Coffee Log, Day 161


Coffee: Fair Trade Five County Espresso Blend, Trader Joe’s Brand

I can hardly keep up anymore. Each day is a different story, different spin. Last week’s crises are Alexander crossing the Euphrates; this morning was the Civil War. Part of it’s attention, part of it’s the internet – things go a lot quicker when it takes two seconds to send a message around the world.

The powers that be are clued in: Giuliani tells Mueller to ‘hurry up.’ Obama won’t mention Ocasio-Cortez in his endorsements. Old men of power want you to forget that change can happen, that real change takes time; instead, they want popcorn press conferences and Chinese-made American flags.

Language is power, but language is also dangerous. In Rome, they’d nail your hands to a cross and cut you open for preaching a single book; that went on for hundreds of years. Now, it’s tweet tweet post post caption this that picture, narrate the video where your black lover’s murdered by a white cop, hashtag twenty-seven years of men’s hands on your ass. It’s vital, succulent, burst open like ripe tomatoes, easily washed down the drain like so much juice.

It’s hard to pay attention when everyone’s got an important story. It’s easy for power to change a word, a phrase, delete this and that and make us miss the important parts. We need our holy book. We need a thick bound compendium worth being crucified for. Each page a sex, creed, color, representation. All our spit-blood memoirs wave-wave on the internet and pass us by. We need something stable and shared.

But what’s permanent look like in 2018?

Currently Reading: LaRose, Louise Erdrich

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“Hold down through these troubled times, be another victim to my stubborn pride

Stuck in the grind, Stuck in the grind, I’m stuck in the grind” – Nipsey Hussle, Stucc in the Grind


Coffee Log, Day 128


Coffee: Fair Trade Ethiopian Medium Dark, Harris Teeter Brand

I read two articles:

1) reading for leisure in America has hit an all time low.

2) attention is directly related to motivation

These articles confirmed a bias I’ve held for some time: writers don’t know how to swagger anymore, to be cool. Think of your favorite authors; find a book, their dust-jacket photo – more than likely you see a close-cut portrait, crossed arms, your grand-aunt-or-uncle at Bridge night – a bad bridge night, where no-one’s drinking, no-one’s betting, the TV’s suffering 700 Club re-runs, and Peter’s on a diet so he brought celery sticks instead of his famous brownies – where the hell’s my motivation?

But then, the old artist’s life is unsustainable. Lots of great men and women put salt and pepper on a .45. And really, who’s got the money or time or optimism to live in cynical abandon? Writers need a swagger, but one that works in 2018.

What does that look like?

The student in me says: look at hip-hop, Twitch streams.

The writer in me says: well, look at me.

Currently Reading:

History of Wolves, Emily Fridlund (2017 Man Booker Prize Shortlist) (FINISHED!!! Unforgettable; will post a review this weekend)

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“A word after a word after a word is power.”  – Margaret Atwood