Cephalopod Blog

September 2, 2014 at 4:48am
1,153 notes
Reblogged from oupacademic

IN A GRAVEYARD in the village of Weybridge, Vermont, stands an unusual headstone. It is inscribed with the names of two women, Sylvia Drake and Charity Bryant, who were born during the Revolutionary era and died in the middle of the 19th century. The women were pillars of their community for four and a half decades … They were also, according to their own understanding and that of those around them, a married couple.

— 

Historian Rachel Hope Cleves uncovers the fascinating story of same sex marriage in Vermont, 1807. (via oupacademic)

Book is called “Charity & Sylvia: A Same-Sex Marriage in Early America” (Oxford University Press)” 

(via engrprof)

(via othernotebooksareavailable)

September 1, 2014 at 7:12pm
47 notes
Reblogged from electric-cereal
electric-cereal:

Nothing can destroy purity by Luna Miguel
One. Oporto (June 2014, with a brief stop in Lisbon)
If I look at a gray sky filled with gray seagulls I can not talk about pain. I’ve had nightmares about cats, nightmares about fingers. I’ve dreamt about ripping off my own skin to sleep better. Sad readings are essential while you and I laugh and you were just about to do it on the inside, why didn’t you why.
The gray seagulls. The river. I’ve come to eat fish and drink filthy wine. Listen, there are fat foreigners and sparrows, there is agua dulce and then suddenly an ocean. Will we go to the beach? Will we be scared of eating the fish with long bones? Will we be blamed for eating them mercilessly, inside taverns, where the rain can’t lash at us anymore?
Emoji of an anchor. And emoji of a heart pumping cold beer on the bed of a tower filled with flowers. All these images exist because every one of these throbs exist.
It has been days since I last heard the mermaids. They’re away somewhere, trying to calm themselves. Afraid of us who eat away at the ocean like greedy birds.
Two. Return to Barcelona (June ends)
Think about Naomi. Imagine a world where every mother is dead. Who would be left. Who of us would be left behind, the sterile cats with tricolor fur, the men with pale shriveled dicks, the newborn doves?
me?
Think: emoji of a seagull defecating at a certain height —perhaps from a church, or from an unlit lamp amid the Oporto night— over my head, now wet and viscous, how gross, I say, how fucking gross.
Think: emoji of my face filled with joy that my belly yearns to be a mother but you don’t.
You don’t.
We are so happy. We don’t laugh much. We dance amid sardines and cream cakes. We drink too much.
Think: that an orphan poet is not a poet but an artifact loaded with hot gunpowder.
Here we are all sterile. Here we are all alive.
Originally published on June 27, 2014 by Luna Miguel Translated from the Spanish by Luis Silva
http://www.electriccereal.com/nothing-can-destroy-purity-luna-miguel

electric-cereal:

Nothing can destroy purity by Luna Miguel

One. Oporto (June 2014, with a brief stop in Lisbon)

If I look at a gray sky filled with gray seagulls I can not talk about pain.
I’ve had nightmares about cats, nightmares about fingers.
I’ve dreamt about ripping off my own skin to sleep better.
Sad readings are essential while you and I laugh and you were just about to do it on the inside, why didn’t you
why.

The gray seagulls. The river.
I’ve come to eat fish and drink filthy wine. Listen, there are fat foreigners and sparrows, there is agua dulce and then suddenly an ocean. Will we go to the beach? Will we be scared of eating the fish with long bones? Will we be blamed for eating them mercilessly, inside taverns, where the rain can’t lash at us anymore?

Emoji of an anchor.
And emoji of a heart pumping cold beer on the bed of a tower filled with flowers.
All these images exist because every one of these throbs exist.

It has been days since I last heard the mermaids.
They’re away somewhere, trying to calm themselves.
Afraid of us who eat away at the ocean like greedy birds.

Two. Return to Barcelona (June ends)

Think about Naomi.
Imagine a world where every mother is dead.
Who would be left. Who of us would be left behind,
the sterile cats with tricolor fur,
the men with pale shriveled dicks,
the newborn doves?

me?

Think: emoji of a seagull defecating at a certain height —perhaps from a church, or from an unlit lamp amid the Oporto night— over my head, now wet and viscous, how gross, I say, how fucking gross.

Think: emoji of my face filled with joy that my belly yearns to be a mother but you don’t.

You don’t.

We are so happy. We don’t laugh much. We dance amid sardines and cream cakes. We drink too much.

Think: that an orphan poet is not a poet but an artifact loaded with hot gunpowder.

Here we are all sterile.
Here we are all alive.

