Composition #2

Every time I think of Kundera I recall my favorite line from Unbearable Lightness: “In the sunset of dissolution, everything is illuminated by the aura of nostalgia, even the guillotine.” And as I wrote these words, I went back to refresh my memory and was surprised to see that sentence on page 4—page 4!—of the book. Could something so meaningful to me have come so early in the text? Does that make it any more or any less significant? I’m pretty sure the man would say: both. Kundera opens his Unbearable Lightness with a reflection on the concept of “eternal … Continue reading “Composition #2”

Our Marmite God

There’s a sticky sandwich spread in the United Kingdom called marmite. It’s as dark and goopy as molasses but has a savory flavor that’s so strange and inscrutable that the company that produces it decided decades ago to celebrate its divisive distinctiveness with a slogan that declared: “Marmite—You Either Love It or Hate It.” Brilliant. Why pretend that your yeast extract is just like peanut butter when it’s so demonstrably not? By fully owning your bizarreness, your fans become your best evangelists and you may even generate a healthy margin of profit from the curious seeking something new (even if … Continue reading “Our Marmite God”

Consolations

A Pentecost sermon is many things, but you don’t often expect to hear about the fear of heights, let alone the kind of morbid ideation that sometimes accompanies that phobic vertigo: “what if I just flung myself over the edge,” the preacher intimated, illustrating his larger point about the fragility of trust in the self in contrast with the solidity of trusting in God. I suspect that his moment of vulnerability was encouraged by an editor who left a comment in the margin urging him to “tell us something of what you’re afraid of here.” I wonder if he worried … Continue reading “Consolations”

47

“Photography has two antithetical ideals: in the first, #photography is about the world and the photographer is a mere observer who counts for little; but in the second, photography is the instrument of intrepid, questing subjectivity and the photographer is all.” (Susan Sontag) X “You can grieve for what you are grateful.” I was out of town when @jacquelineviola’s last installment of the (inconceivable and unbelievably absurd) times landed in my mailbox, so when I opened the carefully wrapped package this morning, I was more than a little surprised to see a sentence that so directly spoke to my mood while away. Wistful, … Continue reading “47”

Camera Lacrimosa

Roland Barthes wrote a book about photography called Camera Lucida, a play on “camera obscura,” that ancient primogenitor to Polaroids and Instagrams. In it, he introduces useful terms for reading photographs, like “studium” (the presence of elements that lend themselves to sociocultural or historical analysis) and “punctum” (the features that convey a meaning in an individual without invoking any recognizable symbolic system), anchoring his reflections in (his) subjectivity and emotion. Halfway through the book, however, Barthes seemingly abandons his whole project (or takes it to its logical extreme) and begins to meditate on a single photograph of his own recently-deceased … Continue reading “Camera Lacrimosa”

Ghost Viscera

Did you see that retweet of the screenshot of the story-post of a girl minding her own business reading a book at a bar? “Pick me, pick me,” the photographer mocked. Did you find yourself performing outrage or were you genuinely concerned? Can we know the difference anymore? Do you know what it’s like to be pushed around? To be there no earlier than fifteen minutes before your scheduled appointment? To take off your jacket and belt and empty your pockets? Your boots too. Now your shirt. You have fifteen minutes to run. X Do you know what it’s like … Continue reading “Ghost Viscera”

SPIN+INTERIOR LOCUTION+DISLOCATION

All my work is informed by my training in media studies. The medium is the message. All text is con-text. As an editor, I approach writing as a strategic site of influence, crisscrossed by discursive fields and loaded with potential counter-valence. Even apolitical work is doing politics. My role is to help you know your impact and maximize the intentionality behind it. This training also helps us think beyond the text. The medium is the message. All text is con-text. Composing is framing. Writing is resonance. This why, in addition to editorial work, I am offering creative services to help … Continue reading “SPIN+INTERIOR LOCUTION+DISLOCATION”

Full Moon in Leo

Today, the moon is full. It’s gliding through an area of the sky that people decided to call “Leo,” a fiery archetype of bold action and expression—AND my ~progressed~ sun sign. What does that mean? TL;DR: while this watery baby may be ruled by the penumbral queendom of La Luna, his destiny, so it seems, is to go forth and make lasting peace with the garish day of Sol. And so, after some arm-twisting and encouragement from fellow travelers around the sun, I take my first steps out from the shadows: I’ve shared a “portfolio” of sorts on @dislocution and want to … Continue reading “Full Moon in Leo”

Saret Pizza

Lebanese people of a certain age can often be found expressing their frustration at the sheer audacity of the accumulation of circumstance with two half-moon gestures encircling an invisible drain, indicating the metaphorical girth of just how badly or how far the matter’s gone. “Tekhnet.” It has become quite thick. Lebanese people of a slightly younger age will widen the gyre, indicating that matters are so out of hand that the axes have collapsed and the pipe has transmorphed into “pizza.” Two fingers on two hands in the shape of an L around a very large O, wlo, “saret pizza.” … Continue reading “Saret Pizza”

Year Zero in Review

“When the snake sits on the right The truth is always the anti-venom The snake sits on the left The truth is always the anti-venom The snake sits on the right The truth is always the anti-venom The snake sits on the left.” x x x At the start of this year, I wrote about a question that someone asked me: about the word I’d choose as the masthead for the year to be. A word was spoken in my ear as clear and as distinct as any I would assume resounds in a revelation, & that voice urged: “wholeness.” … Continue reading “Year Zero in Review”