Commentaries

Physics of the impossible

Lorentzian wormhole, courtesy of wikipedia, with text I added to the image.
Lorentzian wormhole, courtesy of wikipedia, with text I added to the image.

If a poem could exist on a rocket ship traveling at the speed of light where, in Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity, space compresses, mass increases, and time slows, what kind of poem might it be? According to Einstein’s theory of general relativity, which applies at cosmological scales in contrast to his earlier theory of special relativity that applies at local scales such as the solar system, profound distortions of spacetime would have to occur in a universe where the speed of light is constant.

Geomantic Riposte: The Crow's Vow

Susan Briscoe has been shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Award and the CBC Literary Awards, and has won the Lina Chartrand Award. She teaches English at Dawson College in Montreal and divides her time between the city and Quebec's Eastern Townships.

The present is fleet and we never have it anyway

Lawrence Giffin's Ex Tempore

Time. It seems always in deficiency when we catch up with friends. We speak colloquially of needing more of it — “Where has the time gone?” It runs off when we aren’t looking. But what if we were to look at it, relentlessly, with nearly unblinking attention? Could we hold onto it then?  

Lawrence Giffin’s Ex Tempore (TROLLTHREAD 2011) seeks to attend to time by capturing the constantly transient instant of composition. The book begins with a short preface, allegedly identifying the exact moment that Giffin began writing his text.

Samuel R. Delany on Close Listening

Samual R. Delany talks with Charles Bernstein about genres, sex, and dyslexia in this wide-ranging conversation with the polymathic author. Delany addresses the role of fantasy and the bounds of imagination in his works and rebuts assumptions about the nature of genre writing. 

Samuel R. Delany, Chip Delany to his friends, is an American author, professor, and literary critic. His work includes fiction, memoir, criticism, and essays on sexuality and society. After winning four Nebula awards and two Hugo awards over the course of his career, Delany was inducted by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2002. Since January 2001, he has been a professor of English and Creative Writing at Temple University in Philadelphia. For a short time before that he was a core faculty member of the UB Poetics Program. 

(38:01): MP3

Get me happy.

Smiling purple dinosaurs
AC playground

Spoiler: I’m a coward because I wanted to be sure to leave happy.

The other night I went to see a comedian who appears on a TV game show. As I’d been let down before I was a little cautious. A few years ago, another very funny guy who was a regular guest on a satirical news show was unable to transfer his little asides and dry one lines to an evening of live entertainment. We had been looking forward to seeing what he had to say.  The funniest thing that evening was the queue for the men’s toilets. All the women commented on how they had never seen men waiting in line before. How we chuckled. I think some of us took photos.