"On the Seawall" - Ron Slate's Blog

on Boredom, edited by Tom McDonough (The MIT Press/Whitechapel Gallery)

In “Dream Song 14,” John Berryman not only exposed his boredom but patched in his world’s disapproval of such languishing:

"Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so.   
After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns,   
we ourselves flash and yearn,
and moreover my mother told me as a boy   
(repeatingly) ‘Ever to confess you’re bored   
means you have no

on White Tears, a novel by Hari Kunzru (Knopf)

The conclusion of Hari Kunzru’s White Tears leaves the reader shaken by the long habits of racism in America and the misappropriation of culture. But the beginning is all about sound. “Every sound wave has a physiological effect, every vibration,” says Seth, the narrator. “I once heard a field recording of a woman singing, sitting on a porch.

Nine Poets Recommend New & Recent Titles

Welcome back to “Poets Recommend,” the Seawall’s semi-annual poetry feature. This season, nine poets write briefly on some of their favorite recently published titles. This multi-poet/title feature is posted here in April and November. Scroll down to read. The commentary includes:

Lisa Russ Spaar

on Watchful by Molly Bendall (Omnidawn Publishing)

on City Gate, Open Up, a memoir by Bei Dao, tr. by Jeffrey Yang (New Directions)

Zhao Zhenkai was 17 years old when Mao’s Cultural Revolution occurred in 1966. At his high school, he was among those who forced his teachers to wear incriminating placards around their necks, and who ridiculed, kicked and punched them through a gauntlet in the schoolyard. He had become one of the Red Guards.

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