Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Macklemore's Town

A nice glimpse of Seattle via local hip-hop artist Macklemore:


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Poem: Warehouse of Defeat

by Alex Gallo-Brown

The casino was dead air today.
No breath, a warehouse of defeat.
I admit, I joined
them in their weakness. 
I think I needed to feel less whole.
Or it might have been
about dispersing myself
through those slender circles.
In any case, I played, was fruitfully scattered.
When as I was leaving, the security guard smiled
at me, her face tender yet distraught.
I wondered whose face that was.
Were all of us so transparent in our vacancy?
Outside I gulped air, a kind of reverse weeping.
There were casinos for miles and miles.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

On Electronic Media

George Packer, writing on his regular New Yorker blog a couple of weeks ago, offered a reasonable (and, in my view, necessary) critique of our culture's obsession with electronic media. At one point, he compared Twitter to crack cocaine. "Who doesn't want to be taken out of the boredom or sameness or pain of the present at any given moment? That's what drugs are for, and that's why people become addicted to them," he wrote. "Twitter is crack for media addicts. It scares me, not because I'm morally superior to it, but because I don't think I could handle it." 

The blogosphere predictably erupted, prompting Packer to protest, in a follow-up post, that "techno-worship is a triumphalist and intolerant cult that doesn't like to be asked questions."

Yowza. Anyway, somewhere along the way I wound up on the blog of a person named Laryssa Wirstiuk, who describes herself, with no apparent irony, as a "24 year-old creative writer and entrepreneur." She had written a snarky, mean-spirited piece of satire that implied Packer was elitist, pretentious, self-aggrandizing, and more. I wrote in the comments section that I didn't feel like she had added anything to the discussion, and that the tone of her piece "exemplified everything I despised about my generation." She wrote me wanting to know why.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Poem: Sheridan

by Alex Gallo-Brown

Telephone wires drawn tight

against a weary sky,
sky spangled with squares
of blue light—borrowed, perhaps,
from some other sky—I drift
through dreary towns,
driving the car my dad used to,
looking past the chains.
Dairy Queen, Wal-Mart, KFC,
you know nothing of
what I am about to say.

Cars can mean something
says my teenage self,
waiting on the curb after school
for the big white sedan to show.
Drizzle hovering like a shroud,
I searched the car-saturated street,
imagining the jets of heat,
the shout of radio,
my dad’s face broken
by his grin.

In Sheridan, I park by the side of a road,
finish my lukewarm tea,
and watch a woman deliver the mail.
Watch her fight her own body 
just to exit her car.
In the city where I live, where I will always live,
the mailmen drive state-issued vehicles.
But in Sheridan, they drive their own.
Hers is a weathered maroon SUV
with a sign strapped to its roof that says US Mail.
Above her, a flag surges west in the wind.
Tree branches droop toward the ground.
I have no idea what I am about to say.