Originally published on June 27, 2014 by Luna Miguel
Translated from the Spanish by Luis Silva

http://www.electriccereal.com/nothing-can-destroy-purity-luna-miguel

(via othernotebooksareavailable)

2:24pm
1,106 notes
Reblogged from asylum-art

asylum-art:

 Nicole Dextras freezes garments in solid blocks of ice

using ice as both her photographic and sculptural medium, environmental artist nicole dextras freezes garments of varying season, texture, and fabric in frosted volumes, highlighting the wardrobe’s skeletal qualities. the series that makes up ‘castaways’ has been captured on toronto island, a small community celebrated for its beach and amusement park open during the warm months, while the winter period leaves the town somewhat devoid of its usual summertime energy. with this in mind, dextras imagines the apparel representing the spirits of the theme park frozen in time, out of season, waiting for the great melt. the ephemeral nature of the urban sculptural installations invite the viewer to construct their own narrative as the artist explains, ‘like an isolated silent film still, they exist only for a moment and then the movie continues on.’ 

(via othernotebooksareavailable)

9:36am
19,450 notes
Reblogged from likeafieldmouse

othernotebooksareavailable:

likeafieldmouse:

Patrick Joust

a photo set to make you feel like an outsider wandering the edges of human habitation

4:48am
175 notes
Reblogged from samueldelany

Near Kin: A Collection of Words and Art Inspired by Octavia Estelle Butler →

samueldelany:

image

Near Kin explores, questions, and pays tribute the multifaceted brilliance of Octavia Butler’s work through poetry, prose and essays by writers all over the world. Among these works are:

There’s the question over a writer’s reasons for self-censorship and what it means to the future of racial…

(via afrofuturistaffair)

August 31, 2014 at 7:12pm
14 notes
Reblogged from lachantefleurie

http://lachantefleurie.tumblr.com/post/84760152130 →

lachantefleurie:

June nights! Seventeen!—Drink it in.
Sap is champagne, it goes to your head…
The mind wanders, you feel a kiss
On your lips, quivering like a living thing…

The wild heart Crusoes through a thousand novels
—And when a young girl walks alluringly
Through a streetlamp’s pale light, beneath…

2:24pm
33 notes
Reblogged from theovens

strangerdistro:

bluebeadsandbones:

kisston:

theovens:

i don’t owe anything to any dude. ever.

2-piece riot grrrl band from Chicago, still going at it strong! new tunes on their bandcamp.

The Ovens! Dreamy.

i don’t owe anything to any dude. ever. = real talk in the form of the best song title ever.

more here! http://theovens.bandcamp.com/album/try

(via thechapess)

9:36am
70 notes
Reblogged from bobschofield
bobschofield:

- Bob Schofield

bobschofield:

Bob Schofield

(via shabbydollhouse)

4:48am
21 notes
Reblogged from poppoppopblowblowbubblegum

Mary Tuma’s Twisted Rope (2011) is an 18-meter-long rope laboriously made from traditional Palestinian dresses, kaffiyehs and odd fabrics, twisted and linked together in a chain. These materials were sourced from both sides of Israel’s separation barrier, which cuts through the West Bank, ruining livelihoods and disconnecting families. Eighteen meters corresponds to the length of rope that is required for two individuals on opposite sides of the barrier to scale its height simultaneously—while counterbalancing one another—and meet at the top of the wall. Twisted Rope, which hung delicately from a fixture on the gallery’s wall, evokes an imagined scenario of escape and liberation, as well as visions of the horizon, estranged loved ones and promise in the present—all of which, in reality, are barred in the West Bank by the separation barrier. (via)

Mary Tuma’s Twisted Rope (2011) is an 18-meter-long rope laboriously made from traditional Palestinian dresses, kaffiyehs and odd fabrics, twisted and linked together in a chain. These materials were sourced from both sides of Israel’s separation barrier, which cuts through the West Bank, ruining livelihoods and disconnecting families. Eighteen meters corresponds to the length of rope that is required for two individuals on opposite sides of the barrier to scale its height simultaneously—while counterbalancing one another—and meet at the top of the wall. Twisted Rope, which hung delicately from a fixture on the gallery’s wall, evokes an imagined scenario of escape and liberation, as well as visions of the horizon, estranged loved ones and promise in the present—all of which, in reality, are barred in the West Bank by the separation barrier. (via)

(Source: poppoppopblowblowbubblegum, via the-pleasures-of-reading)

August 30, 2014 at 7:12pm
136 notes
Reblogged from believermag

The Place Makes Everyone a Gambler

believermag:

image

 Alice Bolin on Joan Didion and Los Angeles

When I first moved to Los Angeles, I sat by Echo Park Lake and read Joan Didion’s 1970 novel Play It as It Lays twice. You have to be a special kind of depressive to read this book more than once, especially more than once back to back. It follows Maria Wyeth, actress and model of minimal success and wife to an up-and-coming movie director, as her life falls apart. Her young daughter, Kate, suffers from a mysterious mental illness and is institutionalized. Maria files for divorce. She gets an abortion. She becomes, in her agent’s words, “a slightly suicidal situation.”

