Daoism 102


Recently a friend asked me to recommend something to read about Daoism. Though I’m not a practicing Daoist, something I think would be difficult to do without spending time either in China or near a large Chinese community, the philosophical ideas in many early Daoist texts are at the core…

The Titty Picture Post


One of the few things that disturbs me about belonging to my Elks Lodge is the titty painting over the bar. People don’t agree about the ethnicity of the topless woman in the portrait (Mestiza? South American? Pacific Islander?). But they do agree that she is 1> a woman and…

Kindling Winter’s Bone


I've been re-reading Daniel Woodrell's novel, Winter's Bone using the ipad's Kindle app. I just discovered that I can get at my margin notes online, which is pretty damn cool. So here's an indirect review of the novel, at least the parts I've finished. If I seem catty about dialect,…

Separate Spheres


Maybe it was seeing the film Inception, or reading Haruki Murakami, but I've been remembering my dreams even more than usual lately, which for me is a lot. One odd thing is that as I reflect on them during the day, they awaken memories, but memories of other dreams. As…

The Fire Last Time


After about a year and a half of constant pain, I found myself almost entirely pain-free within twelve hours of being treated with Remicade (inflixiamb.) This is a little like being hurled onto the shore after days at sea, then lying there as the tide goes out: first the shallow…

Note to David Foster Wallace


 I found this photocopy of a note I wrote on the outside of a box I sent to David Foster Wallace. There was a copy of Giorgio Agamben's Potentialties inside, for which he wrote back thanking me. NOTE: This contains a gift, and only a gift, for DFW's edification and…

The Assistant Professor's Nightmare


My niece's pre-lecture jitters reminded me of this poem by Ronald Wallace:The Assistant Professor's Nightmare I'm giving the Faulkner lecture as usual, all the pencils nodding their heads in astonishment: Wallace is brilliant, Wallace is wise. My sure voice filling their notebooks up when back row, aisle three, Kevin McGann,…

The Wooster Telamons


 My sweetie is rereading a book that was a favorite of mine in high school: Lord Foul's Bane by Stephen Donaldson. I liked it so much that one of the reasons I went to the College of Wooster (aka C.O.W.) was that Donaldson was a graduate.There's a passage in the…