"Walk into a patch of forest in New England, and chances are you will—almost literally—stumble across a stone wall. Thigh-high, perhaps, it is cobbled together with stones of various shapes and sizes, with splotches of lichen and spongy moss instead of mortar. Most of the stones are what are called “two-handers”—light enough to lift, but not with just one hand. The wall winds down a hill and out of sight. According to Robert Thorson, a landscape geologist at University of Connecticut, these walls are “damn near everywhere” in the forests of rural New England.
He estimates that there are more than 100,000 miles of old, disused stone walls out there, or enough to circle the globe four times."
"In reacquainting us with the forces which inhabit us, which mysteriously cause us to kill or love or suffer, Busqued estranges us from our cliche expectations about what true crime literature should do... The great artist does this not by staging simplistic political positions or moral answers, but by turning the world back into a wondrous question. Some might argue that this is a way of undermining the notion of simple truth, but truth is never simple. I’d argue that Busqued is reverential towards truth, the way a mystic struggles in awe to understand God as something both intimate and ineffable. The mystic experiences the power of the deity within that tension. MAGNETIZED lives within a similar tension, slowly spiraling around certainty, watching it recede the closer we get."
My latest in the latest Agonist:
The American hubris that confuses interests and values, downplays deep cultural differences, and clings fanatically to the hope that military operations can almost always create a clean and fog-free political result was on full display in our invasion of Iraq. “All of the traditions,” Michael MacDonald writes in his book Overreach: Delusions of Regime Change in Iraq, “that called for regime change blended American power and values; all considered American values transportable; all equated threats to American values with threats to national security; and all assumed that American power was welcome in Iraq because it materialized liberal values.” MacDonald means the Washington hawk-consensus of neoconservative-liberal hawk-neoliberal. This ideological cul-de-sac, that everyone in the world is really an American liberal in colorful ethnic costume and technocratic market-economies are inevitable, is a synecdoche for the closed loop of our military logic. We take the impossible for the inevitable and call ourselves the agents of history. We don’t make mistakes; it’s just that the world hasn’t yet been bent far enough along the arc of history towards justice.
Writer - Critic - Poet - Editor