I had to look up whether it was more appropriate to write “an useful” or “a useful”, and while the purist in me wants to write “An Useful” (which sounds wrong even in my head) the consensus (on the Internet; mind) was that it’s “a useful”. The consonant sound, as here: yoos-ful, trumps the “an before vowel” rule, but if this was the vowel sound, as in “umbrella”, then we’d be laughing.


The perceptive among you might have realized that my last update was two weeks prior; quite the break for someone who (paraphrasing myself) wanted to write daily. But alas and alack, and the urgencies of my life grow ever more urgent. Between work and school and schoolwork, I hardly have time to swipe around on Tinder, much less write.

Read More A Useful Update

Great 52 Club


And so my song continues. Week 8: Selected Poems, Seán Ó Ríordáin.

Writing critically about poetry is a doomed effort. By that, I don’t grant anyone license to shirk their responsibilities and be (gasp!) critically intemperate. Rather, there’s no way to talk about poetry that doesn’t end up becoming a stream of words that are absolutely inimical to appreciating the thing being examined. The closest example I can think of would be to cut up a painting into thousands of pieces and then laying them end-to-end to try and recreate the original. Poetry is one of those things that suffers from over-examination, like pictures of yourself from high school or the nutritional qualities of a Chipotle burrito. A good poem (whatever that is) stands on its own, its qualities apparent, while a bad poem gets tossed in the garbage, where it can stink quietly, out of sight.

Read More Poems and Progenitors


Some period-accurate vikings by the incomparable Angus McBride; we miss you dearly


I may be slow, but I try not to abandon things! Here’s your recap: Sayrid, our erstwhile heroine, just lost the duel for her hand to Hrolf, who declared that they would be wed immediately. Sayrid refuses to give up the life of a Shield Maiden, while Hrolf just wants her vast tracts of land…or does he?

So with that, let’s fire up the Blue-eyes counter (sitting at 5 and raring to go!), turn off our literary brains, and prepare for the wedding night to end all wedding nights! I really hope the sex is decent or else I’m hyping for nothing.

Read More Bad Romance Part 4: B-b-b-bad Indeed

Bad Romance

As I write more and more, I like to think I’ve begun developing a mastery of the craft. While the art still mostly eludes me1, I’ve achieved a reasonable mastery of the actual putting down of letters. This is about as worthy of celebration as constructing a sand castle or successfully using a spoon, but fair’s fair, and if you made Versailles out of sand, I’d be impressed. So maybe I’m only good at digging linguistic holes, but by God they’ll be damn good holes.

I’m reading some cantankerous dead German fellow, and he has something excellent to say about this:

The German language, however, is a companion who will think and make poetry only for the man who can give her children.2

Read More A Brief Note On Punctuation


And so the wheel turns to week 7:


I was half-way through reading Ó Ríordáin’s book when I realized there was no chance I was going to properly finish it by Sunday. I write “properly” because reading poetry is like sifting through sand with a colander, looking for the jewels strewn amongst the pebbles. It’s easy enough to heap words in a pile, chuck it all in the pot and then hope for the best, but the very best poetry (and Ó Ríordáin’s counts) demands you use tweezers to pick apart the poems word-by-word. It’s a long, slow process (and if there’s one thing I don’t have it’s time) but by the end you can pick out the quartz from the diamonds.

Luckily, I have roughly a billion books to choose from among the clutter on my desk and I’m happy to knock off another one. I started Thank You For Your Service some months ago, but it’s a hard book to read; one that really and truly drains the life from you and I kept putting it aside for later. Yes, I’m aware of the irony of putting down one book that’s hard to read only to pick up another, and it is biting. But “later” is no excuse for “now”, and just like that, it’s read.

Read More Incoming Barrage: Service and Stories


"Music Hall 2010" by Skeezix1000 - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Music_Hall_2010.JPG#mediaviewer/File:Music_Hall_2010.JPG
“Music Hall 2010″ by Skeezix1000

First off: announcements.

Sadly, I’m not superhuman like some other internet artists, and to work at multiple jobs while going to school means keeping up a blog becomes hard. While I’d love the luxury of working, say, only one job, I’d also love a pony and a million dollars and I don’t have either now, do I? Now, though, I’ve fallen behind and I’m apologizing for it; while this blog is still technically a vanity project (and always will be; because who needs income?1), I would still like to adhere to the schedule I decided for myself. The impossibility of doing that aside, I must try harder, and I will. But, that said, I can do without the Swine Flu.

Read More An Invocation To Curiosity

Great 52 Club

Bad Romance Uncategorized


If there’s one lesson I’ve learned from my historical studies, it’s this: don’t get sick, especially if you want to keep a schedule (but breaking the schedule seems to be more likely these days, but we’ll pretend that I can keep to one).

In any case! We’re still off and racing and racing away! This time: to late 19th century Chicago, where the cigars are big, the buildings are bigger, and everyone is killing everyone else!

Read More The Great 52 Week Five: Late, Late, Late