Sunday Poetry

Written By: - Date published: 7:37 am, October 30th, 2016 - 16 comments
Categories: culture, gender - Tags: , , , , ,

Slam Poet Neil Hilborn – The Future (from Button Poetry)


Tourettes and Sam Hunt dialogue – Living by the voice inside (from The Wireless)


Not poetry, but essays – Maria Popova on Urusla Le Guin on failing as a man (from Brain Pickings)

I am a man. Now you may think I’ve made some kind of silly mistake about gender, or maybe that I’m trying to fool you, because my first name ends in a, and I own three bras, and I’ve been pregnant five times, and other things like that that you might have noticed, little details. But details don’t matter… I predate the invention of women by decades. Well, if you insist on pedantic accuracy, women have been invented several times in widely varying localities, but the inventors just didn’t know how to sell the product. Their distribution techniques were rudimentary and their market research was nil, and so of course the concept just didn’t get off the ground. Even with a genius behind it an invention has to find its market, and it seemed like for a long time the idea of women just didn’t make it to the bottom line. Models like the Austen and the Brontë were too complicated, and people just laughed at the Suffragette, and the Woolf was way too far ahead of its time.


I don’t have a gun and I don’t have even one wife and my sentences tend to go on and on and on, with all this syntax in them. Ernest Hemingway would have died rather than have syntax. Or semicolons. I use a whole lot of half-assed semicolons; there was one of them just now; that was a semicolon after “semicolons,” and another one after “now.”

And another thing. Ernest Hemingway would have died rather than get old. And he did. He shot himself. A short sentence. Anything rather than a long sentence, a life sentence. Death sentences are short and very, very manly. Life sentences aren’t. They go on and on, all full of syntax and qualifying clauses and confusing references and getting old. And that brings up the real proof of what a mess I have made of being a man: I am not even young. Just about the time they finally started inventing women, I started getting old. And I went right on doing it. Shamelessly. I have allowed myself to get old and haven’t done one single thing about it, with a gun or anything.


16 comments on “Sunday Poetry”

  1. red-blooded 1

    Wow! That Ursula Le Guin essay is wonderful. Thanks for introducing me to Brain Pickings, weka. Much appreciated.

    • Jenny Kirk 1.1

      + 100%

      totally agree, thanks Weka. Lovely Sunday morning read before venturing out into the cool wind coming from the south-east this morning.

      • weka 1.1.1

        Cheers you two. rb, Brain Pickings has some other Le Guin pieces, and I’m noticing quite a few in places like the Guardian too. Maybe an upsurge in appreciation of her work.

  2. Ursula Le Guin is superb. A Wizard of Earthsea is required reading for every child. She was in NZ in the recent past. Combine Ursula Le Guin with Michael Leunig and you have all you need to know about the world; semicolons and curls 🙂

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      I haven’t been able to read most of her stuff. I read The Wizard of Earthsea when youngish and The Telling sometime in the last decade but for most of her stuff I don’t get past the first chapter.

      • I get that, Draco. I’m completely unable to read Walt Whitman, for example, though feel I’m missing out on something wonderful (Leaves of Grass, etc.). Fantasy is a challenge at various stages of life. I loved Tolkien at 14, couldn’t bear his works at 30, then rediscovered the joy at 50. What will 60 bring, I wonder 🙂

        • Incognito

          Hah! The first time I tried to read The Hobbit I seriously wondered when the actual story was about to start – not too dissimilar to a tourist driving on a NZ motorway wondering when the motorway will start.

          The one book that I have not been able to read is The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick; it is enormous in size & content. I guess I’m not yet ready for it …

          • weka

            Thomas Hardy. Can’t even stomach the film adaptations. Not that that’s SF but the whole respected author that one can’t handle thing.

            • Robert Guyton

              Weka! Thomas Hardy!! The Woodlanders, Jude the Obscure, Tess of the D’Urbervilles?? Surely!! Mr Hardy’s as depressing as they come, but his word smithery! Genius!

              • weka

                I know! I’m sure I’m missing out on something, but as you say, the depression is heavy as.

      • marty mars 2.1.2

        I quite like her sci fi.

        Always struggled with this one from Samuel R Delany

        So densely packed with so much – has anyone read it?

  3. red-blooded 3

    Well, different strokes for different folks.

    Did you have a look at the (wry, witty, barbed…superb) piece linked to in this post?

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    [OFFICIAL VIDEO] Hallelujah – Pentatonix

  5. One Anonymous Bloke 5

    A wingnut was bending a fact,
    Into prejudice bullshit and tact,
    Projected opinion,
    Put the blame on a minion,
    Especially when caught in the act.

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