Month: October 2018

Make an Occult Noise Here, The Sonnet, and A Brief History of Comics by Glen Armstrong

Our second installment of Anti-Genre features three pieces by Glen Armstrong. Each vignette invites readers to access the strange, evocative wonder of Armstrong’s vibrant imagery. *** Make an Occult Noise Here      Then wait. The older the universe gets, the longer it takes to respond. A red-tailed hawk spreads its wings, just engaging its impulse to rise, but the wings keep spreading. Night falls on the nearly abandoned city. War breaks out between what used to exist and what never existed. Light: the fuse. Consider: blues holler, death rattle, last gasp. Sometimes the answer is silence. Sometimes the answer is “no.” Though our arrangement of convenience never blossomed into love, we always had strong coffee and the best seasonal fruit. When I leaned in and paid attention I could hear you. ***  The Sonnet I won the sonnet contest by being clever enough to rhyme “orange” with “door hinge,” but the prize money didn’t go as far as I would have liked. I had to buy shots for the other poets, a beret and a leather waistcoat. I had to subscribe to three new journals and rent a unicorn for midnight rides, naked rides through the town. I was in debt. I needed to win another contest, but I had nothing: late night phones, broken bones, blueberry scones, uneven flesh tones, combat zones, primordial moans . . ....

Read More

Idles — Joy as an Act of Resistance

Idles Joy As An Act of Resistance Partisan For my money, the best band in the world right now is Idles.  A collection of working-class louts from Bristol in the UK, they make essential, vicious post-punk noise.  Their 2017 début, the appropriately named Brutalism, was a kick in the head.  Over 13 vicious tracks, frontman Joe Talbot deconstructed classism, nationalism, wilful ignorance and toxic masculinity.  Talbot’s co-opting of Margaret Atwood in the midst of the track ‘Mother’ was both surprising and welcome: Sexual violence doesn’t start and end with rape It starts in our books and behind our school gates Men are scared women will laugh in their face Whereas women are scared it’s their lives men will take. Live, they are devastating: Joy picks up where Brutalism left off.  It’s not quite as heavy and vicious as its predecessor, but it is equally essential listening. Tablot remains fixated on what ails the world, including xenophobia and nationalism, racism, and, as ever, toxic masculinity.  One thing I appreciate about Idles is that they speak to violent masculinity in our culture through a particularly vicious art form, and yet, they are not the violent ones.  And despite the heavy lyrical content, Idles are not preachy.  Part of this is due to the music.  The duelling guitars of Mark Bowen and Lee Kiernan provide the brutalism of the music, over the bouncing bass and drums of...

Read More

Renovating the House (and Senate…)

One thing that sent Christine Blasey Ford to therapy in 2012 was a marital disagreement about a house renovation. Such renovations create the kind of dramatic conflict that can really test a marriage: this is the trite premise of all those house design shows on HGTV. But the story Blasey Ford told was anything but trite. Against the advice of an architect, and against the wishes of her husband, she was insisting that their renovation plans feature two front doors. Two front doors? The architect and the husband objected. So off to therapy she and her husband went. It was there...

Read More