Category Archives: Best Of

Sharon Mesmer for Brooklyn Poet Laureate

Sharon Mesmer is on the short list for the next Brooklyn Poet Laureate to succeed Ken Siegelman.

It really isn’t a contest is it? She has to get the nod.

In a story Gene Kuntzman did for the The Brooklyn Paper he wrote: Sharon Mesmer

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blockquote>”Mesmer will get the vote of anyone who likes a randy dame who’s not afraid to write poems with titles like “Annoying Diabetic Bitch” and “Holy Mother of Monkey Poo.”

“If anyone is suggesting me [as poet laureate], it must be because I slept around so much,” she said. But she’s being modest: Mesmer, who studied under Allen Ginsberg, teaches at the New School and, this fall, at Brooklyn College.

Also posted in Around Town, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Response

Email as ToDo List

David Pogue, the Technology Editor at the New York Times, has caused a stir withis last email update. In it he described a short list of his productivity secrets and to the gasps of GTD/David Allen proselytes the world over he declared that he uses his email inbox as his todo list.

I thought I heard the followers of Merlin Mann and his 43 Folders InboxZero program clutch their collective chests.

I joined in by posting…

I love todo list so much I had dozens – Omnifocus, iGTD, iCal, Things, legal pads, 3×5 cards, all of it. Then I relized the wonder of the one inbox, and I have made my email that box. Like Pogue, anything that comes in is filed, replied to, or tossed a la basic GTD principles. What is left over are todo/project emails. The problem with using the inbox…
Also posted in Productivity | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Response

Dating DEVONThink

I was all excited. I thought I had found a solution to my vexing Journler problems. Crashes, freezes, all manner of frustrations had pushed me away from the love of my life application. Journler was the app I had been immersed in for the first year of my writing, my first crush, but the application’s solo developer had gone off, and it was clear, the bugs that existed would be problems forever, so I went looking for another.

I wrote “Bye, bye, Journler. DEVONThink is my girl now. She’s not beautiful like you, kind of clumsy actually, but she is smart and will be here for the long haul…”

Now I’m starting to wonder. DEVONThink is an application best described as inattentive to its appearance. It is messy in the way it interacts with others and is more worried about the mad scientist, artificial intelligence core of the program than in adding any real value to how users create or manage data…

Also posted in Productivity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Responses

Artists Stand Naked

All these writing exercises, many under time constraints – “Please do a character development using dialogue and no description for the next 12 minutes” – become like unconstrained mini-therapy, without the benefit of professional interpretation.

“You are not the narrator…” Sure I’m not. I’m supposed to connect with my “conscious, make friends with it” and “take a stand in your work”. If I really took a stand everyone in the room would fall down.

I’m learning that artists stand naked. Perhaps that’s why they are hunched over all the time.

Also posted in Writing | Tagged | Leave a comment

The End Of Cynicism?

Is this the end of cynicism? Obama’s soaring victory speech in Chicago last night was an oratorical flourish of positivism, such as has been missing in public discourses in America for years.

But what does this victory mean to the future tone of discourse in America? Is this the end of cynicism, the tone of voice which has become the best way to identify one as an American? Now that the revolution is over how will we speak, casually and formally, without the ability to mock, snark or deride the archetypes built since the 1960’s?

Certainly the old rebellion is over, so what will replace its messenger, which has been the sound of sarcasm in our voice?

Also posted in The Annals of Protest | Tagged , | 9 Responses

Don’t jump to conclusions…

It’s human nature; we find the quickest way to apply a map to a simple fact and extrapolate from it grand conclusions. The biologists say it’s evolutionary. It’s hard wired in us, they say, and it’s part of what makes us greater than the apes.

“We are in an ontological pickle” a friend told me recently, and she was right.

To deal with this I suggest a “Rule of Three”, but be careful that you don’t eat the pickle along the way…

Also posted in The Annals of Protest | Tagged , , , | 4 Responses