Although Play It as It Lays has achieved classic status—it was on Time’s List of the 100 Best Novels—many readers find Maria unbearably dramatic, self-centered, messy, and babyish. I think it takes a personality with both a tendency towards old-fashioned melodrama and a ruthless, sad/beautiful, cinematic nihilism to pick up what Play It as It Lays is putting down.

I sat on a crumbling stone bench set into the greenery surrounding the lake, and dead birds of paradise got tangled in my hair. It was lovely: ducks hung out in the shallows and the statue of Lady of the Lake laid her shadow in the water. But as I observed the men pushing ice cream carts, the families, dogs, and joggers circle the lake, it was as if every vision concealed a dark edge, a poison that floated imperceptibly in the daylight. Toddlers almost pitched themselves into the water when their parents looked away. A man threw a tennis ball into the lake and his little dog swam out to retrieve it over and over again. Every time it looked to me like the dog was faltering, she had gotten too tired, she might drown right there near the fountain.

At one point in Play It as It Lays Maria takes in the action in the town square of a small beach community. She watches “some boys in ragged Levi jackets and dark goggles… passing a joint with furtive daring;” “an old man [who] coughed soundlessly, spit phlegm that seemed to hang in the heavy air;” “a woman in a nurse’s uniform [wheeling] a bundled neuter figure silently past the hedges of dead camellias.” Maria fantasizes about calling her lover Les Goodwin, and in making contact, undoing her dread. “Maybe she would hear his voice and the silence would break,” Didion writes, “the woman in the nurse’s uniform would speak to her charge and the boys would get on their Harleys and roar off.”

The discrete images Maria observes carry ominous weight because of her loneliness. Her anxiety is evidence of the secret patterns, connections, and implications that a mind accrues when it only talks to itself. “Her mind was a blank tape,” Didion writes of Maria, “imprinted daily with snatches of things overheard, fragments of dealers’ patter, the beginnings of jokes and odd lines of song lyrics.” Her life becomes inseparable from her dreams: images and figures and words and sounds collected, recombined, and imbued with sinister meaning.

Throughout Play It as It Lays, Maria dreams of her dead mother, a shadowy “syndicate” hiding bodies in the plumbing of her house, fetuses floating in the East River, and children filing into a gas chamber. Waking and dreaming, she is preoccupied with rattlesnakes, and her pregnancy and the aftermath of her abortion are dark and strange as a nightmare. Shortly after I moved into my new apartment in Los Angeles, I opened my laptop in the morning and tiny grease ants started crawling out of the cracks in the keyboard. Sometimes dream symbolism collides with waking life by coincidence, but sometimes it is a bad sign.

Didion’s experimentation with dream structure in Play It as It Lays may have something to do with her suspicion of the unity, linearity, and cause and effect of traditional narrative. Didion is one of the essential essayists of the twentieth century, and all great nonfiction writers examine how the consistency we expect from storytelling is incompatible with the contradictions and competing truths of real life. I think of Janet Malcolm, the only contemporary nonfiction writer who rivals Didion for pure intelligence and readability. Over her eleven books, Malcolm has considered the way narrative is created in psychology, journalism, and biography—the artificial order each lays over real life. Malcolm writes in The Journalist and the Murderer:

As every work of fiction draws on life, so every work of nonfiction draws on art. As the novelist must curb his imagination in order to keep his text grounded in the common experience of man (dreams exemplify the uncurbed imagination—thus their uninterestingness to everyone but their author), so the journalist must temper his literal-mindedness with the narrative devices of imaginative literature.

In this way, Didion walks a careful line in Play It as It Lays. She can’t avoid all the traditional conventions of the novel form, and she can’t ignore the mandates of fact. But she must find a way to shape a novel that reflects that archipelago of an industry that is “entertainment,” and Los Angeles, a city whose unifying characteristic is its disjointedness.

*

Play It as It Lays begins with Maria compulsively and aimlessly driving L.A.’s freeway system. “She drove it as a riverman runs a river,” Didion writes, and when Maria is not driving, she fantasizes about it:

Again and again she returned to an intricate stretch just south of the interchange where successful passage from the Hollywood onto the Harbor required a diagonal move across four lanes of traffic. On the afternoon she finally did it without once braking or once losing the beat on the radio she was exhilarated, and that night slept dreamlessly.

This practice indicates Maria’s absolute idleness—her husband and daughter have both been taken away from her, so she has nothing to occupy her time or her thoughts. But she is also seeking emptiness. Driving is a meditative activity, the mind and the body working in unison, moving in response to stimuli—the road, the lane, the signs and signals, the other drivers—without conscious thought: the flow of the fugitive act. “Sometimes at night the dread would overtake her,” Didion writes, “bathe her in sweat, flood her mind with sharp flash images… but she never thought about that on the freeway.”

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