Monday, August 26, 2013

Hider Roser

I'm at the beach! And reading goes hand-in-hand with warm winds and crashing waves, at least in my experience.  I've read the excellent book of poems Hider Roser by Ben Mirov, which managed to make me laugh even with its dedication: "for I have no idea."

Being melanin-challenged, I have to do my most of vacationing slathered in SPF 50 or sitting underneath the stars. And the star gazing leads to a lot of questions about who/what/where/when and why we exist in the universe. This collection urged on this train of thought, with poems like "Cluster", as well as the title poem:

From "Hider Roser"

The water is beautiful and she allows you
to put your arm around her.
Smell her ear, part of a star
that exploded when you were negative
10,000 years old.
In a few hours she is gone.
In four years, even goner
and Dean is telling you something about nothing
the sparrows in his tattoo
forever flying out of a rose
until Dean is dead.
At one point I was getting a bit freaked out, thinking how every plant, animal, hair follicle, and cheeto is made up of star stuff--the basic elemental ingredients of the universe--and life on Earth is the only thing sentient enough (as far as we know) to experience how these ingredients combine and interact. We're just a big assortment of atoms made up from stuff available on the planet. What was the spark...what caused the change, the evolution, that took that star stuff and made it into the first cell?

Now this assortment of atoms is going to stop waxing philosophical and share some lines from Hider Roser. Of course via the one thing on Earth that doesn't consist of atoms: the internet.

Here are some favorite lines:

First line from "Containment Unit for Mysterious Green Vapor"

I shouldn't talk about myself that way.

From "You May Not Know This but in His Youth James Tate was Some Sort of Champion Swimmer!"

was something Christopher wrote
in an email and I pictured Jim
swimming through a cloud supported

by the power of my mind,
barely enough to keep a candle lit
yet somehow able to think of a hundred


From "One Hundred Poems from the Chinese"

Is there anything One Hundred Poems from the Chinese
can do for the broken toilet?
Probably, but neither you nor it can figure out what.
And yet, One Hundred Poems from the Chinese is there for you
like a moonbeam lighting
a little piece of the house.

From "Dove Life"

              When you feel it
smother your face at night,
descend the staircase

to your basement, your workout bench
your shoebox full of photographs.
Or travel so far into yourself

when you arrive at the center
the ripcord is a wick
and you must use your teeth

to remove the plastic packaging
that surrounds your heart.

95 pages
6, 094 / 20,00 page goal

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Dance with Dragons

This book. This effing book.

That's kind of all I want to write, but I'll try to expand my commentary.

This was the 5th and latest installment in George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, and as the series has progressed, it seems like the plot keeps getting slower and slower, and more convoluted with every page. It's so weird to compare the later books with the first, where basically an entire war starts, dragons are born, people are orphaned, and manage to travel the length of Westeros in a manner of pages. I actually thought while reading that maybe the war would be finished by the end of the first book. HAR! HAR HAR.

The Ice and Fire series is like one of those functions in calculus, where the limit doesn't exist. Someone please help me with the terminology, because I've had math erased in my brain and replaced with 30 page family trees of fictional characters with names like "Yezzan zo Qaggaz" (Scrabble winner right there). Basically Martin just keeps expanding the story forward and backwards, but at an ever decreasing speed. The books will eventually become self-aware and write themselves, creating a story with no end or beginning.

The limit does not exist. Winter will never come.

The only thing that redeemed this monster of a novel was


She is so kickass. I don't want to spoil what happens, but it's amazing, and your life forever change after you read what she does. It's tragic that we'll have to wait 5 odd years before her epic scene makes it to HBO. 


1040 pages
6,809 / 20,000 page goal