Month: November 2018

The Median, Triggered, and First Day by Felicia Sanzari Chernesky

November 30th marks the 1st anniversary of “Car Poems.” Congrats to contributors and readers, and especially to fellow editors and production managers. Your poetic vehicles and visions helped us complete this long haul. Installment 37 rings in a melancholy new year. Felicia Sanzari Chernesky’s poems inhabit the sadder undersides of upscale New Jersey. Her speakers drive slowly, stubbornly noticing life’s petty cruelties and profound silences.     *** The Median Standing wide and grey and tall and flanked by wild onion and preening daffodil, the median safeguards rushing soccer mommy vans and returning Lexus SUVs from colliding on the busy...

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Shad — A Short Story About a War

Shad A Short Story About a War Secret City Records Shad is a long-time underground Canadian hip hop icon, and also hosted The Q on the CBC following the deposing of the previous host for being a pig.  He also hosted the brilliant eight-part documentary series, Hip Hop Evolution, which originally aired on HBO Canada, though it’s now streaming on Netflix globally.  Evolution was a 2016 Peabody Award winner.  In short, Shad is a heavy duty dude.  He is also one of the most versatile rappers I’ve ever heard, he can drop any kind of rhyme on time.  And he’s smooth.  Shit, if there was any justice in this world, Shad would be selling a billion albums a year and Kanye would be a nobody. Working with a veritable who’s who of Canadian hip hop, including the nearly ubiquitous DJ Kaytranada, Shad attacks our world, but, in working with a variety of people from across the country (he’s from London, ON, but is Toronto-based), he also explores some of the regionalisms of our country.  A Short Story About a War is a concept album, about a war no less.  Shad argues he is holding a mirror up to society as a whole, making us look at ourselves and issues such as migration and immigration, the environment, greed and politics, and the human spirit.  If nothing else, Shad is optimistic, usually.  Across the album,...

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Dead Can Dance — Dionysus

Dead Can Dance Dionysus Pias It seems as if Dead Can Dance have been doing this forever.  They actually kind of have.  Originally formed in Melbourne, Australia in 1981, Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry decamped for London the following year.  They did break up in 1998, though they reformed for a one-off in 2005 and for good in 2011.  Dionysus is their ninth long-player and first since 2012.  Gerrard and Perry gained fame with mesmerizing soundscapes of African, Celtic, Middle Eastern, and Asian sounds over top dance beats.  Never music for the crazed nights at the clubs, they were the pre-party, at home with friends before going out, or they were the music you put on at 4am when you got in.  As we’ve all aged, those nights have ended, of course, and now, well, I find myself coming back to Dionysus at all hours of the day.  It’s not exactly chill music, but it’s not exactly rave music. Dionysus finds our ageing veterans in fine form.  Dioynsus is the culmination of two long years of researching and recording and is centred on the Greek god of both fertility and wine & pleasure.  Dionysus was a complicated god, as all the Greeks gods were, I suppose.  His role as the god of fertility meant that he was central to the harvest and his role as the god of wine and pleasure means he was...

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The Barn and Backseat by Larry D. Thacker

Installment 36 considers the particulars of sense memory. In recalling scenes from a distant past, Larry D. Thacker focuses on the physical sensations surrounding emotional events (rather than the emotions themselves). Sensory details are what bring his memories to life. *** The Barn The sawdust floor always felt spongy with oil. Though he was long gone, hints of the horse’s rich manure lingered in the stall, mixed in straw shard and pressed to sweet rot under cardboard boxes stacked beyond remembered contents. Walls lined with gravity pulled chains and tools, the Coke sled. Sweet heady canisters of gasoline. The...

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Film Review: The Wife

Björn Runge’s The Wife, based on the 2003 novel by Meg Wolitzer, is one of this year’s many thoughtful cinevisual works that explicitly represent the oppression of women at the hands of powerful men. (So if you are a woman, and haven’t dealt with this enough in your personal and professional lives, you can now go experience it as entertainment as many more times as you want.) But it’s actually fortuitous that The Wife is thematically matched this season by so many works. My own aggregate of quotidian, life-in-2018-related despairs notwithstanding—after having watched many of these movies recently, I...

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