jingle about that?

River Clegg: How to Market to Me

Links · · Provinciano

Casetes que nunca entregué

Juan Gabriel

A falta de dinero, las canciones de Juan Gabriel me inspiraban a grabar casetes con canciones de la Hora de los Novios de Radio 14 que luego regalaba. Mi primer crush lo tuve en la secundaria y grabé un mix que empezaba con Me Gustas Mucho. Preparé todo para el momento de entregárselo, la grabadora, las 6 pilas de 9 volts, una tarjeta hecha a mano en forma de corazón, el segundo receso antes de la clase de Ciencias Sociales, pero no lo hice. Me quedé con este y con muchos casetes que nunca entregué. 

Provinciano: El amor en los tiempos de Juan Gabriel

Links · · Arizona Daily Star

US poet laureate is rock star to Tucson school’s students

This story and photos warmed my heart. Also, you read it right: A grade school with its own mariachi band. 

Herrera is here because of the Tucson Festival of Books — he will read from his works and take part in a panel discussion on Saturday, March 11. The University of Arizona Poetry Center, which is sponsoring his visit, arranged for his appearance at the school, where students have been studying poetry for the last three semesters. As part of his visit, a couple of grants were awarded so that every student would receive an age-appropriate book by Herrera.

The boys and girls filed in in single lines and sat on the floor. They were all giggles and chatter until principal Carmen Campuzano stood. The buzz slowly died down, then the school’s mariachi band played a few tunes for the guest of honor. — Kathleen Allen. US poet laureate is rock star to Tucson school's students

Links · · Tucson

Found Poetry on Buried Bees

John Ptak arranged and re-arranged and “poemized” some text from an old agriculture publication about burying bees. I too found the title, Burying Bees, odd and fascinating and the post another reminder why I enjoy his blog of antiquarian finds.

With a few line breaks here and not there of my own, here it is:

Bees may be buried when flowers are gone,
and left until they come again.

Weak stocks may be wintered,
but they are usually more trouble than they are worth,
because they are annoyed and kept weak,
if not robbed by the stronger stocks,
and because they consume proportionally more honey to keep them warm.

While in the ground each bee eats its own allowance.

They are not annoyed by the mice,
nor disturbed by the changes of the weather
but really are at rest; nor is the expense much compared with preparing
and placing bees in a  room, or cellar, or watching out of doors,
following which we buried our stocks last winter.

JF Ptak Science Books: Found Poetry on Buried Bees (1865)

Links · · Tucson

Almodóvar on Faking It

Do things ever happen in your life and in order to get by without giving up hope or losing your cool you “fake it till you make it?” Then, in the middle of doing that, does something else happen? And does it make you think: Well, my coping strategy for things like this has been to fake it, but I'm already just rolling with the punches as it is and now this all is beginning to feel more like a dance piece choreographed by a calculus professor than an article in Popular Psychology.

Of course they do. Of course it does.

Some of us are better at faking it in the roles we're in and we have to create for ourselves to get by. That is what I took away from an article that has been sitting in a stack of things on the nightstand to get around to reading since Hiram passed it to me last month. The stack is tall enough now that it was probably interfering with my sleep so I was about to throw the piece out with the rest of the mess without looking at it. Pedro’s pensive gaze in the accompanying photo wouldn’t let me though. 

Mr. Almodóvar, too, was watching his mother, Francisca Caballero, who died in 1999, as he grew up in the La Mancha region of Spain and agreed that many of his characters were inspired by her. “She had the capacity to fake things, fake things in order to solve problems,” he said, explaining that as opposed to the men in his family, the women “would resolve situations with the greatest naturalism, with the greatest ease, they would just fake that certain things were happening in order to protect us as children, and they did it with the greatest conviction.”

He added, “Life is filled with these miniature plays, scenarios, where people are forced to act or fake, and women are naturally born actresses.”

Julie Bloom, “Pedro Almodóvar and His ‘Cinema of Women’,” New York Times, December 2, 2016

Making tall stacks of all the things to get around to reading is, of course, a completely different coping mechanism.  

Links · · New York Times

Regarding gaydar

My gaydar has been broken for years now. The further I get from thirty, the gayer everyone under thirty looks. 

“If your boyfriend has any facial hair,” she said, “this’ll make his face less scratchy for you!”

The tin held $14 beard pomade. I blinked, startled; I don’t have a boyfriend. If she casually assumed I was straight, that means she probably isn’t queer. But … how?

I backed away from her table. I was surrounded by strangers; I’d lost my way. I used to have a talent, but now it’s gone, vanished, like a beautiful dream I can’t remember. I once had wonderful, startlingly accurate gaydar. I spent years writing a humor blog about the topic to educate fellow queers. Now I can’t always tell right away. It’s ruining my life. —Krista Burton. Hipsters Broke My Gaydar

Links · · Provinciano

El Tesoro

Hiram Peña - El Tesoro

Photo: Hiram Peña

A shot of Sonoran nightlife with an Almodovar chaser:

Cada año la anfitriona de El Tesoro organizaba el concurso de belleza Miss Sonotl. A diferencia de los típicos concursos de belleza, los organizadores no exigían tener ciertas medidas ni un mínimo de altura, tampoco se ponían límites a la edad y se podía concursar año tras año hasta que ganaras la corona. La misma anfitriona, cuando ganó el concurso, fue coronada en medio de gritos de fraude del público borracho. 

Each year the hostess of El Tesoro organized the Miss Sonotl beauty pageant. Unlike typical beauty pageants, the organizers didn't require specific measurements or a minimum height, nor did they set age limits and one could compete year after year until possibly winning the crown. The same hostess, when she herself won the contest, was crowned amid shouts of fraud by the drunken audience.

El Tesoro — Provinciano

Links · · Puerto Peñasco

Light in The Western Sky

Light in the western sky as seen from Las Conchas neighborhood of Puerto Peñasco

The Navy fired an unarmed missile from a submarine off the coast of Southern California on Saturday, creating a bright light that streaked across the state and was visible as far away as Nevada and Arizona.

A Navy spokesman told The San Diego Union-Tribune (http://bit.ly/1Qm74Sn ) the Navy Strategic Systems Programs conducted the missile test at sea Saturday from the USS Kentucky, a ballistic missile submarine.

Cmdr. Ryan Perry said the launches are conducted on a frequent basis to ensure the continued reliability of the system and that information about such test launches is classified prior to the launch.

The lack of information about the streak of light around sunset led to a flurry of calls to law enforcement agencies and lit up social media as people posted photos and video of the celestial sight.

Naval Missile Test Off California Creates Streaking Light (The New York Times)

Links · · Kitchn

Pudla

Thank you for being there for me tonight, pudla.