Sunday, January 02, 2005

So happy New Year, or whatever. It's not a holiday that's ever registered much with me, though perhaps its artifice (the manmade calendar's rolling over—woo-hoo!) is worth celebrating. Dampened, so to speak, by the continuing and escalating horrors post-tsunami. Dampened further by news from Emily's father on New Year's Eve that he has prostate cancer. We are hoping for the best, naturally—it's far from being an automatic death sentence—but it necessarily casts some gloom. Still, it's good to be back in Ithaca after a mostly pleasant week in the world of urbanness: first Philly, then New York. Emily and I had a lovely time staying in her friend Rob's apartment in Cobble Hill, hanging out, visiting her friends (including an adorable and amazing new baby, Isaac Miles), going to restaurants, and seeing the Alvin Ailey company's performance Friday night (which included the legendary "Revelations"). I love dance and if I must make a New Year's resolution, I resolve to see more dance performances this year. Dance strikes me as the performance genre closest to poetry, not just because of its capacity for lyricism, but because its medium, the human body, resembles language in always meaning something: you cannot reduce the human form to its sheer materiality in the same way you can reduce paint or marble or metal. There's a passage in Kant where he talks about the human body and its peculiar status in aesthetic representation more or less because of this, though Kant I think phrases it in terms of the human being as the teleological goal of nature, which is a notion difficult to subscribe to these days.

Some new blogs and bloggers I've become aware of: digital litterateur Nick Montfort's Grand Text Auto (I met Nick at dinner Tuesday with William and Christian); Carocaro's memoir blog, oncenterstreet; and my friend and fellow Ithaca-based poet Jasper Bernes's whipsmart Little Red's Recovery Room. Wish I'd known he was in Philly when I was there; he could have met Brian and Richard. His review of the new Grand Theft Auto seems spot-on. We used to meet up for games of Halo at the now-defunct Wownet internet cafe on Aurora Street.

The dissertation sits hulked in the corner, waiting for me to notice it. To feed it or rebuke it. To give it some air.

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